Tag Archives: Running

Spring Time

I can’t believe I forgot to wish everyone a Happy First Day of Spring the other day! So, Happy Belated First Day of Spring.

Unfortunately today was “one of those days” (think a full day in lab on 4 hrs of sleep — Kerry Washington and mom, I simultaneously love and curse you both — fueled by left over seminar pizza, grocery store doughnut holes and bad Hoyt Lab coffee (made with water that may or may not be safe to drink). The good news (there always has to be good news, right?) is that I have great group mates who make work super fun. Today we even had a special temporary guest group mate:

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The bad news was that this is that this was a particularly poor way (even for me) to prepare for an after-work run on a beautiful spring day. 😦 Once I was finally home I knew that I should get out and “enjoy” the spring +50F and sunshine but I just did not want to. Fortunately, an aforementioned awesome group mate put a little bug in my ear this morning when she off-handedly mentioned that she was going to be doing a 12 mile run this afternoon. (Yup, future Dr. Dr. T eats double-digit runs for breakfast…kinda like me and my doughnuts… :-/) As part of me was worked hard to convince the rest of me to hunker down for a lazy Saturday night (What better way to top off a rough rest of the day, right?) another part of me kept going back to T-sweet’s comment …and then I’ll go get a longer run in…oh, you know…about 12 miles or so…. Thankfully, the latter me won this battle and before I could change my mind I was out the door. If T-sweet is doing 12 today than I’ll be damned if I don’t do at least 6!

As always, the transforming power of 6 measly little miles is amazing! I felt like whole new person in a whole new day – damn it for being 7 pm! 😦 It was a beautiful night, there was no reason (never mind the excuses that left over pizza slices and bad junk food will try to sell you) not to get out and there is no reason not to do the same tomorrow. Plus, pulling out the spring running kit for the first time in months is always exciting 🙂

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Now I can get on, with no feelings of guilt, with the my lazy relaxing Saturday night with these two:

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Hope you can do the same!

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Filed under General

The 25 Golden Rules of Running

I came across this list recently and was pleasantly surprised to find myself either in agreement or relating to the vast majority of the 25 Golden Rules of Running…

The 25 Golden Rules of Running: 25 of the most universally accepted rules of running.

By Bob Cooper

September 2005

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Runner’s World a few years ago. The article remains popular online, and the rules are as good now as they were when first published.

Golden Rules of Running

In most cases, these rules started out as a lightbulb over one runner’s head. After a while, that runner told a few running buddies (probably during a long run), word spread, and before you know it, coaches were testing it, sports scientists were studying it, and it evolved from idea to theory to accepted wisdom. Along with each of the rules we present, however, we list the exception. Why? Because, as you also learned in grade school, there’s an exception to every rule.

1. The Specificity Rule

The most effective training mimics the event for which you’re training.

This is the cardinal rule of training for any activity. If you want to run a 10-K at seven-minute-per-mile pace, you need to do some running at that pace. “Runners are best served by running at goal pace and in the expected environment of that race,” says Ann Snyder, Ph.D., director of the human performance lab at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Exception: It’s impractical to wholly mimic a race–particularly longer distances–in training because it would require extended recovery. So, when doing race-specific training, keep the total distance covered shorter than the goal race, or run at your race pace in shorter segments with rest breaks (interval training).

2. The 10-Percent Rule

Increase weekly training mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.

Joe Henderson, the first editor of Runner’s World, and Joan Ullyot, M.D., author of three women’s running books, first popularized the 10-percent prescription in the 1980s. “I noticed that runners who increased their training load too quickly were incurring injuries,” says Dr. Ullyot.

The Exception: If you’re starting at single-digit weekly mileage after a layoff, you can add more than 10 percent per week until you’re close to your normal training load.

This is a good rule of thumb to use to avoid getting shin splints or other similar “new runner” ailments. While it’s easy to get sucked in and want to go full steam ahead right from day 1, ramping up slowly is a really good idea. Of course, if things start to hurt, feel sore, or just generally not work quite the way they are supposed to, 10% might even be a bit too much (especially during high milage training).

3. The 2-Hour Rule

Wait for about two hours after a meal before running.

“For most people, two hours is enough time for food to empty from the stomach, especially if it’s high in carbohydrate,” says Colorado sports dietitian and marathoner Cindy Dallow, Ph.D. “If you don’t wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting.”

The Exception: You can probably run 90 minutes after a light, high-carb meal, while you may need up to three hours after a heavy meal that’s high in protein and fat.

What? Really? PPPPFFFFF! So if I didn’t eat within two hours of my meals I would never run. Everyone is different of course and I personally have no problem eating what is a (more or less) normal meal meal for myself and then going out for a run in ~20 min or so.

4. The 10-Minute Rule

Start every run with 10 minutes of walking and slow running, and do the same to cool down.

“A warmup prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing blood flow and raising core muscle temperature,” says Jerry Napp, a Tampa Bay running coach. “The cooldown may be even more important. Stopping abruptly can cause leg cramps, nausea, dizziness, or fainting.”

I typically start out a bit slower and easy into my workout pace by feel. Thinking about it, I bet this is ~10 min process. I’m not so good about slowing down at the end though :-/

The Exception: It takes less than 10 minutes to rev up on warm days.

5. The 2-Day Rule

If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off.

Two straight days of pain may signal the beginning of an injury. “Even taking five days of complete rest from running will have little impact on your fitness level,” says Troy Smurawa, M.D., team physician for USA Triathlon.

Yes.

The Exception: If something hurts for two weeks, even if you’ve taken your rest days, see a doctor.

6. The Familiar-Food Rule

Don’t eat or drink anything new before or during a race or hard workout.

Stick to what works for you. “Your gastrointestinal tract becomes accustomed to a certain mix of nutrients,” says Dallow. “You can normally vary this mix without trouble, but you risk indigestion when prerace jitters are added.”

The Exception: If you’re about to bonk, eating something new is probably better than eating nothing at all.

Yeah. Also knowing what alternatives are the most similar to your fuel of choice can be helpful in a pinch.

7. The Race-Recovery Rule

For each mile that you race, allow one day of recovery before returning to hard training or racing.

That means no speed workouts or racing for six days after a 10-K or 26 days after a marathon. The rule’s originator was the late Jack Foster, the masters marathon world record holder (2:11:18) from 1974 to 1990. Foster wrote in his book, Tale of the Ancient Marathoner, “My method is roughly to have a day off racing for every mile I raced.”

Deal.

The Exception: If your race effort wasn’t all-out, taking fewer recovery days is okay.

8. The Heads-Beats-Tails Rule

A headwind always slows you down more than a tailwind speeds you up.

