2018 belated recap / 2019 Goals

Hello, it’s been a minute since updating the blog but i’ll look to update more often going forward.  Last we left our heroine, she was off to the Marine Corps Marathon last October.  Spoiler alert:  She survived the 10th marathon and 4th MCM overall.  Now that I’ve run 4 MCMs, I feel like i should run a 5th to round out my Marine Corps marathon career.  But not in 2019.    I will post my highlights from the 2018 MCM in a separate blog.  In short, I traveled to DC solo as the family was sick that weekend, but I still had a pretty good race.  I felt really good up through mile 20 but my stats would show i wasn’t going as fast as I felt.  Finished in 4:34 and am pretty happy with that time.  Maybe MCM 2020 will be my 5th and final.

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2018.  Pretty great year for running following a not so good 2017.  I ran 2 marathons last year, MCM and the Austin Marathon.   I loved them both.  MCM is comfortable, my 4th time running it, had my plan and just got it done.  Austin was a great trip back to UT where i got my graduate degree.  Fun going to all the old places and some new ones and the marathon course was pretty good.  Damn hilly but good.

I ran more than 1000 miles in 2018 y’all!  I met my goal to run 1000 miles last year, hitting 1000 just before the MCM at the end of October.  Read more about it here 

I ran some halfs (halves?) but never broke 2 hours.  Almost did at the Maine Half marathon in Portland, ME.  This was a first time race for me and the course was pretty flat to a little rolling.  I ran it with a friend and just couldn’t keep up with her after mile 12 but I’m happy with a 2 hr 1 minute finish.  2019 I’m hoping to break 2 hours.

What’s up for 2019?

2019 is off to a great start. I’m making this all about #9.      Run 9 races, read 9 books (not a big reader and already behind the pace on books, ugh!)  Run a sub-2 (1:59) half marathon.   You get the idea.   I am in for the Chicago Marathon on October 13th so official training starts soon.  This is my first Chicago so it will be exciting.   I am hoping it’s as flat as they say it is, after Austin i’m done with hilly marathons!  I don’t have a time goal but considering going for under 4 1/2 hours so 4:29, you get the idea with 9 is my theme this year!   2019 and also i turn 49. 😐

I’ve already completed a few of my 2019 goals and challenges to-date including running a sub-2 hour half marathon!  I’ve run two so far in sub-2 so i’m pretty excited.  I credit my overall fitness to the Taji 100 Challenge (run 100 miles during February) and also Orange Theory Fitness. I’ve been hitting OTF pretty regularly, at least 3-4 times a week.  It’s the one thing that will get me up and out of bed in the wee hours — the $12 cancellation fee if i no-show for class.   I ran the Shamrock Half in 1:59 and the Portsmouth Half in 1:58:39!   The shamrock half was a fluke, i was running along and half way through i realized i was running at a pretty good pace, from then I started making a dozen mental calculations as to whether i could make a sub-2.   The last mile is mostly downhill to the finish but i stopped to walk for just a bit.  Then ran like hell to the finish because i would have kicked myself if that last walk put me over 2!

I also finished an accidental run streak of 100 days of running on the heals of the Taji100.  I had already run every day in Feb and decided to keep going!   I can get a little OCD /obsessed with things but it was so satisfying to see all my Apple watch fitness circles filled in! Ran everyday from last week of January through May 5th.

Next Up the Wallis Sands Half Marathon this coming weekend.   I am wondering if i can 3-peat my sub-2 performance.  Last 2 outings i ate mac’n’cheese the night before the race.  Perhaps this is my new go-to/ lucky/ pre-race meal that will propel me to the finish! That and coffee.

More to follow as i kick off official Chicago training. See you out there, -Jenn

 

Boost your mood, help a vet!

Ah, want to boost your mood?  Be charitable, be grateful, give to others.  I have a great opportunity for you to help military veterans and families of the fallen through the Travis Manion foundation (see what i did there?)

This Sunday, 10/28, I will be running the Marine Corps marathon in Washington, D.C. and I am raising funds for Travis Manion.   Consider a donation of any amount to my fundraiser here.       https://donate.travismanion.org/jenn 

fundraising-meme

thank you for considering!

