Picking a Plan

MyAsics - Get Your Plan

Somehow I went to sleep sometime in January and woke up in July!  Does it feel like the summer is just flying by to anyone else?!

I took a minute to figure out how long I have until my next big event – and was shocked to find out that the Philadelphia Marathon (November 17th) is 4 months and 10 days from this Sunday!

That’s 19 weeks.

133 days.

3192 hours.

191,520 minutes.

OK, you get the idea.  It’s soon.  And I haven’t picked a training plan yet!

I always feel a little stuck when it comes to deciding on a plan for marathon training.  It seems like I’m always somewhere between beginner and intermediate – but there aren’t many plans that cater to that.  I think I have a good cardio fitness base right now, which makes the first weeks of many beginner plans kind of superfluous.  At the same time, I definitely am not an intermediate, nor do I have the time to commit to the hours of training that many intermediate plans require.

I know that Hal Higdon’s beginner plans are really popular for people who are starting to train for a marathon.  I’ve checked out his other free training plans and am strongly considering the Novice 2 or Intermediate 1 plans.  Realistically, I don’t see myself having time to run both weekend days as proposed in the Intermediate 1 plan, so I might end up defaulting to the Novice 2 schedule.

I’ve also investigated the MyAsics training program after reading about it on Run, Hemingway, Run!  (Thanks, Marc!)  It is similar to Hal’s but is customizable based on age, gender, current race times, goal times, event dates, etc.  Pretty cool.  The only downside I see to it so far is that it doesn’t seem to be too flexible once you put in a current race time.  (It seems to presume that your mile split time for the entered race length is the fastest you can run for any length.  I would assume most people are like me in that they can run a 5k at a faster pace than their half-marathon pace, but the MyAsics plan seems to stick to the slower half-marathon pace if that’s the current race time you enter.)

Anyway, I haven’t been great about picking and sticking with plans in the past, which means I’ve never actually “trained” for a marathon, although I’ve run several.  Having a plan this time around would make the post-marathon weeks much more pleasant, I’m sure!   I’d love to hear what everyone recommends and what factors you think are important in picking a plan.  My legs will thank you on November 18th.  😉

Happy Fitness Friday!


Time for a Little R&R

No, not rest & relaxation, although I’m sure we all wish we had a little bit of that!

Instead, I’m talking about Reset & Rededication.

When I started this blog, I was swept up in the spirit of starting to train for my first triathlon.  I was participating in my gym’s “Lazyman Triathlon,” which kept me swimming, biking, and running nearly every day.  Then, the weather got better, the lazy triathlon ended, school got really busy and end-of-semester testing took off.  All of a sudden the gym held less allure but I didn’t necessarily get outside and get moving on the trails with biking or running either.  I allowed myself to get caught up in the stress and let many of the healthy habits I love fall by the wayside.  I focused on the energy and time it took to workout and eat healthy, rather than on the benefit of that time investment in the form of energy, stamina, and a positive mindset.  For a few weeks now, I’ve been surviving instead of thriving.

Luckily, there’s always another chance to start fresh, and that’s what I’m doing this weekend.  I still have some big events looming on the horizon (one final and really important test plus three or four very busy months of on-the-job-training of sorts) but I’m not going to let them get me off course.  I have no doubt it will be difficult to balance real life and training, but I’m ready to rededicate myself to the goals I had when I started this thing.  Thanks for sticking with me through the weeks of minimal motivation.  Here’s to more positive energy from this point forward!

Never Give Up On A Dream

(Courtesy RunningQuotes)

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go workout!


Fitness Schmitness!

Forget the workout today.  Go grab a donut!

National Donut Day - Dunkin

Hot on the heels of National Running Day, it’s National Donut Day.  🙂

I know it’s late in the day in lots of places, but delicious donuts can be had 24/7 at many locations.  You don’t have to miss out.  There’s still time!!

National Donut Day - Krispy Kreme

Check out your favorite national chain or local shop.  Except if you’re in Connecticut.  Apparently, you can’t have any fun in Connecticut…

I have no incentive to tell you about this other than my desire for everyone to enjoy a delicious free donut.  Many apologies to my Running Blogger friends, but I couldn’t resist.  😉


Too Good To Be True?

Twelve minutes?!

Wouldn’t it be nice if twelve minutes were not only “enough to stay fit” but also enough to improve and meet your fitness goals?!

