RnR Half Recap Mile By Mile


I did it!  Wooooot!  And I had a BIG PR!  What an amazing (weekend and) morning! So, let me recap mile by mile because some of my thoughts, frankly, were hilarious….

Best way to prep for a race:  coffee in the 13.1 mug while reading an amazingly sweet card from an amazing friend

Best way to prep for a race: coffee in the 13.1 mug while reading an amazingly sweet card from an amazing friend

MIle 1- I cannot believe I got here on time

Husband dropped me off at the start and, because of my own fault, was super late (I decided to pump last minute to avoid any boob issues).  I think he dropped me off at 7:54. The race began at 8.  I initially felt like I needed to use the portas but immediately decided against it as I bolted from the car to the start while the anthem was being sung. Good feeling.  Not.  Anyway, I was debating for a  LONG time wether to run in a long sleeve shirt or a tank with a throwaway.  Husband let me use one of his sweatshirts to toss and it was BY FAR the right choice.  I feel bad though because I got rid of it at around .5 miles and I totally could’ve gone without.

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Thanks, Marathonfoto!

Mile 2- I LOVE my Peanie and Hubs!

They were going to meet me around City Hall and then later around Falls Bridge when I KNEW I would need it. They looked so cute and made an awesome sign!  PS:  Peanie is my little nickname for Z.  I always called him peanut since he is a little peanut, and it has been shortened to Peanie (I know, sounds weird but whatever, like Husband said, he is 17 months, wtfc).  So anyway, I was feeling REALLY good.  And of course, like always, I went out too fast.  Positive splits for the win.  Not.  LOL.  Anyway, digestively things were going really well and I was psyched for the race.  Last night went like all (successful races go: PIZZA; someone even joined in the action:

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Seeing my little man and husband was a nice pick me up.  They were RIGHT where they said they would be!

Mile 3- So glad I saw my Aunt!  Where are my Mom and Dad?!

My Aunt met me around 6th and Market.  Super cute sign (the motherrunner one).  It was soooo nice to see her.  MY M+D were supposed to be with her and  I didn’t see them!  I felt sad and thought they didn’t come.  Turns out they were on the other side of the street. I ALWAYS run on the right (makes it tough for when water and Gatorade are on the left, but if it ain’t broke, dont fix it!).

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Cool signs; the one on the right is a personal joke between me, husb and peanut 🙂

5K Split= 26:49

MIle 4- Ugh this is a going to be a LONG haul

So, it was great seeing my family at the race but it was so early in the process that I was really worried about my motivation waning over the rest of the miles.  Admittedly, I did start to worry that I had indeed gone out to fast and wouldn’t be able to sustain the pace.I was running some 7:30s!

Mile 5- OK, just one “loop” to go.  

BZ (Before Zach), I used to train constantly on “the loop” from Eakins Oval, around the boathouses, across the Falls Bridge and then back down to the Art Museum.  It seemed long then and I had not done that loop in a LONG time.  So, I felt a bit anxious and beat down.  My legs were starting to feel the speed, especially my groin. BUT, I LOVE the loop so I tried to go into it positively, to enjoy the scenery and the beauty of this part of the city.

MIle 6- Pass the girls in the sports bras.

So, here is a little secret about me:  I have ALWAYS wanted to be able to run in just a sports bra.  And yea, I could, but I mean REALLY able to run, like six-pack able.  I am not.  But during this mile, I was beginning to fade, so I played a little game with myself:  pass the girls in sports bras.  Hahha. I know.  Nerd alert, but it made me pick up the pace and occupied my mind!  Don’t judge.

10K split= 53:34

Mile 7- I NEED to see my Peanie. I’m fading

I was REALLY fading during this mile.. I knew that seeing my little guy would give me some needed energy I just needed to get to him!    My legs (groin and hammies) were really bothering me and I wanted to stop SO badly to stretch but didn’t think I would start back up if I did.  I threw a few shot bloks in my mouth and braced myself to see Z and hubs.  It was awesome when I did, but then that darn hill leading up to the Falls Bridge greeting me with a slap in the face butt.

MIle 8- MUST stop to stretch. WIll I regret this?!

On the Falls Bridge, I just HAD to stop and pull our my hammies and squat for the groin. HAD. TO.  I only stopped for about 30 seconds but it felt incredible and was a GREAT decision.  I restarted with a fresh attitude and what felt like new legs!

