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I’m getting married this week.

But first, weeks 8 and 9 of NYCM training:

With those 18 miles yesterday, it is OFFICIALLY wedding week! Mentally, I needed those 18 miles behind me before I could really let myself get excited. People were texting me all day Saturday that they can’t believe the wedding is only one week away and how excited they were and all I could think about was OMG I HAVE TO RUN 18 MILES TOMORROW.

But it’s done… and now I can relax overwhelm myself with other things.

Wedding Week!

This week is rough because there’s so much to do but also not so much to do. In terms of the wedding, we’re done. There’s no more “planning” or even organizing that has to happen. On Thursday, I’ll stop by the florist for a final payment and walkthrough but that is literally our last pre-wedding related task. Everything else is being handled by our week-of planner and our vendors.

So then what am I overwhelmed by? The amount of things that I need to squeeze in the next 2.5 days before we head upstate: workouts, acupuncture, threading, waxing, a facial, a potential stop at the dermatologist if an injection is necessary, a manicure, packing, cleaning, trying to not make my fiance crazy, oh and a full-time job.

I’m doing my best to not get stressed by all that has to happen in the next few days but at the same time, it’s hard to look at the list of things that require time and movement throughout the city and not have my blood pressure raise just a little.

Once we hop in the car on Wednesday and head upstate, I know I can relax. Once we’re in that car, it is officially wedding weekend and there is nothing else for me to do but enjoy the time with Justin and our loved ones.

I won’t be updating here until after we get back from Hawaii (later in October) so if you want wedding and honeymoon updates, Instagram is your best bet. (And yes, I will be marathon training in Hawaii… because I obviously don’t understand the concept of going on vacation and not running…).

Thanks for tuning in these past few months for all the wedding-related adventures 🙂 

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Just What the Doctor Ordered: Lasik Recovery in the Hamptons.

Over the past few months, Justin has been toying with the idea of having Lasik surgery. After so many years of wearing glasses and being frustrated by contacts, he’d had enough (wanting to swim with the sea turtles in Hawaii sans contact lenses was also a contributing decision factor lol). A few weeks ago, we got him in touch with the doctor who performed my and my brother’s Lasik surgery about 8 years ago and it was a go! His surgery was scheduled for last Wednesday out on Long Island. Bye bye glasses!

We went out to LI on Tuesday night to make Wednesday morning as easy peasy as possible. As it was Global Running Day (and I just like to drive him crazy), we got outside super early for an easy 4 miles.  After quick showers and a quick breakfast, we were on our way to the surgery center! Thanks, mama B for the drive 🙂

Lasik surgery goes so quickly and within 20 minutes, a nurse was calling me back to meet with Justin and the surgeon to talk aftercare. Within 40 minutes of arriving at the surgery center, we were on our way home so Justin could lay down and hopefully sleep for the next four hours. That first day is really the worst and once you get through that and the first post-op appointment, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

It was really nice to have some mandatory resting on our calendar. By Friday morning, equipped with dark sunglasses and many bottles of eye drops, we were ready for the best part of Justin’s recovery plan – a weekend in the Hamptons!

East Quogue/Hampton Bays

When we first got engaged, my amazing aunt graciously offered us her Hamptons house over the summer so we could have a relaxing mini-trip during the craziness of wedding planning. We asked a few of our closest friends if they wanted to join us and, to no one’s surprise, they all said yes 🙂

It was a super easy weekend with lots of barbecuing and sitting by the pool. There was some evening exploring out in Hampton Bays and Southampton but we mostly stuck to the house and enjoyed each other’s company.

Alec and I started Saturday and Sunday mornings with a short run and Justin was glad that I had someone else to run with because I usually ask force him to join me. He gets a free pass for this weekend because of the surgery but he better be ready for some Hawaii running in three months!

Weather-wise, this was the best weekend we’ve had all “summer” and it has me crossing my fingers for all the fun weekends we have planned in the next few weeks. Bring me ALL the sunshine!

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Today is a special day – it’s the anniversary of me and Justin’s first date! Also, the REAL countdown starts now – 100 DAYS!

