March 28, 2012

Welcome to Planes, Trains and Running Shoes!

For the past few months, I've been thinking about what to do with my blog once I turned 25. I obviously couldn't be '25 Before 25' forever. When I started blogging, I had no intention of keeping my blog beyond my 25 Before 25 project but that quickly changed as I came to love my blog and the blogging community as a whole.

I knew that whatever I did with my blog, I wanted to keep the same elements of it that keep you all reading so I'll still be talking about running, marathon training, my love for all things pumpkin and nutella, baseball, my spontaneous "Oops" trips all over the country (and world), and of course, I'll still be working to cross off some of those lingering things on The List that I never got around to.

So, Welcome to Planes, Trains and Running Shoes!

As I mentioned before, I attempted to make the switch to a self-hosted Wordpress site and after learning that I wouldn't be able to redirect my old blog to my new Wordpress blog and wouldn't be able to bring my followers with me, I nixed the idea and decided to stay on Blogger and just give 25 Before 25 a major redesign. If Wordpress does enable these options again in the future, I may re-consider making the switch but for now, I'm sticking with Blogger.

Feel free to check out what's new on the site and let me know what you think! I'm still in the process of changing some things around including design aspects and having my new domain name switched over to this site, so bear with me as things continue to change a bit over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for bearing with me while I make these changes and, as always, thanks for reading!

March 26, 2012

Love/Don't Love

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! Yes it's Monday, which is unfortunate since this weekend was pretty perfect and I didn't want it to end.

1. My big sister (well, one of them) was in town from San Francisco and we spent the majority of Saturday having sister-bonding time and it was awesome. We caught up, had brunch, walked around, shopped a bit, and had a great day. Love.

2. This weekend called for 15 miles. I decided to do them on Friday and get them out of the week. I barely made it through 4 miles when I realized that I needed to call it quits and take some time off. I guess you can't run a marathon and jump right back into training without missing a beat. So I took the weekend off from running. Don't Love.

3. I took the weekend off from running. It was glorious. I still got 20 miles in for the week which is totally ok on a step back week. Love.

4. This weekend was The Pilot's first weekend off in 6 months! We saw The Hunger Games on Saturday (which I really liked), took a trip to the Shake Shack (omg amazing) on Sunday and then followed our dinner plans with a trip to see Rock of Ages on Broadway. It was awesome. It was also his first Broadway show. Love.

5. Since seeing Rock of Ages, I have had 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' stuck in my head...which makes no sense since the song wasn't in the musical (apparently they couldn't get the rights to any Def Leppard song...lame). Don't Love.

6. Seeing the show made me super excited for the movie to come out...even though Tom Cruise is in it because let's face it: Tom Cruise is a weird, weird guy.

7. Speaking of Tom Cruise, I saw Top Gun this weekend for the first time...which should make my Reach the Beach teammates like me a little bit better since our team name is Need for Speed...and apparently, my call sign is Lt. Redeye. Love.

8. The Shake Shack is amazing. I finally get the hype. The Shroom Burger is the best damn "veggie burger" I've ever had in my life. I want another one. Now. Oh and until yesterday, I thought the idea of eating a burger and fries with a milk shake was disgusting. Not anymore my friends, not anymore. 

That's all for today!After having a lovely weekend of working really hard on my thesis spending lots of time playing, I'm back to thesis hibernation mode (after work today that is). I'll try to keep posting regularly and I'll try to get my new blog up and running...since I've been talking about it for a month now. We'll see what happens. Thesis comes first. Then marathon training. Then play time keeping my apartment cleaning. Then play time. 

So tell me: Are you a fan of taking time off from working out? While I love running and can't wait to hit the pavement tonight, I definitely needed to take the weekend off! Have you ever seen a Broadway show? What are some of your favorites? If you saw The Hunger Games this weekend, what did you think? What is your favorite 80s song? Have you ever been to the Shake Shack? Did you feel like you gained 7 pounds in one sitting after but were totally ok with it?

Have a great week everyone!

March 20, 2012

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 12

Happy First Day of Spring!