Follow my instagram for minute by minute marathon weekend updates.

– Jenn

5 days and $500 til MCM

This is it! Five days til the Marine Corps Marathon! In the past 2 weeks, I’ve been running a bit but also tapering a little more aggressively than maybe I should. And I’ve hit my 1000 miles in 2018 but first: 5 DAYS!!!!

So now that I’ve completed my training, I need to focus on my fundraising. I am running this Sunday to benefit the Travis Manion Foundation which supports veterans and families of the fallen. This MCM will be especially meaningful running for TMF. I am about 500 from my goal of $700. Please consider making a donation of any amount to my campaign. You can donate here: https://donate.travismanion.org/Jenn

Ideally I’d put some photos of me running on my page but all the TMF pages have this guy! I wonder what his time was. I hope to beat Oprah, she famously ran Marine Corps in 4:29. I’ve beat her before on this event. Let’s see about Sunday. Please donate!

1000 miles!!

This past week I hit my goal of running 1000 miles in 2018! My daughter said in the beginning “just run 10 miles a day for 100 days.” Yes, that would work mathematically but… I kept to 100 miles a month for the most part and having a goal did keep me motivated to run when otherwise I wouldn’t have. I joined the challenge through I love 2 run and got a finisher medal (coz I do love race bling).

Training Highlights

Last week I hit orange theory 3 days, most fun was Friday at 5:30pm and afterward I went to the cantina across the street for margaritas and tacos.

Sunday I ran 8 miles as my last long run. Check out this video that I filmed afterwards.

See you out there,

Jenn

Lucky week 13

Got off to a great start last week. Thought about going for a perfect week of exercise but Friday I just couldn’t rally. Saturday I was at the kids swim meet all day so we shall consider that a 2-day rest up for my 20-miler. My training plan is off from what I wanted to do but with two 20 milers done, I think I’ll be fine. I’ve been better trained and less trained before. This ain’t my first rodeo as they say.

This week’s baking challenge: none. We did not do any baking 😦

Here’s the training rundown

Planned/ actual miles: 27 / 32.8

I plan for 27 every week, I suppose I should change it for long run weeks. I do like beating my artificially low goal tho

Monday. Nice easy 5 miles on the treadmill after the Maine Half. Catching up on the Affair on showtime. Can I just say how can do much stuff happen to 1 person. It’s getting a little ridiculous in season 4.

Tuesday. Killer workout at Orange Theory. Top 5 highest calories. They changed the formula for the heart rate monitors that should (allegedly) help women achieve more calories burned or more accurate calorie count. I’ve always come in on the low side for calories and time in the “orange zone” (HR above 84% max) but I also have super low resting HR and blood pressure. It takes a lot to get into the zone. I should dig into the science more but for now just try and kill it when I’m at OTF.

Wednesday. Treadmill track workout. 10 x 400M intervals with 200M ish rest in between. The hardest part is keeping track how many I’ve done. I actually bring pen and paper on the treads.

Thursday. Note to self, don’t be late for the tornado. OTF sometimes has the tornado workout and I walked into it 10 mins late due to just losing track time at the office. In the tornado, you rotate every 1-3 minutes between treads, rowing and floor work. It’s fast switching or rotating, hence the name tornado. I got a pretty good workout once I got into the flow.

Friday and Saturday, OFF. Taking some rest days to handle my other life events and issues.

Sunday. The long run, 20 miles.

I drag my feet so much about the long run.  My best approach is to do it Saturday morning and get it over with as early in the weekend as possible.  this cuts down on the sense of dread, fretting about my outfit, planning the route and all that goes through my mind.  It’s true, i don’t love the long run but i did it, yay me!  I left the house and decided to do an out-n-back run from downtown.   I lean toward point to point from the house if i can get a ride home after.   There are fewer short cuts when i run from A to B than if i am doing a loop, i can always bail out and cut short the distance.

The weather was actually nice, some clouds moving in but 60s and i was fine in my tshirt.  I took the Camelbak again and this time i drained it by the time that i reached town.  Waves at the beach were high and alot of surfers out there (not pictured on this beach but they were a few miles back at another popular surf beach).