So expect to run slower on windy days. “I disregard the watch on really windy days because headwinds cost me 15 to 25 seconds a mile, and I only get a portion of that back after I turn around,” says Monte Wells, a longtime runner in Amarillo, Texas, America’s windiest city. “The key is to monitor your effort, not your pace. Start against the wind, so it’s at your back in the second half.”

Isn’t this the frustrating truth?!?! I despise wind!

The Exception: On point-to-point runs with the wind at your back, you’ll fly along faster than usual.

9. The Conversation Rule

You should be able to talk in complete sentences while running.

A recent study found that runners whose heart and breathing rates were within their target aerobic zones could comfortably recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Those who couldn’t were running faster than optimal.

Singing along with your favorite trashy hip-hop/pop tunes will also do the trick if you’re running alone. This will also solidify your reputation as the crazy runner from down the street, but chances are there isn’t much of a debate left on the topic at this point. Maybe it’s just me…

The Exception: Talking should not be easy during hard runs, speedwork, or races.

10. The 20-Mile Rule

Build up to and run at least one 20-miler before a marathon.

“Long runs simulate the marathon, which requires lots of time on your feet,” says Gina Simmering-Lanterman, director and marathon coach of the Denver Fit training program. “And knowing that you can run 20 miles helps you wrap your head around running 26.2.”

I’ve had my longest run be as low as 16 miles and as long as 22.

The 16 miler was through a snowstorm during a 1/8 ass attempt at training for the Kili marathon. Soooo….the horrific experience that that marathon was, can hardly be pegged on the short long run. The overall single digit weekly milage was more likely the culprit (just maybe). Never mind the +75 F temperature difference.

The difference between 20 and 22 miles probably is physically beneficial (assuming that you don’t injure yourself of course) but the mental advantage to having those extra 2 miles under your belt is probably the biggest bonus. Knowing that you have another 6.2 miles to run at the end of the marathon, after you’ve already run the distance of your longest training run seems a lot more daunting than just a little 4.2 mile / 30 min joke. It’s amazing what I can convince myself of after 3.5 hrs of running.

The Exception: Some coaches believe experienced marathoners can get by with a longest run of 16 to 18 miles, while other coaches suggest runs up to 24 miles.

11. The Carbs Rule

For a few days before a long race, emphasize carbohydrates in your diet.

“Carbo-loading” became the marathoner’s mantra after Scandinavian studies in 1967 suggested cramming down carbs following a period of carb depletion produced super-charged athletes. Experts now say simply emphasizing carbs a few days before a race over two hours works just as well.

Hmmmmm…I say be careful with this one. If you aren’t used to scarfing down loads of carbs, I don’t think that the precious few days before the big race is the time for a diet overhaul. Upping the carb intake a bit with an extra serving or two of your favorite fresh fruits and veggies and easy to digest grains and pasta would be my (kind-of qualified) recomendation. Carb-bombing or consuming massive amounts of a food that isn’t usually in your diet are two approaches that I’d steer clear of.

The Exception: There’s a word for carbo-loading during regular training or before a short race: gluttony.

12. The Seven-Year Rule

Runners improve for about seven years.

Mike Tymn noticed this in the early 1980s and wrote about it in his National Masters News column. “My seven-year adaptation theory was based on the fact that so many runners I talked to ran their best times an average of seven years after they started,” he recalls.

Sad. 😦

The Exception: Low-mileage runners can stretch the seven years to well over a decade before plateauing.

13. The Left-Side-Of-The-Road Rule

To keep safe, run facing traffic.

“While running, it’s better to watch the traffic than to have it come up from behind you,” says Adam Cuevas, a marathoner and chief of the Enforcement Services Division of the California Highway Patrol. It’s the law in California and many other states to run on the left side unless you’re on the sidewalk.

Be careful! This can be tricky, especially if you’re on a road that doesn’t typically get much foot traffic. Wearing bright colors, choosing routes with wide shoulders and keeping your attentiveness up (music volumes low and one eye on the approaching vehicles) are helpful for staying safe. The sidewalk is just a pain (literally…hahaha….maybe? just a bit? :-/) on all the joints and shins, I really much prefer the road and I’ll try to make just about anything work. There usually is a way, but sometimes it requires creativity (ditch vs. shoulder, musical-sides-of-the-street, speed work across narrow bridges and through stretches of no-shoulder) and patients. Just keep paying attention!

The Exception: The right side of the road is safer when running into leftward blind curves where there’s a narrow shoulder. The right side can also be safer if there’s construction on the left side.

14. The Up-Beats-Down Rule

Running uphill slows you down more than running downhill speeds you up.

So, you can expect hilly runs to be slower than flat runs. “You don’t get all of the energy that you expend going uphill back when you run downhill,” explains Nimbus Couzin, Ph.D., a marathon-running physics instructor at Indiana University Southeast. “That’s because when your feet strike the ground on a descent, a lot of energy is lost.”

And going like a bat-out-of-hell down a hill is a great way to roll an ankle or hurt a knee. So crank up the speed carfully on the decent and remember that you can make up time on the straights too. The down hill can be a very effective opportunity to get a little “rest” and regrouping before laying down some fast miles on level ground…a lot more effective than a sprained ankle.

The Exception: When you run point-to-point with a net elevation drop, your average pace should be faster than on a flat course.

15. The Sleep Rule

Sleep one extra minute per night for each mile per week that you train.

So if you run 30 miles a week, sleep an extra half hour each night. “Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on training,” says David Claman, M.D., director of the University of California-San Francisco Sleep Disorders Center. “The average person needs seven and a half to eight hours of sleep, so increase that amount when you’re training.”

Training on less rest can train your body to be able to do more with less. This can end up being useful on race day (provided that you haven’t run yourself into the ground before then). Striking a balance of getting enough sleep to keep functioning but sufficiently little to put a little extra stress on the body can be tricky but effective. Cutting back on sleep early in the training schedule and seeing how things go on that little bit less is a good way to start (IMHO). Adding 15-30 min on the front and/or back side of your night in the few weeks before race day will help ensure you are well trained and rested. This might come naturally as you hit your highest milage weeks ~3 weeks out from your race.

The Exception: The extra sleep may not be necessary for some high-energy folks.

16. The Refueling Rule

Consume a combination carbohydrate-protein food or beverage within 30 to 60 minutes after any race, speed workout, or long run.

“You need an infusion of carbs to replace depleted muscle glycogen, plus some protein to repair and build muscle,” says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Food Guide for Marathoners. “Ideally, the carb-protein ratio should be 4-to-1. Some examples would be 150 to 300 calories of low-fat chocolate milk, a recovery-sports drink, flavored yogurt, or a bagel and peanut butter.”

The Exception: Immediate refueling is less important if you aren’t running hard again within 24 hours.

17. The Don’t-Just-Run Rule

Runners who only run are prone to injury.

“Cross-training and weight training will make you a stronger and healthier runner,” says TriEndurance.com multisport coach Kris Swarthout. “Low- and nonimpact sports like biking and swimming will help build supporting muscles used in running, while also giving your primary running muscles a rest.”

I think there is a lot of value in cross training. It works different muscles than running and keeps things fresh. Unfortunately, I’m very bad about cross training. I rarely have the time, patients or facilities. There is no excuse for not doing at least some cross training though. Hiking, biking, football, swimming, etc… one or two days a week, while running your tail off on the other days is not too much to ask.

The Exception: The surest way to run better is to run. So if your time is limited, devote most of it to running.

18. The Even-Pace Rule

The best way to race to a personal best is to maintain an even pace from start to finish.

Most of the 10,000-meter and marathon world records set in the last decade have featured almost metronome-like pacing. “If you run too fast early in the race, you almost always pay for it later,” warns Jon Sinclair, the U.S. 12-K record holder and now an online coach (anaerobic.net).

I like warming up at a slightly slower pace and finishing hard. This keeps it a bit more interesting and eases me into those tougher, quicker miles at the end. It also greatly reduces the chance of blowing my legs out in the first half of the race. I haven’t exactly sent any land-speed records recently though, so…

The Exception: This doesn’t apply on hilly courses or on windy days, when the objective is to run an even effort.

19. The New-Shoes Rule

Replace running shoes once they’ve covered 400 to 500 miles.

“But even before they have that much wear,” says Warren Greene, Runner’s World gear editor, “buy a new pair and rotate them for a while. Don’t wait until your only pair is trashed.” Consider shoes trashed when the spring is gone.

I have two pairs of shoes going at all times more or less. Mizuno Wave Creations for most runs and then my lighter Mizuno Wave Elixers for my long runs and race day. This combo has worked well for me for quite a while. Running with a bit more junk in the trunk for the short runs helps make for a speedier long run. Rotating shoes also does definitely help get higher milage out of each pair.

The Exception: A shoe’s wear rate can vary, depending on the type of shoe, your weight, your footstrike pattern, and the surfaces you run on.

20. The Hard/Easy Rule

Take at least one easy day after every hard day of training.

“Easy” means a short, slow run, a cross-training day, or no exercise at all. “Hard” means a long run, tempo run, or speed workout. “Give your body the rest it needs to be effective for the next hard run,” says Todd Williams, a two-time U.S. Olympian and online coach at pushthepace.com. Apply the hard/easy rule to your monthly and yearly training cycles by treating yourself to one easy week each month, and one easy month each year.

Deal!

The Exception: After the most exhausting long runs and speed workouts, especially if you’re 40 or older, wait for two or even three days before your next tough one.

21. The 10-Degree Rule

Dress for runs as if it’s 10 degrees warmer than the thermometer actually reads.

To put it another way, dress for how warm you’ll feel at mid-run–not the first mile, when your body is still heating up. This means choosing the right apparel. (See the “Dress for Success” table) “On cold days, the new soft-shell tops and tights are light, warm, and breathable,” says Emily Walzer, fabrics editor for Sporting Goods Business Magazine. “On warm days, wear a lightweight performance fabric next to your skin, which will disperse sweat through evaporation.”

Definitely. Overdressing sucks!

The Exception: There’s a limit to how many clothes you can take off without getting arrested, so if it’s in the 70s or warmer, wear minimal lightweight, light-colored apparel.

Dress for Success
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you dress appropriately for your runs, no matter what the thermometer says. This chart factors in the 10-Degree Rule but doesn’t account for a significant windchill. On very windy days, you may need to dress warmer.
TEMP
(in degrees)
BASIC APPAREL
above 70 Lightweight/light-colored singlet and shorts
60 to 69 Tank top or singlet and shorts
50 to 59 T-shirt and shorts
40 to 49 Long-sleeve shirt and tights or shorts
30 to 39 Long-sleeve shirt and tights
20 to 29 Two upper-body layers and one lower-body layer
10 to 19 Two upper-body layers and one lower-body layer
0 to 9 Two/three upper-body layers, one/two lower-body layers
below 0 Three upper-body layers, two lower-body layers

22. The Speedwork-Pace Rule

The most effective pace for VO2-max interval training is about 20 seconds faster per mile than your 5-K race pace.

The best way to increase your aerobic capacity and long-distance speed is through VO2-max interval training. A pioneer of VO2-max training is Jack Daniels, Ph.D., coach at the Center for High Altitude Training in Flagstaff, Arizona. “By stressing your aerobic system,” he says, “this pace optimizes the volume of blood that’s pumped and the amount of oxygen that your muscle fibers can use.”

Yuck, but effective :-/

The Exception: The exact pace is closer to 10 seconds faster per mile than 5-K race pace for fast runners, and 30 seconds faster per mile for slower runners.

23. The Tempo-Pace Rule

Lactate-threshold or tempo-run pace is about the pace you can maintain when running all-out for one hour.

This pace is about 20 seconds slower per mile than your 10-K race pace, or 30 seconds slower per mile than 5-K race pace. “The key benefit of this pace is that it’s fast enough to improve your threshold for hard endurance running, yet slow enough that you don’t overload your muscles,” says Daniels. The ideal duration of a tempo run is 20 to 25 minutes.

I have come to quite like my temp runs. Is this insane? Probably.

The Exception: The exact pace is less than 20 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for faster runners and slightly more than 30 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for slower runners.

24. The Long-Run-Pace Rule

Do your longest training runs at least three minutes per mile slower than your
5-K race pace.

“You really can’t go too slow on long runs,” says RW “Starting Line” columnist Jeff Galloway, “because there are no drawbacks to running them slowly. Running them too fast, however, can compromise your recovery time and raise your injury risk.”

My long runs are usually quite a bit faster than this. Sooooo….either I’m slacking on race day or I’ve gotten damn lucky having not injured myself yet. Frankly, I do not want to stretch my 20 milers out to consume even more of my precious weekend days so I’m going to go with my issue being that I’m not maxing out on race day. Until things start to feel not so good (or I find myself with way too much time on my hands) I’m going to keep running my long runs by feel and at this ~9:15 min/mile pace. Good luck to me :-/

The Exception: Galloway says you should run even slower on hot days.

25. The Finishing-Time Rule

The longer the race, the slower your pace.

How much slower? Jack Daniels and J.R. Gilbert spent years compiling a table (see “Predict Your Performance”) that shows how much you should expect to slow down from one race distance to the next. “We did some curve-fitting to come up with a formula that generates a pseudo-VO2-max for each race time,” says Daniels. They sweated the math; now you just need to sweat the race.

The Exception: Terrain, weather, or how you feel on race day could all throw off the table’s accuracy.

