Philadelphia Marathon Training Week #9

September 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Weekly recap of activity:

  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – None
  • Wednesday – 3 mile run
  • Thursday – 7 mile run
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – None
  • Sunday – 10 mile run

So this is obviously one of the least active weeks I have had in a while.  No yoga at all and I skipped a 4 mile run.  In part I think it was a bit difficult to motivate myself after last Sunday’s half-marathon, though it was also a super busy week for me.  I had to be in New Jersey on Friday and Saturday to prepare for and attend the bridal shower of my brother’s fiancée, Nicole.  Here I was asked questions like “How long is a marathon?” more times than you can imagine.  I guess I should not assume this is common knowledge.

I was glad that this week’s long run was only 10 miles (so weird to use the word ‘only’ followed by ’10 miles’).  I had an event to attend on Sunday so I decided to run down to Kelly Drive to eliminate the time it would take to get public transportation.  I left around 7:30AM and I felt horrible during the first couple of miles.  I really was questioning how far I would even make it.  My shorter 3 mile and 7 mile runs earlier in the week felt great, so this was rather upsetting.  However, once I got onto the loop I was feeling pretty good.  I decided to just go out as far as I needed to and back on the loop vs. going out and back and then running home to complete the run.  For some reason running home as part of the run made it seem far less appealing mentally.  My stomach was really bothering me about halfway through and this had to be because of how poorly I ate and hydrated while I was in New Jersey.  I luckily did not have this issue during the half marathon, but of course I treated my body far better the week before.  I stopped at mile when I had the chance 7 and felt fine after that.  So in the end the run was a pretty good one.   I clocked in at 1:39:12 including the times I had to stop for lights/cars on the way there and back and the bathroom stop.  My pace was pretty even as well.  It has been a lot of fun to see myself become a better runner throughout all of this training.  Makes me excited for what is yet to come!

Plans for this week include a long run of 15 miles on Friday and the Dogfish Dash 10K at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE on Sunday.  I am super excited for the Dogfish Dash for the obvious beer-related reasons, but it will also be my first official 10K so I am eager to see how I will do.  My goal is just to finish under 60 minutes.  Then of course I’d like to drink some 60 Minute IPA…or whatever I can get my hands on.


Philadelphia Marathon Training Week #7

September 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

Weekly recap of activity:

  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday – 6 mile run
  • Thursday – 4 mile run
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Sunday – 12 mile run

Fall race season is here!  I mostly had a pretty decent week of training though I must say that some of the runs earlier in the week were a bit of a struggle, particularly Wednesday’s 6 miler.  I did that run in the morning and the humidity was still insane.  But luckily a storm blew through on Saturday and suddenly it actually feels a bit like fall!

I didn’t get out to do my long run until about 5:30PM on Sunday night.  Friday night I went out and had a great time, which also means I was in no shape to run on Saturday morning.  Given that Saturday morning was also terribly humid I didn’t really mind this and went to yoga instead.  Let’s just say I’m becoming a pro at hungover yoga and it helped me feel a bit more human again.  Later in the afternoon I went to a party of a friend from a group I run with which lasted into the evening  and then turned into going out to a couple other places.  I did abstain from drinking hoping my body would forgive me some and rehydrate, but my food consumption was rather terrible as there was so much great food to be had.

Anyway, standing (with a bit of late night dancing thrown in) almost all day/night on Saturday made for some very tired legs.  When I woke up early on Sunday morning I just couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed and run.  I felt like my legs would just be way too tired and that it would be a bust.  Which was a shame because the weather seemed absolutely perfect.  I wasn’t even sure if I was going to get this run in on Sunday at all.  Part of me was leaning toward just resting on Sunday and heading out Monday morning.  But I knew that it was in my best interest to just get out there and go, so that is what I did.

I had 12 miles on the agenda, my longest distance run to-date as I had previously only run 10 miles on a couple of occasions.  So naturally the new territory made me a bit nervous.  I planned on running the entire Kelly Drive loop and then up and back a bit more.  I brought some watered-down Gatorade, Clif Shot Bloks, and Sport Beans with me and had two of the Shot Bloks and about 4 Sport Beans around both mile 4 and mile 8.  They especially seemed to help this time around and I felt more energized and able after eating them on both occasions.  While I started the run off with doubts, by the 4th or 5th mile I started to feel really strong and 12 miles were soon complete.

I steadily and consistently the entire way and felt pretty strong, with one exception – my stomach.  I am not sure I could have made it much further at all without stopping.  It pretty much hit ’emergency’ status toward the end and I made sure that I would finish up right near the ever-so-nasty public restrooms by the start of the loop.  Not that it mattered how nasty they were…

So at this point I am 100% confident that I can do well at the half-marathon and achieve my goal of a time under 2:15 if I don’t have any kind of major digestive system issues that cause me to have to stop.  Which means I really need to begin to focus on what I am eating and drinking this weekend as I still don’t know what the main culprit is.  This is because I have put not effort into even trying to figure that out.  And if I want to run strong I need to figure this out.  While I know it won’t happen before Sunday’s race, I hope that by upping my water intake, lowering my beer intake (insert sad face) and eating a more low-fat, low-fiber, higher carb diet with perhaps some emphasis on limiting dairy almost completely that I can offset some of this.

Philadelphia Marathon Training Week #6

September 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Weekly recap of activity:

  • Monday – 1.25 mile run
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday – None
  • Thursday – 4.4 mile run
  • Friday – 2.68 mile run
  • Saturday – 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Sunday – 7 mile run

Well this is late.  Seems like I’m moving rather slowly with everything lately.  I have been in a bit of an odd state of mind lately and Labor Day weekend was filled with socializing and activity that was perhaps done in an attempt to escape from that for a bit.  I got in all 18 miles that were a part of my training plan last week, though a bit more split up than I would have liked (I also ran a few more additional miles that weren’t tracked when taking part in a few volunteer activities).  I was just not really into the idea of running last week (seems as if eating and drinking everything was a bigger part of the agenda), but it did make me feel good to know I at least squeezed everything in.  Even if that meant my weekend long run (as I mentioned last week it was a “stepback” week) took place at 7:30PM on a Sunday night.

Hopefully with September the humidity here will finally die, but as of now it is just as bad as it has been all summer.  I have my 12 mile long run this weekend, which I am both nervous and excited about.  Then the weekend after is the half marathon!  So of course I am now coming to realize that I really need to start preparing my body and mind better, especially once the half is over and I start focusing on 26.2 miles.

Philadelphia Marathon Training Week #5

August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Weekly recap of activity:

  • Monday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Tuesday – 3 mile run
  • Wednesday – 5 mile run
  • Thursday – None
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 10 mile run
  • Sunday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class

Last week marked successful completion of week #5 of marathon training!  Of course I began a half marathon training plan 4 weeks prior to that, so to me it seems like it has been twice as long.  Since I am a newer runner I am really glad I started scheduled training runs back then though because I think building up more of a base has been a benefit to me.

Anyway, this week both my 3 and 5 mile runs felt rather sluggish.  I think the trail running the Sunday before left my calve especially sore.  Yoga on Monday helped a bit, but I felt a bit rough.  I ended up skipping my other scheduled short run of 3 miles.  While I always feel rather lazy if I skip a planned run, I think it was a good call in the end.

Saturday morning I left around 7AM to catch the trolley and get my scheduled 10 miles in.  This would be my first 10 mile run since the Broad Street Run in May.  After last Saturday’s 9 mile run that I kind of struggled through I was a bit nervous, but hoping this would be a good one.  Turned out it was!

I ended up finishing with exactly a 10 min/mile average pace, which is fairly on target for me at that distance.  However the run felt so much better than last week’s 9 mile run.  I ran pretty strong the entire time and used my experience last week to help get me through this week quite easily.  It kind of made me realize how important the ‘bad’ runs really are since it was kind of nice to be able to say to myself “Hey, this feels so much better than last week and you finished that run, so there is no reason why you can’t finish this one!”

