Snowy Running and a Trip to Elk Mountain

Snowy Running & a Trip to Elk Mountain

We are now well into the second week of the new year, and I hope everything is going well for all of you. I know that many of you runners are starting to prepare for spring training, whether it be for a half or full marathon. May everything kick off to a great start!

Over the weekend we got a little bit of snow (like 3-4 inches) but that didn’t stop many of us from getting out there for our long runs. My goal was to just run 11 miles, but I felt ok and bumped it up to 13. I kept a pretty decent pace, which I was happy about (9’04”) With my next half marathon a little over a week and a half away, it’s good to know I still feel good during my long runs. My official spring half marathon training will begin after the F.L Half, so since the Philly Marathon I’ve just been trying to maintain my fitness. This past weekend’s long run is the longest distance I’ve run since Philly, and I’m happy to report that I experienced no DOMS Sunday morning. My plan is to head into NYC this weekend to pick up my race packet so I can avoid the stress on race morning (running is the easy part, getting there and getting my stuff is the most stressful)

Sunday I made a trip up to Elk Mountain in PA to ski, and it was COLD. Now I’ve skied out west when it was below zero, but out there it is so much different. You don’t feel it in the west the way you do here (humidity makes a difference). When I left my house, it was 8 degrees. By the time I made it to the mountain, the temperature dropped to 6. If you have never skied before, 32 degrees is cold, but compared to 8 it is tolerable.

The mountain itself was very nice. I never been to Elk before, and it wasn’t overcrowded like Camelback or Shawnee.(Camelback I do like) This was one of those “locals” mountains that was very low key. The trails were in great condition, and it was one of those days where it was a constant “lift up, ski down, lift up again”(nice flow) Of course, we had to stop at the lodge once or twice to warm up with hot chocolate and regain feeling in our fingers, but it was a fantastic day. Only skied half a day because of the weather so we called it at 12:30 (because our lift tickets said so) Came home, ate tacos and turned off the Giants game because I knew I was about to witness them lose.

 

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How many miles have you logged this week?

Have you gone skiing yet this year? Where?

Opinions on cold weather running?

 

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Sub Nine

Sub Nine

Yesterday, something incredible happened.

I ran a sub 9 minute mile. Not 10, 9. For me, that is a mini accomplishment. If invisible trophy’s were given out for such things during my training runs, I would have most certainly received one. Why is this so important? Well for one it’s a first for me. I remember when I broke a sub 10 minute mile and how ecstatic I was. But sub 9 tells me I’m on the right track. It’s the new year, and I can now begin to tweak my running to make myself even stronger. Last year I was testing the waters with what I was possibly capable of and now that I know, it’s time to improve upon it. A sub 9 minute mile only 2 days into the new year? I’ll take it. My goal is to do a lot more speed work during training in order to drastically improve my pace. Last year during training endurance was the main focus. Now, it’s the need for speed.

 

 

In 3 weeks, I’ll be running the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon, which means my running is back into it’s highest gear. Last year, I heard they had to cancel the race because of that massive snow storm we had so please keep your fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again. They also sent out the finisher medals to those who registered, but no one was happy to put it on display, since the medal wasn’t earned. Speaking of Fred, this I’ve also finalized the design for my next tattoo. The quote is from the great Fred Lebow himself. I’m just waiting my tattoo guy to e-mail me back so we can set up a date for it. It’s gonna go right above my left ankle.

 

 

 

 

There is so much to be done in the first few months of the year! I have to begin planning my logistics for the Chicago marathon (this includes booking my flight, hotel, etc) and my official half marathon training begins in a few weeks. The Rutgers Half Marathon is April 7th and I am so excited to be able to run this race for the second yea

r in a row. If any of you haven’t registered and are interested, sign up now for the half or 8km while you still can! Don’t forget to use my code CAITLINUNITE for $5 off. If you are still not sure, just DO IT. Don’t think twice. Do something new this year, run a race. This is the perfect opportunity my friends, and I hope to see at least a few of you there! The course is great and it’s an all around good time. Sign up now before the race sells out!!

