From the Little Acorn to the Big Apple

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Marathon Tune-Up September 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 12:27 pm

Yesterday was the 18-mile ING Marathon Tune-Up in the park. I am so happy that after yesterday my next long run is the marathon! I am so pumped!

The run yesterday was extremely difficult. First of all, I had taken 2 days off of work last week because I was sick, so was still not feeling 100% but knew I had to get this run in. Second, it was POURING rain. I was soaked within the first few minutes of leaving my apartment.  I couldn’t believe it when my alarm went off at 5:45 and I had to be out the door at 6am in this horrible weather, I kept thinking to myself “Why am I doing this?!?!” Luckily I had laid everything out the night before and had mentally prepared myself to be running in the rain. The last time the forecast predicted rain it barely drizzled, but yesterday I was not so lucky.

I actually had to do a 20-mile training run so I decided to jog 2 miles to the race. It was PITCH black when I left my apartment and I was kind of nervous to be running through the park at this hour. I ran into a few other people on my run to the park so I wasn’t alone. I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the 3.5 hours I had ahead of me to run.. and my first comment to one of the other runners was ” This rain totally sucks!” I was surprised at how positive his response was when he said “At least we’ve trained in the worst conditions possible!” which was very true… better to have a terrible training run through the rain than your actual marathon.

I was pretty intimidated because everyone at this race had obviously run in multiple marathons before. It seemed like everyone had a running partner or some kind of running group they were with that it was kind of lonely being there by myself! I just kept telling myself that this was just a training run, I did 18 last weekend and can easily do 20 today.

I only have one word for the run itself… Wet. There was not a dry inch on my entire body. I also made the mistake of wearing light green shorts that I had no idea became transparent when they get wet…Although after running 12 miles knowing I still had 8 to go, this was the least of my worries.  In the end, the run was great. I am definitely hurting this morning, slightly concerned about the pain in my right knee, ankle and hip… but am so glad I did it. It was at the top for the hardest runs of my life and now I’m totally psyched for the marathon! I can’t wait for the day when all of my hard work will pay off and to see my family and friends along the way! I ended up finishing the 18 miles in 3:13:00. Not too shabby. Last weekend we ran 18 in about 3 hours so I was pleased with this considered the weather. With the 2 extra miles (actually 2.5!) my total time running was 3 hours 31 min. I am aiming to complete the marathon in 4:30-4:45 and feel pretty confident that I can make it in my goal time!

This week I begin tapering. I’m going to try to run almost every day, even if it’s just 2-3 miles. This weekend I plan to run 10-12 miles at very easy pace. I’m going to do as much stretching and yoga as possible. Hopefully my right leg will feel better in the next few days… These long runs have definitely put a strain on my knees, ankles and hips. I’m glad my training hasn’t been very long because I probably wouldn’t be able to walk by now! I’m also hoping my shoes start to dry out over these next few days. As of last night they were still completely soaked! My feet were pruny when I took off my shoes, gross!


18 miles. September 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 2:09 pm

Well, I did it, I actually ran 18 miles! I am seriously so proud of myself! I feel great about the race in a few weeks!! I had talked to Megan about running together this weekend but she had planned to run the Queens half on Sunday so I knew I would be on my own. Well, I was totally psyched when she emailed me on Friday saying she had changed her mind and was running with another friend instead of the race. I’ve felt like I’ve been coming down with something the last few days so I’m glad that I was meeting someone to run because I have a feeling I would have bailed. (now I am definitely sick so maybe that wasn’t the best idea.. )

I met Megan at 7am at her apartment on the east side, she had planned to run 12 miles and her friend who was joining was planning to run 20 miles. I was totally psyched knowing I would have someone to run with the whole way.

We started running down the east river all the way to Battery Park then back up the Hudson River to 72nd St. where we crossed over into the park. The weather was perfect the whole way and I felt pretty good. We ran about a 9:30 pace the whole way which a bit faster than I had planned but I was happy that I was able to keep up.  My legs definitely tightened up a bit after mile 12 but I felt really good the whole time. I finished my run in just over 3 hours. I still cannot believe I did it! Having people to chat with the whole time made a world of difference. I cannot imagine doing it on my own. I am a little nervous because they were both experienced marathon runners and were a bit surprised that I had such a short time to train – but i’d say it’s a bit too late now!

