#26Strong City of Oaks Marathon Training Plan

I’m a part of the Saucony Team #26Strong and today officially kicks off training for my partner, Andi! I’m so excited for her and the entire journey to the finish line. I know she Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon Training Planwill do awesome come November 2 when we line up together at the City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh, NC. When it comes to my personal training and especially working with someone who hasn’t run a marathon before, my main goal for her is to enjoy the whole experience. One thing I cannot stress enough to anyone who is running or beginning running is that you can never get your ‘firsts’ back. Once you run your first, you’ll always remember it so make the most of the experience and don’t worry about time. Instead, soak up the scenery, the crowd and the feeling of finishing. We’ve discussed her training plan and schedule as she is a PA in Charlotte. The furthest she has run previously is a 10K so it will be a whole new world for her running this far and her training is a blank slate, which I am excited about.

When putting together her training plan, I discussed with her how I wanted her to feel while running and to make sure that she is actually enjoying training. I’ve run a lot of different training cycles and it really works well when I run less with the most important run of the week being the long run, because I know the mileage is what really matters come race day. Normally, when I’m coaching, I’m coaching cross country which is only a 3 mile race. Because I haven’t really ‘trained’ many people to run their first marathon beyond a few tips and tricks and putting together a very loose training plan for them, this is my first real go at it. I’m glad that Andi and I have a relationship where we talk often and are open with each other to discuss how things are going and I know she will be honest with me.

So here’s is her first month, July! I’m having her start out slowly and build her mileage up each week increasing by one mile for the long runs. The runs throughout the week are just to keep the legs fresh and can all be done at whatever pace she wants to run at. I told her if she wanted to run more because she felt great or switch up the run to do an interval, to do those on Wednesday because then it gives her legs time to recover for her long run on Saturday. 4 Month Beginner Marathon Training Program ScheduleIf you would like to download the full 4 Month Marathon Training Schedule – you can do so here: Four Month Marathon Training Schedule

I also registered for the race yesterday before the prices went up! I’m excited to run in November with her and know it will be such a fun weekend with her entire family at the finish line and a bunch of her friends and family running the first half with us as well.

City of Oaks Marathon RegistrationAs for me, I’m going to start training for Long Beach once we get back from Cabo in August. Before we go to Mexico, I’m going to keep running and have my long runs be between 8-13 miles on the weekends consistently, but for right now I’m really enjoying my 30 mile weeks of more relaxing running after the tough training cycle month I had in May. I’m still deciding how I want to ‘run’ Long Beach, so we’ll see what my training schedule looks like come August.

It’s going to be a fun four months leading up to race day and I know she can do it. Anyone can run, it’s all mental if they can do it or not. Let’s do this Team Lovie 26!


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Legacy Summer Nights 5K Race #1 Recap

So I haven’t run a 5K in quite some time and it was pretty apparent in my so-called ‘pacing’. It was great weather for a run and the location was great, the race was at a local park where we usually run and train with the team. I warmed up for a mile and felt ready to run. Before I knew it, we were lining up at the start line and I was surprisingly nervous.

I started off WAY, WAY too fast and I felt it for the rest of the race. We wound throughout the park by the time I hit the first mile and heard my split time, I knew that I was going to suffer and I did. After the first mile, I tried to relax and run a more consistent pace, but I was just hurting. My legs were tired from running too fast to begin with and I just focused on my breathing, which was pretty difficult because I was sucking wind. The entire course is on grass and it was easy to run on for my body.

Legacy Summer Nights 5K @ Heartwell ParkAs we started out on mile 2, I told myself it was 2 more miles left and that was it. I tried to push myself along but my whole body felt deflated! My legs were heavy and I just kept thinking about finishing, even though it seemed like it was so far away. We wove in and out throughout the park and finally I saw I was at 2.5 miles. It seemed like a REALLY long race to me at this point. I caught the girl who was just a little bit in front of me and tried my hardest to push myself to the finish line.

Legacy Summer Nights 5K @ Heartwell Park

B was home that day and actually brought our nicer camera and took some photos! It was nice having him there even though when I saw him, I felt horrible. This last photo was right at 2.5 left and I knew where the finish line was and it seemed so far away, I had no idea how I was going to make it that far. I wanted to stop and walk so bad!

Mary Kate came as well! It was a fun evening even if my butt was cramping the rest of the evening :/ Because I haven’t run a shorter distance like that in a while, I was reminded that it’s so different trying to pace yourself to run ‘fast’ when you’re not used to running that distance. Hopefully I will be a little bit more prepared to run more consistent paces at the next 5K next month!