Yesterday, I ran a glorious 7 miles along the West Side Highway.

After my last few runs on WSH, I didn't think I would ever go back but we had a lovely time together last night and I'll be back again after work today. I just have to remember to avoid it like the plague when there's ever so much as a breeze in New York.

So I ran a marathon this weekend. I've recovered fantastically. I attribute that to running a smart, slow race and not trying to be a hero. This week is a step back week which will further help with that recovery in case there are any lingering issues that I haven't noticed so it's all easy runs and a tempo run on Thursday.

With just over 4 weeks until Madrid, I'm focusing on what I like to call my 4 Weeks to Fast plan: aka my plan to really harness my speed and kick it into high gear to nail my marathon goal pace on race day. Yesterday, I hit my first two miles at 9:09 which is fantastic considering that I was starting to think that my ability to run anything under a 9:30 had disappeared.

So, with that in mind, here's what I'm looking at for this week.

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 12
Total Mileage Last Week: 40.2
Missed Workouts: 1, I missed a 7 mile easy run I had planned because I was sick
Trouble Spots: Absolutely none!
Planned Mileage This Week: 46

Monday: 7 miles easy
Tuesday: 6 miles easy
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday:  9 miles with 5 at tempo
Friday: 8 miles easy
Saturday: 15 miles
Sunday: Rest Day

Goals for this Week: Get back in the pool, pay attention to how I'm recovering from the marathon and try and run my long run similar to the way I want to run my first 15 miles in Madrid.
Current Annoyances: None. I ran a marathon on Saturday and feel fantastic. I'm on top of the world.
Things to Keep in Mind: I decided to be smart and walk Mile 24 of USA, but I didn't feel like I had to at all. Even though I was running slowly, if I maintain that level of consistency and go out nice and slow and work towards my target pace, I'll be able to cross the finish line in Madrid feeling strong with plenty of energy to give everything I have in that last 5k.

I'm absolutely loving everything about this weather. It's perfect running weather and it's absolutely glorious but I swear, if I read one more blog post or tweet complaining about it being too hot out, I will leave you hateful comments. It's 70 degrees out. Not 95. Stop complaining. Seriously.

Happy Running!

March 19, 2012

Oops...I ran a marathon

When I headed down to DC this weekend, I really didn't have any idea what the weekend would entail in terms of running.

And then I ran a marathon.


Initially I had the idea to run my planned 22 miles and walk the last 4 miles to the finish line so that I got my run in without having to figure out a course in DC. Then I thought about walking the first 4 miles. Neither of these options really seemed like they'd be the best choice, so I decided to just go out and see what happened. I was sick all last week, so if I felt like cutting out at Mile 10, I would. If I felt like finishing the half, I would.

Running the full marathon wasn't something I really, seriously thought about until about Mile 16. 

Earlier in the week, I had mentioned it to some friends who thought it was a great idea. Then Emily talked some sense into me and I decided that running a full marathon might not be the best idea. '

When I went to bed Friday night and realized I had forgotten my Garmin, I knew that I would end up just running the Half. But as I started prepping for race morning and the pre-race jitters started kicking in, I started thinking that maybe...just maybe I could run the full. 

But I was only supposed to run 22 and this was not my race and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that, so I decided to start the race really slowly and see how I felt as I went through each mile. 

Katie had let me borrow her Timex watch so I was able to gauge how I was doing but I had no idea of my actual pace, which was fine. 

Miles 1-4:(10:09, 10:08, 9:58, 9:45). The first few miles went by really quickly. I was running slow and everyone was passing me and I was ok with it. I just kept reminding myself that this wasn't a race, it was a training run and that I just needed to tune into how I was feeling and take it from there. 

Miles 5-10: (10:08, 10:00, 10:09, 9:35, 9:32, 11:43) I started picking it up a little bit once I got through the first 4 miles. I was feeling strong and I loved the course. There was a pretty significant hill at Mile 6 but it felt easy which was a huge confidence booster. At Mile 9, I stopped to use a porter potty. I had to wait a bit before I got in, and I think it took about 2:10 off my time so Miles 8 and 9 were roughly the same pace which was good. 