I hope everyone transitions smoothly back into the work week. I know coffee will be of great importance today. Happy New Year Everyone!

-Caitlin

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Welcome 2017

Welcome 2017

Hours from now, we are going to be getting ready to ring in 2017, and kicking the dreaded 2016 the hell outta here. This year had so many ups and downs for everyone, more than previous years and I think we are all ready to start fresh. For me, the highlight of my year was running, and everything about it. I accomplished so much and went above and beyond the goals I set for myself. Some include;

-Running my first half marathon

-New 5k PR

-Running my first marathon

-Running the TCS NYC Marathon!!

All of my race medals from this year-Pictured from left to right-Rock the River Half Marathon, Fort Lee, New Jersey-TCS NYC Marathon-Philadelphia Marathon-Rutgers Half Marathon, New Brunswick,NJ-Superhero Half Marathon Morristown, NJ

That’s quite a lot for one year! A year ago, I had no idea that I would be running marathons as of yet. I sit here and look back at all of the hard work I put in and sometimes, I don’t know how the hell I did it. It’s difficult trying to balance life with training, because such a commitment demands a high level of effort so there is no room for slacking. I met and became friends with so many runners and together we motivate each other from the start all the way to the finish line. The running community is truly one of a kind, and I am proud to be part of such a group of wonderful people.

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I have so many amazing things lined up for next year, as well as a few other things I plan to announce with Logging The Miles. I have to say, I am excited for the things to come next year. Keeping an open mind while giving a 120 percent effort in everything that I do. 2017, here we come.

I wish everybody a HAPPY and Healthy New Year, and may we all kick ass in 2017. Love you guys.

-Caitlin

xoxo

 

Below is my recap of this year in racing, hope you enjoy!

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Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2017- I’m In!

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2017- I’m In!

Woke up last Tuesday morning around 7:30am, checked my email and there it was; My confirmation into the 2017 BOA Chicago Marathon! I got out of bed, did a happy dance, then proceeded to get my morning coffee.

I am honestly happy I got in. In planning my marathons for 2017, NYC was without a doubt one of them regardless. I felt that after running two somewhat local marathons this year that it was time to expand my travels (a bit). So I threw my name into the Chicago lottery. Plus I’ve been back and forth thinking about it so I decided what the hell.

And I got in.

Marathon training for me won’t start up again until June so in the meantime I’m just working on building back up my mileage since I ran the Philadelphia Marathon. Next month I’m running the Fred Lebow half marathon so after that race, I’ll take another short break then begin half marathon training for my spring races. This week, I have been doing mainly elliptical workouts because I’ve been getting aches and pains in my legs. I don’t want to injure myself before the January half, so I’m taking it a bit easy. Tonight however, I’m gonna try and get 4 miles in. (5 if I’m feeling good)

Wine at Becco’s

So, who’s ready for Christmas? I’ve been so busy between work, workouts, running and preparing for Christmas that I haven’t had too much time to really enjoy the holiday season. By the time I get a chance to kick my feet up, it will be over. Last weekend however,

I visited New York City and saw Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, and it was fantastic! The actress playing Tevye’s wife is none other than the great Judy Kuhn, who was the singing voice of the original Pocahontas. Seeing her live was amazing! Before the show, we ate Becco’s over on W46th St. If you have never been there, I suggest you check it out. They have great food and great wine. Perfect lunch before a Broadway show!

Well guys, we are officially halfway through the week. Only a few more days until Christmas weekend! Have an awesome Wednesday!

PS: Who saw Rogue One??

 

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Fred Lebow Half-Marathon, Skiing, and Chicago…2017?