I’m feeling pretty ready for Marine Corps. This has been a decent training cycle and look, i even got my blog back up and running for my 3 followers and a few bots! Yay!

see you out there,

-Jenn

Week 12: Maine Half and Holy Donut

Marine corps marathon is getting close, y’all!  I managed to get in some good runs in this final week of September.  I have to do one more 20 miler next week to meet my goal of at least 2 runs above 20, but this week i scheduled the Maine Half marathon in Portland, Maine.   When i signed up, i had planned to run 20 miles the week before, but family commitments and events got in the way– but I already put the money down for the half so gotta go run it!   I’ll simply adjust my training plan, AGAIN, which now is a series of scratched out ‘aspirational’ distances for the weekly long run.   Coming off a lame week 11, I ran a total of 28.8 miles this week and continue to run consistently 2 out of 3 of my quality runs (tempo, track and long run).    Here’s a snap shot of this weeks stats.

Monday: OTF at 0530.  My usual Monday morning rude awakening at Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) with Kellie since our usual trainer Nate was off.

Tuesday OTF @ 0530 with the spouse!

Wednesday.  The weather was pretty nice so I decided to do my track workout down at the beach.  I ran 3 x 1 mile intervals with some walking break in between.  It was also Wear the Eagle Wednesday for my new Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue) so there you go.  I was excited i ran the mile intervals in 8:12 min miles or a little less when my target was 8:25.  I also saw this bunny.

Thursday.   I need to get another team RWB shirt!  Thursday I went to the first (?) Team RWB meet up at our local running store, Runner’s Alley in Portsmouth.  I met up with Sarah and we were the only 2 representing RWB.  A little colder night for a run but still nice.   Got dark by 7pm and almost had to break out the headlamp.

Friday. Off, rested or was just too lazy to do anything.

Saturday I decided to go to OTF on the spur of the moment and actually got in a really tough workout.   I rarely get over 400 calories per the heart rate monitor but i really killed it this time.   Probably not the best approach for the day before the half marathon.

Sunday Maine Half Marathon!   I drove with a friend up to Portland, ME, about an hour drive to run the Maine Half.  They run a Full, half and a relay on the same out and back course.   This was my first Maine half and it was pretty good. I picked it because it was reasonably close and cheaper than the Smuttynose or BAA Boston Half marathons.   The amenities are pretty basic, and one negative was the porta potties (some) did not have toilet paper!   But you got a tshirt and a free can of B&M baked beans – their plant is in South portland i guess.    I started the race not planning to really race, and to just take it easy but i was going along at a pretty good pace.   We were keeping up with the 2 hour pacer much of the way.  At about mile 11 I started to fade.  My friend finished in 1:59 and I got 2:01:09 which is still a PR for me for the last 5 years!   My half PR is 1:52 from 2013 but I don’t know if i’ll ever get back to that pace.    I wore my RWB shirt and got some shout outs from other Eagles.  Met a guy from NY who is running a half in every state.  That seems like a cool goal, but there are some states that I just don’t want to visit (sorry North Dakota).   I really need to invest in a 2nd RWB shirt with all the wear so far.

After the race we went to the Holy Donut, a popular donut shop with 3 locations around Portland.  We had to wait in line outside before we could even get into the place.  I got a half dozen gluten free donuts, which the family liked.  I would definitely go back.

On to October and the final weeks of training for Marine corps!

see you out there<
– Jenn

Week 11: Popovers and time off

Following my 20 mile run on 9/16, I took a lot of time off from running last week (9/17-9/23).  It was due to needing some rest but also a lot of family events and commitments on the weekend.  For the gluten free baking challenge for the week, we made popovers and tried a new recipe for chocolate cake.   Total mileage for the week was only 13.1 miles and no long run.    I ran the tempo and track runs and went to Orange Theory twice.   Friday, Saturday and Sunday I took off and I feel more rested this week for sure.  Having hit 20 the week prior, I don’t think this will impact my overall fitness too much.  Trying to get back on track this week after over eating pretty much all weekend.