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Mile 9- NO regrets. Leave it all out there.

That’s it.

MIle 10- You TRAINED for this!

I had to remind myself this many times.  I specifically reminded myself several times for the few 12-milers that I had.  You HAVE to trust the training.

10 mile split= 1:27:01

Mile 11- Can I break a 1:55?!

I honestly don’t usually try to set a goal until late in the race when I see how I am feeling.  I am a racer who goes out quickly, puts it ALL out there and then tends to struggle (happily though) at the end.  I would rather know that I had some short beginning miles and have some extra time to play with when I am gassed, then start slow and try to make up time later in the race.

Mile 12- I am NEVER doing a marathon

I had told the Husband after watching Spirit of the Marathon that I would probably want to run a marathon at some point in my life.  Possibly after baby # 2.  Hahhaha boy did I regret that sentiment during this mile. I could NOT imagine doing those 12 miles AGAIN!  I was also REALLY starting to regret”over running” the first mile.  It is a mistake I ALWAYS make.  I get overzealous and weave….a lot. IN this case I wove about ,25 of a mile!  ARGH!  The whole race I was .25 miles ahead of the actual race course (at 2 miles my Garmin said 2.25, etc.).  I was getting tiyuuuuuuurd and could’ve used a .25 mile reprieve!

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Mile 13- Who put that hill there?!

What a mindf$%k that last .1 of a mile was!  Not only had I already run 13.1 😉 but they had all of the race photographers on an overhang at mile 13 so you use all of your energy cheering and thinking the finish like is right there….and then there is a hill.  Now I am sure on any other day this would seem like a mole hill, but today, at mile 13, it was a MOUNTAIN!  Argh!  What a tough one!  My legs felt like there were sandbags attached to them and I felt like I was walking!  Hahha what a way to end a race!  But, I left it all out there and today was EPIC.

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Final Race Stats:

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 2.06.02 PMAs you see from my Garmin above, I over ran and my actual 13.1 time was 1:52:20 (I checked my watch out of curiosity).

And finally, some pics from yesterday’s Expo:

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I thought Running was Good for you?


Helloooooooo!  How YOU doin’?  (Guilty pleasure= Wendy Willams show, speaking of guilty pleasures, Truthday Tuesday will return THIS evening!)  ANYWAY, I had a random thought about my recent bout(s) with mastitis and was thinking maybe part of the issue, and there are many, that contribute to my frequent infections, could be due to a suppressed immune system from running. Some of  my other suppositions are:

-not getting a enough sleep (haven’t slept through the night really in 17 months.

-Sleeping on my belly (causes constriction)

-Exercising with two sports bras (again causes constriction)

-Doing too much, getting run down


But regarding the idea of it being caused by a suppressed immune system due to my training sessions (these bouts seem to occur at the end of any intense training schedule ; running the half on Sunday; a post coming on that later) just popped into my head and I wan’t to research it.  You know, old school style, the internet 😉  Dr. Google is your friend 🙂  Haha seriously though. I did a little search and here is what I found:

Long, slow runs (90 minutes or more) use slow-twitch muscle fibers, which feed on simple sugars, the same fuel as the immune system, says Michael Ross, M.D., medical director of The Performance Lab in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “It sets up a resource battle between the exercising muscles and the immune system, with the immune system losing out,” he says. While you probably don’t want to give up all your long runs, you can scale back on mileage by replacing a medium-distance day with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT): Instead of a slower run over 1.5 hours, for example, do a series of eight intervals where you’re running at 80 to 85 percent of your max for four or five minutes, with two minutes of recovery in between. Also, avoid increasing both intensity and volume at the same time, says Dr. Ross, a sports physician. After upping your mileage, give yourself a two-week buffer before adding a tempo workout. A good prerace taper also helps your immune system recover.

The body recognizes vigorous exercise as a stress factor: Hard workout or bad day at the office, it all looks the same to your internal fight-or-flight response. Add to that the mental angst that often goes along with race preparation, and it’s no wonder runners are prone to colds. All the more reason to work on your mental balance, says exercise kinesiologist Andrew Johnston. “Studies show that meditating for 20 minutes a day can lower stress,” says Johnston, the founder of Triumph Training in Atlanta. “But you can break that up over the course of a day.” The easiest way to start is to focus on one breath: Inhale slowly through your nose, pause, exhale slowly. Aim for 10 breaths, gradually adding time over several days. On your rest days, try going for an evening stroll, taking a tai chi class, or doing yoga. “These kinds of restorative activities are a good complement to an aggressive training schedule,” he says.

