New Jersey Marathon Training: Week 15

After 20 miles on Sunday morning, I am now in the taper zone! I don’t remember feeling this excited during my last training cycle. However, these next three weeks are stacked. I’m behind on paperwork at work (LOL I’m always behind on paperwork), my mom is visiting, and I need to apply for (summer/new) jobs. So, the taper is hitting at a great time and our trip to the Jersey Shore will be a nice little reward for getting through it all.

ndnj marathon trainingwk 15

My “peak” week wasn’t perfect, with an unplanned rest day due to some elevated anxiety. All in all, it was decent.

Monday: Rest dayyyy

Tuesday: 4.5 miles super easy/easy in the morning, 1.5 miles at Girls on the Run.

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One day. Two skirts. Love.

Wednesday: Impromptu rest day spent researching trips for the day after school ends….

Thursday: 7 miles of a speed workout. 1 mi wu (60:30), 5 mi of intervals – 2 x 9:00 mi/range, 1 x 8:00 mi/range, 1 easy (90:30), then 1 mi cd (90:30).

Friday: Rest day. Jake and I walked about 3 miles at night to check out Light City!


Saturday: 7 miles running – .7 miles to the race and 6.3 for the Sole of the City 10K. There may not be a race recap for this one so here it is – ran 5ish miles slow and was out of my mind bored, sped up and ran my last mile in 8:00 and passed at least 150 people. #seeyabye (yes I tried to count). Fun course, though! Ended up walking another 3ish miles that morning.

Congrats to Beth on her PR (on a long course)! Also love seeing AK and UT!

Sunday: 20 miles. Not my greatest 20 miler, which sucked because I looked forward to it all week. I struggled with quickly rising heat (40 degree difference from start to finish), and a lot of self doubt. I fought a headache the entire way and spent the last 5 miles telling myself I wasn’t going to pass out. Nevertheless, I got it done.

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Weekly miles: 40.2

Training miles so far: 386.28. While training isn’t completely bummed yet, I’m already self-conscious about my mileage this time around is so much lower than for Marine Corps, and I’ve seriously slacked with NP this winter as well. While fast race times and long run paces make me feel confidence that I am in shape enough to succeed come race day, I hope my body will perform at its best.

Now it’s time to peel back a bit and take care of my body (and mind) as race day approaches!

What’s your next race? Any taper tips? This is only my second “real” taper.

I’m linking up with Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC for her Training Recap linkup. Check out how other runners are training this Spring!

March 2017 + NJ Marathon Training week 14

Happy April, everyone! I’m so happy that spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming and I’m finally starting to feel more like myself again. I haven’t done this in a while, but let’s look back at the last month of running, because it was a good one!

March 2017

Highlights: A new 5K PR, growing confidence

Low-lights: An 18-miler turned 6

Races: Rock N Roll DC, Shamrock 5K,  Baltimore Road Runner’s Club St. Patrick’s Day 5k

Miles run: 125.1

This past week was a bit of a step back week. I had a half marathon scheduled as a long run, and did a couple of shorter runs. All in all it was a great week and I’m ready to head into my “peak week” of training for the New Jersey Marathon!

ndnj marathon trainingwk 14

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 4.75 miles total – 1 at Girls on the Run, 3.75 Easy-Moderate effort at home. My left foot and ankle were bothering me a bit, but I survived. Also bodyweight exercises while watching tv.

Wednesday: 5.95 miles, half on my own, half with Jake. I ran without scheduled intervals and felt good until when I tripped and fell!

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Thursday: 3 miles super easy to recover from the last couple days of harder (for me) runs. I contemplated a rest day, but I really wanted to reach 125 for the month!

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 13.1 miles at the Oldfield’s Half Marathon – recap coming up soon!

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Sunday: 13.5 mile bike ride to give my legs some needed downtime after that half

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Running miles: 26.8 miles

Ready for one last big week before it’s TAPER TIME! Less than 4 weeks to go – the countdown is on!


New Jersey Marathon Training: Week 12

Week 12 is officially over, and was one of my best weeks of training yet in terms of quality miles. After yesterday’s long run, I have just 3 weeks of full on “training” left, then it’s taper time! ndnj marathon trainingwk 12

Monday: Rest – I felt suprisingly fresh after the weekend of racing, but spent some extra time rolling and using my Roll 8 Recovery, before indulging in snow day activities.

Tuesday: SNOW DAY. Nothing was done besides laying in bed and shoveling out my car. I figured an extra rest day wouldn’t hurt my legs.