Fred Lebow Half-Marathon, Skiing, and Chicago…2017?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week, as well as a smooth transition back to the work week (if you had a 4 day weekend like I did) I caught up on some much needed rest (and may have registered for another race)

A littlefullsizerender-5 over a week removed from the Philadelphia Marathon, and I went for my first run last night since then (3 miles). My legs feel great, I am glad that my post-marathon recovery has gone so well. Over the weekend, I registered for the Fred Lebow Half Marathon, which mean that provided my legs still feel great, I’m resuming training this week. The race is 6 weeks from now, so I’ve been trying to find a 6 week half-marathon training plan (suggestions welcomed) Also, my Saturday long runs are back. My plan is to run 10 miles this Saturday.

Another race had been calling my name as well, however  I am not officially registered for it yet…I had been talking about it recently with a few close friends and I have decided to throw my name into the lottery drawing for the Chicago Marathon next October. I won’t find out if I’m in until December 13th, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed! This would be my ffullsizerender-4irst real destination race (Philly was too, but I’m talking about hopping on a plane). If I get in then that along with NYC will be my marathons of 2017, unless I decide to be daring and run one in September. I still have some time to decide all those things!  Right now I’m in the process of lining up my races for 2017.

So, with the cold weather come SKIING! This is by far my favorite time of the year. Some of the local resorts have opened up and my plan is to get out on the slopes for some cross training fun! I hope to get up to Vermont a weekend or two this season as well. Last year a group of us went up there and we had a blast. The plan is for that to happen again this year.

The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon is Sunday, January 22. This will be my first planned half marathon of 2017, as well as the first half marathon I’ve run in the wintertime. Who is Fred Lebow? Well, as you know I ran with Fred

’s team last month at the TCS NYC Marathon. But who is this Fred? I urge you to watch “Run For Your Life-The Fred Lebow Story”. It not only documents the history of the NYC Marathon, but this amazing man’s life and the legacy he left behind. I watched the whole thing after running the TCS NYC Marathon, and it reduced me to tears. This film really brings everything full circle with running and made me understand my purpose for doing so. It is a must watch. That being said, I am so excited to run this race next month (well, technically as November is practically over)

 

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Philadelphia Marathon Recap-A Cold and Windy Race

Philadelphia Marathon Recap-A Cold and Windy Race

img_5606-1img_5451Marathons are difficult on their own. Running 26.2 miles is a challenge no matter what but when mother nature decides to throw in some sustained winds in 40 degree weather, it becomes brutal.

Race Day-Sunday, November 20 2016

Wake up-3:30 am

I had my alarm set for 3:30 so I had enough time to scarf down a bagel and a half, drink my coffee, shower and leave no later than 5 am. I did all that, and was out the door on time. In my hotel, I met a lady on the elevator who was also running, and we chatted for a bit. She was grabbing an Uber to the race area, and I told her I was walking (it wasn’t far) I got off the elevator, and there were a few others from my hotel running as well. As they were leaving, I left with them. I felt safer walking with other runners to the race site. From my hotel to the starting area, it was only a few blocks. The starting area was near the art museum (near those famous “Rocky Steps”. After I arrived, they had security checking bags and fuel belts before letting you through to the enclosed start area.

Start Area Waiting-6:00am

After I got through the security screening, I wandered around a bit. I tried to keep moving, because it was so cold, and I didn’t want my muscles to freeze up. I walked over toward the Rocky Balboa statue and took some pics before heading back to the tents. There was one tent that everyone was huddled in for warmth. After standing there a bit, I noticed there was a truck giving out complementary tea to everyone, so I grabbed an apple cider tea. After a few sips I figured I’d get in line for the porta potties, and good thing I did early enough;lines were already ridiculous (at least a 25 minute wait) We all stood in line struggling to keep warm. Many people jumping up and down, moving their legs, and there were volunteers handing out hats and gloves. After it got to be my turn, I headed back over to the heated tent and remained there until the corral line up. A lady sang the national anthem, then when she was finished literally everybody darted out of the tent. Corral line up was much different from NYC; We all lined up at the same time, just in different sections according to wave color. All runners were in the same corral, just separated. The first wave went off at approximately 7am, and from then on they were letting us go maybe every 5 minutes (maybe less) Before I knew it, the marathon had officially begun.