I was browsing the NYRR website and saw that they have a tune-up run for runners participating in the marathon. It’s basically an 18 mile training run with water stops and other people to encourage you! It’s $35 which I’m not too happy about but I think it will definitely be worth it. This is my last training run before the race and I need to stick with it the whole time!


Training Progress. September 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 12:41 pm

This week of training has been great! I’ve had to work a little harder to keep myself motivated, but of course once I’m out the door running I feel fine.

On Saturday morning I met up with one of my friends Megan for a long run in the park. My training plan called for 15 and Megan was going to join for the first 10. All week the forecast called for rain and the sky looked pretty daunting when I woke up at 6:00 to meet Megan at 7.  I know I would have bailed had I not had someone there waiting for me, so I’m so glad I stuck with it! I was prepared for down pours but the rain actually held off for most of our run and only sprinkled for a few minutes. I loved using my garmin and being able to keep track of our mileage and pace. Around mile 9, the area from my knee to hip really started to hurt to the point where I didn’t know if I should keep running. Megan finished her run at mile 10 and I was supposed to carry on for 5 more miles but I had a really hard time now that I didn’t have a running partner! I stopped to stretch my hip because the pain was getting more intense.  Nolan was running a race that morning so by the time we finished the 10 miles, his race was about to begin. I jogged up to the section of the park I told him I would be waiting and decided it would be best to stop my run there. I ended up running about 11.5 miles which I was not too pleased about but it is better than nothing.  My hip hurt like crazy for the rest of the day and I did my best to stretch it out although I didn’t find a good stretch because the pain felt different from muscle pain. I took it easy the rest of the day and when I woke up on Sunday I felt fine! Maybe it was for the best that I didn’t finish the run and hurt myself further!

I am pretty nervous because I have never run more than 13 miles and have only 2 more long training runs before the marathon. Although I know I am running just to reach the finish line, I want to do the best I can! I’m not setting my goals too high because I know I haven’t had adequate time to train as much as I’d hoped, so I am going to just have fun and do my best not to injure myself. I have 18 miles planned for Sunday which I am going to do my best to complete. 

This week I ran 3.5 miles on Tuesday night and 5 miles last night. After work I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was run. I gave myself a little pep talk that I would be able to rest as much as I wanted to after the marathon and that any run I do now will only make me stronger, so I threw my shoes on and was out the door within 2 minutes. I had initially set out to do 3 miles but once I got out there I knew I could do more and set my max distance to 5 miles. For some reason I felt like pushing myself (maybe to get it over faster?) and took of running an 8:30 mile. I typically stay between a 9-10 min mile so this was much faster than I was used to. Surprisingly, I felt great! I was able to keep this pace until my turn around spot at 2.5 miles. The way back was much harder – I was running against the wind and knew that I had not fueled properly for my run. I need to remember that my body handles 5-6 mile runs much differently than 3 miles and I could tell right at the 3 mile mark that my body was dying for water and I was starving for dinner. I still pushed myself to about mile 4 and took a short walk break then ran my normal pace back home. Even with my walk break I still managed to run 5 miles in under 45 minutes! I was so excited! It felt like my workout was over in 15 minutes and I couldn’t believe I had gone that far. 

I always say that my pace is 10 minute miles but that is because I think I can only go that fast, well last night I definitely proved myself wrong! I think I have been underestimating my running ability and not pushing myself as hard a I could be. Obviously, on longer runs I am not going to push myself for so long at this pace but it definitely makes a difference. I was sweating like crazy and totally exhausted last night after my run which was such a great feeling! It definitely pumped me up for this marathon and now I can’t wait for my run on Sunday!


Garmin 305! September 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:34 pm



I completely forgot to mention in my last post that I just purchased a brand new Garmin 305! I am SO SO excited. I figure that now that I’m doing such long runs, measuring my distance other than on is going to be very important!

Most of the time, I keep track in my head of the # of blocks I run (20 blocks= 1 mile) which is definitely not the most efficient but has been pretty accurate so far. I also consider that 10 minutes = 1 mile but lately I think I’ve been picking up speed (!!) because once I have come home and mapped my route it has been slightly less than a mile.

This marathon is most definitely not about speed, but simply reaching the finish line. However, while training I want to do the best I can and I’ve heard such great things about the Garmin, I’m excited to finally have a reason to use one!

I have loved my Polar HRM that I’ve been using for the past year, but am ready to move on to something with GPS and more detailed readings. I typically don’t wear the chest strap because with a sports bra AND built in bra top it can be just too much, so hopefully this one will be comfortable enough for me to wear every time!


12 miles.

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 6:26 pm

This past Saturday I tackled my first long training run of 12 miles.  I’m surprised at how well it went! Even though we went out on Friday night, I took it easy knowing that any small amount of alcohol I put into my system would definitely affect how I felt on my run. I woke up at 5:45, as we had to be on the train to CT at 9:45, and ate my traditional pre-run fuel of a waffle with pb and banana. I tried to drink as much water as possible all day Friday, because there is only so much water you can drink right before a run before you have to go to the bathroom half way through!

I had to wait around a little bit because it was PITCH BLACK when I woke up. Although along the river is pretty safe at that time, the 4-minute walk to the river is through a well known homeless hang out… I don’t know what those people are up to at 6am so I figured it would be best to walk with as much light as possible. I took advantage of this time to stretch a bit before I headed out and made it safely to the path along the river.

The run itself was very uneventful… I didn’t want to stray too far away from my apartment at such an early hour so I ran south along the river for 3 miles (well 30 minutes.. I still don’t have a watch that measures distance) and back, then 3 miles north along the river and back. It went by pretty quickly and I zoned out to the music and occasionally caught myself singing outloud, luckily there were very few people out at this house so I wasn’t too concerned.

I got home, tried to stretch for as long as I could then hustled to get ready to catch the train. I felt slightly dehydrated afterwards, I don’t think I was drinking enough water throughout my run. I bought a new fuel belt (which I will review soon) but I definitely wasn’t drinking as much as I should have. I felt properly fueled even after my run and wasn’t as hungry as I thought. I always feel extreme tightness in my hips after long runs and need to focus on stretching for as long as possible. I even set my kitchen timer to make sure I’m giving myself enough time to stretch – the last thing I need is to be injured for this marathon!

I felt fine all day Saturday and even managed to dance the night away all night at a wedding, yet was absolutely DEAD tired the rest of the weekend. Sunday I could barely get out of bed, which is unusual for me considering I’m a morning person. I napped twice on Sunday and went to bed at 9:30. Yesterday I napped for 3 HOURS at Nolan’s parents house and went to bed at 9:00 last night…  I think I am FINALLY caught up on my sleep. This makes me realize that I need to give myself proper rest time after a long run and not plan too much on that day.

My body was so stiff and sore after the run that I could barely move. I did get out for a quick run/walk on Sunday morning. I didn’t even wear a watch or know how far I went because I was in Nolan’s parents neighborhood, but it was just what I needed to get my body moving again. I feel 100% this morning and am now scheduling all of my run’s for the rest of the week. I am keeping track of my weekly mileage and not increasing by more than the recommended 10%.  So this past week:

Monday: 6 Miles

Wed: 3 Miles

Saturday: 12 Miles

Total: 21

So this week I am going to shoot for no more than 23. With my 15 mile run planned for Saturday, I need to run 8 miles before the weekend. Easy!


Gluten Free September 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 2:32 pm

One thing that I’ve never shared on the blog before is that I maintain a gluten free diet. I’ve noticed a lot of other blogs addressing it, and saw this article yesterday about a woman training for a marathon while sticking to a gluten free diet and I found it interesting enough to share.