Wednesday: 5 miles on the treadmill. The sidewalks were still covered in ice and snow. This was a great, controlled run with HR below 155 until the last half mile.


Thursday: 5.5 miles before trivia. I was pleasantly surprised that the lake path was cleared off! I was planning for 6 but ran out of time. Felt cold from the wind, but good.


Friday: 3.1 miles for the Baltimore Road Runner’s Club St. Patrick’s Day 5k! (That’s a mouthful). I’m not doing a recap but in short: I went to have fun, started out at a good speed. I passed a crapton of people in the second half  (and was only passed by 1 that I didn’t pass back) and finished with a very good time for myself: 27:53 (9:16, 9:20 (lost 10-15 seconds tying my shoe, 8:38)

After warming up and beers/wings at the post-race party!

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: 18 miles – I had to go to a new place to run, as my normal trail is in bad shape from the recent snow/ice. I didn’t like the BWI airport trail very much, but it was a safe place to run and the rolling hills on a long run were a welcome change. It was boring and a mental challenge, but it was a strong run overall.


Week 12 total: 31.5 miles — I was aiming for a couple more, but I ain’t mad with a 30+ mile week. My quad is finally feeling about 90% and I’m starting to clean up my diet with the big race being only 6 weeks out from now! I’m trying to find a creative way/place to get in my 20 next week if my trail is ready…I’m NOT going back to the airport loop!

Make sure to check out my discount codes page to save on the New Jersey Marathon, Zooma Women’s Race Series, and Old Port Half Marathon/5K!

I’m linking up with Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC for her Winter Training Recap linkup. Check out how other runners are training this winter!

Were any of your runs affected by Stella? 


New Jersey Marathon Training: Weeks 10 + 11

I can’t believe I’m already just 7 weeks away from marathon #2! This weekend I’ll run 18, which will be my longest run of this cycle so far. Seriously – just 4 more weeks of work then it’s taper time! Let’s recap one great week and one….not so great week.

ndnj marathon trainingwk 1011Week 10 (2/27-3/5) – This week did NOT go as planned.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Unplanned rest – It was storming out and the treadmills at my gym were full. I went home to eat dinner before running, and my stomach rejected dinner. I knew it would be dumb to run after being sick for an hour.

Wednesday: 5 miles with speed work. 1 mi WU, 1.5 miles of 1 interval hard/ 1 interval easy, 1.5 miles of 2 hard/1 easy, 1 mi CD. It was a beautiful morning, so being sick the night before worked out.

Thursday: I planned to run before Trivia, but didn’t bring warm enough clothes for the 30 mph winds. I went to a bike store and test rode a bike instead…

Friday: 5.1 miles easy – starting to like morning runs again. But boy, was it cold!

Saturday: 3 miles super easy-easy.

Sunday: 18 miles –> 6 miles. I was stressed, freezing, tired, and not into it. I made it 3 miles and had a second wave of high anxiety and turned around. My first true “given up” long run in well over 2 years.

Week 10 total: 19.1 miles <– OOPS.

Week 11 (3/6 to 3/12):

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.06 mi with Jake. It was a smorgesboard of miles, with no plan at all.

Wednesday: 8 miles on my new bicycle! I didn’t want to put too many miles on my legs after last week’s failures and before this weekend’s races. I had a perfect opportunity to use my bike and loved it.


Thursday: 6 miles before Trivia. I had a hard time keeping my HR down and ran the last loop of the lake (about 1.6 miles) with alternating fast intervals.

Friday: Rest – walking around the Rock N Roll DC expo!

Saturday: 2 mi WU + 13.3 miles for the Rock n Roll DC half marathon.

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Sunday: 1 mi WU + 3.13 miles for the Shamrock 5K (recap coming tomorrow)!

Week 11 miles: 30.49 <– MUCH better

There aren’t many pictures for these weeks – sorry about that. I was honestly feeling a bit “burnt out” with running until this past weekend. Now I’m back in a better mindset and am ready to hammer out a few more weeks of serious training before taper time arrives!



NJ Marathon Training: Weeks 6 + 7

Two more weeks of marathon training have passed, and unfortunately they weren’t the best. Especially this last week. I’ve been overrun with stress and anxiety to the point where I was shutting down in every other aspect of life. In terms of running, it’s left me un-motivated and frustrated. A low-key, relaxing weekend helped me snap out of it a bit, and I’m hoping to further come back with a good week for Week 8!


Week 6 (January 30-February 5):

Tuesday: 4 miles on the treadmill. I set out for 5-6, but my right quad started feeling odd, and I stopped to have extra time to stretch and roll after.