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Running and Crafting

I signed up to run the Legacy Summer Nights 5K tomorrow night and I’m interested to see how my speed is! This week I ran a few times, after I took a week break, I started feeling MUCH better and my legs were much happier. I haven’t done any “speed work” in a little over a month, so when I tried to run a 6 miler with some faster mile it was much harder than I remembered! At least it was a nice cloudy morning for a run and the park was empty.

long-beach-running-heartwell-parkFor my speed work run, I started off slower, doing a 2 mile warm up keeping my pace at 8:00 and then tried to push myself through the next three, which was difficult. I finished those three in 7:12, 7:08, and 7:37. Tomorrow evening is the 5K and I think I should finish around 22:00. It will definitely be interesting to see how my speed is in such a short distance. I can’t even remember the last time I ran a 5K and it will also be a great test for the upcoming La Palma 10K that I run every year.But first, let me take a selfie

I’ve also been doing A LOT of workouts in the gym with weights to try to get toned for our trip to Mexico. I really don’t do much exercise besides running, so I was really sore at the beginning, which was in mid-April, but now I’m in more of a routine. I also took it very light when I was training for the Marathon in May. The workouts I’ve been doing seem to help give me definition in my arms. I have a little under 30 days left to really work hard and eat healthy, I’m trying my hardest! I love this shirt because whenever I wear it I feel like a lighting bolt!

This weekend I also got the chance to go to an Angel game with Shea, where we talked a lot of wedding and the Angels swept the Rangers. I’m getting so excited for her Bachelorette Party, Shower and wedding. This fall is going to be so crazy for us, but so fun.

I have a few crafting for her shower and wedding posts and home updates coming up that I have been meaning to post but just kept forgetting. I have been crafting a TON for her stuff and it’s been so fun even though I’d be more than okay if I never made another tissue paper tassel in my life. Maybe buying them on etsy would have been an easier option.


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A Run Worth The Drive

Disclosure – Buick allowed me to test drive the Verano for a week.  All opinions and photos are my own and all content is my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see Ts and Cs tab for more information.

When I first signed up for the Mountains to Beach Marathon, a month before the race, I started planning my trip up there. Luckily, Mary Kate was running the race and had already booked a hotel and I was able to convince her to let me stay with her for the night before the race. She was heading up earlier and staying longer than I was. I received an email about test driving a Buick Verano for their Runs Worth the Drive Program and thought this would be the perfect time to test drive it! Ventura, where the race was being held, is about an hour and forty five minutes from our house, so I was excited to get to drive it to my race and really be able to get a feel for it.

A Run Worth The DriveAfter having it for 3 days, it was time to head up to the race! I drove up through Los Angeles and the main things I loved about the Buick is how many features it had. I never realized that I love XM radio and how much I love seat heaters. The car was more than comfortable, zipped around with ease and had an amazing turning radius. I normally drive a 2006 Scion TC, and it was relatively the same, just so many upgrades and more space. I loved the fact that it has four doors when I have to pack the kids I coach in my car or take my dogs somewhere. It’s so nice to have that extra row instead of pushing your seats forward like I’ve become used too. I was shocked at the trunk space as well, there was A LOT of room in there. The radio consul was pretty awesome too, easy to use, lots of great features and had a lot of extras that my TC doesn’t have. When I got my TC the coolest things in cars was a built in iPod Adapter.


This run was SO worth the drive! I felt great the entire time I was running. It’s such a beautiful area and very different than where I normally run through the park by my house or the beach path. The greenery was so pretty and it reminded me a lot of my high school cross country days! It was a great run and the entire bike path that we ran on, from around mile 10 onward was so refreshing and easy on the legs. I really enjoyed the beauty of the mountains and then how the race ended right on the beach was the best of both worlds.

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Though the car actually had nothing to do with my race, driving it home was so fun because I was so happy about the race. I blasted music with the windows down and actually enjoyed sitting in LA traffic for once. I played this song too, and I’ll admit, I got teary! It was the perfect way to end the day.

So, how can you join in on the fun? Starting on June 26, the “Runs Worth the Drive Challenge” will start! Participants must log 5 miles of running per week, for six weeks. The competition will be tracked on MapMyFitness.com. There will be weekly prizes and the ultimate goal is to run 30 miles in 6 weeks. Participants who accomplish this will be entered into the grand prize drawing for an all-expense paid trip to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half-Marathon in Phoenix, Ariz.

To learn more about and join the Buick “Runs Worth the Drive Challenge,” click here.

I didn’t think I would be so sad to see the Verano go, but I was! I went back to driving my car and it just didn’t have the same pizazz that the Buick had and it made B and I excited to consider the Enclave when we are ready to purchase a new car in the next few years.


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Getting Faster ~ 5 tips to improve your speed

Over the past year, I’ve really started to focus on my speed and getting faster. It was some time during Track at an early spring meet that I realized I wanted to try to qualify for Boston and it was a scary goal for me. I remember when I first ran a marathon and ran 3:55 and thought about how far away I was from qualifying. I thought with hard work, dedicated training and a great race, it could possibly happen in October of this year. Last fall, I was hoping to break the 4 hour mark once again at Santa Clarita in November, which didn’t happen, and then I had an epic blow up at the Tucson Marathon. I trained well for both races, but I had no speed training and was running around 9:30 pace consistently. I really started training differently when I started coaching cross country and track in September of 2013. I’m a fairly competitive person, and I gradually started running with the team and kept improving. I have put in hard work and I can definitely see a difference in my running, training and racing. The results are pretty undeniable and I can’t believe it when you compare my average pace now (7:45-8:15) to my average pace a year ago (9:30s). Here are a few things that I’ve implemented that I think have really made a huge change in my running and training.

Getting faster! 5 tips to help you improve your speed while running. Continue reading

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