Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Recap

Miles: 107.53

X-Training: 8 (4 pool runs, 2 elliptical, 2 stationary bike)

Rest Days: 8

Race(s): National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k (PR - 38:02) and the big one, the Philadelphia Marathon (PR - 4:01:23)!

Workout goals: 
Stay injury-free and sane during taper - Well, there were some crazy periods during taper (and some imaginary foot pain), but I got to the race injury-free so that's all that matters!

Crush the Philadelphia marathon - DONE! 39 minute PR. 

Non-workout goal: Wisely I didn't pick a goal for this month.  The marathon consumed all of my thoughts and energy.

Ice cream flavor of the month: Pumpkin (a repeat from last month, but it's just so good!)

The focus of November was getting to the Philadelphia Marathon ready to race and then running my heart out.  I ran an 8k as a tune up two weeks before the marathon and along with picking up a new PR, it showed me that I was right on track.  After a lot of thought, I finally decided I was going for sub 4:00 and shared that goal with the Internet.  Although I didn't quite get there, the marathon was a total success.  I showed myself that I can run faster than I ever thought I could and I know that I'm only just getting started. There is a lot of progress yet to be made!

December Preview

Workout goals:
Get in a few good long runs - I think this is the only crucial thing I need to do this month in order to be ready for Goofy.  I'm not concerned with time in either race, I just need to make sure that my legs are ready to cover the distance

Pool run at least once a week - Pool running is a good way for me to keep up my fitness and give my legs a bit of break as I recover from Philly/prep for Goofy

Stay motivated and mix things up when needed - I don't want to get stressed about what I need to do to be ready for Goofy.  So my plan is to give myself a break and throw in my cross training or rest days if I start to feel at all burned out or have any pre-injury twinges

Races: None on the schedule right now
Non-workout goal:  Get back to trying new recipes.  I've been slacking the last few months

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Philadelphia Marathon Photos

Just a few more Philly marathon photos (featuring Beth!)

 I have no idea when this was, but after 20 because I have my headphones on. Also, I look miserable

The final stretch. REALLY wanted to be done 

Beth is WAY more excited than I am at this point

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recovery and What's Next

I spent last week doing a whole lot of nothing and recovering from the Philadelphia Marathon.  In one of the better decisions I have ever made, I decided to take the whole week off from work, even though I would only be out of town Thursday and Friday.  It might be a Thanksgiving tradition I need to repeat, marathon or no marathon.
My quads were incredibly sore after the race.  I went to the gym on Monday and Tuesday to ride the stationary bike and hopefully get some of that lactic acid moving.  I also attempted to use my foam roller but that ended after about two minutes and lots of pain.  By Wednesday I was able to get on the elliptical for a short stint and and finally by Thursday I was able to walk down the two flights of stairs to exit my apartment without thinking about it.  Victory!  I had no turkey trot scheduled because I’d be in the car Thursday morning, but I think it would have been a generally bad idea if I’d been available.  I was in no shape to run.  I finally went for an easy run on Sunday morning and though I felt decent while I was out, it completely exhausted me and I spent the rest of the day on the couch.
I had planned for this to be a short recovery period with a quick return to running because my next big race is less than 6 weeks away.  And not just any race, the Goofy Challenge.  Obviously this “adventure” is not at all about time and just about finishing, so back when I registered in March (for both Philly and Goofy) I figured all I needed to do was maintain my fitness level during December and I’d be fine.  I had great success last fall doing the Baltimore and Rehoboth Beach marathons 8 weeks apart (a 15 minute PR at Rehoboth) and thought I might as well do something similar this year. 
Unfortunately, after Sunday’s semi-successful run, I felt less than motivated to jump back into a regular schedule this week.  Apparently I am much more motivated to train for a second race when the first one is a disaster.  Last year I couldn’t stop thinking about redeeming myself and proving that Baltimore was a fluke and jumped right back into training.  I also think that I came out of Baltimore with legs that were in pretty decent shape because of the large amount of walking that I did in the second half. 
Obviously the circumstances are different this year.  Philly was a highly successful race and it took a lot out of me.  It also was nowhere near the race I was planning back when I registered in April.  I was going to shoot for 4:30 and follow a training plan with a number of double long run weekends all fall.  I saw Philly more as a step along the way to Goofy instead of a goal race.  Obviously that all changed when I joined CAR, started regular speed work and decided to go for sub 4:00.  I don’t regret any of those decisions (AT ALL), but it makes for a bit more complicated “inter-race” period.
So, where do I go from here?  I’m hoping with another semi-recovery week this week, I’ll be excited to get going again next week.  And, if I’m not, I’m just going to force myself to get it done for the next five weeks.  It would be different if I was looking at full season or long training cycle, but since it's not, this seems to be the time to push through the lack of motivation.  I already plan to take most or all of January off after the races.  I purposely haven’t signed up for any spring races even though I’ve wanted to as friends have discussed spring plans.  As much as it kills me (hello, National Marathon or Half) I KNOW that those decisions are best made post-Goofy because I have no idea how I’m going to feel.  So there will be no pressure or reason to do anything until I am absolutely feeling motivated to do so.  This alone should get me through December. 