Miles 11-15: (9:35, 9:47, 9:46, 9:53, 9:43) I'm really happy with my consistency on these miles. I have a really hard time maintaining consistency on my runs and to keep these miles all within about 10 seconds was great, especially considering I didn't have my Garmin. Right around Mile 12 or so, the Half/Full courses split. I was running on a Half bib from a friend of a friend and right before the turn around, one of the volunteers yelled, "The half is to your left!" I said, "I'm running the full!" And she yelled out, "Wow!You go girl!" And I kept going.

Miles 12-14 were DESOLATE. I felt like I was the only person on the course! They were the same miles as Miles 2-3.1ish but there was just no one around. After checking the results later, I realized that of the 25,000 or so runners, only around 3,000 ran the full. There were a fair amount of spectators but in terms of runners, there was just no one out there. 

At Mile 15, I passed by two women, one of them told me I looked great and then commented to her friend that I didn't even look like I was running. That's when I knew I was doing everything right. I wasn't there to race. I was there to run a long training run. I kept telling myself that I needed to get through 7 more miles and I was done with my training run and could do a cool down.

Miles 16-20: (10:02, 10:00, 10:00, 10:27, 10:02) Mile 16 was along this beautiful river path. Miles 17-18 were coming on to the Nationals Stadium and Miles 19-20 were a pretty nasty turn around that led up to the Fredrick Douglass Bridge which looked absolutely terrifying but really wasn't that bad. At this point in the race, it was getting hot. At Mile 19, a volunteer was handing out ice and I took some and threw it down the back of my shirt. Just before climbing the bridge, I refilled my water bottle and kept going.

Miles 21-23: (10:08, 10:14, 9:57, 10:24) Once we got off the bridge, we were running along the Anacostia River from about Miles 21-23. It was hot. I took my last gel around Mile 22 and it was almost completely melted. It was warm for almost all of the race but for the most part, we were protected by trees, buildings and shade. These 3 miles were out along the river, with somewhat of a breeze, but otherwise with absolutely no protection from the sun and it was hard. My plan was to stop at Mile 22 but my legs felt strong and I decided that, since I have a 24 mile training run planned for next week, I would keep going to 24 and switch my 24 miler to a 22 next week. Mile 23 had some rolling hills and it was hot, but I still felt good.

Mile 24: (14:33) At Mile 24, I walked. I didn't need to but again, this wasn't my race and I wasn't trying to be a hero and run a marathon. Part of me wanted to just keep running, but I knew that that might put me out of commission for a few days and hey, I still have my race to train for. The fact that I was at this point was huge as it was and I felt on top of the world. I walked that mile and right at the 40k mark, I started running again. I knew that was going to happen. I was running a marathon, I wasn't about to walk through the finish line of a marathon.

Miles 25-Finish: (9:51, 2:04) When I started running again, I had the biggest smile on my face. I was about to cross the finish line of my 3rd marathon and I felt awesome. When I crossed, I felt on top of the world. I had just run my 3rd marathon. I had run a smart, slow, steady race and crossing that finish line brought back every single ounce of confidence I had lost over the last 2 weeks.

I finished the race in 4:27:54. My slowest marathon by about 19 minutes...and that's exactly what I wanted it to be. If I had gone in and run this race sub-4, I would have been pissed. I would have jeopardized my time in Madrid to run a race on someone else's bib. Crossing that finish line made me realize that no matter what happens in Madrid, running a marathon is still an amazing accomplishment...but it also gave me the confidence to know that Mile 23 doesn't have to suck and that if I start out slow and run a steady, smart race, I will have a fantastic time in Madrid and I can't wait.

So there you have it. I ran a marathon. Oops. I'm starting to learn though, that my 'Oops, I did XYZ' moments, are what make my life pretty great.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

March 13, 2012

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 11

My body hates me.

Right now, we're fighting. I'm saying, "Hey I pump you with delicious, healthy foods all day every day. And don't lie because you like the ONE piece of multi-grain toast slathered with nutella and loaded with strawberries that eat every day." Even when I make my favorite Strawberry-Nutella smoothie, I load it up with Greek yogurt and soy milk so that it has 40+ grams of protein...come ON, that's like a small steak!

But my body is all, "You think you can skip out on dinner so that you can eat half a bag of Tostitos Lime with an entire bowl of Guacamole AND drink 3 glasses of wine just because your friends are doing it? Well I'm going to make you pay. You don't even like The Bachelor."

Woah. Calm down body. I had a stressful day yesterday and ate really good, yummy, healthy foods but decided to unwind a bit with some runner friends over The Bachelor and you need to be ok with that.

Right now, I should be running. I should also be working on my thesis. Instead, I'm in bed. Because my body hates me. Oh and my mind hates me too.

Let's rewind to Sunday when I ran 20 miles with an average pace of 9:34. Only 4 seconds off from where I should have been for the run, so not bad at all. Except that once I recovered from Mile 9 when my stomach tried to wrench itself out of my body, my mind went all, "You're soooo slow, Christy. You can't even get below a 9:08 pace on this run, you're never gonna go sub-4." And I believed it and was really angry from about Mile 14 on.

They say running is 80% mental. I don't entirely believe that. I couldn't go run a 100 mile race tomorrow and it has nothing to do with me being mentally inept in some way. But lately, I've been really hard on myself. I've been struggling to hit the paces I want to and I've been beating myself up over it. The good thing is, that I recognize that and I have 6 weeks to get it out of my head and keep working towards my goal before Race Day. So I've made a list of excuses that aren't really excuses that might explain my struggle lately.

  1. I've done my last two MGP runs on days with wind advisory warnings on the West Side Highway...which is a notoriously windy not hitting my goal pace in those conditions is to be expected.
  2. Central Park is not an easy route to run and I've done all of my long training runs in the park. Those hills, while they feel natural, are never going to feel easy. They might feel easier on some days than others but it's not a bad thing if I'm struggling on them. 
  3. Training in really tough wind conditions on a not so easy course, is just going to make me stronger and better equipped to handle a mostly downhill course with some early hills and a slow incline towards the finish.
That being said, here's my workout plan for this week. 

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 7 miles easy
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 10 miles with 8 at MGP
Friday: 4 miles easy
Saturday: 22 miles
Sunday: Rest Day

Last week, I hit my highest weekly mileage ever of 47 miles. I'm doing really well with my training, I just need to remember that and not be so hard on myself...and go see a GI doctor because something is very clearly up with my stomach lately that is not ok at all. 

How's your training coming along?

March 9, 2012

Size Matters

Earlier this week, Morgan posted about the lack of women's race shirts provided as race swag. I've had many a conversation on this very topic with some of my running friends but Morgan is calling for change! If race directors are going to charge anywhere from $50-$226 to run a race, the least you can do is provide shirts that fit! After all, my love of racing leaves me with dwindling funds for buying race gear and it would be nice if for every race I ran, I got a new shirt...that I could actually run in.

So let's look at some of the best and worst shirts in my race shirt collection:

*Please excuse the poor photography...I'm not that great at setting up self-portraits.*

The Worst
Philadelphia Half-Marathon 2011

Long sleeve? I dig it. Black? Even better. Awesome slogan? Perfect! But look at those sleeves! I was SWIMMING in this shirt. I haven't thrown it away because well...I've never thrown any of my race shirts away but I PRd in this race...I ran a GREAT race and I want something to show for it aside from the medal that hangs on my wall! But noooo...Philly can't spring for the women's size shirts. Rude.

BAA 5k 2011
This shirt is a joke. You pay $50 to run the BAA 5k just so you can run across the Boston Finish Line. Sure, you get a medal and a tech tee which is more than most 5ks but you pay $50 for it! This isn't the best photo because, as I stated above, I'm not that great at taking self-portraits but this shirt goes down tothe middle of my thighs. The sleeves? Just above my elbows. Are you kidding me? I think if I gained 50 lbs, this shirt would still be big on me. The worst part about it? It's the worst "dry-fit" material I've ever seen. I tried running in it once...holy goodness...moisture-wicking? The shirt clung to me like saran wrap! Again, I don't know why I haven't tossed this shirt...but it needs to go.

The Meh-This One's Not So Bad
Philadelphia Marathon 2010

My Philly Marathon shirt from 2010 wasn't terrible. It's on the bigger side but I'm not swimming in it and I've worn it once or twice on a long run in the winter. But again with the sleeves! If they're all bunched up from my elbow down...the shirt is too big!

The Best
NYRR Dash to the Finish 5k 2011

Here we go with another $50 5k. This one did not give out medals but it gave away some pretty sweet shirts and you know what? I'll take it! A women's sized, long sleeve shirt that fits right, breathes right and moves right! The only downside is the color...why I love the white with teal lettering...white is not conducive to sweat. I'm actually not a very sweaty friends like to make fun of me because I'm actually more salty than sweaty...I know, I'm kind of weird...but even I am starting to notice faint sweat stains on this shirt.

Cowtown Half-Marathon 2012

THIS IS THE BEST SHIRT EVER! Seriously, everyone should run this race next year just for the shirts. Yes, I said shirtS. Because they gave you TWO dri-fit t-shirts.

I don't have a picture of me wearing the white one because it was dirty but you get the idea...they're the same shirt. They come in women's sizes, they're V-NECK and I love the color! They're great moisture-wicking shirts and the material is thin and comfortable so the shirt isn't too heavy. The sleeves are nice and wide so that you can get a nice range of motion when moving your arms without having to worry about chafing but they aren't so wide that your arms feel like they're drowning in the shirt. I can't stop wearing this shirt. I love everything about it and you better believe I'll be back at Cowtown next year for 2 more shirts!

So there you have it, the good, the not-so-good and the awful of race shirts! Want to show off your race shirts? Check out Morgan's blog for details and if you tweet, use the hash tags #onesiedoesnotfitall or #sizematters.

Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

March 6, 2012

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 10

6 weeks to go! Say what?!

If you asked me how my training was going about 5 hours ago when I was lying in bed dreading my second attempt ever at Yasso 800s, I would have mumbled a number of profanities about speed, being slow, my knee blowing up and hating Yasso 800s.

Last week was a slow week for me. I was having a hard time getting into any pace under 10 miles which was really frustrating but I attribute it to doubling my weekly mileage last week from the previous 2 weeks. It happens, you know? The last time I did Yasso 800s, me knee blew up and I couldn't move for 3 days, never mind I was really worried about getting out there today.

The plan was 6 800s at 3:50. Here's how they turned out: 3:50, 3:46, 3:58, 3:51, 3:48, 3:45.

I'll take it...only one of those splits was above 3:50 and they were all sub-4. This bodes well for my dreams of crushing the 4:00 mark in Madrid.

Yasso 800s aren't fun or easy, but let me tell you...8 1/2 miles on a Tuesday morning at the track will do a hell of lot for your confidence.

So after 2 weeks of sick and 1 week of being slow, I'm feeling much better and back into the swing of things.

Madrid Marathon Training: Week 10
Total Mileage Last Week: 36
Missed Workouts: None, but I cut my 9 mile MGP run down to a 4 mile MGP run
Trouble Spots: Being slowwwww
Planned Mileage This Week: 43

Monday: 4 miles easy with 4 strides
Tuesday: Yasso 800s - 6 800s at 3:50
Wednesday: REST DAY (Much needed after 5 days of running without a break)
Thursday: 10 miles with 8 at MGP
Friday: 4 miles easy
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!

Goals for this Week: Get in every run...without cutting anything short
Current Annoyances: Nothing after dominating my workout this morning!
Things to Keep in Mind: Sub-4 is SO achievable!

Fun Fact about Madrid #1: At 650 meters above sea level (over half a mile!), Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe.

So that's that! Happy Tuesday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...