Wednesday: Not enough time to run before SKEE BALLL. We went 2-0 for the night.

Thursday: 6 miles on the treadmill. I was “so stressed” that I didn’t go to trivia in order to do work. In all actuality, I didn’t do any work and should have just gone out with  my friends. Oh well. My leg was still feeling a bit weird.

Friday: Whatever exercise is involved in lifting beer(s) to my mouth, I did that.


Saturday: 4 miles that should have been rough, but actually felt great.

Nothing burns off a couple too many like a cold run.

Sunday: 12.76 miles on the trailsA trail half marathon (that was short). I’ll have a recap up within the next day or so, but it was quite the experience! (Followed by Super Bowl festivities, and sleeping through the second half)

Week 6 total: 26.76 (Sadly my highest so far this cycle)

Week 7 (January 30-February 5): 

(Sunday night and) Monday: Sore. So, so sore. Also came down with very odd shoulder pain.

Tuesday: 3.75 miles. Tuesday at work was pretty rough. Honestly, I can’t remember now what was so bad about it, but I was so anxious. I needed a run – so I went without any intervals or set heart rates. Honestly it wasn’t as freeing as I needed it to be, but it still felt good emotionally.

Wednesday: I didn’t go to November Project due to weird shoulder pain that developed Sunday night. My right quad was really starting to feel funny, so out of caution I took a total day off. #noregrets

Thursday: Had a “snow day” (SO NEEDED), and went to run before trivia….except the wind was blowing at 30 mph and I didn’t bring warm enough clothes with me. WOMP.

Saturday: 3.75 miles. It was supposed to be “super easy”, but on the hills around my house that is easier said than done. I felt very stiff and off, but it felt good to be out in a SKIRT!

Sunday: 15 miles. This run started out badly, and rightfully so. But around mile 8 things started to turn around, and by mile 10 I was in the zone. Long runs are hard in terms of time spent, but they are why I love marathon training.


Week 7 total: 22 miles. OOPS. 

You won’t be surprised to hear me say I’m disappointed in where I am so far in this training cycle. While my long runs have gone well, I’m not hitting the mileage I hope to run. That’s probably why I was legitimately sore after my 15 miler.

Thankfully, I still have about half of my training to go, and it’s not too late to turn it around. I know I want to run 5 days a week, but with work, Jake, and friends, it’s just not happening! I’m going to try to focus on 4 days a week, with as high of mileage as is reasonably possible (I need to get up to 30 mi/week for my sanity), while truly getting in some strength work – whether it’s at November Project or glute exercises in my room.

#rantover. Ready to start anew this week!

What are your tricks for getting over a funk in training?

Don’t forget, you can run the New Jersey Marathon too!


NJ Marathon Training: Week 5

Just like that, the first month of training for my second marathon is complete. I can probably rank this as the top week, this far, running wise.


Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 miles on the treadmill, and I didn’t hate it. Did a progressive workout, running faster throughout each 60:30 interval of a mile. Mile 1 started at 5.2 and ended at 5.8, mile 5 started at 5.9 and ended at 6.6. I was pretty dead after.

Wednesday: NP headed to M+T Bank stadium for the week! 1 mile beforehand + 40ish minutes of straight stairs (with some planks interspersed). It was so hard – I was good for the first half but really struggled the second half and started getting some knee pain.


Thursday: 5.5 miles, easy. This run felt great, mentally, after a long few days at work. My knee hurt slightly from the day before, but not too badly. The run ended at trivia night with my friends, where we came in second!

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4 miles super easy – easy with my roommate. My HR ran pretty high for the pace, not sure why. I finished feeling good, but slightly tired.

Thanks for the picture, roomie!

Sunday: 9 miles – w/ 6 miles tempo. This was supposed to be 10, but I cut it short. I intended to run 6 miles at MGP, but they ended up being 1:00/mi FASTER than MGP. I can’t be mad at that, except for I know I can’t keep that pace for a marathon. I was completely wiped by mile 9 when I got back to my car, and bailed on the last mile.

Weekly total: 26.5 miles

Despite not finishing my long run, I was pretty happy with this week. I’m still feeling under the weather and was busy/stressed with work, and managed to get 5 pretty good runs in. This week will have 3 easier runs, before a trail half marathon on Sunday!

Don’t forget, you can join me in New Jersey and save $5 on your registration!




NJ Marathon Training: Week 4!

When I wrote last week’s post, I was so excited for the next week and was hoping to write a post about how awesome week 4 was…well I was wrong.