I’m also not planning on any super serious training.  Just enough to get me to the finish lines uninjured.  And, more importantly, with legs that can still walk around Disney World on Monday January 9.  I’ll share my tentative schedule once I’ve mapped it out, which will hopefully be sometime later this week or early next week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Philadelphia Marathon Race Report

I felt like I had been waiting for this weekend, and race, for a long time!  After a last taper week filled with lots of resting and very little running, by Saturday morning I was ready to go.  Beth and I left around 9 and after a few detours and poor navigation on my part, we made it to the expo and met up with lots of fun people.  I was able to pick up my bib and (giant) race shirt quickly (dear race directors - offer XS or women's sizing please) and switch corrals easily.  We wandered around the expo for a bit, but no one was super impressed.  Afterwards we went our separate ways and I headed over to my friend Katie's apartment.  She was running her first marathon and conveniently lives just a few blocks from the start!

I didn't sleep all that well, but when the alarm went off on Sunday morning I was excited to finally run the race.  Fortunately I had no problems meeting up with Katie, Thom, Beth and Jon, and after checking our bags and hitting up the porta potties, we split up and Thom and I headed into the green corral, while Katie and Beth headed up to black to start the half marathon of awesomeness.  We got into the corral just a few minutes before 7:00, so we didn't have too long to wait before our wave walked up to the start.  Then, finally we were off!

Miles 1-3: 9:44, 9:29, 9:12
My plan for this race was to run the first 5 miles around 9:30 pace and then work on picking it up from there.  Thom and I focused on staying relaxed at the beginning and letting everyone around us take off.  I decided to carry a disposable water bottle so I could avoid the crowds at the early water stations and just toss it when I had emptied it.  I wanted to make sure that I drank enough in the first half and the disposable bottle ended up being a great decision.  Our third mile was a bit quick, but it did include a long downhill so I tried not to worry about it.

Miles 4-7: 9:18, 9:18, 9:14, 9:07
I knew the one thing that I didn't want to do was pick up the pace too much early, so I tried to make sure I was running comfortably and not pushing the pace.  Around mile 5 we turned onto Chestnut Street where the crowds started picking up and the support was great.  There was a bit of an incline, but I didn't feel like it was affecting me.  We hit the 10k at 58:02, which was a little faster than planned, but not by much.  In the first mile or two Thom and I discussed breaking the first 20 miles into 5 mile pace segments of 9:30, 9:15, 9:00 and 8:45.  We wanted to hit 20 miles around 3 hours (9 minute mile pace).  These miles were a bit ahead of that, but not by much.

Miles 8-10: 9:21, 9:34, 9:23
This section contained the bulk of the hills found on the course.  I knew that they were coming, but they were definitely bigger than I had expected (in particular the largest one right after mile 9).  The downhills were particularly steep, which I think took a toll on my quads that would come back to haunt me in the later miles.  I tried not to worry too much about pace in this section and just worked on staying controlled and steady.

Miles 11-13: 9:01, 8:45, 8:45
The steepest downhill on the course came after the 10 mile marker and took us back down to the river.  I was glad to know that the rest of the course was pretty flat.  Since Thom and I had discussed being right around 9:00 pace for miles 11-15, I conciously tried to pick up the pace once we were back on flat road.  Before the race I was concerned about getting too focused on my watch, so I avoided paying too much attention in this stretch. I just tried to increase my effort level a bit.  Unfortunately, somewhere around mile 12 Thom told me he needed to back off the pace a bit and we separated.  I had hoped that we would be able to stick together longer, but we each needed to run our own race so I forged ahead.  I figured I might see a number of people I knew around mile 13 so I had that to look forward to in this stretch.  Somehow I missed my friends, but did see George and managed to give him a thumbs up as I went by.  The race splits say I hit halfway at 2:00:08, but the timing mat was actually at the 13 mile marker, not 13.1.  So I imagine I actually hit halfway right at or under 2:01.  It's not that crucial, but it matters to me that I actually ran more or less even (or possibly slightly negative) splits.

Miles 14-17: 8:54, 8:40, 8:50
This was probably my favorite part of the race.  I had just gone through the half right on pace to break 4 hours and I was feeling so strong.  The course was heading out Kelly Drive which was pretty flat and the views were nice.  It reminded me of running on Hains Point, which I love.  My goal in this section was to just get to the turnaround point (right before mile 20) because then all I would have to do was run back.

Miles 18-20: 9:00, 9:08, 9:06
It was around mile 18 that things started to get painful.  Both of my quads started to hurt and I can only guess that the hills (and steep downhills) in miles 9-10 had really taken their toll.  Still, I was able to more or less maintain my pace so I figured I had no reason to be concerned.  I realized that I might not be able to hammer home the last 10k like I had hoped, but I knew that if I could hold pace, I would still be able to meet my sub 4:00 goal.  One of my friends was going to be somewhere in Manayunk and the thought of seeing her kept me going.  She ended up being right by mile 20 and I saw her on the way out to the turnaround and when I came back.

Miles 21-22: 8:49, 9:05
I had decided before the race that I would put in my music after mile 20.  When Thom and I split up earlier than planned, I thought about starting it earlier, but I'm glad I waited.  As you can see from my mile 21 time, initially it really helped me pick up the pace.  Coming out of Manayunk I was really starting to hurt.  I just kept telling myself that I had come to far to give up and to just keeping pushing and holding the same pace.  I knew that the last stretch was going to be really tough.

Miles 23-26.2: 9:30, 9:46, 10:11, 11:28 (for 1.2)
Mile 23 is where I really hit the wall.  I could feel myself slowing but there was nothing I could do about it.  I wanted to cry and I wanted to walk, but I knew I would never forgive myself for walking when I still had a shot at sub 4.  I only had my watch displaying my current lap pace, distance in that lap and overall average pace.  I knew that I was about 6 minutes behind the race clocks, so I had a general idea of my overall time, but I had avoided focusing on it during the race.  I could tell though as I passed miles 23 and 24 that my shot at 3:59 was slowly slipping away.  At mile 23 I calculated that I had roughly 30 minutes for the last 3.2.  Normally that would be reasonable, but I was slowing and didn't have the energy to pick up the pace.  When I passed the 25 mile marker I switched my Garmin display to show my overall time.  I was at 3:50.  I knew that realistically there was no way I was running the final 1.2 miles in 10 minutes.  But I knew I had to try to get as close as I could.  Beth jumped in with me somewhere right before mile 26 (I never saw the marker) and I was so angry and tired that I couldn't say anything.  I just needed to be done.

Since my Garmin distance had been off on most of the miles (and I missed the 26 sign), I couldn't be positive how much I had left until I could finally see the finish line.  Then I really tried to sprint in to the finish, though my legs really didn't have much kick left in them.

Final Time - 4:01:23

A 39 minute PR and I could not be more thrilled!  Yes, it would have been nice to break 4 hours but this race showed me that I have it in me and I have no doubt that I will get there next time.  I ran the smart race that I wanted to run and left it all out there on the course.  To be honest, while I knew that I should be able to run sub 4, I wasn't totally confident that I wouldn't run the first half on pace and then blow up in the second half.  I've never run close to that fast for that long.  I knew that I needed to trust the training and run and I'm so happy that I was able to do just that and not let my brain get in the way.

In some ways it still feels a bit surreal.  As recently as a few months ago this was not a time I thought I would ever get to and now I know that I can go even faster.  I can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Philadelphia Marathon Goals

 "Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great"
-Steve Prefontaine

I've thought about what I would say in this post for a long time, 16 weeks to be exact.  I started this training cycle with a pretty clear goal.  My current marathon PR is 4:40 and I wanted to break 4:30.  But as the weeks went by and I started running with CAR, it became obvious that I could go a lot faster.  The question was, how much faster?

I realized several weeks ago that my legs and fitness level were not going to be what held me back in this race, it was my mind.  It's hard to go from thinking that certain paces are faster than I will ever run to accepting that I can run said pace for 26.2 miles.  I have also blown up in a marathon that I started way too fast, so getting to a place where I view these new times as safe (even conservative) starting points has even more challenging.

I've been vague over the last few weeks when asked about my goals for this race.  I wasn't sure what I was comfortable shooting for and, on top of that, what I was willing to admit I was shooting for.  Did I want to admit to a goal time that I find intimidating and that will push me to my limit?  A goal that I wasn't even confident I could meet?  Or did I want to be more conservative and shoot for a large PR while still being slightly conservative and reducing my potential for crashing and burning in the final miles?

I've been lucky to train for this race with a great group of people, many of whom have expressed confidence in my abilities and potential long before I was willing to listen. Even after I stopped dismissing them as crazy and started seriously considered what I could do in this race, I still had a lot of doubts. It was not until this week that the "top secret goal" became MY goal. That is to say, it became my goal for this race. It's always been a long term goal of mine (one that often seemed like a pipe dream), but I never thought I would be chasing this time so soon.

While the time is obviously important, I am really more concerned with executing a strong, smart race.  To that end, I have a couple of goals for how I want to run.

1. Conservative start with a controlled but strong first half - My history is to start too fast in races because a pace feels comfortable at the time, even when it is faster than I planned.  If I blow up in this race it is not going to be because I started too fast, it will be because I went for it in the second half.  And I'm okay with that risk.  I'm going to push as hard as I can and not hold back.

2. Avoid focusing too much of time/pace/splits - After the initial miles when I want to be conservative, I know that my biggest mental challenge will avoiding freaking out when I see a pace on my watch that I think I shouldn't be running in a marathon.  I don't want my mind to stop my legs from running what they are capable of running.  So my plan is to "just run" as much as possible and only check my watch periodically.

3. Go for it in the second half, no regrets - As I said in the first point, if I struggle at the end of this race, I want it to be because gave it all I had in the second half.  I don't want to finish the race thinking that I have energy left or that I should have picked up the pace earlier.

And now for my time goals.

A - sub 4:00
Based on my training and my recent races, I think this is totally achievable in this race.  I'm not saying it will be easy, but if run the way I am capable of running, I can do this.

B - sub 4:15
The average pace for all three of my 20 milers was right around or under 9:50 pace.  This works out to a 4:17 marathon.  It would also be a 25 minute PR, which would make me very happy.

C - new PR
I'd like to think that even if I struggle in this race, I can still come in under 4:40 (10:40 pace).  I hope it doesn't come to this, but a PR is a PR.

So, there it is.  I've worked harder than I ever have this training cycle and I'm going to run harder than I ever have in a marathon on Sunday.  At this point all I have left to do is trust my training and run.

I won't lie and say that I don't have any doubts and that the pacing required for sub 4 doesn't scare me. This is why the quote at the top of this post really spoke to me when Emily shared it on Twitter yesterday.  I know I could run a good marathon and easily beat my current PR by a large margin.  But I won't know how great of a marathon I can run if I don't leave the safety of my comfort zone behind.  I might fail spectacularly, but I am going to give it everything I have.

I've signed up for updates to be posted to both Twitter and Facebook, so if you're interested you can follow along. I'm bib #12241 if you prefer to head directly to the Philadelphia Marathon web site.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I'm not sure if it's going to be cold enough for me to need throwaway pants for standing around before the race on Sunday, but if it is, I'm prepared with these beauties I found on the clearance rack at Target.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


You may be hoping that I would post my goals for the Philadelphia marathon.  They're coming, I promise.  Instead of working on that post I have been thinking about future races.  Because, like a true running addict, I can't finish a marathon without knowing when my next fix is coming, I may have just registered for this:

Taking place on November 10, 2012.

Friends running and only $55?  Done.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Philadelphia Marathon Training - Week 15

Monday November 7
Run 4.25 mi
A nice easy (short) run to start off the week.

Tuesday November 8
Run 7.13 mi
I felt okay warming up but once this workout started I realized that I had a lot less energy than normal.  My legs just didn't want to move, which I'm sure was a result of Sunday's 8k.  I cut the workout a bit short (missed an 800) and called it a day.  I know that nothing I am doing this week is going to make or break my marathon in a positive way and I don't want to end up injured.

This was also the day that I first started feeling cranky (just in case anyone was making bets on that at home). I need my regular dose of endorphins!

Wednesday November 9
Run 4.33 mi
My last run commute this training cycle!  I was finally able to take the most direct route to work since I didn't need to fit in any extra miles. 