My splits did surprise me a bit however, because I felt that I went out slower and it turned out to be my fastest mile by far.  I have been trying not to really look much at my Garmin while running because at this point in my training I really am just focused on getting the miles in at a comfortable, yet goal oriented, pace.  I have alerts set for the miles so I try to just glance at it then.  But I would like to somewhat attempt negative splits  and obviously my sense of pace is still a bit off.  I am happy with my splits in general though, because to me at this point in my running they seem fairly even.  At mile 5 I slowed down for a short time to open a pack of of Clif Shot Bloks, which I tried out for the first time.  I had two then and one more at mile 8.

The only negative thing about this run is that my stomach felt way more upset than usual afterward.  I don’t think it was the Shot Bloks.  Well, they definitely wouldn’t be the only culprit.  I really think I need to get more serious about both hydration and what I am eating during the week, which I hope to expand on in further posts.

This week is a ‘stepback’ week, so my long run will only be 7 miles and my total mileage will be  around 18 miles (same as this week due to skipping the one 3 mile run).  Hard to believe that after that I only have one more long run until the half marathon.  So excited for fall race season to begin!

Weekly Recap

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Tuesday – 3.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Wednesday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog, 2 mile run
  • Thursday – 1.3 mile run to meet up with running group, 2.2 mile run with running group, 0.66 run home from bus
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 2.5 hour yoga workshop
  • Sunday – 5.0 mile run

I tried to add in more yoga this week, including a workshop!  The runs were mostly what was called for in my training plan.

Most memorable event of the week: The yoga workshop I attended on Saturday was great (and is so far the only thing I can cross off my summer bucket list)!  It was called “Hands to Earth” and it focused on arm balances mostly with a bit of inversion practice.  This is where I am looking to evolve my practice the most as it has not been until recently that I have even been very capable of getting off the ground.  The workshop was taught by John Vitarelli of Dhyana Yoga and emphasized proper forms of chaturanga, upward dog, and downward dog as being the basis of any arm balance or inversion.  So of course this workshop was rather intense!  I definitely have never stayed in chaturanga for such a long time in my life.  Aside from the progress in more commonly performed arm balances like crow and firefly, I got to see some progress in others that are less likely to be thrown into the normal vinyasa flow class.  We did eka pada bakasana II and it felt amazing to find that I could actually go up into it and stay!  So amazing that I have just been doing it randomly around my apartment ever since.

Best thing I ate: I have been preparing meals a lot at home, but haven’t had the desire to prepare much so hardly anything seems to stick out.  Boring.

Best thing I drank: I went to a bottle share hosted by Philly Beer Scene and Philly Tap Finder and got to have tastes of many great beers.  I was pretty nervous about going as I really did not know anyone who would be there and I feel at beer events people kind of stick to who they know.  Then again it also tends to be heavy on the male presence, not that there weren’t some females there, but I just always feel a bit odd when I’m so in the minority.  Admittedly, I’m terrible at striking up a conversation with others and as much as I said to myself I would try I felt a little overwhelmed.  I realize this is turning into a story of my social awkwardness rather than a recap of the best thing that I drank.  Ah well.  Anyway, everyone brought some really great stuff, much of which you can’t find here in PA and/or stuff that has been cellared and held onto for a while.  I used to buy far more bottled beer and share it with others in the past, but lately I don’t really know anyone who is into it anymore so it was a great way to get to do something like that again.  There are talks of this being an ongoing even so hopefully I will participate in more in the future.  Here is a photo of some of the aftermath (I really need to get better with this photo thing, and blogging in general):

Weekly Recap

July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – 1.5 mile run/walk with a shelter dog, 2.5 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Wednesday – None
  • Thursday – 0.72 mile run to meet up with people, 2.48 mile run with group
  • Friday – 1 mile run/walk with shelter dog
  • Saturday – None
  • Sunday – 4.0 mile run, 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class

Pretty similar to last week, though the heat switched things around a bit.  Felt ok with the runs I did get in though and the mileage ended up being what was needed in the end.  Again I have been feeling so strong in yoga class.  Such a wonderful feeling that I need more of.