Sadly, I don’t think four minutes three times a week will get me to the finish line of my first triathlon.  Luckily, I have a great plan and an even better friend to train with.  We start tomorrow!

I don’t have a lot to report on for Fitness Friday this week as it was a hectic time of studying.  (I just may have hit the twelve minute mark… hah!)  But, I do have a reminder for you runners.  Don’t forget to check on registration for the races you’d like to run.  It’s the last day of the month, so prices will be going up tomorrow for many events.  I just signed up for Philly in November.  The registration cost is $10 higher starting tomorrow.

Philly Marathon Registration Confirmation

Yay!  I’m excited to run Philly in the “20th Anniversary” year.  Gotta have something to look forward to when I’m done with this three-sport craziness.  😉

Have a lovely weekend.  Hope your weather and workouts are great!


Fitness Friday Linkup – Without the Link!

I was going to do a Fitness Friday Linkup, as has been my habit the last few weeks, but the submission link is already closed!  What the heck?  The last few weeks I’m pretty sure you could submit well into Saturday and it’s only Friday night…  But no matter.  A quick summary of this week’s mileage will suffice.

Pre-training week #1 in-progress review:

  • Biking: 36.95 miles
  • Running: 3.75 miles
  • Swimming: 1.18 miles

I have managed to get 2 workouts in for each discipline so far, with the exception of running.  So you know what’s on my to-do-list this weekend.  😉

If you’re looking for some inspiration for a workout this weekend, check out the story of this gentleman who has not missed a day of running since July 23, 1968.  Truly incredible.

Happy Friday!


Broad Street Run

From Philly to Boston with Love

As I hinted at on Monday, I ran the Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 5th!

A friend at school and I entered the registration lottery back in February and we were both lucky enough to get spots.  I had planned to make Broad Street the center of my training plan in the early spring, but didn’t end up preparing for it until I started this blog at the end of March and ran the Rumspringa 1/2 in mid-April.

I did do some training in red socks, after my friend told me about the Facebook event that had been created to start the trend.  Other than that, my preparation was really just focused on the races I’ve recapped here.  I love doing races as a way to get miles in.  Even if those miles aren’t especially fast, at least they’re done!  🙂

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the expo with my mom, who had pledged to be my supporter for all things Broad Street that weekend.  (Aren’t moms great?!)  Parking was easy – and free – at the Philly stadium complex and foot traffic into/out of the expo was well-managed.  Packet pick-up was really fast, and the t-shirt station on the other end of the expo was also very organized.

There were quite a few vendors of clothing at the expo – compression socks, headbands, sports tops and shorts, etc.  There were also a few race info booths, which is where I spent most of my browsing time.  The ODDyssey Half-Marathon was handing out discount cards for $5 off their upcoming race AND my mom and I were lucky enough to score wristbands for their Broad Street after-party on Sunday!

Broad Street Map

On Sunday morning we got to the stadium complex around 645.  It was freezing!  I had checked the weather, but honestly didn’t expect the below-45-degree morning to feel quite so chilly!  Luckily, we got a great parking spot and had a short walk to the subway station.

The idea is that the course is a point-to-point route from north Broad Street towards the south, ending at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which is close to the stadium complex.  Everyone who drives to the race has to park at the stadium and take a free subway ride to the start.  The race info said that the train ride to the start takes about 35 minutes and that everyone should plan on boarding a train by 630!  This seemed a little excessive to me, but I was soon to find out why they recommended such an early start…

I said goodbye to my mom at the subway station, with plans to meet up at the “lost runners” area in the Navy Yard after the race.  When I got to the subway tracks, there was a train loading up that seemed full already.  The cars in the back half of the train were all standing room only.  I figured I might have to wait for the next train, but kept following the crowd ahead of me to the very front of the train.  Amazingly, there was room in the front few cars – and there were even seats!  I ducked into the very first car and got a seat, which was an amazing stroke of luck.

The train got more and more crowded the further north we went.  Eventually, people waiting at the stops between the stadium complex and the start line were told to wait for the next train.  I was happy to be on the train and moving toward our destination!