Because, you see…I got sick January 1st, and I’ve been fighting the sick/not-sick train ever sense. And last week at work = terrible. I still ran, but I did what I had to in order to stay above water and also to try to get better.


Monday: Nothin, total nothing.

Tuesday: 4 easy, steady state miles on the treadmill. They felt harder than they should have, probably because it was approximately 150 degrees in the gym! (Planned for 5, but had to get back for BibChat!)


Wednesday: 5.4 miles – intervals with/on hills. I loved this hard run and I finished running up a big hill near my house that I always run down. It felt so good to crest it!

Thursday-Friday: Nothing. Thursday was beautiful but I had work commitments after work and got there super early.

Saturday: 15 miles around Baltimore. I was struggling with some reflux/heartburn from Friday night and an oncoming sinus infection, but I made it through! 5 miles super easy, 5 easy, and 5 moderate-hard. Finished almost 7:00 faster than my goal. #score.

I also somehow ice skated after running 15 miles…

Sunday: 4-5 miles were planned, but I was sick AF (sinus infection UGH) and layed low to give my body a break.

Total: 24.4 miles. Not what I wanted. I also didn’t want to spend the first 3 weeks of the new year sick and under so much stress at work. But, it is what it is. With a shorter long run this week, I’m hoping once again to get in 5 days, hopefully getting closer to 30 miles!

Good thing about the week — I earned a free LuLu shirt from completing a 40K challenge on Strava! I almost hit the 80K mark, but since I ran some runs on the treadmill, I was far from earning the shirt and shorts combo. (No biggie – I can’t run in their shorts anyway!)


Do you adjust running plans when you’re sick? 



NJ Marathon Training + The First Three Weeks

Surprise! Actually, it’s a surprise I’m writing too. I’ve been meaning to pop in, and this day off/sick day is the perfect opportunity. The first three weeks of my training for the New Jersey Marathon (save $5  off the full/half/relay with the code 17njmBibRave) are complete. I thought I’d share how I’m training for the race, in case anyone is curious!


– Jeff Galloway intervals: Running using run/walk intervals has kept me running healthy for 7 months now. While it took some time to get used to, I do actually enjoy the intervals. On easy/super easy days, I run 60 seconds, walk 30 seconds. On medium-effort days or days when I’m doing more race pace running, I’ll run 1:30 or 2:00 and walk :30 seconds. This plays along with my next point…

– Heart rate based paces: I also have been using heart rate as an important piece of my training since June. It tells me how hard my heart is working, and helps me recover more quickly. I no longer come in dying from runs, and I don’t spend my days completely drained. I use the Garmin zones (which I set manually for my age/weight/activity level) and stay in certain zones for certain runs. Super easy runs are in zone 3 (135-155), easy runs are in the lower level of zone 4 (155-168), and moderate/hard runs are at the top edge of zone 4 and zone 5 (168+). This is especially helpful after hard days and when keeping it super easy during the first half of a long run. I always try to keep the first half at SEE, then bump it up to EE/moderate for the second half.

This was an easy effort (EE) run. Guess I took it a little too easy!

– November Project: NP is my one day a week I let myself run whatever pace, and I also get in strength training. Last training cycle I went almost every week. Right now I’m going every other week, due to work demands and other conflicts. I’m hoping after February I can go every week again!


– My own training plan: I loved working with a coach last fall, but when things got crazy with work, I felt bad for not following my plan completely. I feel that I’ve run long enough that I can make a decent plan on my own, especially since I’m not gunning for a certain time (but yes, a PR). I’m able to consider races I have planned, and switch runs around for work and boyfriend/friend time. I’m aiming for 5 running days a week, but I’ll be happy with 4 too.



So, how’s it going??

So far, not as planned. My first week involved last-minute changed travel plans, and a trip down the stairs on New Year’s Eve that left me in a lot of pain (before I started indulging, thank you :P). My second week involved a cancelled race, and therefore, skipped long run. The third week was an improvement

Week 1: 2 runs: 5.3 + 10 mi, 15.3 mi total (Tripped on my skirt fell down the stairs on my a$$ after 10 miles. So much pain.)


Week 2: 4 runs: 4.14 + 3.15 + 4.14  + 3 mi, 14.43 mi total (Disney Half Marathon CANCELED, but walked 13.6 miles that day)


Week 3: 

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 miles (treadmill) with hill intervals. 3 intervals at super easy effort (SEE), then three with hills at 2, 3, 4%.

Wednesday: 2 miles at November Project with strength training and stairs, 2 miles after.