Most memorable event of the week: Not something positive or that I really want to share.  I am struggling with interpersonal stuff lately and just need to let go of it.  Still in a funk and I feel as if I have little control over getting out, though that probably isn’t the case.

Best thing I ate: The Farmer’s Dog, which is a current special at The Hot Diggity. Description from the website: “The Xnipec Dog! Featuring all locally and organically grown Rainbow Chard, Xnipec (Mayan Salsa), Oregano Sour Cream, and Podding Radishes from Green Meadow Farms in Lancaster Co.”  It was as great as it sounds and looks!

Best thing I drank:  On the 4th of July I went out to TJ’s in Paoli where they were featuring several Hill Farmstead beers on tap.  I got to enjoy the Double Citra, Harlan, Nor, and Edward.  Double Citra was probably my favorite, though I always enjoy every beer I have by them.  I had tried the regular Citra before and the double definitely did not disappoint.


Weekly Recap

July 1, 2012 § Leave a comment


  • Monday – None
  • Tuesday – 3.0 mile run, 90 minute vinyasa flow yoga class
  • Wednesday – 2.0 mile run
  • Thursday – 2.0 mile run
  • Friday – None
  • Saturday – 4.0 mile run
  • Sunday – 3.0 mile run, 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga class

I felt very strong this week in terms of activity.  As I said on Friday, I began training for the Philadelphia Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon this week.  I felt fairly strong running despite the intense heat aside from Thursday, when I stopped my planned 3 mile run at 2 miles.  I did not have a run planned for today, but just really needed to get out of my head and went out for a late one.  The two yoga classes I attended this week were amazing.  My practice has grown so much this year and my body has changed in so many amazing ways.  I felt so incredibly strong while practicing this week.  If only I could really transfer that feeling of strength into the rest of my life.  Emotionally I am really struggling, mostly due to loneliness and fear of the future which I know I need to let go of.

Most memorable event of the week:  Again this was a pretty low week in many ways.  I had a hard time coming up with motivation to do much of anything.  How I felt at times when practicing yoga and running were probably the most memorable moments of my week.

Best thing I ate: I went to Memphis Taproom on Thursday to catch the Euro Cup semi-final.  I love Italian football/soccer.  While Italy surprisingly defeated Germany on Thursday, they of course lost to Spain yesterday in the final.  Rather young team for Italy however and Spain is quite the powerhouse, so it was good to see them go that far despite a poor performance in the finals.  Anyway, Memphis Taproom is my favorite place to go to in the general area that I live for both great food and great beer.  Also, I just feel really comfortable there.  I wish it were within more of a walking distance (it is well over a mile away), though I do walk to and from on occasion.  I usually have a difficult time not getting the smoked coconut club when I order food there, but this time I had the chicken fried portobello sandwich.  So good!  I should add that both of those dishes are vegan, so they have options for many dietary needs.  Great place to take a mixed group of eaters in that aspect.

Best thing I drank:  At Memphis Taproom they had Russian River Blind Pig IPA on tap, which is always a good thing.  Philadelphia is one of the few places out east where you can find Russian River beers and i you pay enough attention they can be seen on tap fairly frequently, especially at certain places.  Still, it isn’t all that common that I happen to be in the same place at the same time.  I don’t think I have had a Russian River IPA since March, yet I was out-of-state for a few months as well.  Also, while I was there the owner opened a bottle of Cuvée De Ranke, which is a blend of aged sour ales from De Ranke and lambic from Girardin.  It was nicely tart and very enjoyable.

Can’t believe that is both July and halfway through 2012 already!

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