Planned / Actual miles:   27 / 13.1

Tuesday.
Orange theory workout with my pal John which was actually a pretty hard workout.  I don’t usually get over 400 calories burned but I did today.   We also made popovers with dinner.  The recipe is surprisingly easy; it is essentially eggs, flour and butter poured into a hot pan and baked for about 30 minutes.  Ours did not pop up as much as some that we get at a local bakery–aptly named Popovers–but we figure they must be experts since the place is called Popovers.   Next time i would bake them a little longer, which is becoming a frequent bit of feedback: slightly under baked.  What would Paul Hollywood say on Great British Baking Show?   For one, they call popovers “yorkshire puddings” i believe.  We used the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring – 2nd edition.

Wednesday.
Track workout on the treadmill.

Thursday.
Double fun.   Orange Theory in the morning with Kellie before work and then I went to the Team RWB meet up at our local running store in Manchester, NH.   I did a 5 mile run with the group which counted as my tempo run for the week.    The run was fun but it was in the downtown area with a LOT of busy streets to cross for the first 2 miles.  This week I am going to meet up closer to home in Portsmouth for the Thursday night run.   I work in Manchester, so evening runs there are an option.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Nothing but cake.
No workouts on the extended weekend and I ate too much cake.   We made a new gf chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious.  We have a chocolate and zucchini cake recipe that we like but we had no zucchini this time.   This recipe will be our new go-to chocolate cake recipe.  Our backup  / runner up is gf chocolate cake mix from King Arthur Flour Company which you can buy locally or via mail order.   We also made homemade buttercream frosting.  Here’s a pic!

Hope to get more mileage and workouts this week! See you out there.

-Jenn

Week 10: Last, last week tonight!

Very late with this update from 2 weeks ago but Week 10 went pretty great!   The highlight was running the Old Glory Relay with Team Red, White & Blue (RWB) on 9/11.   The OGR will run/walk/bike the flag from Boston to San Diego from 9/11 and ending on the West Coast on 11/11 – Veteran’s Day.  I recently joined Team RWB in Manchester, NH and this was my first event with them.  It was a great day and I met a lot of great runners and veterans from New England and the national Team RWB.  The relay is still going on and you can support Team RWB at Team RWB

Monday.  OTF workout.

Tuesday.  Old Glory Run Boston!  The OGR kicked off with a small gathering at Fenway park in Boston on 9/11.  Team RWB and the sponsors said a few words and then the flag was off and running (or walking or biking).   I jumped in the car and headed to leg 5 transition point in Roslindale.  I waited around for a while and then another team RWB member came running along.  I got the flag and ran leg 5 and 6 through Roslindale.   I didn’t know the route and there were a lot of turns, so i wrote the turns on my arm – poor man’s GPS tracking app!  They had the route on a biking app called Ride, but you had to pay $60 to get turn by turn directions, hence the low budget but effective Sharpie options!  After a quick stop at Starbucks to refuel (I was starving having driven down to Boston at 0500 to make it to the kickoff by sun up), we drove over to Walpole and I ran leg 16.  The relay support folks leap frog from transition point to the next.  They snapped this great picture of me where i almost look like I’m running and the flag is perfectly flying behind me!   The relay continued on to Providence, Rhode Island that afternoon and then on from there the next day.  They run during daylight hours for the next 62 days ending in San Diego on Veteran’s day, 11/11/18.

 

Thursday.
Orange Theory.  I hate it when I just barely miss 400 calories!  I was working hard though and got 1 point in the ‘red zone’ that was legit (and not the heart monitor going haywire, which often explains my time in the “red zone”!)

Foggy Friday run.  My plan called for a 10 mile tempo run but i managed to run 7.7 foggy miles.   I finished my latest book on tape (audio file from the library) so that was a plus.

Sunday long run, 20 miles and no fog!  So I decided to go for it on my long run and go for 20 miles.  I didn’t realize it would turn out to be a beautiful day, I left the house without my sunglasses but glad that i ran back in to grab them.  I actually got a little sunburn and temps were pushing 80F after a cool and foggy weekend to that point.  I also hit 900 miles this year with this run so that is pretty exciting.    I’ll hit 1000 in early October.

see you out there,

-Jenn