Long runs still make me nervous: NYCM 18 Mile Tune-Up

First up, workouts from week 9 of NYCM training:

nycm week 9

Also, it was a great weekend to be an Eagle:

BC vs. USC

BC vs. USC

NYCM 18 Mile Tune-Up:

Confession: I still get nervous before long runs.  I spent Saturday out on Long Island so was able to carbload with my parents Saturday night for the NYCM 18 Mile Tune-Up Sunday morning. Conversation basically went like this:

  • 18 miles is SO far.
  • Three loops of Central Park is torture.
  • That’s THREE Harlem Hills and THREE Cat Hills and ALL THE OTHER rolling hills THREE TIMES.
  • My coach wants me to run the last mile at tempo. After 17 miles! In Central Park!

Needless to say, I was AWESOME company.

70s show_misery

When I woke up Sunday morning, I was still nervous.  As I walked to Central Park – nervous. As I lined up in the corrals – nervous. As I started running – nervous. Mile 1 – nervous. Mile 2 – still nervous.

It was mental torture (and some physical as my heart was pounding from the nerves and not from running).  I knew I couldn’t keep this up and basically gave myself a pep talk:

  • Run the mile you’re in.
  • It’s just three sets of six miles.
  • Six miles is easy.
  • You can run six miles.
  • Just get through the first six miles.

70s show_fight

I was finally able to settle down, get into a rhythm, and ended up having one of the best long runs I’ve ever had.

As I completed each loop, I was thankful for the three Harlem Hill sprints my coach had me run earlier this week. As I ran each hill, I thought about how easy it felt in comparison to Thursday’s workout. I felt so mentally prepared to tackle those hills three times. Thanks, Jess :-)

nycm 18 mile tune-up

via Instagram (@derunnernial)

I finished in 3:00:32 (10:02 pace) with a negative split and a final mile of 8:44.

At this point, I feel pretty good about where I’m at in terms of fitness and I’m looking forward to putting in some more quality miles these next few weeks. Also, I am absurdly happy to have a long run of “only” 13 miles next week. Perhaps I won’t be so nervous…


Do you get nervous before certain workouts? How do you combat the nerves?

Did anyone else run the NYCM 18 Mile Tune-Up? How’d it go?!


Filed under marathon, new york city, running, tcs new york city marathon, weekly workout wrap-up

5 Faves from Birthdaycation Part II: IdeaWorld Blogfest

First up, workouts from last week (Week 8 of NYCM training!):


5 Faves from IdeaWorld Blogfest:

I know I’m a few weeks late with this but ya know, life happens, and I’m sure no one was holding their breath (at least I hope not – that’d be ridiculous).

When my family friend was driving me from LA to Anaheim, I started to get really nervous about Blogfest. I didn’t really know anyone (there were a few lovely ladies that I had met once) and I started to to get all sorts of introvert anxiety. #storyofmylife

Well, all that worrying was for naught. Everyone was incredible and I never felt out of place.  It’s amazing how all of my introverted qualities fly out the window when I’m surrounded by other fitness people.

So here ya go, in no particular order, the BEST parts of IdeaWorld Blogfest:

1) Meeting amazing and inspiring people

ideaworld 2014

Sure, there were amazing and inspiring fitness “celebs” but, by far, my favorite people were the other bloggers in attendance. My roommates, Nicole and Iowa, are super incredible and I have so many memories (that continue to make me laugh as I type this) thanks to them. The best part about these conferences are the people you meet and the internet-turned-IRL friends you make.

blogfest 2014

2) Playing around at the IdeaWorld Expo

ideaworld expo

The IdeaWorld Expo is a fitness fanatic’s dream come true.  We stopped at every booth, sampled foods and fitness equipment, talked to brands, and of course, shook it out.

3) Getting some awesome workouts in while on “vacation”

How many vacations do you go on where you end up working out more than when you’re home and in your regular routine?

blogfest workouts

4) Being THIS close to Jillian Michaels

Seriously, I didn’t even have to zoom in on the below pic.  Jillian Michaels was incredible and she is nothing like the way she is portrayed on The Biggest Loser. 

Plus, she said this…

jillian michaels talks about pizza

5) Running 15 miles through Disneyland

I was completely worried about this run… for many reasons:

  • Running 15 miles on vacation is hard.
  • I was so sore after multiple workouts the previous days.
  • There is no real path for runner’s around the area. This meant no clear route and no water fountains.

I threw it out there on the Blogfest FB group that I was running 15 miles and would love some company.  AMAZINGLY, I had someone I’d never met before volunteer to run the first 6 with me (we actually ended up running almost 7 together) and then the lovely Nicole ran with me until after mile 11.

long run anaheim california

I finished up with a solo 3.8 miles through Downtown Disney. Talk about some magical miles :-)

I feel so blessed to have spent 4 days with so many incredible fitness professionals and bloggers. Thank you FitApproach and IdeaWorld for making this all possible!


Filed under sweatpink, weekly workout wrap-up

Become a Better Runner

Workouts from last week (week 7 of NYCM training):

week 7 nycm training

Become a Better Runner:

At IdeaWorld a few weeks ago, I was able to attend a session with Dr. Jason Karp, one of the most esteemed running experts in America, where he talked about the 5 concepts of running that help in becoming a better a runner.

I found myself nodding along to every word that came out of Jason’s mouth.  For me, I think it’s important that I continually remind myself of his first 2 concepts, as these are two areas where I struggle the most.  I wanted to share just in case any of these will help another runner (or runner-to-be) – and if you ever get the opportunity to listen to Jason speak, jump on it. He was incredible.

become a better runner

1. To run fast, you must first spend a lot of time running slow.

I’ve heard it over and over again from tons of professionals- in order to become a better runner, you have to run more. Jason talked a lot about the volume of training and the weekly mileage ranges that are going to predict solid marathon performances. The more one runs, the more the body is going to adapt and adjust performance capacity.

2. Easy runs must be easy.

Jason spoke about one of the biggest mistakes a runner can make: running too fast on easy days. Your body needs easy days. If you run fast on what should be an “easy” or “recovery” run, you’re adding unnecessary stress to your legs without any extra benefit.

Jason highlighted three key benefits to running slow on easy days:

  • It decreases chance of injury.
  • It allows you to get more out of harder workouts because there will be less residual fatigue.
  • It allows for increased weekly mileage (hey! look up to concept #1!)

3. Train to your strengths.

To become a better runner, you have to focus on your strengths. Sure, improving your weaknesses will make you more successful, but your best bet is going to be skewing your training in favor of what you are naturally good at. Me? I’m not a sprinter. I’m miserable running a 5k. I’m not good at it. You know what I am good at? Pacing myself through a marathon.

4. There are identifiable predictors of injury.

Becoming a better runner includes being able to identify any risk for injury and doing what you can to prevent them. Jason highlighted the following as identifiable predictors (and yes, he (shockingly) listed inappropriate running shoes as last.  Everyone is always quick to blame the shoes when one gets injured (ummm guilty) and yet he spoke for a few minutes about why, while inappropriate running sneakers can be a factor in injury, it is unlikely it’s the only factor, and it’s probably a very miniscule one.)

  • Low energy (caloric) availability
  • Female athlete triad
  • Previous injury
  • Large increases in training load
  • Strength imbalances
  • Lack of running experience
  • Inappropriate running shoes

5. Run the first half to two-thirds of a race with your head and the last third to half with your heart. 

I’m gonna go ahead and just quote Jason Karp directly on this one… “Runners are often emotional (and sometimes just plain stupid) at the start of a race, but running with one’s emotions in the beginning rarely works in a race. There’s a time and a place for emotions and heart, but it’s not in the first mile.”

TRUTH. Running is emotional.  Be smart in the beginning of a race… and then let your heart push you at the end.

Dr. Jason Karp - IdeaWorld 2014

Dr. Jason Karp – IdeaWorld 2014

I’m super thankful for the chance to have listened to Jason while at IdeaWorld this year.  If you’re interested in any of Jason’s training programs or books, visit run-fit.com


Filed under pre training, running

Birthdaycation Part II: Disneyland in Anaheim, California

It’s no secret that I love Disney. I mean, there’s a 3 foot Olaf on my bed and a 2 foot Olaf stuck to my refrigerator, my desk at work is covered in Little Mermaid figurines (thanks, Jason), I wear a Mickey Mouse ring almost every day, and I spend an absurd amount of money to run through Disney World every year (2013, 2014, coming up in 2015).

So it should be of no surprise to anyone that I penciled sharpied in a day at Disneyland into my California birthdaycation.

Nicole (who ran her first marathon in Disney World in January!) offered to join me a day early in Anaheim before Blogfest for some Disney fun…

once upon a time disneyland

nyc bloggers go to disneyland

disneyland happiest place on earth

maleficent at disneyland

sword stone disneyland

dole whip float disneyland

dopey challenge

bloggers at disneyland happily ever after

Next up: Lots of posts from Blogfest!


Are you a Disney fan? Who else is DOPEY?! 


Filed under disney