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These sure don’t feel like peak weeks…

First up, workouts from last week:

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I was dreading that 16 mile run. I’ve struggled with the 16 mile distance in the past. It’s my “hump” distance, if you will. Every distance above 16M essentially feels the same for me. 18M vs 20M? Not much difference in how I feel during/after… but the 16M training run is the first run where I feel a significant difference from any amount of lower mileage (even just from last Saturday’s 14 miles).

Last week was beyond exhausting for me at work and when Saturday morning rolled around, I struggled to get out of bed, to eat breakfast, to put on clothes, to do, well, anything. So yea, 16 miles felt impossible but I forced myself to be out the door and running by 9:30 (especially since I had a Halloween costume-making party to attend!).

Even with the exhaustion, those 16 miles were glorious. Central Park was beautiful and I felt so fantastic that I picked up my pace for the last 3 miles (and willingly included Harlem Hill in my 16th mile – am I crazy?!), finishing my run at my marathon pace time from last year.

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I’ll take it!

Peak weeks for Philadelphia Marathon:

Peak weeks of marathon training are known for a few key characteristics: high mileage, tired legs, complete and utter exhaustion, uncontrollable hunger, and rollercoaster emotions.

Technically speaking, I am “peaking” for the Philadelphia Marathon these next two weeks because I’ll be at my peak mileage. That being said, there are a few reasons I don’t feel like I’ve got two “peak weeks” coming up ahead of me.

Why this doesn’t feel like peaking:

  • I haven’t been “marathon training” all that long.
    • For 12 weeks I was only focused on the half marathon, took a break, and then started adding distance to my base.
  • My legs aren’t all that tired.
    • This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that I haven’t been “marathon training” for more than just a few weeks. I’m only running 2-3 times per week and with less intense workouts than if I were trying to PR this marathon.
  • I’m more tired from work than from running.
    • Running is actually taking up less mental space than work right now, something significantly different than during past marathon training cycles.
  • I’m not hungry any more so than usual.
    • Yea, my mileage is higher on the weekends but in terms of overall mileage, it’s not really a significant increase. It’s not like my grocery bill is going up $200 this month (yes, that happened last year).
  • I’m completely emotionally stable and marathon-anything doesn’t send me into a tearfest.
    • Well, not yet, anyway…

Here’s to 2 pain(and tear!)-free peak weeks! 

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Long runs & two things guaranteed to make runners scream.

First up, week 11 of NYCM training:

week 11 nycm

Conquering long runs:

My number one piece of advice for anyone nervous before their first really long run is to mentally split the run into sections.  When I hit my first 16 miler of this training cycle a few weeks ago, it helped to mentally split the run into 4 parts of 4 miles.  With the 18 mile Tune-Up in Central Park, once I calmed myself down, I mentally split the run into 3 loops and would only focus on the loop I was currently running.

This past weekend, I was set to cover 20 miles.  I’m always prepared to “mentally” split a run but when the opportunity is there to physically split it up, even better!

Sunday’s 20M:

  • Section 1: 1 mile warm-up
  • Section 2: 10 mile race (Bronx 10M)
  • Section 3: 9 miles back to Manhattan and around Central Park

The 1 mile warm-up barely registered, the 10 mile race was (obviously) exciting and when that was over, there was this feeling of only having 9 miles left. This made the 20 miles so much less daunting. I really love incorporating races into my long runs – see here from my 21 mile training run from 2011.

Also, I had great company:

Bronx 10M via jessdefilippo

Thanks to Jessica for the company and thanks to my lovely coach for introducing us!

Two things guaranteed to make runners scream:

During the Bronx 10M, I realized something… there are two guaranteed ways to get runners to scream during a race:

  1. Seeing the lead runners pass by on an out and back course.
  2. Running through a tunnel.

Runners are each others’ biggest supports so number 1 is no surprise. When those lead runners basically lap you, there’s no jealousy, only support. There’s clapping, there’s cheering, there’s all sorts of “whoo”ing.

But then number 2… what is it about running through a tunnel?! Why is it so much fun? Why does everyone feel the need to scream? The Bronx had a few tunnels throughout the course and without fail, runners “whoo”ed through every single one.  Okay, I whooed too. I don’t even know why. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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How do you mentally conquer long runs?

Do you scream going through tunnels? Any idea why it’s so darn fun?

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