I have definitely noticed a difference in my training since going gluten free about 6 months ago. Although now I feel 100 times better than I did before going gf, it adds a whole new element to race training.  As most of us know, carbs are a very important source of energy and I cannot eat a majority of the easy, go-to carbs like pasta, bread, bagels, etc.  I am very lucky that I live in the city close to a lot of health food stores that offer gf-varieties of these foods, however they are significantly more expensive.

I was aware of my gluten intolerance in high school, but didn’t have the will power while I was at college to stay away from beer, pizza and the endless cookies at the dining hall buffets.  Now that I cook for myself nearly every day, it’s much easier to maintain this diet. Social events are definitely much more different when I am not in control of the food available, but I’ve gotten the hang of what I can and cannot eat.  Always being prepared with my own snack has saved me in many of these situations.  Luckily, most of the energy gu’s and gummy snacks are gluten free – and I’ve found gf-substitutes for my favorite pre-run fuel of waffles with pb and a banana. My favorite line of gf food is Nature’s path. These waffles are the best! I even gave them to my sister and she had no idea they were gf until I told her!

 I need to be extra concious that I am getting enough calories while training for the marathon in October (!!!). I’ve never officially counted my calories for a day (something I should do) but I’m guessing I am between 1600-1800/day.  I plan to run 13 miles tomorrow morning so need to keep that in mind while fueling for the rest of the day.  Not only has this new diet made me feel much better, but I know I am eating much healthier now that I can’t mindlessly snack on cookies or other ’empty’ foods at work.  A lot of thought and planning goes into each meal that I eat which allows me to make sure that I’m putting healthy food that will fuel me efficiently through my next meal. So even though this is off the normal topic of running, your diet is such a crucial part of training and being gf has been a huge adjustment that I wanted to share it!



What?? A Marathon?!? September 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — flavprice @ 1:37 pm

I have made the exciting decision to run in the Hartford Marathon! The only thing is, it is on October 10th.. a little more than a month away. While I was on vacation the week after my half marathon, I was talking to one of our friends about the next race I wanted to run. I have always said I would never run a marathon,  it seems like way too far of a distance for a person to run and takes such a toll on your body.  I have always been so intimidated by marathons that I never imagined I’d make the decision to run in one.. let alone a few weeks after a half.

Well, Jen made a good point that I was already half way through the training. She also works for a non profit, Jocelyn’s Run, which has a team participating in the marathon that I could join and raise money for the cause by running the race. I figured, why not?! This time it’s not about beating a time, it’s simply accomplishing a goal I have set for myself that I once thought was impossible.

I’m really excited about it! I’m not going to take it easy training so I don’t injure myself. I’m planning to do a few shorter runs  (3-7 miles) twice a week followed by longer runs on the weekends. Considering I didn’t train too intensely for this last half, I don’t want to overdo it. I’m thinking about doing 12, 15, 18, 20 mile runs over the next 4 weekends, then taking it easy the weekend before the race. I’m not going for record timing, I just don’t want to hit a wall at 13 miles knowing I am only half way done! The Hartford course looks great. It’s 2, 13.1 mile loops of the same course – which sounds much better than the NY marathon where you’re running 26.2 straight miles. 

I’m going to admit that I am really nervous.. especially the fact that I’m running the race by myself. The past few races I’ve run I’ve started off with another person. I also hope that I can reach my fundraising goal! I’m shooting for $700 which I should hopefully be able to raise in these next few weeks.  I’ve started a fundraising page and have already raised $110 thanks to some very generous donors 🙂  I’m also going to be good about tracking my training to keep myself motivated and monitor my

I started my training with a nice slow 6.5 mile run. As I’ve said before, I LOVE running along the Hudson. I feel like I could run forever. This time, I went north up to 125th street, this will be great on long runs because I can go as far as I want – all the way to the GW Bridge! This cool weather will be great for training, fall is definitely my favorite season! I’m doing my best not to be too intimidated by the marathon, I’ve registered so there’s no turning back! Everyone has already been so supportive so I can’t wait for race day to be here!!