Running the Marathon

After I started running, my body began to finally warm up after standing for so long. My toes were thawing, and the only thing I shed were my gloves (and I’m so glad that was the only thing I threw away) Later on, the weather would prove that I still needed all my layers…

As we made our way past the first few miles, all was good. It was windy, but not too bad. Mile 4 I stopped to use the porta potties. I managed to run the first four miles without stopping to walk at all (like  I did in NYC) Continuing onward, there were some spectators, but absolutely nothing like I observed in NYC. There was not even close to being as many. I don’t recall which mile it was, but we came across a mini bridge that I remember as being one of the first hills of the race. I assumed the course was quite flat, however I was warmed about mile 8 being slightly tough. From that point on there were some rolling hills.

Mile 6-8, the wind was becoming a bit more sustained, and to make matters worse, we were running against it. Onward to the halfway mark, we were in the park, and boy was it windy at that point. I remember getting very frustrated every time the wind was blowing hard. Miles 14-20 were the toughest for me mentally. With the weather not showing any mercy, I knew things were not going to get any easier either, so all that was left to do is suck it up and press on.

Finally, I see the mile marker for mile 20. Many people say that mile 20 is really where the race begins, because many runners struggle both mentally and physically at this point, and if your training prepared you well then it will carry you through to the end. From mile 20 to 26.2, it was a struggle. My legs were hurting and going from walking to running hurt more than anything. Also at mile 20 in Manayunk was the turnaround point, so we looped back the way we came, and passed other runners behind us. After mile 22, I walked more than I ran. When I reached mile 23, I practically walked from that point to about mile 25 where I got my headphones out and relied on my music to get pumped to the end. Not going to lie, I had Eye Of the Tiger playing, and that was enough to mentally take the pain away until I crossed the finish line. I was starting to cry when I finally saw the finish, but I quickly stopped when I realized that sobbing was making me short of breath (LOL) I crossed the finish line, and there was my best friend awaiting me, taking pictures! All I thought when I finished, was “Soooooo glad this is over.”

The Philadelphia Marathon was a whole degree of difficulty I wasn’t prepared for coming into it. I expected more of a flatter course, and those hills sure surprised me. Running against the wind the whole time also made it difficult, but I made it. Running a marathon in those conditions teaches you about yourself when you’re able to push through the pain, weather conditions and the long distance. Philly definitely toughened me up to a whole new degree. Plus, I had only come off of the NYC Marathon two weeks prior, so my legs were not at 100 percent, but I somehow managed to pull this off.

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Rocky Balboa Statue

Four months ago, maimg_5743rathon training was just beginningimg_5754, and I had two big races on my agenda, now the season is over. It’s a bittersweet feeling because there is some time to relax in between training for the spring (which commences in January) but I just love doing these races. I’m proud that I pushed myself to complete both marathons despite the fact they were only 2 weeks apart. For now, all that is left is to this time fully recover, pick up on running and rebuilding my base for spring training.

-Caitlin

 

 

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What I learned After Running My First Marathon

What I Learned After Running My First Marathon

A little over a week has gone by since the New York City Marathon, and as upset as I am it is over, I look forwphiladelphiamarathonard to what’s next…Philadelphia!

This Sunday, I’ll be getting ready once again to run another marathon and since my recovery has been going quite well since NYC, I believe I’m up for it. I’ve only been to Philly a couple times, (for WWE events) but I have never actually explored the city. This race will give me an opportunity to do so. I have to start finalizing my itinerary and  start packing soon! There is just something about destination races that are just so exciting.