Thursday November 10

Friday November 11
Run 6.44 mi with 5k tempo
My legs were feeling much better than they had on Tuesday, so I was hoping to wrap up my tempo training with a strong 5k.  All went according to plan and I had my fastest 5k time this training cycle and one that was only 10 seconds off of my 5k PR.  It was also about two and a half minutes faster than my first tempo workout in September.  I'm very happy with how I have progressed in just under four months and what this means for the marathon.

Saturday November 12
Elliptical 40 min
After a super lazy morning spent tracking friends running Richmond (so inspired by all of the great races!), I decided to head to the gym for a bit just to get my legs moving.  This may be the easiest I have ever gone on the elliptical.

Sunday November 13
Run 8.09 mi
The last long(ish) run before Philadelphia!  I always love how by this point in training 8 miles seems like such a short run.  Being able to do most of my long runs with Thom has really made this training cycle so much more enjoyable and I'm glad we were able to meet up for this last one.

Week 15: 30.24 mi
Due to achy legs last week, I dropped my weekly mileage more quickly than I would have liked.  So rather than drop it again this week, I did a similar amount but didn't have supplemental miles in the pool.  The upcoming week will be super easy and I plan to show up in Philly on Sunday with legs that are ready to run!

Monday, November 7, 2011

National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k race report

On Sunday morning I ran the National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k.  I warmed up about two miles before checking my warm clothes and braving the elements in shorts, tank top and arm warmers. I was wearing a lot fewer clothes than most of the people there, so I got some interesting looks. It was the perfect outfit for the race, though I did get a bit chilly while waiting to start.  Definitely a good reminder to go pick up some throwaway clothes in the next week and a half before Philly! 

Since this was a charity race, I figured there would be a lot of people running more for the cause and less for time, so I tried to position myself pretty close to the front.
I'm somewhere on the left (Source)

I took off with the people around me when the race started. Remember that strategy of starting around 7:50 and working my way down? Didn't happen. About .25 into the race I looked down at my Garmin and saw 6:45. Oops! I immediately threw on the brakes knowing that it wasn't likely a sustainable pace for me. I'm sure some people would argue that I should have just gone with it and seen what happened, but I really didn't want to blow up halfway. As a result, a ton of people went flying past me, but it was definitely the right move. I hit the one mile marker right about the time my Garmin beeped, but as the number of turns increased, it got farther and farther ahead.
Mile 1 - 7:34 (7:40)
I left autolap on since it was a smaller race and I wasn't sure how well the miles would be marked. I've taken the "extra" time (27 sec) and evenly distributed it between the miles to get a general sense of my actual splits. That's the time in parenthesis. For the purpose of this experiment, I'm also ignoring the fact that this race was actually 4.97 miles and not 5.

Mile 2 included the only hill of the course as well as two hairpin turns as we went up towards Union Station, went up and back on 2 blocks of 1st street, turned around and headed back down 3rd St. and past the mall. This mile ended on a very nice downhill, hence the fastest split of the race.
Mile 2 - 7:25 (7:31)

There was a water stop just past the two mile marker that I skipped because I was focused on trying to maintain my pace and not slow down. Miles 3 & 4 blurred together for me. We went back towards L'Enfant Plaza and then did a long out and back on Independence (and hit the third hairpin turn). I distracted myself on Independence by counting the number of women ahead of me. I counted 15, which is definitely the closest I have ever been to the front of a race!  After Independence we got back on 3rd St and hit the mile 4 marker right before turning back onto Pennsylvania Ave.
Mile 3 - 7:35 (7:40)
Mile 4 - 7:31 (7:36)

It was then a straight shot back down Pennsylvania Ave to the finish, with a one block out and back on 11th St. (and the final hairpin turn).  Early on in this mile a woman went flying past me. I tried to keep up with her and in general I was hoping to have more left in the tank to drop the pace at this point, but I just didn't seem to have that next gear. I focused on staying as close to 7:30 pace as possible and keeping up with the men just ahead of me. When I came back onto to Pennsylvania Ave after the out and back on 11th (final hairpin turn!), there were only two blocks left and I was able to sprint in to the finish.
Mile 5 - 7:30 (7:35)

Final time - 38:02 (7:39 pace)
I was the 18th woman and 8th in my (10 year) age group.