Click for photo cred.

Thursday: It would have been a perfect day to run, so sad I couldn’t get out!

Friday: 3.75 miles with my roommate on the hills around our house!

Saturday: Off – I had planned to run, but was nervous about too much of a mileage leap between two weeks.

Sunday: 13.1 miles – the inaugural (and only) Cockeysville Disney World Half Marathon. Now I’ll feel like I “earned” my medal when it comes in the mail.

Medal shaped luggage tag, haha.
Medal shaped luggage tag, haha.

Weekly total: 24.85 miles <– much happier to be here, finally.

Total this training cycle: 54.58 miles

Despite only running 4 days this week, I feel much better after this week. I was legit worried about making it 13 miles, but it wasn’t an issue. Planning for 5 days and a 15 mile long run for week 4, hoping I can get it all in!

What’s one of your challenges of getting your runs in? 

How are you training for your next race?



2017 Race Preview + Discount Codes

With a new year comes a new race season! I’m excited to already have races planned for almost the whole year with a big spring race season. I can’t wait to run new races in new places, while also working in some of my favorites.

January 7th: Walt Disney World Half Marathon! I got a last minute entry when RunDisney opened up extra spots on my birthday. I can’t wait for a girls weekend and for a PR in FUN during the race’s 20th running.

February 4th: Little Patuxtent Trail Half Marathon, Columbia MD. My first trail race in 2.5 years  is going to be interesting. I could be running on trails, snow covered trails, or ice covered trails. This will be a slow one, but a great experience!

March 12th: Shamrock 5K, Baltimore, MD. The first race in the B3 series, which my roommate is also running! I’m helping her train and it’s going to be an interesting run and after-party, sandwiched between a 17-miler and 18-miler.

April 8th: Sole of the City 10K, Baltimore, MD. The second race in the B3 series. This is a fast course which could be a PR, if it wasn’t during the peak week of my marathon training and the day before my last 20 miler. This one will be slow and steady.

April 30thNew Jersey Marathon, Long Branch, NJ. After getting the opportunity to run this race with Bib Rave as a Bib Rave Pro I knew this was the race “to be” for my second marathon. A flat race and *hopefully* perfect spring weather will bring me to my second 26.2 finish line and *hopefully* a little (or big!) PR.


June 3rd: Zooma Annapolis 10K or Half Marathon. I loved the 10K last year and I’m so excited to be back as an ambassador once again. What distance I’ll do will depend on how recovery from the NJ Marathon goes. Registration is open now and you can save 10% with the code SAMANTHA2017.

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June 25th: Baltimore Women’s Classic 5KI really enjoyed this race last year – it’s a great little jaunt around Federal Hill and truly a great day for running in Baltimore. I struggled with the last mile of this in 2016, so I hope I can improve in 2017.


July 4th: 4 on the 4th. I’ll be in NH for the 4th of July, so I’m headed back to the 4 on the 4th in Bridgeton, Maine. I ran this a few years ago and had a great time!

July 8th: Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon. This is why I’m heading North in July. This will be a challenging, potentially HOT race. It will also be an absolutely beautiful course with great beer and pizza at the end. I love that registration is low and you can choose to purchase a shirt, hat, and/or pint glass! (I ordered the hat and pint glass!). Portland, Maine is an amazing place and this is a great racecation in the making!


September 2nd: Charles St. 12 – The 3rd race in the B3 series. I ran this in 2014 and had a horrible, terrible race. This year I’m seeking straight up revenge on this course.

Pain train for 8/12 miles. NOT THIS YEAR.
Pain train for 8/12 miles and a 12 mile time slower than ANY of my half marathons. NOT THIS YEAR.

September 10th: Parks Half Marathon: This one isn’t a definite yet, but I ran the race in 2016 (didn’t recap on here) and LOVED it. If I’m not back this year, it’s because of a packed September.

September 18th: Rock N Roll Philadelphia – My first Rock N Roll race! This was on my list for 2016 but I just couldn’t swing it with marathon training and other commitments. I’m excited to see if the RNR races are as great as everyone says they are!

Past this, I’m an open book. I’m unsure if there’s a fall marathon in my future, or if I may go for the Goofy Challenge at Disney in January 2018. If there’s a marathon, I have a big decision to make. Do I go for MCM again, meaning I can’t run the Baltimore half (same weekend) and potentially should try to run the 17.75K? Or do I enter my name for NYC, or do a smaller race like Richmond or Steamtown? I think this will become more clear as I go through this training cycle and experience my first Run Disney weekend.