Predict Your Performance
Want to know how fast you should be able to run a marathon without actually running one? Look for your most recent race time in one of the columns on the left, then follow it across to your predicted marathon finish time. The chart is based on the best times from runners of various ability levels.
1-MILE 5-K 10-K HALF-MARATHON MARATHON
4:20 15:00 31:08 1:08:40 2:23:47
4:38 16:00 33:12 1:13:19 2:33:25
4:56 17:00 35:17 1:17:58 2:43:01
5:14 18:00 37:21 1:22:38 2:52:34
5:33 19:00 39:26 1:27:19 3:02:06
5:51 20:00 41:31 1:31:59 3:11:35
6:09 21:00 43:36 1:36:36 3:21:00
6:28 22:00 45:41 1:41:18 3:30:23
6:46 23:00 47:46 1:45:57 3:39:42
7:05 24:00 49:51 1:50:34 3:48:57
7:24 25:00 51:56 1:55:11 3:58:08
7:42 26:00 54:00 1:59:46 4:07:16
8:01 27:00 56:04 2:04:20 4:16:19
8:19 28:00 58:08 2:08:53 4:25:19
8:37 29:00 1:00:12 2:13:24 4:34:14
8:56 30:00 1:02:15 2:17:53 4:43:06
Source: “Oxygen Power: Performance Tables for Distance Runners,” by Jack Daniels and J.R. Gilbert.

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Filed under Trotting

How went the 13 in 2013?

Happy Annaversary! Can you believe you’ve been reading this high brow literature for a year already?! Crazy, right? Well, time flys when you’re having fun 😉

Those of you who’ve been here from the very beginning, I’m sure you’re itching to know how I did on my 13 goals for 2013. Well, you’re in luck! Here is how they went…

Dr-ing goals:

  1. Become good at learning and remembering peoples’ names 
  2. So I’ll be the first to admit that his is still not exactly my strong suit, but I have become loads better at knowing who the hell I’ve talked to and why. It doesn’t come particularly naturally yet, but the embarrassing situations of clearly not having a damn clue are much fewer and farther between.

  3. Become comfortable making non-painfully-awkward small talk 
  4. Much better. Still not my favorite, but a necessary evil game that I can not only play but also now usually win.

  5. Read one paper a day (NOT the MN Daily)
  6. HA! Fail! Big fail! This will be recycled for 2014. At this stage in my career this really shouldn’t be hard. But it is. It really is. 😦 Why?

  7. Graduate
  8. image
    Done! 😀

Trotting goals:

  1. Run 5 days a week (1 mile, 5 miles, 20 miles, whatever, just get my ass outside and do something)
  2. Nope, didn’t happen! In retrospect, this was also not realistic. 4 days a week is reasonable and this happened when it needed to (marathon training season…the second one).

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    ...come hell, high water or 100°F + 100% humidity...

    Unfortunately it didn’t happen during the off season. We will be revisiting this issue for 2014.

  3. Finish the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon (t < 6 hrs)
  4. image

    Done! (By the skin of my teeth and thank god, but never mind…)

  5. Half-marathon PR
  6. So I didn’t have the chance to race any 1/2s this year so officially this was a fail. But, if you’re willing to grasp straws with me, the middle half of my Philadelphia marathon was a 1/2 marathon PR… If you’re not buying this (you shouldn’t be….I’m not…) it’s ok, this will be on the 2014 list with some uncharacteristically high stakes attached. The plan is to pace the first half of a BQ marathon for my faster, more dedicated couisin. God help me.

Me goals:

  1. Be a non-promiscuous, healthy vegetarian again (i.e. eat loads and loads of fresh fruits and veggies, no cheating on tartar, sushi or bone marrow and cheese curds and beer are NOT an acceptable dinner — even during orals season)
  2. I’ve been better… This probably needs to stay on the list.

  3. Drink  enough water
  4. Hmmmmm….unless coffee and tea count in the tally this also needs to stay on the list.

  5. Get a reasonable start on my/our children’s book series TAPP — hopefully this will make sense in a year
  6. 😦

  7. Maximize the use of my electronics: iPad, cell phone, computer(s), mp3 players. All of them.
  8. I’ve definitely been better. This will also continue to be a work in oprogress, but I’m happy to report that my technologically challenged self hasn’t totally failed here.

  9. Be at work during “normal business hours” (+/- 20%)
  10. So this was going reasonably well in MN but is literally impossible in the land of persister assays. Consequently, reestablishing something that loosely resembles a work/life balance has a special place reserved on the 2014 list.

    image

    Note: it IS important to still look cute when leaving work at 3 am

  11. Start and maintain a blog on the joys, frustrations, enigmas and epiphanies of science and running —  you’re welcome
  12. We’re all still here, aren’t we? A year later you are still most welcome 🙂

This year has been rather eventful actually. I (somehow) managed to graduate with my PhD and move 2000 miles to the armpit of the northeast lovely Garden State for a postdoc (with which I’m still having serious relationship issues), in the opposite direction of all parts of my family. In my “spare time” I got to spend 2 weeks on an adventure in Tanzania (complete with a safari and Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon) and managed a second marathon with my second-to-none Team CEMS and a 10 min PR. Not bad.

Happy end of 2013!

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Filed under Dr-ing, General, Trotting

14 for 2014

So last year I started off 2013 with a list of 13 things I wanted to work on over the year. If I do say so myself, I did a pretty good job of at least making movements in the right direction with most of these line items. (To enjoy an entire blog post of Dr. Trot patting herself on the back, see how went the 13 in 2013.) With this great success in mind, the only reasonable thing to do this year is tackle 14 for 2014… (How clever of an idea will I think this is in 2030?)

Trotting:

  1. Workout 4 days/week
  2. Follow a workout plan that combines running (distance, speed and recovery), strength training (core emphasis) and cross training

    20131231-144247.jpg
    (biking, hiking, swimming…maybe…)

  3. 1/2 marathon PR
  4. < 4hr marathon

Doctoring:

  1. Postdoc paper #1
  2. Read at least 1 paper a day (+ actually think, take notes, etc… while doing so)
  3. Develop (think, read, write, etc… about and actually have the ability to implement) 2 reasonably competitive junior faculty candidate research ideas
  4. Get a postdoc fellowship (preferably that godforsaken F32 I made a first attempt at in November, but if something else comes falling out of the sky and lands in my lap I’m not going to be super picky)

Me:

  1. Be a non-promiscuous, healthy vegetarian again (i.e. eat loads and loads of fresh fruits and veggies, no (read: exceedingly rare) cheating on tartar, sushi and bone marrow) + drink enough water
  2. 20131231-134049.jpg

  3. Drink beer Read and knit more…together…

    20140102-185917.jpg
    (~1 book/month…come on, there’s a lot going on here people, and Dr. Trot is a damn slow reader) and get a reasonable start on our children’s book series (it’s the second day of the year and I’m already behind on this one :-/)

  4. Maximize the use of my electronics: iPad, iPod, cell phone, GPS watch and computer. All of them.
  5. Keep in better communication with my elders, particularly those that I can make fun of for being cheese heads. Although, considering that my pathetic excuse for a football team has stunk up the season and is still getting some very sweet new digs, this might not be in my best interest after all…
  6. Become a reasonably good potter…for a chemical engineer… (be able to reproducibly throw (not on the floor, although I’m sure I could become very good at this as well…with probably a hell of a lot less practice) bowls, cups, vases, etc… and larger items that need to be assembled off of the wheel)
  7. Break even $$ over 2013-2014 (i.e. stop single-handedly keeping the dysfunctional airline industry afloat :-/

Ok, that’s 14 semi-reasonable resolutions/goals (whatever floats your boat) for Dr. Trot’s next year. What are yours?

Good luck to us and Happy New Year!

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Week 18 part 2 + Philadelphia Marathon race review

Saturday 11/16 – 2 mi

Good morning marathon weekend! Dr. Annebelle and I got up early and got our 2 easy miles out-of-the-way with no problems. Thank god. Then off to Philly it was for the weekend festivities to begin!

Accommodations

We stayed at the Wyndham hotel in the Old City, 1.7 miles from the start of the race. The hotel was actually pretty perfect — located in Old Town there were great bars and cafés and restaurants and shops within walking distance and it was a cute are to walk around. Also, and maybe/probably/definitely the most important selling point, is that they extended our check out to 1 pm for no/zero/zilch additional charge and allowed us to extend it further to 5 pm for only $50. This was an absolutely beautiful luxury to have after running 13.1 or 26.2 miles.

(Note: Only the very coolest of people check into their hotel room at 9:30 am.)

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Two very cool people.

Pre-race expo:
After displaying our supreme coolness, it was off to the expo for a very crowded and moderately frustrating packet pickup.

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Drs. Marmia at race packet pick-up. (As Drs. Smaroof does not run marathons.)

The place was loaded to the gills with runners and their entire families and all of their friends… The vendors I had hoped to hit (based on the Chicago expo) weren’t there and those that were, were not giving out nearly enough free goodies. I did manage to snag a pair of sweet arm warmers for $9 though. I can’t complain about that! Also on a positive note, the venue was perfect (although a bit too full), a convention center in the heart of the city. It was a piece of cake (or two or three…but who’s counting) to get there and around the city for some sight-seeing in the afternoon.

After the expo, a walk around town, a nap back at the hotel and new arm warmer modeling…

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Superman!

…we all headed out for the classic pre-race Italian dinner at Panini’s Trattoria in the Old City.

I won’t include a full review because I was too preoccupied to pay a whole lot of attention to what the hell was going on around me. But, I will say that we had the back room more or less all to ourselves which was pretty cool and I got the lobster ravioli and it was bomb.

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Also note that this was in stark contrast to the service, which was horrific. On pre-race night though, you kinda gotta cut them some slack…kinda…

After dinner it was back to the hotel to lay out all of the vital components for a successful tomorrow and then off to bed!

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Vital components for a successful tomorrow.

Sunday 11/17 – 26.2 + 4 mi (4:01:40 + ??)

Location:

Philadelphia, PA (beginning and ending in the center of town)

Weather:

Perfect! Morning: ~50F and cloudy and calm. Afternoon: 60F and partly cloudy and calm.

4 am came damn early and it was time to rock and roll (and run). Breakfast was English muffins with peanut butter and banana and yogurt and cuties and granola bars and coffee….ahhhh….coffee…

And then it was off to the start by 5:30 to get through security…and to take photos…

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The three full marathoners!

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Drs. T & A…

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…and more T & A.

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Drs. T and S (Sorry, I can’t come up with anything trashy involving those two letters.)

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The girls…

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…and the guys.

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Maroof  the runner from Japangladesh (Not to be confused with either Dr. Aki from Japan or Dr. M from Bangladesh…)

Threads and treads:

Very cool CEMS team uniforms (see below…and above…) including Champion tank and running skirt, yellow and pink swirl Pro Compression marathon socks, and my wonderful Mizuno Wave Riders

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Our feet…

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…and the rest of us.

Field:

All kinds (~30k) of people. Not quite the elite crowd that you find at Chicago, but a nice mix of paces for both the half and full marathon.

Race start:

We got to the start area by ~5:30 (only 30 min after the requested 5 am arrival due to increased security) and had absolutely no issues. Once inside we

  1. We hit the port-a-potties (there are NEVER enough, but considering that, this was fine)
  2. Got some water (ONE water table? really? and zero coffee, Gatorade or pre-race fuel? Unimpressed. )
  3. Took a picture or two shit load of pictures
  4. Dropped our bags off at the gear check (UPS trucks organized alphabetically = smooth sailing! Nice going!)
  5. Excitedly bumbled around trying to stay warm and
  6. Headed to our start corals!

The run:

The first half of the course was for both the full and half marathon. It weaved through town and was overall a really pleasant 13 miles. Some areas were a bit narrow for the number of people trying to charge their way through though.

The second half was tough. It was an out and back along the river, with little jogs out here and there to hit the necessary mileage. These little jogs seemed to keep fooling me – being much less little in reality than I remembered them being from the map. And then the turn-around point “must be just over this next hill.” I’m not even going to tell you how many times that thought went through my exhausted pea brain! The rolling hills would have been lovely (I’m sure ) if I wasn’t trying to get things done quickly.

I’m convinced it was a modest net elevation gain on the way out which made coming back much less of a pain in the ass and much more of a pain in the quads. Now, full disclosure, I was really hoping to be under 4 hrs for this run. The plan was to run the first 1/4 with Dr. Annebelle and then to give it a go for the next 3/4 and see what happened. I turned it up as much as I dared for miles 6-13 and then just tried to hang on for 13-20. I had started feeling my joints and then my hamstrings and then my quads moving through miles 6 to 20. The lungs were holding on (miraculously…and thank you…) so coming back on the home stretch I was hoping to able to pick it up enough to see 3:xx on the clock. I did what I could, I really did, but even with the net descent (which my quads selfishly complained about for 2 days) I just didn’t have the turn over. The last few miles were hot, sunny and I needed to be done.

In 4:01:40 I was done. Not quite what I’d hoped for, but within 1:40 of my goal and as fast as I was going to go for the day. I had negatives splits and a PR, so zero bitching allowed. (Never thought you’d hear me say that did you?!?!

More importantly, the rest of team CEMS did AMAZING. There were 3x first time half-marathoners, 3x seasoned half-marathoners, 1x full marathoner with a double-digit PR and 1x full marathoner who finished with a sprained ankle!!! Yeah, my friends are a hell of a lot tougher than I am (which explains why they can put up with me I suppose…)

Support:

There were 17 water/Gatorade stations and 3 Clif Gel Shot stations. This was just about the right amount although I would have loved an extra water stop during the last few miles. I get that they were more front loaded to accommodate all of the 1/2 marathoners that were running that part of the course with us, but would anyone have dropped dead if they put one more in the last few miles? I doubt it. The Clif Gel Shots were well spaced and were offered in all flavors. Way to go!

Post-run:

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Team CEMS after a most successful Philly Marathon!

Messages, iced ankles, showers, a relatively easy exit from central Philly, 8x delicious pizzas, yummy beers opened with the hotel room door handle and naps…

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Executive summary:

I hate to start off like an ass hole and say “it wasn’t Chicago.” But, it wasn’t Chicago. The crowds, support and course just weren’t quite up to the same bar (all of these things were ~80% of Chicago…soooo….). That being said, neither were the hotel room $$, the commute difficulties or the congestion. Overall a lovely city marathon in the northeast.

Philly is a great city on a normal day. The food, the people, the sights. Now on a beautiful day when you get to spend the morning running through the city with almost 2 hands worth of your best friends, Philly is  most excellent.

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Week 18 part 1

The marathon training season is over!! 😮

This is always a time of mixed feelings for me. On one hand, I’m one step shy of being on my knees thanking god that I don’t have to juggle the rest of my life around my stupid training runs. On the other hand, I already know that a very effed up part of me will miss the non-negotiable hour (or two or three) x4 days a week that are mine to be outside and physically active. Never mind that I’m also totally stoked about the upcoming race weekend and already think about what crazy plans to make next. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, right?

For the next 48 hours, let’s just try to enjoy the present…

Register to track your favorite runners in the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon

The four easy steps to make this happen are-

  1. Click on the link above
  2. Register as directed with an email address, username and password
  3. Search for all of your favorite runners by last name
  4. Select if you want to be alerted by text message, email, Facebook (or some other form of social media that I’m too old and/or nerdy to understand) as your favorite runners kick ass on Sunday

Once you do this, you should promptly (t<0.068 seconds) receive a confirmation message that you’re all set to go.

Fun fact: avoiding the cell phone’s “silent” setting on Sunday will help facilitate timely updates.

If you are so lucky as to be in the Philadelphia area on Sunday, come join in the fun by cheering us on and enjoying all that the after party has to offer. In particular, keep your eyes peeled for the very stylish Team CEMS…

1/4 Team CEMS

1/4 Team CEMS

Monday 11/11 – rest

Tues 11/12 – 4 mi

It’s chilly (30 F) out!! And someone wasn’t smart enough to pack appropriate attire to comfortably battle said chill. What an idiot. Although, this does lead to quick 4 mile runs…

Wed 11/13 – rest

Thurs 11/14 – 8 mi

So it’s still chilly (30 F) out but the aforementioned “someone” has learned from her mistake and dug out the right clothes for non-NJ summer running (see Tuesday 11/12…contrary to popular belief this does happen once in a while…). Threads: Insulated and “compression” Champion tights and long-sleeved shirt, awesome Arc’teryx Solano jacket

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The cool weather running clothes have made their debut in NJ…

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…on the tow path…

Thus, this someone froze her ass off significantly less than she did on Tuesday and logged a more modestly paced and beautiful final run of this training season!

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…along the canal…

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…and lake Carnagie.

Fri 11/15 – rest

Rest = transition from excited to super excited for Sunday + spend the day working hard perfecting my playlist for Sunday + packing and repacking 593x what I will actually need on Sunday after ditching out of work early leaving work at a reasonable time + anxiously waiting for Dr. Annebelle and Mike to arrive and for the weekend festivities to begin!

Total mileage =  12 mi

I’m very excited to be writing this two days before the marathon with no real irritating aches and pains much less any moderate to serious injuries. KNOCK ON WOOD! While the training schedule has been the victim of neglect over the past few weeks, I’m feeling health and ready to run. The 3x +19 mile training runs all went well enough so getting through the later stages of Sunday will largely be a mental exercise I think. Given the way my wicked long, irritating, unpredictable demanding work schedule has required serious logistical gymnastics in order to get my runs in, I feel I’m prepared to deal with this end-of-the-run stress better than ever before. That’s at least some consolation, right? I guess we’ll see on Sunday!

Now of course my overall goal is for my stylish self and friends to have a wonderful run. Following that, my more quantitative goals for the day are as follows:

  1. Negative splits
  2. PR (sub-4:10 if all goes smoothly or sub-4 if, as I get going, I feel like I could the run of my life, get greedy and am able to hold on to it)

The course is relatively flat, the fans are fun and weather is supposed to be very nice (50s F), so I think all of these are totally doable. It will just depend on what the day (and my legs and the soft tissue that I store between my ears) brings.

Happy Marathon Weekend!!

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Week 17

Mon 11/4 – rest

Rest? But I’m spending the day in heals?!!?

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And hanging out with my awesome former groupmates: (Dr. T), Patrick and Dr. Dan.

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And Patrick (again) and my new department mates: Jamie (or Patrick again…who the hell knows at this point) and Mikhail.

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Jamie and Patrick again?!?! Or Jamie and Jamie? Or Patrick and Patrick?

Tues 11/5 – a lot of standing and talk rehearsing in heals

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Audience for said talk rehearsals: beautiful, patient, roses in the hotel room. 🙂

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I’m not sure what in the hell this is quite frankly, but I thought it was a most appropriate final AICHE photo

Wed 11/6 – 2 hrs standing at a poster session in heals again…

…and a modest dinner in SF

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…with Dr. M…

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…and fresh spring rolls…

...and tofu pad thai...

…and tofu pad thai…

...and thai fried rice.

…and thai fried rice.

Thurs 10/3 – rest

Rest = all I could do to keep it together through the work day after my red-eye back last night

Fri 10/4 – rest

See Thursday’s note

Sat 10/5 – 7ish mi

Today was much better! I slept in and actually felt like a normal human being for the first time in a while. It’s gotten a bit chilly (and windy) and the 7 miles were harder than they should have been this morning, but all things considered it wasn’t too bad.

Sun 10/6 – 8ish

Today was even better! 🙂 It was day 2 of sleeping in and cranking out a relatively solid 8 miles. It felt better than yesterday which is a nice bonus.

t-minus one week to marathon time!! 😀

Total mileage =  15 mi

Yikes!! :-/ Bad girl! 

Q: Who runs 15 miles a week during the marathon training season?

A: An injured person. A perfectly healthy Dr. Trot. :-/

I have no good excuses for this aside from laziness. (Note: laziness is a very good excuse…not a very satisfying one, but it’s completely honest and explains everything.) If there has been any harm done it’ll become evident in the later half of the “race” on Sunday. Hopefully my subbornness mental strength will get me though however. One way or another, we’ll find out soon!

Threads – tanks or tees (+/- arm warmers), running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

 

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Week 16


Mon 10/28 – rest

Thank you.

Tues 10/29 – 6ish mi 

A lovely early morning in lab lit the fire under my ass to get the run done early. The cooler weather is nice, but it does necessitate a bit more though to go into dressing and a bit more time to get the stiff joints and tight muscles all warmed up. That, and I’m old. 😦 Now I’m probably the only one saying this, and I will probably eat my words later, but it’s nice that the winters here are still rather damp. I can feel even this very modest drop in humidity (coupled with the cooler temps) through out my lungs. MN, how did I ever survive you?!

Wed 10/30 – rest

Thurs 10/31 – 8ish mi 

There is something very satisfying about bailing out of work from 8-9:30 am to get my run in during daylight hours. Although I felt like I was working harder than I really should’ve had to, it was a beautiful morning, I didn’t get lost and I finished the run all toast warm in my ruffled skirt and tank top. Once again, my complaints are unwarrented…I suppose…

Fri 11/1 – rest

Off to AICHE for the annual (oversized) national chemical engineering conference! (And some serious mischief-making around San Francisco of course.) For example…

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…early on the first evening of the conference…

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…and a bit later in the evening. (Don’t worry, we were all seeing double at this point.)

Dr. Maroof and Queen Penny were absolutely gracious hosts for the two days that I spent in Berkeley before heading into DT SF for the conference. They made me a most fantastic dinner for me when I arrived on Friday night.

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Making

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dinner.

They also gave me a most totally perfect belated birthday gift – a purple marathon Camelbak!

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My super sweet new purple marathon Camelbak (and me on the side)

What a great way to start off my pre-conference weekend! I could get used to CA!!

Sat 11/2 – cross – 20 mi biking – HILLS!!

On Saturday morning we got up and turned dinner left overs into an awesome brunch of south Asian seasoned rice + beans and shrimp + potato + cauliflower + cheese quesadillas. We might be kinda into weird fusion foods. Maybe.

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Fusion Brunch

Then, we got all suited up

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Us…all suited up…

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…and a close-up of my new glorious compression socks from Aki. Happy Birthday to my feet!!

and took out the bikes (thank you Noem for lending yours to me, it was awesome!!) for a leisurely 10 mile ride along the north coast of the bay, 

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bike trail + SF Bay

and then a grueling 10 mile battle up to the top of Berkeley, to Tilden Park

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Tilden Park

and then back home.

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The climb up was honestly the most challenging and treacherous bike climb I think I have ever done. The perpetual gradual incline wore you down while the wicked steep sections totally blew out your quads in no time. And then the switchbacks. Ahhh yes, the switchbacks (at this point, why not?). They made everything super precarious, just to ensure you were actually being challenged.

Also, once we conveniently arrived at the farthest point from home in our route, we had an unfortunate spat between Dr. M’s ankle and his bike pedal clip.  (Apparently frantically trying to clip in before you roll backwards down the damn hill is not the safest.)

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Booboo!

Luckily there were some EMTs in the area (originally called to help with “a dog that was having a problem in the lake…” WTF?!?!…) who helped us bandage things well enough to get home. Thank god it was 5 miles DOWN the mountain to get back. :-/

So (of course) this was not the most ideal Saturday workout to do two weeks out from marathon weekend, but who is going to pass up on a day long SF Bay Area biking expedition? The only people who come to mind are total idiots and professional athletes. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t find myself fitting well into either category.

Sun 10/6 – 10 + 3 = 13ish

I started the day with a beautiful early morning run along the bay, taking the same route that we biked yesterday.

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Good morning San Francisco and SF Bay!

In case you’re interested, there is a positive correlation between ones amount of Facebook posting while running and the likelihood of appearing to be still drunk from the previous night. I may (or may not) have been both one of those…

After getting back from these first 10 miles it was time to dash off to SF for the first day of the conference. In contrast to Drs. S & M, my talk was not until Tuesday afternoon, so I did the only rational thing upon arriving at the hotel – I dashed out the door for 3 more miles through Golden Gate Park and then a 3 mile walk home. (I sadly don’t think I get to count these last three towards my daily mileage though…)

Total mileage =  27 mi

So obviously this mileage is quite low, even for the beginning of the pre-race taper. On the bright side, was able to take advantage of the northern Bay Area and get a beautiful, and extremely challenging, bike ride in (yes, I am telling myself that this counts for something) as well as my long run for the week (albeit only 12 miles and broken into 2 segments, but never mind…) On an even brighter side is that there are only two more weeks until the marathon!! (Ok, fine, there is really only one more week now that I’ve finally gotten this damn thing written x-(

Threads – tanks or tees (+/- arm warmers), running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

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Week 15

Mon 10/21 – rest

Tues 10/22 – 6ish mi / fast enough

Out the door after work before the sun went down. Nothing special, I’ll take it.

Wed 10/23 – cross: flag football Princeton IM league championships

We won!! 😀 So I somehow managed to be roped into playing flag football again tonight. I figured what the hell, it’s the last game of the season, why not? It was cold (50F…god, I’m becoming a sissy…) and there were extra girls so I wasn’t on the field the whole time. I can’t say I caught a single pass or did a whole hell of a lot on defense to be perfectly honest, but we won! 🙂 And I came away with a lovely bright orange Princeton Tigers Champion t-shirt. That’s what this is all for anyway, right?

Thurs 10/24 – 12 mi / fast enough

I’m 30, I’ve been wearing a bra for 20 years (or something like that) and yet somehow still manage to forget to pack the damn thing when I’m loading all of the other running essentials into my bag in the morning. Really? This is like packing half a shoe! What is wrong with me? Anyway, I needed to get the run in and I needed to learn a lesson, so after work I set off for the 6 mile run home to change and then run back. So, only half of the run was totally out of control (this is really all that I could have taken of this) and although I finished cold (again, it’s like 50F…I need to stop using the word) and in the dark, at least it got done. I was actually feeling pretty good at the end, which was a nice consolation prize (this may or may not have had something to do with the packages of fruit snacks that I gobbled down while I was at home…)

Fri 10/25 – rest

Rest = off to NYC for my 30th birthday party!! 🙂

Sat 10/26 – rest

Rest = participating in my 30th birthday party!! 🙂

So I’m just going to start by putting it out there that I was VERY BAD this weekend.

a) I did not run today. None. Zero. Zilch. I did spend the morning walking to and across the Brooklyn Bridge though.

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We do look our best freezing cold and in 50 mph (at least) winds.

b) I threw my 30th birthday party dinner at Cacio e Pepe that began with having my fill of the most delicious Italian cibo (this includes homemade tonnarelli tossed in pecorino and served out of a cheese wheel…

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tonnarelli tossed in pecorino and served out of a cheese wheel

…as well as the best pumpkin ravioli you’ll EVER eat). For a full review, be patient, there will be/may be one on here soon(ish).

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everyone

c) 4 words: Hooka Bar Bottle Service.

Here are a few more words (and photos to replace more words — as they are generally far more embarrassing and incriminating consise and illustrative than just the words) to take you through the next parts of the evening…

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What’s a birthday party without fire works in the bar?!?!

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Drs. AnneBelle, T and Sami

I know I know … for shame!

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But, who can say no to smoke rings for all?

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certainly not Dr. T and Dr. Dragon

But also super fun…

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Drs. Trott, Akihiro Yoshida and AnneBelle

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Drs. Louboutin

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Drs. KaAnne

…and not something I’ll do again…or at least not for a very long time…

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…ahem…

d) And then there were beers and dancing…

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…with the real troopers who were still left.

e) And closing out the night by scarfing red velvet cupcakes (thank you Samia!!)

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The perfect 3 am snack – red velvet (cup)cakes

Sun 10/27 – 7 mi through Central Park 🙂

This morning Team CEMS drug their asses out of bed and climbed into our team uniform for a run around Central Park.

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(Part of) Team CEMS!!

It was fantastic 🙂 It was calm and cool out and I had the best running company ever. 🙂 Of course it wasn’t the long run that I was supposed to do, and I might pay dearly for this in 3 weeks, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

After the run it was off to brunch at Friedman’s. The wait was a bit long (>30 min for 5 hungary people) but the food and coffee were perfect. I had the Southern Breakfast which was…

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…two eggs , housemade biscuit, cheddar grits and fried green tomatoes.

Full disclosure is that my food was actually just ok. After sampling everyone elses’ food though, I feel qualified to testify that overall, the food was fantastic. Per usual, there will be a review…someday…

Total mileage =  25 mi

Not what I needed for the last high mileage week. But,  you know what? I also needed a sweet 30th birthday party (yes people, this was a need, not a want) and even I know that at some point we have to make choices. I know/think/hope/know that I made the right choice on this one 🙂 (Ask me about this on the afternoon of Nov 17th…on second though, maybe not…)

Threads – tanks and tees, running skirts or capris for the chilly mornings, + compression for the long runs and Mizunos (Wave Creation 11s and Wave Elixer 6s)

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Boo to overtraining!

I’ve had very different experiences during the teen weeks of my 4 marathon trainings seasons thus far…

#1. All sorts of system failures occurred long before this. By week 9 or 10 I was falling apart and firmly believe that I wouldn’t have made it to race day without my god-send chiropractor Dr. Jenny.

#2. Much better. I still had issues (Don’t I always?!?! Yes.)  but with one training season under my belt and regular maintainance from the wonderful Dr. Jenny before big problems began, I progressed through the higher mileage much more comfortably/successfully.

#3.  High mileage weeks? Long runs +16 miles? What are those? Are we speaking the same language? I felt great throughout my training! (And then like I’d been run down by an African chicken bus for weeks after the marathon…oops…)

#4. The best yet! I’m (unfortunately) thousands of miles from Dr. Jenny The Great and haven’t found another chiropractor since moving to NJ. I was really worried about this (and still am a bit) based on how horribly I felt during my first training season, but so far I’m doing ok. I can tell that a number of things are just a bit off…a tight muscle here or there, a sore ankle, a tight , a stiff neck, a stab in the shin…but over all I’m very pleased. Knock on wood, but there hasn’t been anything more than a few acute issues. My runs are feeling good. I can make it through the long ones with just a tiny bit a bunch of therapeutic complaining and I feel like I have good speed and strength throughout the short intense mid-week runs and on hills and all of that good stuff… That being said, I can’t afford to slack on the maintainance and have to put the effort in and find someone good to start seeing on a regular basis again. That being said, does  anyone have Princeton area chiropractor suggestions ?!?!

Anyway… the point of this post (only 6 paragraphs in, eh?) is to share a Runner’s World article jumped out of the computer at me as I was trying to work hard this evening…

Am I Overtraining for My Marathon

By Coach Jenny Hadfield (not to be confused with the one-and-only Dr. Jenny…)

August 22, 2013

Having trouble completing your workouts? Here’s how to train smarter to avoid fatigue.

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The part of the article that I really like is the 4 day / week running + cross training schedule that Coach Jenny outlines for making sure you aren’t overdoing it during these later teen weeks of training…

Not being able to finish workouts due to fatigue is a classic sign of overtraining. I’m an advocate for cross-training, especially for runners over forty, as it takes longer to recover from harder workouts. Of course it also depends on the efficiency of the runner and many other variables like sleep, nutrition, stress, body alignment, and balance.

I’d follow your instincts and train four days per week.
1. A long run (make it at a conversational effort, please).
2. A hard speed workout with the group.
3. Two easy-effort runs.

If you’re unable to make it through the week of workouts, your body isn’t recovering efficiently. By scaling back the number of runs to four per week—and including two hard runs (long and speed)—you’ll allow your body time to recover, so you’ll be able to complete the workouts, adapt, and improve this season.

Weave in cross-training activity that focuses on body strength, balance, and flexibility (Pilates, yoga, or a general strength/flexibility workout). Your body needs to balance the high-intensity workouts with more calming activities that balance, lengthen, and strengthen the body. That way you flow from hard to easy and recover more efficiently. Your schedule could look something like this:
Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: Cross-Train
Wednesday: Speed
Thursday: Cross-Train
Friday: Easy Run
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Rest (or light restorative flexibility exercises)

I’ve actually adopted a 4 day/week training schedule for the entirety of my preparation due to the logistical constraints of the rest of my generally out-of-control life. This has served me well.

I have two weekday runs and then Saturday and Sunday of course. I try to put my weekday runs on Tuesday and Thursday to space things out – with Tuesday being shorter (4-7 mi) and “faster”/tempo, and Thursday being a bit longer (6-12 mi) and at a comfortable pace. I like to get the long run out-of-the-way on Saturday morning (as Friday night activities allow) topping out at 22 miles and with 3 +20 milers (alternating with 12 mile long run weeks). Sunday then is a good (as Saturday night activities allow) recovery run of 6-10 miles.

As for the “cross-train” part, this ranges from 18 hr days in the lab to hiking and flag-football. Oddly enough, I do think I’ve built considerable mental muscle from the frequent unreasonable-work-day + training-run schedule. Now I was starting to feel like I may actually be losing it with this theory. I mean how does this make any sense at all? I’m exhausted from work when I start my run, just to go back to work when I’m finished!! So, you can imagine my delight when I came across the How To Build Mental Muscle article that totally backed up this crack-pot idea of mine! Fantastic! 🙂 Also oddly enough, football has helped me realize that post-November 17th I need to rework my maintainance training schedule to include some speed, hills and core work. It will be nice to switch things up a bit for the next few months. Wait! What? I’m looking forward to speed and core work?! I guess I have lost it after all!

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