I didn't exactly follow my own race plan, but I'm still very happy with how this race went.  I think that if I had started a bit slower, I probably would have been able to pick it up a bit more at the end.  But I certainly can't complain about the relatively even splits that I ran.  A good reminder, though, that I have to start the marathon at a reasonable pace.  Starting faster than planned doesn't have all that many consequences for 5 miles, but could be a real problem for 26.2.  It was a good race and left me feeling confident heading into the final two weeks of taper!

Philadelphia Marathon Training Week 14

Monday October 31
I felt really tired after 21 miles on Saturday and several hours standing and spectating the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday so I decided to take Monday completely off.

Tuesday November 1
Run 8 mi
2x1200, 2x800, 2x400
Another good workout at the track.  I am a big fan of two repeats because there is no middle one!  The first and last are never that bad, it's always those ones in the middle that are mentally tough.  So 2x a bunch of different differences is ideal for me.

Wednesday November 2
Run 6.05 mi
An easy run commute

Thursday November 3
Run 6.0 mi
Since I took off Monday, I did an easy run instead of taking my normal Thursday rest day.

Friday November 4
Pool run 60 min/6 mi
My legs had been feeling a bit sore all week so rather than do an easy run for the third day in a row, I decided to pool run instead.

Saturday November 5

Sunday November 6
National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k + 4.6 mi of warm up and cool down
70 min/7 mi pool run
Sunday morning I ran in the National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k. I also convinced my mom and sister to sign up, so it was a family race day. A full race report is coming, but it went really well and I improved my (old, outdated) 8k PR by more than 10 minutes!  I warmed up about 2 miles before the race and cooled down for about 2.5.  Then later in the afternoon I headed to the pool for a nice, easy pool run.

Week 14: 29.6 mi (+13 mi pool running)
I was hoping for a few more land miles this week, but I think that my legs needed the break.  At this point in the game, avoiding injury is the main priority. It's still hard for me to believe that this race is now just two weeks away!

Friday, November 4, 2011

National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k goals

On Sunday I'll be racing an 8k.  I'm using this as a final tune up race before the Philadelphia marathon.  I've never really done tune up races before so I'm not sure how the results of this race should translate to marathon pacing.  I'll let someone smarter than me figure that out!

I've only ever run one other 8k and that was several years ago.  I don't remember a whole lot about the race, other than the fact that my goal was to finish with a sub 10:00 pace. I did manage to achieve that, just barely, with a time of 49 something.  I'm gunning for a rather large PR in Sunday's race.

In recent tempo runs I've been able to start around 7:50 pace and get slightly faster each mile.  I've only done four mile tempos on the track, but I think I should be able to follow this same strategy for the (almost) five miles of this race.  My plan is to stay controlled for the first three miles and see how fast I can go in the last two.

I have no specific time goals in mind.  I'm just looking to run a smart, strong race and see how much I can push myself at the end.  It will be fun to get out and race a shorter distance!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I wore my marathon shoes for the first time yesterday.

17 days!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Recap

Miles: 168.71

X-Training: 4 (2 pool runs, 2 elliptical)

Rest Days: 7

Race(s): Army 10 miler - new 10 mile PR (1:23:33)!

New gear: Red arm sleeves (with pockets!) to wear in the marathon. :)

Workout goals:
I did well achieving my running goals, but not any others.  This really shouldn't come as a surprise to me after last month!

Continue to push the pace in workouts - I finally had that breakthrough I was hoping for mid-month and really dropped my times for both interval and tempo workouts.

Strong long runs - I continued my string of long run successes and both 20 milers went extremely well.  After 21 miles in cold rain, I feel prepared for whatever weather marathon day hands me!

Try again with the planks - Like September, this was a total failure. 

Non-workout goal: I was also planning to work on redesigning this blog.  Didn't even get started.

Ice cream flavor of the month: Pumpkin

October was a very good running month for me.  I ran a new 10 mile PR, had a lot of strong workouts at the track and two good 20 mile runs.  I feel confident heading into my taper and can't wait to run a marathon in 3 weeks!

November Preview

Workout goals:
November is marathon month, so I'm keeping my list of goals short and sweet.

Stay injury-free and sane during taper - Pretty self explanatory. I'm hoping to keep the taper crazies away as long as possible!

Crush the Philadelphia marathon - I know I have it in me to run a great marathon. And on November 20, I will!

Races: National Race to End Women's Cancer 8k (Nov. 6) and the Philadelphia marathon (Nov. 20)!!!

Non-workout goal: I'm not even going to attempt anything.  I know this month will be dominated by the marathon!