Adequate rest is not only crucial for your performance, but for your overall well-being, says Lewis G. Maharam, M.D., medical director for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and author of Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running. After strenuous workouts, sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body, he says. And research shows that repeated lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) lowers your immunity protection by up to 50 percent. In fact, a study of German athletes found that risk of upper-respiratory infections was highest in those who reported sleep deprivation and stress. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep—or staying asleep—in the days leading up to your race, you may need to back off your training. Insomnia can be a symptom of overtraining. Still can’t snooze? Make sure you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, try jotting down any worries before turning in, and start winding down 30 minutes before bedtime.

Eating right matters most when endurance athletes reach the peak of their training. To ensure you’re taking in ample nutrients and dietary fiber, Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, says to include plenty of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich food sources in your daily meals and snacks. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, seafood, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, olive and canola oil), whole soy foods, cooked Asian mushrooms, herbs and spices, and tea, as well as red wine and dark chocolate (both in moderation). During a hard run, adds Dr. Ross, drink a carbohydrate beverage. And in the first hour after a workout or race, he suggests drinking a recovery beverage that has carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates slow the release of stress hormones; protein stimulates white blood cell counts, which shield against upper-respiratory problems.

Fascinating!  But I thought running was supposed to be good for you!!!  Just kidding, what that article means is that YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF WHEN RUNNING or it could literally make you sick.  Anyway I just thought this was interesting.

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Verti-NO and a Stepback Week


OHHHHH Friends. Yet another random health mishap in the life of Mrs. Upsanddownes 😉  Let me set the scene:  it was husband’s birthday Sunday. I had worked a convention for Nest in the morning,


And then took Z to husband’s baseball game.


On the way home I stopped at Reading Terminal to pick up cannoli for the birthday boy.  At about three blocks from my house, I experienced a MAJOR dizzy spell like nothing else I have EVER experienced. I thought it was a fluke and continued to drive a few feet, but it continued.  So I pulled over and got out, putting my head between my knees to try to get my bearings.  I didn’t know what to think. I was SO scared. The following thoughts went through my head:  is there carbon monoxide in the car (is Zach ok!?!)?  Am I having a stroke?  Migraine?  (Never had one and my head didn’t hurt Brain tumor?!  ARGG  worst. feeling. ever.  Panic set in.  I somehow made it home, nursed Z, put him down for a nap and collapsed on my bed to “wait it out.”  It didn’t get better.  I tried to look at my phone and everything was spinning.  I just had this horrible gut feeling that something was REALLY wrong, so I called my neighbor to come over to watch Z until my mom came from the ‘burbs and I walked teetered to Pennsylvania Hospital’s ER.  Thank God I made it without passing out, puking, or falling over.  Long story short, I was there for about 5 hours.  It was kinda awful.  After some tests, it was confirmed that I had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). From the WebMD

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Vertigo is the feeling that you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused by a problem in the inner ear camera. It usually causes brief vertigo spells that come and go.

For some people, BPPV goes away by itself in a few weeks. But it can come back again.

BPPV is not a sign of a serious health problem.

What causes BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a problem in the innerear. Tiny calcium “stones” inside your inner ear canals help you keep your balance. Normally, when you move a certain way, such as when you stand up or turn your head, these stones move around. But things like infection or inflammation can stop the stones from moving as they should. This sends a false message to your brainand causes the vertigo.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is a feeling that you are spinning or tilting when you are not. This can happen when you move your head in a certain way, like rolling over in bed, turning your head quickly, bending over, or tipping your head back.

BPPV usually lasts a minute or two. It can be mild, or it can be bad enough to make you feel sick to your stomach and vomit. You may even find it hard to stand or walk without losing your balance.

 Anyway, it sucked.  But they gave me a great anti-vertigo med to use until the problem resolves itself.  I am so thankful it wasn’t more serious (and that I was home to feed Z and put him to bed).  It is so scary when you feel so out of control and don’t know what is going on!  Anyone else ever experience this?!  Horrible.

OK, so this week seemed like a perfect one for a step-back week from half-marathon training.  I have about a month until the big day!

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Funny, because Caitlin was just talking about stepback weeks. From her blog:

What Coach Marni calls an Active Recovery Week is basically a Stepback Week. What does this mean? Well, in any decent training plan for longer events, every month of so, you’ll get a break (in running training plans, you usually see about 25% less mileage during a stepback week).  Stepback weeks are necessary for two reasons: 

  • Physical:  Stepback weeks give your body a break and allow time for muscles to heal properly.  Avoiding injury is key, and stepbacks really give your joints and bones a break from the constant pounding of ANY distance training plan.
  • Mental:  Most importantly (to me), stepbacks give you a mental break.  Especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon or a longer triathlon, the training program is such a huge time commitment.  Stepbacks give you some breathing room and help boost your spirits.  I always come back from a stepback week ready to go!


AMEN.  This girl needed a stepback week both mentally AND physically (due to vertigo and heavy legs) this week. My average mileage has been 30-35 throughout training, but will be less this week in order to “step back.”  I will still do a long run so to stay on training schedule, but here is what my Stepback week has/will look like:

Saturday- OFF due to travel

Sunday- OFF due to vertigo

Monday- 4 miles, easing back after vertigo bout (also thought I could “jog” the crystals back into place LOL.  Really.

Tuesday- 7 miles (SPLIT: 4.25 hills on treadmill, later 2.75 easy)

Wednesday- 4 miles outdoors on track (was supposed to be easy but felt soooo hard, like one mile was really ten)

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Thursday- cross train (elliptical?)

Friday- haven’t decided


Sunday- Long Run

Anyway, that’s the stepback.  How have you been?!

Community Run For Boston; For Jessica Downes

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I am typing this while glued to the TV in anticipation of the capture of the second perpetrator in the horrible terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.  I, myself, have been greatly affected emotionally by this incident, as it hits close to home and makes my heart hurt for all involved.  In fact, there was a Jessica Downes who was severely injured in the attacks and I have had some reach out, inquiring if it was me, in a strange coincidence, her name being Jessica K (maiden name same initial as mine) Downes, a fellow runner.  Both she and her new husband, married in August, lost a leg in the brutal attack.  Here is an article about this lovely young woman. Just heartbreaking. It is so hard to want to help and not know how.  I ordered an Adidas Boston Stands as one shirt, all proceeds going to the One fund.

And Yesterday, in a show of support and solidarity, Philadelphia Runner organized a community run for Boston.  From their site:

Philadelphia Runners Support Boston With Citywide Group Runs. Thursday, April 18th

Join local running groups, running stores, and running friends as we run across Philadelphia on Thursday night to show our support for our friends in Boston. Runs will meet at various locations throughout the city at 7PM. They will then run to City Hall where we will meet in the courtyard at 7:30 and then run together, as a group, down Market Street to Independence Mall (Market between 5th and 6th). From there people will disperse and continue their runs individually or with their group.

All runners and walkers are invited.

I donned a Boston-esque shirt

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and headed out to run down to City Hall.

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The scene was powerful, emotional and fitting.

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We then all ran down Market Street to Independence Mall where some more words and chants were heard.  It was a beautiful way to show support for those affected.  WE RUN BECAUSE WE CAN.  Much love.



Hi everyone! I hope you had a FANTASTIC weekend!  I definitely did!  I turned 33 and ran 13.1 all in one day!  It was exhausting 😉  For real though, this race deserves a recap! So, without further ado, the More Fitness Half Marathon in Central Park New York on April 14, 2014!!!!

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I must say, the best part about the race experience was having my entire family there to support me.  I REALLY needed the adrenaline rushes upon seeing them throughout the race and  am SO appreciative they were there.

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My whole plan was  have everyone come to NYC for the night before, stay in a hotel then come cheer me on for the race on the morning of my birthday. That was my desire for a birthday present.  It was awesome!  We stayed at the Empire Hotel NYC.  While  place was gorgeous and the rooms impeccible, I found the service to be, at best, on the iffy-side.

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We all made the trek up to the city during Zach’s PM nap in order to arrivetime for the Expo and pick up my bib.

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I usually LOVE race expos and could spend hours there perusing the amazingness,  but I was SUPER disappointed by this Expo.  MAJOR CON.

-It was held at the Metropolitan Pavillian; kind of strange place for an Expo

-THEY RAN OUT OF T-SHIRTS!  Don’t you know how many t-shirts  you will need even down to the size (you sign up for a size online)?!?  So they ran out of tech ts (Athleta brand) and had crappy low quality ones made last minute.  I was able to grab a tech t in a large, as they had run out of M(the size I had orered)

-Vendors were eh.

-Restrooms served as dressing rooms so this lady who came all the way fom Philly and REALLY had to pee, had to wait a WHILE for one of the FOUR stalls people were trying clothing on in.

-NO liquid (water, Gatorade, etc) and hardly any samples.  In fact, frugality seemed to be a theme…

-Race “goody bags” lacked anything “good.”  ONE Kashi granola bar and a pack of tissues among MANY pamphlets.  Oh and I love how Athleta put in a huge catalog with NO coupon, promo, NADA.  Again, frugality.

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ANYWAY, we all agreed on having pizza (NY has the best) in our hotel room (which was a gorgeous suite) when Zach went to bed.  I was thrilled because I LOVE pizza and it tends to work for me on race eve.  I set all of my stuff up:  I tend to be SUPER anal about this; including attaching my D-tag timer (not usually my favorite timing devices because I fear needing to mess with my shoe laces mid-race; I usually prefer bib timers, but this ended up working out as I kept my “throwaway shirt” on for five miles, thereby hiding my bib) and securing a picture of Zach under my Garmin for inspiration when it got tough, which I knew it would.

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I (geek-ishly) studied the course map while chowing down

race map

and went to bed super early in hopes of feeling refreshed on race morning.  I also wrote the major hills on my hand to prepare me as well as a plan for when to take my shot bloks (before said major hills and before water station as they need to be flushed down).  The major hills were at miles 1.5, 3.5 and 4.5.  You loop TWICE through the 6.02 mile course, so you repeat the hills at miles 7, 9.5 and 10.5.  The worst hill is “Harlem Hill on the northwest side of the park (miles 3.5 and second loop mile 9.5).  I feared this hill BIG time, and rightfully so.  From the internet:

“you climb 84 vertical feet at a grade of 4.4% to cover 0.32 miles to the top of
Harlem Hill”

It kicked.my.ass.  Literally.  Butt and quads are KILLING today.  ARGH.  To put it into perspective, my previous half marathon pre-baby was 2:02 and change.  Going into the race, I knew it would be tough given the hilly cours, especially because I had trained entirely on the treadmill.  My goal was for a sub 2 hour half.  When I started that Harlem Hill climb, my new goal was to just finish!  Ha, really though, I mentally re-adjusted my goal for this race to sub 2:05, thinking I’d go after my sub-2 in September during the (FLAT) Rock ‘N Roll Philly.  Anyway, this race was SUPER tough.  I’d glance at my Garmin down hill and be flying at 7 and change minute miles but then struggle to keep a 10-min pace uphill at times. I was nervous.  BUT at about mile 10, I started thinking my sub 2 MIGHT happen.  I was thinking, “man, is it worse to see my goal is do-able and KNOW I need to PUSH SOOOOO HARD or to see it is not attainable and be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the finish?”  Do any other runners think this?!  Anyway, at 10 miles I think my Garmin was around an hour and a half and change so I KNEW I needed to buckle down, PUSH (my mantra) and leave it all out there.

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And that I did!  With a hair to spare!  1:59:28!!!!  Wahoooooo!  SUPER STOKED.  This was a VERY physically and mentally challenging race.  I am so happy with how it turned out and cannot wait for my future races!  This one really made me feel positive about my future races because it was so challenging.  Next up in the immediate future: Run for Babies April 28 (10k) then Broad Street (10 miler)!  Excited!  So tell me, have you run a race lately? Which?!

EXTRA PS TO MY RACE FANS (You know who you are): Thank you SO much for making the weekend so special!  It was an AWESOME way to celebrate my birthday, minus the MAJOR stomach distress I had for the entire day and night post-race causing me to spend brunch in the ladies room.  Dehydration is cute.  XOXO

I.C.E. and the Taper Plan

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I. (Ice)

C. (Compression)

E. (Elevation)

The name of my game.

Hi Friends.  (Insert downcast voice here)  Unfortunately my shin is hurting again, I believe due to my race Sunday.  Bummer.  Definitely should’ve taken the time to ice, stretch, etc.  But, there was a swim class to get to with my Baby so there was no time for that. Then, I was SUPER sore Monday and thought it to be a good idea to do 5 shake down miles to “get the blood” flowing in order to be abel to stretch out.  I probably should’ve done one mile then stretched it out.  Grrrrr. I HATE injury.  I took yesterday off thinking it would help, but a little too late I believe.  I felt great during my seven miler today but immediately after cool down was feeling the pain again.  SO, with my race three weeks away, here is my plan… I will take off tomorrow (Thursdays are normal rest days for me anyway due to crazy schedules). Friday I will cross train (take a spin class) and put no pressure on it. Saturday I will take off.  Then Sunday, I will attempt my long run (again, only three weeks left before race and I can’t really bear to throw away all of my training thus far).  As a side bar, this is interesting information from HRGs blog about “losing running fitness…” (From Hansen’s Marathon Method)

1-2 days missed: “Training can resume normally without scaling back mileage or intensity. You lose a couple days of running; no harm done.   While a number of missed workouts can spell your doom for your marathon goals, a single lost workout will never be your demise.”

3-6 days missed: There will be very small physiological regressions from taking this many days off.  ”After 3-4 days of missed training, come back slowly by running easy for 2-3 days, then pick the schedule back up and follow it as usual.  If 5-6 days are missed, run easy for 3-4 days and then revert to the previous week’s training regimen.”

7-10 days missed:  ”At this point the body starts to lose some of those hard-earned physiological gains you have made.  Keep in mind that if you can still manage to run some short, easy runs during this period and have the go-ahead from your doctor, the time it takes to return to normal training will be significantly less.  If running isn’t possible, commit to cross training to prevent a drop-off in fitness. Upon your return to running, you should run easy for the same number of days that were missed.”

More than 10 days missed:  ”After two weeks of lost training, the decrease in physiological gains are quite significant- as much as 3-5%  After 21 days away from running, 10% or more of fitness is forfeited.”

“The key to cross training during injury is to find an activity that mimics running as closely as possible, such as using an elliptical or a stationary bike.”

 ANYWAY, I  will reassess at that point to see if I can handle the long run on Sunday.  It is supposed to be 12.  If not, I will adjust.  OK, so that brings me to my taper plan.  For long races (anything over 10K-for 10k I just take the day off before, although maybe I should reassess given my latest injuries) such as a half marathon, you need to taper.  The miles you don’t run are just as important and the ones you do in a successful training plan.  I did a bunch of research via the trusty www, and picked the taper plan I felt would make my race the most successful.  I didn’t want to taper TOO much (I love running) but I also wanted to be fresh and avoid injury.  Anyway, The taper plan I chose to follow was from active.com and endurancesportsinsitute.com.  The gist from ACTIVE is:


Start cutting your mileage two weeks before the race. The first week, run 75 percent of your normal mileage; the final week, run 50 percent. The first week, run 4 x 800 meters at your 10K race pace with a 400-meter jog between repeats.

The final week, run 4 x 400 meters at 5K race pace with a 200-meter jog between repeats. A few days before the race, jog two miles, then run 6 to 8 x 100-meter strides at 90 percent effort.

On track days: 1) Wear the shoes you plan to use in the marathon; 2) jog four laps before and after the workout; 3) walk or jog slowly during the recovery interval.

On “easy” days: 1) Run no faster than marathon goal pace; and 2) add walking breaks if you plan to walk at times during the marathon.

On rest days: Don’t even cross-train. Rest.

So, my taper plan will look like the following.  It is based on the fact that I run average 30 miles a week during most of my training:

2 weeks out (week of 3/31-4/6)> 75% (22 miles total) Long run=9 (33% less of longest run to taper long run)

– 4×800 (half miles) at 10k pace with 400s jog repeats (1/4 mile) in between

1 week out (4/7>4/13)>50% (15 miles total), long run being in the beginning of that week, 6 miles (reduced by another 33% of longest)

-4×400 (1/4 miles) at 5k pace with 200s jog repeats in between

Anyway, that is my general plan.

AAAND, in one more piece of running news, my stats from Sunday somehow changed (?)…


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14>16 and 64>68 but 32=32 LOL.  Oh, and this:

get your rear in gear 2013

SO, that was a lot of running nitty gritty!  Now for your daily dose of cuteness:)



Bad Training.


This is a post about running, so if that doesn’t suit your fancy, feel free to visit later for a Zach-centered post 🙂  Anyway, I will set something straight:  ANY physical movement is GOOD.  ANY.  Exercise, moving, whatever you choose to call it, has a positive effect on your body scientifically both emotionally and physically.  But when you are training for a race, you can be doing “bad training.”  Which is what I feel I have been doing.  Yes, I have been clocking about 30 miles a week which on the surface looks great, right?!  I mean I am getting LOADS of endorphins daily, enjoying the heck out of my runs, and doing physically “good things” for my body.  But I am not training efficiently.  Let me explain.  In the beginning of truly training for this half marathon, now about a month away, I decided to be “smart” about my training.  IN my weekly schedules I include a speed work day, a hill train day, a long run, a tempo run (at race pace) and an easy run.  I really wanted to stay away from “junk miles.”  Although I hate that term, because I feel that every mile ran is wonderful, in training, some can be junk in that they do not have much of a purpose TO the training PLAN.  So anyway, I thought that I could train fully inside on my treadmill, catching up on good (to me) TV while Zach napped.  Sounds good right?  So this weekend, I HAD to take advantage of the weather. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The type of weather us runners covet!  So out I went.


Ummm yea…I didn’t have a “bad run” like “oh today isn’t going well for me.” It was a total reveal of flaws in my training plan that I need to fix NOW with a month left of training.  I completed 5 miles in 47:12.  This is “meh” for time, but the problem was how I felt during and now after. as I type this I am alternating with the tiger tail.  5 miles should NOT leave me sore like this.  Yes, I did a lot of back-to-backs this week, but bottom line, I am not prepared for the outdoor terrain or anything else that goes along with it, that will mimic the race experience.  I detail more.  Here are the things that MUST change within the month.  Here are the flaws:


1.  Stoppage- on the treadmill I will “hop to the sides” for a moment to catch my breath, grab a drink, change the speed, read an email, etc.  Cant do that outside/during a race.  Nope.  Not only will I get run over, but the timing device does not stop and if I am attempting to run for time, I need to fix this and stop being willy-nilly about my mid-run pauses.  Not to mention the bathroom breaks I take from the comfort of my home (usually once every 5 miles?).

2.  Fuel/Water- yesterday I did not bring fuel or water on my 5 miler because I couldn’t figure out how to carry/manage either.  I used to run with a Camel Bak but thought I wouldn’t need it for a 5-miler. On the treadmill, I have everything I need right there. I can hop to the sides to grab sips of water, chew my shot bloks, and even pee.  Yea, not outside.

3.  Altering terrain- while I do hill train once a week, NOTHING mimics outdoor terrain like…outdoors.  There are sidewalks, curbs, cobblestone, brick (I live in Philly), little inclines and declines in the natural makeup of the street, weaving around people, etc.  You simply cannot mimic this on the treadmill.

4.  Media- when I run indoors on the treadmill, I watch my (amazing to me) TV shows 97% of the time. The only time I listen to upbeat music is sometimes during speed work but not always even then.  It is scientifically proven that people run faster when listening to music, especially music at a certain BPM.  I am going to (try to) forgo my beloved TV shows for some of my runs and switch to music. This will be easy with my “take it outdoors” plan (see below).


5.  Speed-  If I want to be fast I need to train faster.  I admit, many of my treadmill runs are laxidasical, speed set at 6.0 (ten min miles) or even 5.9!  The problem is that running is my fun me time and I LOVE it.  So “pushing through workouts” and speedy paces isn’t that much fun for me, and I don’t like taking the “fun out of run.” huh?!  LOL.  Anyway, I need to up the speed on the treadmill for the majority of my runs.  The fact it, I barely notice a .1 or .2 increase so I need to just do it.  Not every run need to be for speed, but overall I need to be increasing the MPH. (And here is where I admit that I also like running because it is similar to my teaching profession with the many acronyms.  Teaching= IEP, TEP, etc. LOL)

OK, so there you have it.  My training needs to mimic race conditions in a more authentic way.  Maybe not EVERY run, but more runs than I have been allowing for.  Solution:  I WILL be running outside 1-2 a week. This fits in perfectly with the beautiful weather changes and the fact that I have been wanting to take Zach out in the jogging stroller.  One outdoor run with be with him and another solo.  I think the jogger will increase my race speed as well.  Imagine pushing 50 pounds during training and then on race day…not!  I am going to run a 10k race next Sunday that is pretty hilly so that will be my hilly/outdoor run, and have already planned a river run with Zach in the stroller and a good friend before a special event I am going to that I will certainly blog about soon 🙂

Getting (back) into the Groove


UGH Motivation Gods, please help me!!!! I do not know what the problem is lately but I have been seriously lacking in motivation lately; not just with my workouts, but with life tasks in general.  (think:  house looks like a monsoon came through it)  I do not know if it is my various injuries or what, BUT per my stated plans, I MUST start my Half Mary training today…NO exceptions. I am hoping to get the the gym to bang through a four miler on the treadmill.  Philadelphia heat is definitely NOT cooperating with outside running plans…

I am going to be relying a LOT on the following:

– The latest US Weekly Mags

– My new ipad for entertainment


– My mantra:  Pain is temporary, PRIDE is forever.

Do you have a mantra you use for exercise?  For life in general?

TOP TEN INSTALLMENT 1: Ways a hotel staffer knows a Disney Runner has Occupied the Room

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Hello!  I been prepping this post for a while now, actually since I ran Disney!  So, in true upsanddownes fashion, I have decided to rock my keen knack for making up dumb clever top ten lists, just like my Dad

There I am next to my dad- the physical and mental resemblance is uncanny! 😉 LOL


THE TOP TEN Ways a hotel staffer knows a Disney Runner has Occupied the Room:

10.  There are leftover Gatorade bottles in the fridge, on the floor, or wherever one might’ve “stopped, dropped and drank.”

9.  There are bandaid wrappers (blister busters, I call ’em) scattered about (along with a possible smelly sock that got left).  EW.  No pic needed; that visual was enough for me even!

8.  There are empty plastic bags with various “trashed” race flyers, coupons, etc.

Race Expos are ALWAYS good for that!

7.  Combining the empty wrappers from sport products (GU, sport beans, etc.) could easily re-create the waste of an entire aisle of ________ (insert favorite neighborhood running store here).

6.  CORDS CORDS EVERYWHERE- oh, we’ve all left a random camera or Garmin charger (lesser-known to hotel employees usually and can be contrued as a torture device) in the socket…or not

5.  The empty pizza box…yup carb loading is BEST when combined with cheesey goodness (that’s only my expert opinion)

4.  The safety pins…Runners, need I say more?!?!

3.  Random post-race garb such as the lone compression sleeve, recovery sock or ace bandage…

I, for one, have had to say goodbye to many a shin sleeve post-race (sometimes due to my shoddy memory)

2. The glitter, bobby pins and everything else princess-y used to get princess-a-fied


1.  The random tutu left on the floor (kinda gives it away)

HAHAH I crack myself up!  Do I crack YOU up?!?! 🙂  Add your own to my list!

Running with a Friend

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So, I’ll start out this post with a question (I usually hit ya with it at the end)… Do you enjoy/like/prefer exercising with a friend????

Not to be sounding like a self-centered Debbie Downer (Downeser hehe) but I generally like to exercise ALONE…especially when it comes to RUNNING.  I really take the time when running to be by myself.  It is my “ME TIME.”  I get to sing think, reflect, or not.  BUT, yesterday I went it with a friend, and I realized that my reasons for running solo aren’t always great.  For example, running with a friend can be extremely motivating and way less boring.  Yesterday I went for a run with my friend Kristin.  She is SOOO great and in wonderful shape.  I was even getting butterflies in my belly, nervous that I would have to chase her the entire run and thinking I would burn out quickly. We planned to run from School over to the local park, do two loops there and run back. It is a 5-mile course that is filled with hills (in the park).  Well, I must say- we did great!  I don’t know if she was humoring me, but Kristin’s pace was LOVELY and I actually enjoyed the run AND the company!  So there was a final hill that I am pretty sure I would have ditched (aka walked up it) but because I was with a friend, I PUSHED…like hard.  And it was great.  SOOOO maybe my aversion to running with others is sort of a cop-out in ways.  Therefore, I am going to make it a goal to run with a partner at least once a week.  It can be really fun and encouraging!  So, thanks, Kris!

Kristin is the beautiful lady on the left 🙂

Moving on to today’s Oscar cuteness…We found out that Oscar’s Dog School (cute, right?) is closed all week for repairs, so the lovely Eamon filled in to help us out.  He is SOOO cool because he sent me some serious cuteness…Oskie waiting patiently for his treat 🙂

Happy Tuesday!  Toodles!