New Year, New Goals (and some repeat offenders)

Hello!

It’s hard to believe the first month of 2017 has already come and gone. We are 9 days into February and I have to say, I’m crushing some of my goals and slacking hard on others. In order to hold myself more accountable, I thought I would share my goals with you. So without further ado, here’s what I’m focusing on right now.

Fitness goals:

  • Run under 1:32 in the NYC half (this would break a 6 year old half-marathon PR)
  • Run 3:18 or faster in the 2017 Chicago Marathon
  • Strength train 1-2 times a week
  • Recover better- more sleep, refuel within the recommended 30-40 minutes, foam roll, ice baths, etc.
  • Do more yoga
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NYC marathon 2016. Photo credit: Erica

Personal goals:

  • Blog at least once a week
  • Say no to things I don’t want to do
  • Read more
  • Organize my apartment
  • Grow my health coaching practice
  • Meal prep/cook for the week on Sundays
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Homemade veggie pad thai

So…now that my goals are out there in the interwebs I can no longer hide from them. I have a lot of work to do and it won’t be easy, but I am committing to chasing after what I want even if there are some failures along the way.

What are your goals for 2017? How do you hold yourself accountable?

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Boston Marathon 2016 Recap

Well, it’s been a little over two months since I ran the Boston Marathon. I’ve had a little a lot of time to process my race and as disappointed as I am in how it went, I’ve gotten past it. I put in the work and didn’t have the results that I should have had. It’s that simple, yet also complicated. That’s the thing about running a marathon-it all comes down to one day and anything can happen on that day, things that are out of your control, like the weather…
Grace and I arrived in Boston on Saturday afternoon  and went straight to the expo to meet a few friends. We sampled some goodies, took some pictures, and bought some gear.
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Get bib… check

 We left the expo, walked around Newberry street then walked over to the finish line. As we were walking we ran into Kelly and Casey!
Later that evening Grace and I went to meet our friend Katie for dinner at an Italian restaurant for some carbo loading. Katie and I shared gluten free pizza and pasta. Then we went back to the hotel for to relax and sleep.
The next morning Grace and I went for a shakeout run and we saw Meb! That had to be a good sign right?! We also saw Jessie!
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So great running into Jessie

After we got back and showered we went to brunch at Veggie Galaxy. The food was so delicious.

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tofu scramble with spinach & mushrooms, arugula salad, and french fries

After brunch we went back to the hotel and relaxed so I could rest my legs as much as possible. Grace left around 4:30pm and I met Kristen and Ben for dinner a little later. My pre-race meal was gluten free pasta with a little bit of tomato sauce. After dinner I packed my bag for after the race, got my gear ready and tried to go to bed at a reasonable time. I slept pretty well considering I was running a marathon the next day so when my alarm went off I didn’t have too much trouble getting out of bed.

I got ready pretty quickly then went to drop off my baggage. I found some CPTC teammates and headed to the bus. I was supposed to meet my friend Robin so I left the group, but I couldn’t find her so I just got on the bus by myself to Hopkinton. When I got off the bus I ran into a few other friends as I made my way to the field to try to find my teammates. I walked around for what felt like forever, but I couldn’t find them. However, I did end up finding Robin and some other friends so I sat with them until go time. As we sat there we could feel it getting hotter and hotter and we hadn’t even started running yet. By the time the race started it was already in the high 60’s, which is definitely not ideal marathon racing weather.

My goal going into this race was to PR (under 3:20:45), but I really wanted to run 3:18ish. I was still hoping to run well despite the heat since I had a strong training cycle, but I have had some issues running in the heat before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. So I tried to stick to my race plan as much as possible, but also be a little conservative considering the warm temps. Mile 1-6 ranged from 7:31-7:39. At mile 6 I went to take my first gel and it was already so warm from the heat & being in my pocket that I had a hard time eating it, but I managed to choke it down. My stomach started to bother me a little after though and I almost threw up a few times, but thankfully I kept it together. The sun felt so strong and there was no shade so I was sweating a lot early on. I was feeling off when I got to mile 10 I decided to slow down a little. I went through the half in 142:35, 2-3 minutes slower than I planned (was hoping to go through the half in 1:39-1:40), but tried not to let it get me down. I attempted to take a second gel shortly after, but had a really hard time because my stomach was still bothering me. I was starting to fade so I kept repeating mantras and focusing on just putting one foot in front of the other. I could hear the screams from the Wellesley girls getting closer and closer and finally I was past them.

Up next, the dreaded Newton Hills. Here is where the race really starts, but unfortunately I didn’t have the gas in my tank that I needed. My pace had slowed down to running in the 8:00 range. Thankfully I saw Kelly and she ran a mile with me.

Heartbreak Hill

I was seriously dying by this point, but having Kelly jump in to run with me for a little was so helpful. photo credit: @kellykkroberts

The Newton hills go from mile 17.5-21 and you run over a series of 3 “smaller” hills followed by Heartbreak Hill, which is the worst one. If you run smart earlier on you can really pick up the last portion of the course once you pass those hills, but instead I struggled my way to the finish with my times continuing to get slower (8:40’s-8:50’s and 2 miles just over 9:00). I was happy to run by friends cheering around mile 24, but I was really hurting. I could see the famous Citgo sign as I ran up another hill approaching mile 25, seriously. It is short, but any hill at mile 25 just sucks, especially when you are dying. Soon after I made the right on Hereford where I saw Sarah (thanks for the cheers!) and then the left onto Boylston Street. I mustered up every ounce of energy I had left and ran as fast as I could across the finish line. I was so freaking glad do be done. My official time was 3:36:12, 18 minutes slower than  I wanted, but sh** happens.

I walked shuffled to get my baggage, which was much closer to the finish than the last time I ran this race and I was definitely thankful for that. Baggage also happened to be close to the ‘The T’ so it was super easy to get back to the hotel. Going down the steps however, not so easy. I was very slow moving getting into the shower, but I finally managed to get myself cleaned up and headed over to Ryan’s parents’ house to celebrate.

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My 4th Boston Marathon medal. I still haven’t figured out how to run this course though. One day…

On my way home from Ryan’s I stopped to meet Jessie and her friend at a bar for a little then picked up dinner at Veggie Galaxy. I went back to the hotel and ate dinner in bed. It was glorious.

Clearly I didn’t have the race that I trained for or that I wanted. I know that I am capable of better, but I am proud of myself for sticking it through even when it got tough. It would have been so much easier to drop out so I could stop hurting, but running in these tough conditions only continues to make me a stronger runner both mentally and physically. All I can do now is learn from this experience and use it to fuel my training going forward.

What do you do when a race doesn’t go as planned? Leave it in the comments below!

Some thoughts before running the Boston Marathon

 

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I can’t believe that in 2 days I will be running the Boston Marathon! Eek! I am a mix of excitement and nerves. I have been training for this moment for months and in a few short days I will get to put my training to the test.

This training cycle was a strong one. I had good workouts, long runs, and races in preparation for the big day. I also had some bad workouts, but they only fueled me to work harder. I ran a few many 20+ milers and some of those runs included 8-10 miles at marathon pace in the middle to help me get “comfortable” running that pace when I was tired. I woke up at 4:30 am to run before work more times than I would have liked, but it was what I needed to do in order to fit in my training. I did workouts on the treadmill dreadmill when I was traveling for work, which I absolutely despise, but being away was no excuse to miss a workout. I put in the mileage week after week. I am ready.

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Longest run of the training cycle-24 miles with 10 miles at MP or faster.

I am so incredibly grateful that I am healthy and able to run. At this time last year I was suffering from an injury and couldn’t run without pain. I had to take a month off and come back slowly. Thankfully I recovered and was able to run the NYC Marathon last fall, but I wasn’t fully back to where I had been before the injury. I feel extremely lucky to have had the training cycle that I did and to be able to participate in the race on Monday. It really is an honor to run the Boston Marathon.

I feel so fortunate to have the most amazing running buddies who also happen to be my good friends and teammates. I wouldn’t be the runner I am today without them. They have inspired me more than they know, training their asses off and PRing in their goal races. I hope to follow in their footsteps.

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CPTC team photo post club champs 2015

Speaking of goals, I have a few for Monday. First, and foremost, I want to enjoy the race, soaking up everything along the course. In terms of time goals, my A goal is to run 3:18 or faster. My B goal is to run under 3:20,  which would still be a 45 second PR and my C goal is to run a course PR, which would be under 3:28. It is definitely scary putting my goals out there, but go big or go home, right?! This will be my fourth time running Boston and I hope it is my best one yet.

Regardless of what happens on Monday, I am proud of how this training cycle went. I spent countless hours training-long runs, speed work, tempo runs, oh my! I have no regrets. I know that I worked as hard as I possibly could have and that in itself is an accomplishment.

NYC Half Marathon 2016 Recap

I’m a little late with this race recap, but better late than never right?! Three and a half weeks ago I ran the NYC half marathon. This race is always so much fun and this year’s race did not disappoint. I wasn’t training specially for this race, but using it to test my fitness for the Boston Marathon. Did I secretly hope that I would PR? Sure, but the ultimate goal was to run strong and feel good (Spoiler alert-I didn’t PR and I’m okay about it).

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Flat Dani

Race morning I met my friend Ambreleah and we jogged to baggage to drop off our things and meet some other friends to warm up. Three miles and two bathroom stops later, we headed to the corrals to get settled. I found my friend Jane and we discovered that we had a similar goal in mind so we decided to start together. I was pretty cold so I kept on my throw away shirt for as long as I could, taking it off a few seconds before start time. Before I knew it I heard the command then the horn blew and we were off!

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Running down the West Side Highway

With just over a mile to go I entered the Battery Park Underpass, which felt like it went on forever. Satellite always gets so wonky at that part of the race so I wasn’t really sure what pace I was running, but I kept pushing as hard as I could, knowing that once I got out of the tunnel the finish line wouldn’t be too far away. When I exited the tunnel I was greeted by a lovely brutal burst of wind as I tried to turn up my final gear. I saw the 400m sign, dug deep and ran as hard as I could to the finish. At this point I knew I wasn’t going to PR, but I thought I could still run under 1:34. I was wrong… I ended up running 1:34:14. It’s funny how the finish line always seems a lot closer than it really is!
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📷 credit: MarathonFoto

I walked to baggage, found some of my friends then headed to the gym to shower and get ready for our team celebration.

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Fast ladies, great friends

Even though I didn’t PR I’m happy with how this race went. I felt strong pretty much the whole race, negative split, and finished feeling like I still had something left. Most importantly, it gave me confidence for Boston!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We’ve made it through the work week. Time to celebrate! This is the first post of a series I’m calling Friday Favorites. Here are five things that I’m loving right now.

IMG_7379No better way to finish a long run on a Saturday morning than ending at Juice Press for a free juice/bottled smoothie! Did I mention it’s free? That’s right people! All you have to do is post a picture on instagram at least 30 minutes before you go into any Juice Press. What are you waiting for?!

IMG_9754This view is pretty spectacular. I am extremely lucky that Central Park is practically in my back yard and that I get to run here on a daily basis. Lately it’s been showing off even more than usual.

IMG_9752purely elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal cups make for the perfect breakfast on the go. All you need to do is add water (or milk if you prefer), microwave for a few minutes, and breakfast is served! It’s delicious and keeps you feeling full all morning.

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I am loving this believe training journal. Created by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan-Dumas, this journal is a place to log runs & workouts, look for patterns, set goals, and so much more. It is filled with beautiful pictures and quotes to motivate and inspire you.

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I am currently obsessed with my New Balance 1500s. This lightweight running shoe provides stability and support whether I’m running 3 miles or 20 miles, but doesn’t weigh me down. They are so comfortable and I seriously feel like I could run in them forever.

That’s a wrap! Check back next Friday to see what else I’m loving.

xo,

Dani

purely elizabeth Product Review

Blueberry Hemp ancient grain granola + puffs cereal and Apple Currant ancient grain muesli

Blueberry Hemp ancient grain granola + puffs cereal and Apple Currant ancient grain muesli

Have you heard?! purely elizabeth has two new products: ancient grain granola + puffs cereal and ancient grain muesli. I tried them for the first time a few weeks ago and loved them both! purely elizabeth took their ancient grain granola and mixed in heart-healthy millet puffs for a cereal that is lower in sugar, calories and fat. The ancient grain granola + puffs cereal comes in four flavors: blueberry hemp, cranberry pecan, original, and pumpkin fig. So far I have tried the blueberry hemp and pumpkin fig flavors. They are both so freaking delicious! The cereal is light and the granola adds a nice crunch. It is so versatile and can be eaten a variety of ways. I really enjoyed it with almond milk and a scoop of peanut butter and on top of coconut yogurt.

So yummy!

So delicious on top of Organic Avenue coconut yogurt.

The ancient grain muesli comes in three flavors: apple currant, cranberry cashew, and mango almond. It is made with ancient grains and superfood seeds for an innovative twist on an old classic. I tried the apple currant flavor. I soaked it in almond milk (homemade by my friend Seulki) overnight then topped it with almond butter. It was so good. I am also planning to bake with the muesli so stayed tuned for some recipes!

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purely elizabeth ancient grain granola + puffs cereal can be found in tons of grocery stores and health food markets across the country. It can also be purchased through their website online at http://purelyelizabeth.com.

Have you tried either or both new products yet? If so, what did you think?

Disclaimer: I received these products to sample from purely elizabeth. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Eating Healthy on The Road