I just wanted to discuss something really quick…After I ran New York, one of the first things people asked me (other than my favorite part of the race) was, “What was your time?” I have to be honest, I was a bit taken back by it, because what the heck does it matter what my time was? If you guys don’t already know, this was my first marathon, and many first time marathoners set a goal of simply finishing the race, rather that shooting for a time. It kinda makes you feel like people were expecting you to finish under a certain time, and in a way it’s a bit insulting. Sure, I was maybe hoping to get under a certain time, but that’s my prerogative and none of your business. A marathon is 26.2 miles, not a walk in the park. Finishing one is a task in itself, let alone aiming to finish it in a certain amount of time.

I have to say, I got a real feel for what marathons are like from NYC. From the corrals, to wave starts, post race heats blankets, the whole nine. It’s good experience for future marathons, and what better way to be a first time marathoner than in New York! Here are some of the many things I learned from running my first marathon;

1)Training is absolutely necessary-Training not only prepares you physically for the distance, but mentally as well. Olympic runner Meb Keflezighi says, “When it comes to a race day, then it becomes 90 percent mental” If you have done well throughout your training, you need to have faith in that and be more prepa

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: Meb Keflezighi of the USA celebrates after winning the 40th mens ING New York City Marathon on November 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 01: Meb Keflezighi of the USA celebrates after winning the 40th mens ING New York City Marathon on November 1, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

red for the mental portions of the race, especially mile 20 through to the end. There really comes a point near the end where you have to dig out your inner strength to make it through those last through miles, despite the pain. This is what family and friends of non-runners need to understand;When we say no to an invite out on a Friday or Saturday night (during race training) it’s because we have a long run the next day. It could mean the difference between finishing and not finishing a race. When you sign up for a marathon, you commit yourself to it, and I have no problem saying no to anyone that asks me to hang out through my training. I feel that there needs to be more understanding on the other side, and I thank those that have supported me throughout my marathon training. It is NOT easy, and if you don’t balance training with rest equally, you will burn out.

2) Camaraderie-There is something really special about the running community, and that is we all friends whether we know each other or not. We all spend our months doing the same thing, training day after day, and when it comes to race day we all motivate each other and have a good time. It would be nice to see this in our country right now, but some people are too busy still arguing about the election.

3)Stretch throughout the race-Every time I stopped to use the porta potties, I stretched out my legs. It really helps, especially miles down the road.

4)Hydrate-VERY important. After mile 3 in NYC, there were Gatorade and water stations at every mile (as well as porta potties) I had water on my fuel belt as well, but never touched it once. I took in electrolytes and water throughout the entire marathon to stay alert.

5)Thank the Volunteers-The volunteers are on their feet as long as we were, and without them we could not run marathons . Every single volunteer I grabbed a water or a gel from, I thanked with a smile. And they are also very encouraging as well. Be grateful for these amazing people.

6)Skip the earbuds-No need for music when you have thousands of city spectators saying your name and cheering you on. This is thew first race I didn’t listen to music. I kept my earphones in the whole time just to hold my phone, but more than half of the race I had my phone off to conserve battery.

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At this point, I was in pain

7)It hurts, a lot– When I got to mile 22 of the marathon, my legs and feet just hurt. At that point I just took it mile by mile to the finish line. Don’t worry if you can no longer feel your legs at this point; It is completely normal and once you get to the finish your adrenaline will start pumping again and all is well.

8) Enjoy the moment-Don’t get to mile 6 and say to yourself “Only 20 miles to go!” Embrace the experience, have fun with the spectators, and enjoy the race. It is a journey from start to finish. Like Christmas, these things happen but once a year.

9) It hurts after too-This is a no brainer; After the race, my legs were hurting but not as bad as thimg_5151ey did the next day. And the day after that…Stairs are no joke my friends.

10)No one can take this away from you-You worked hard for this, this is your day, your moment. Have fun.

I look forward to applying what I learned from the NYC Marathon, to the Philadelphia Marathon as well as future races. Philly’s course is a lot flatter, so I think it will be more forgiving on my legs. Nevertheless, I have to be prepared. 4 days to go!

-Caitlin

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