We arrived at the Olney Septa station around 730.  There were massive amounts of people just milling around inside.  I talked to a few runners and they all said they were staying in the station because it was warm.  Since this was my first time running Broad Street, I figured I’d better sacrifice the warmth and get to the start line to see how things looked.  Good thing I did, too, because it was a madhouse!  The best way to describe how crazy it was is to tell you that the lines for the porta-johns were 45+ minutes long, despite the fact that the race organizers had rented over 300 of them for the start area.  Yes, it was just that busy.  There were 40,000 runners, after all!

Broad Street Start

The start kicked off around 830 with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.  There were also words from Boston Mayor Tom Menino, a moment of silence in honor of Boston, and Sweet Caroline before each wave started.  It was a very moving way to begin the race!

From One Tough City to Another

I spent the first few miles of the race navigating the crowds and just enjoying the feeling of running down one of Philly’s iconic streets.  I had no idea how quickly I could or should run this race, and I often found myself trying to slow down in these early miles.  I definitely agreed with my fellow runner when he said, “I think the crowd just pushes you along in things like this.”  I did try to look around and appreciate the spectators cheering and cowbelling.  🙂  I also took some time to snap photos of things I wanted to remember, like the cool shirt the girl above was wearing.

City Hall!

And City Hall in the distance.

American Spirit

And these runners, who carried the flag throughout the race.  I don’t know how people have the strength to do this, but it is awesome to see!

I didn’t get a picture, because I almost ran right by her, but I heard someone calling my name shortly after the 9 mile mark and was really happy to see my mom cheering for me!  It was just the thing I needed to keep me going for the last mile.

Almost There

This probably takes the award for the best view.  The Navy Yard gates = one-quarter of a mile left!

I picked up my finisher’s medal and food bag (soft pretzel! Tastykakes! yogurt! yes!!!) and walked off in search of the “lost runners” meet-up area.  The first information booth attendant I talked to hadn’t even heard of that location and she directed me to the family meet-up area instead.  Who knew that even existed?!  I would have planned to meet my mom by the first letter of our last name if we had figured that out in advance, but it was just as well that we planned for the lost runners location.  The letter meet-up spot was really crowded.

As I was waiting at the lost runners area, beginning to despair of ever being “found,” I looked up and saw my friend from school!  I couldn’t believe that in a crowd of 40,000+ runners and spectators we happened to find each other.  She was looking for her siblings, so we decided to divide and conquer.  We eventually found my mom and my friend’s brother and sister.  After chatting for a bit, and recounting our favorite race moments, we parted ways for the day.

My mom and I walked back to the stadium complex, only to find such bad traffic that people were sitting in their cars in line to leave but with the engines turned off.  Luckily, we had alternative plans and decided to go check out the ODDyssey 1/2’s after-party.  It was at McFadden’s at Citizen’s Bank Park.  When we got there I traded my entrance wristband for a free beer ticket and we went to the outdoor bar to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon.  (My mom drove.  Again, she’s awesome!)

The after-party was the perfect way to spend an hour or so relaxing after the race, and by the time we got back to our car, the traffic had completely disappeared.  It was time to go home and recover and enjoy some good food.  As my friend said, “calories don’t count today.”  😉

The Broad Street Run was a wonderful race.  The spirit and energy there was really inspirational and it felt great to be part of such a legendary Philadelphia tradition.  Broad Street definitely lived up to its hype for me, and I plan to be back in the future!

Happy Fitness Friday Linkup, everyone.  Enjoy your weekend.


Thanks for the Boost!

What's Stopping You

(Courtesy HemingwayRun)

I was feeling rather uninspired today, and briefly considered not posting for Fitness Friday Linkup.

But then I checked out what everyone else was up to.  With all that good motivation, how could I not participate?!

Just Me & My Running Shoes

I started with one of my favorites – Just Me & My Running Shoes.  I love Karen’s upbeat attitude and I’ve been checking in a lot recently for updates on a few challenges she has been handling with such grace!

Then I checked out a blog I hadn’t visited before: Herbivore Triathlete.  Anna had a Tabata swim workout that sounded really tough.  Not sure if I’m up for 4 sets of it, but I’m definitely going to try incorporating it into my swim workouts!  It’s always good to mix things up.

RunMum Goals

Finally, I stopped by RunMum.  Wow, Matilda’s post was inspiring today!  I have allowed myself to get off track this week and her story was just what I needed at just the right time!  I’m looking forward to reading the next part of her journey.

Thank you, everyone, for the pick-me-up!  I always love reading your posts, but this week they were especially great.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend.