Charles St 12 miler training: 8/21 – 8/27/17

And just like that I’m done my last “long run” and tapering for the week for the Charles St 12 Miler! The last four weeks of running have been really solid, and I feel like I’m in a great place for the race on Saturday!

Charles Street 12 Miler

Monday: Rest day – Like every other Monday, I had the intention to ride my bike…but it didn’t happen.

Tuesday: 4.25 miles. Plan called for 7-8, but I was feeling dehydrated from the week/weekend before and it was still super hot/humid. Really, it was kinda sucky

Wednesday: 2.5 miles at November Project. The dehydration felt even worse today and my legs felt disconnected from my body. I left after the first workout to sleep, hydrate, and have some extra rest. I think my body was begging for it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 9.26.06 PM.png

Thursday: Rest day – switched with Friday to listen to my body!

Friday: 5 miles slow and easy. The heat and humidity broke and it was a perfect running morning! At night I biked about 10 miles at Baltimore Bike Party!

Saturday: 5.5 miles, slow and easy again. I was still feeling beers from the night before (oops), but I felt the best running than I had in a week and a half. I walked another 3.5ish miles that day!

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 9.26.20 PM

Sunday: 10 miles, the first 5 easy (60:30 intervals) and second 5 with 90:30 intervals. The weather was perfect and my heart rate stayed so low even as my speed and intervals increased! I was feeling so strong and like those hot running days paid off. I walked another 6 or so miles throughout the day.  My legs and hips are now begging for a rest day!

Weekly total: 27.5 mi. Considering how I was feeling for the first half of the week, I’m very satisfied with this!

This week will consist of an easy run on Tuesday, a double at November Project on Wednesday, and a shakeout on Friday before the race! What comes next is quite the adjustment…as my work schedule changes and I have to move my running days around. Thankfully it aligns perfectly to when I start following my Goofy Challenge training plan.

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin, Holly from HoHoRuns and Teresa from Finding Fabulous at Fifty  for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Charles St 12 miler training: 8/7-8/14

Another week down and August is still going strong. I hit 700 miles for the year this week, which is a milestone I was hoping to meet by the end of July, but I’ll be able to catch up. Two-30 mile weeks in a row and I’m feeling pretty good (despite a desperate need to roll more!)

8/7: Rest day

8/8: 5 miles easy effort. Tried to make it a little more of a “super easy” effort, but humidity and hills killed that.

8/9: 2.5 miles easy effort around the Inner Harbor, and 2.28 miles at November Project. No “double” today as I slept for an extra half an hour! (Seeing as the workout wasn’t super cardio based, I’m happy with my decision)

8/10: Rest day – I had planned my speed work for Thursday, but I slept through my alarms. SHOCKER. Gotta switch up those alarm tones again…

8/11: 4.5 miles of speed work. 1 mi wu/cd (+ a little more), 8 x 400 with 1:00 walking recovery. Hit all of my paces with two of them being a few seconds fast. The last one felt hard, but I got it done. I’m loving some structured challenges each week.

8/12: 4 miles of crap. Seriously. It was supposed to rain so I ruled out the November Project Ravens stadium workout. Turns out, it didn’t rain, but it was seriously swampy. Slept in a little so I got a late start; pair that with tired legs and it’s a calling for a really crappy run. Went out for 6, cut it so Sunday would be successful.

8/13: 12 miles of wonderfulness. It was cooler and the dew point dropped, making the air feel so much better. Managed a big negative split and 4 of the last 5 miles were sub 11:00. I’m cool with it. For next week’s long run I’ll run the other half of the Charles Street 12 course!

Trivia playoffs after running long(er) = splurging for lunch!

Total miles: 30.28

I was aiming for 32-33, but with a run cut short and never knowing exactly how many miles I’ll log on an NP morning, it’s cool. I’m just happy to be back in the 30 mile range! Ready for a bigger week this week before starting to taper a little for the Charles Street 12 miler.

Post Marathon Recovery Weeks

How was my marathon already two weeks ago? The weeks following have been a physical and emotional whirlwind. I almost signed up for two half marathons, one during each past weekend. Thank goodness I didn’t. I also almost signed up for a fall marathon. Thank goodness I didn’t do that either.


Here’s what the first two weeks following the New Jersey Marathon looked like…

Week 1: May 1 to May 7

Monday-Tuesday: Full rest. My quads were nearly immobile Monday after driving back to Maryland, as well as Tuesday. Walking through the casino on Monday, I walked worse than all of the senior citizens in there!

Winnah winnah chicken dinnah

Wednesday: Yoga after school. My body felt almost 100% after school, and some good quad stretches only helped.

Thursday: 8.5 miles on my bike.


Friday: Bicep curls….lifting up margaritas HA!

Saturday: Yoga on Tap. I was looking forward to this and it wasn’t nearly as fun as I expected. Yoga in a crowded bar isn’t fun. Yoga after too much indulging isn’t fun. I was so anxious and didn’t have room to properly execute a lot of the twists, which I think played into the back pain that followed. Later in the day I walked about 3 miles at the Towson Town Festival.

Treat yoself

Sunday: Rest. My back was all jacked up after Saturday’s events.

Week 2: May 8 to May 15

Monday: My back felt a little better, so I attempted to run. I made it 2 miles. Just over 1 mile in, I had a horrible pain deep in my left glute. It was short, but sharp and intense. I made it home very slowly, and instantly regretted my decision to run. In ways I needed it so badly. My body and digestive system felt all out of whack and I was crazy enough to think a run would fix it. Emotionally I was grumpy, anxious, and felt disgusting. I took an epsom salt bath and rolled out really good, hoping the pain wouldn’t last.

Note: My Sarah Marie Designs negative split reward tank

Tuesday: Rest. Back pain/spasms during the day what were the worst while sitting, as well as some slight glute and hip pain. I was able to massage it for a while with a spiky ball (which I promptly went and purchased) and felt better before hitting the hay.

Wednesday: .9 miles at November Project. I felt so guilty about not going in months, and I felt good upon waking up. Thankfully it was an easy workout running-wise. It included tons of burpees, planks, and squats, which led my upper legs sore for a couple of days. My body felt great after the workout! After school was yoga, which brought back the back and glute pain.

ThursdayNothing. I planned to go on a walk, but the weather sucked. My back was so uncomfortable sitting at trivia and while driving, that I got myself a heating pad and Icy Hot.

Friday: Rest. I put Icy Hot on my back before school which helped tremendously and I was almost pain free for the entire day. At home I was sitting on the heating pad for periods of 20 minutes, followed by rolling out my left glute and upper leg.

Saturday: More rest. I felt largely pain free, aside from some slight tightness spread across the left side of my body. I stopped at a local run specialty store, and was advised to put one side of my “stick” roller against the wall, and press the other side into my glute/piriformis. WHAT A LIFESAVER. Omg. The hurt. But it also helped so so much. I also continued to use the heating pad.

Sunday:  I woke up feeling fantastic, and decided to try a run, knowing I would scrap it if needed. I made it 4 miles, very slowly, without any pain. Some tightness and awkwardness, but no pain. My heart rate was also so high for my pace. So recovery is not done, but I RAN!


Weekly miles: 6.9 WOOHOO!!!!

So while my return to running isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned, I hope to run more this week and be back to my old self next week! Zooma Annapolis and the Old Port Half Marathon are going to come up very quickly!

How long does it take you to bounce back after a big race?

Do you have any tips to squelch back pain?

Race Recap: Little Patuxtent River Run Half Marathon

Right after finishing the Race 13.1 Half Marathon, this race popped up on my Facebook feed. A half marathon for $35? Count me in! I was a little weary about the trails, but I’ve run on them before and I was ready for a challenge. The race was on Superbowl Sunday (2.5.17) and I was ready to earn my feast for that night.

Saturday: I headed to Columbia (about 25 minutes from my boyfriend’s place) around noon to pick up my packet. The store was packed with two packet pickups. I was in and out without a hitch. I don’t remember doing much during the day except having a pasta dinner and an epsom salt bath. After packing up for the next day and a couple of glasses of wine, i was off to bed.

Hoka Challenger ATR 2’s, Mizuno Breath Thermal leggings, Balega blister resists, CEP sleeves, 3 layers (+ my MCM jacket), Nike gloves, UA Headband, (+ hydration pack).

Pre-race: The race was to start at 8, and I arrived just after 7 to assure decent parking. There was plenty of parking, so I just stayed warm in my car until around 7:40 because boy was it COLD! It was a 20 degree “real feel”, and would warm up to about 40 by the time we were to finish. There were about a half-dozen porta potties, but I didn’t have to wait long. I easily found Ava, who coached me for the Marine Corps Marathon, who I’d be running with for at least the first half of the race. I also found Beth. She is an ambassador for the race company and ran the 10K!

I missed the black and pink memo.

Miles 1-6.3: The first lap was exciting because the trail race was such a refreshing feeling! Ava and I ran without intervals, but walked when needed and up big hills. The first 2 miles were groomed trails, before 2 miles of more technical terrain, then the 2 miles back to the start. The two miles of technical terrain was hard, with steep uphills and downhills. Our pace slowed significantly during these miles, which was okay. Worst part: the nozzle on my hydration pack broke within the first mile. WOMP. I was still able to drink, but it required more work. We finished the first lap in 1:14.


Miles 6.3-12.7: Ava mentioned separating from me for the second lap, but I’m glad she stayed! After the 10K’ers were done the course was pretty lonely. The second lap definitely felt like it dragged on, but I also felt more comfortable on the trails. We walked more as my legs were getting tired and I kept tripping over my own feet. Around mile 9 my hamstring started to get really tight, and I started struggling hard and walking a lot around mile 10. I kept telling Ava to leave (I always do this when I run with people) but she is very sweet and never left me without coming back for me. The last two miles were rough as I definitely didn’t drink enough, but coming around to the finish I was still able to kick it in. The course was short which really irked me, but it wasn’t the end of the world.


Finish line:  I was so thankful we were given a heat sheet at the end! It had warmed up and I was having trouble regulating my temperature. We got a pint glass as a finisher’s gift, which I’m a fan of. During the last few miles I was craving Fritos – and they had some at the end. CUE HAPPINESS. I didn’t stay for long, and by the time I got to Jake’s, I was very sore and stiff. We went to lunch, where I had a delicious meatball sub and then relaxed before getting ready for the Super Bowl! He had a little party where I successfully passed out in the second half of the game.


Post-race thoughts: This race was a fun challenge and change of pace. It was just the right level of trail and challenge for someone who sticks to the road and rail trail. It was very well organized and CHEAP. I would do it again, but likely stay with the 10K. I was hurting for too long after this race, and normally after a half marathon I’m good the next day.

Verdict: This race had some flaws, but all in all, I really liked it and would be back again and recommend it to others! Check out my other review of the race on Bib Rave!

Have you run any trail races lately?


Race Recap: Annapolis Running Classic 10K 2016

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being chosen to be an ambassador for the Annapolis Running Classic in Annapolis, Maryland. This had been on my radar as my first race post-Marine Corps, and I was so excited to run the 10K as part of their “A-Team”.

Friday night: I headed straight to Annapolis right after work, and with traffic it took me about 1:15. The Navy-Marine Corps Stadium was easy to get to. I got in and out of the “expo” with my bib quickly and painlessly. There wasn’t too much for the expo, just a few vendors and some race merch. I spent the night with friends who live a mile away. It was a much needed night of friend time, chicken parm and wine, and games. My boyfriend even made an unexpected appearance! I got to bed around midnight – later than I had hoped but not the end of the world.

Brooks top (Dash 1/4 zip, I think), Balega Enduro socks, Janji capris, Brooks Pure Cadence 5. Not pictured: Garmin 235, Nathan handheld bottle, sweaty band, momentum jewelry sparklets

Pre-race: I was up and out of my friend’s house by 5:45 and parked at the stadium just 10 minutes later. In hindsight, I probably didn’t have to leave so early. But I’d rather be early than sit in traffic. I took a short nap and had my UCan before heading out. I first tried a porta jon that was FULL. I mean, FULL. It must have been from the last Navy football game. After meeting some ambassadors at the Blue Angels plane (it was great to meet you, Jenny!), I was happy to find the race’s porta jons. I waited for just a few minutes, but they were fresh and still had *TP*.

Some of the A-Team ambassadors. Thanks for the photo, Jenny!

Corral thoughts: The corrals were self-seeded and I seriously had no idea what to do. I was completely winging this race. The furthest I had run since the marathon was 5 miles, and my intention was to just have fun and finish with a smile. I ended up lining up just behind the 2:15 half marathon pacer (approx 10:15 mile) to see if I could stay with them for a bit.

Miles 1-2: I caught right up with the pace group after the start, and aimed to stay with them for as long as I could without needing to start the intervals I used for marathon training. The first mile was fast (9:40) but I trusted the pacers. (The back half of the half is hilly, so they needed to bank some time). At first I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but about midway through mile 2 I realized that my body wanted to run. I left the group right around the 2 mile mark (10:10).

Free race photos? Sure, I’ll cheese it up.

Miles 3-6.33: I didn’t even think when I first left the group, I just went. This portion of the race brought us down a slight downhill, around the state Capitol and into Downtown. It was so beautiful, and the downhill was welcomed. This is where I started to struggle during  the Zooma 10K, but here I kept feeling like I could go faster. I hit mile 3 (9:38) and knew I would be close to a PR if I could hold that pace. Miles 4-5 were a series of out and backs though town. I didn’t mind it, as it allowed me to see the people in front of me. Mile 4 was a bit of a mental struggle due to a slight uphill. Mentally, I wanted to walk so badly, but all of the stairs at November Project made my legs feel untouched going up that hill (9:40). I had a GU that I nibbled on not because I needed the sugar, but because I was hungry in general.

Mile 5 is when I started to get competitive with myself. I knew a PR was in reach, and I was feeling good. Like, real good. I had a fire that I don’t normally feel during races. I started focusing on people ahead of me and kept passing them, left and right. It felt so good. I hit mile 5 in 8:58. This is when I knew a sub-1:00 was in reach, and I was going for it. The last mile was tough. There were slight uphills the whole way, with a short, steeper one as you entered the stadium parking lot. I kept checking my watch, and when my mile 6 chimed in at 9:14, I knew I would be so close.

Apparently I run with my eyes closed.

Unfortunately, the course was a tad long (6.33 mi), and that cost me my sub-1:00. My watch was right on with the markers until the parking lot. I saw 6.2 come up with a time of 59:17, but I was just breaking away from the cars and nearing the chute. I seriously could have cried! Nonetheless, I finished with a time of 1:00:20, a 2:19 PR.

SINCE WHEN DO I FINISH IN THE TOP 25% (25.4% to be exact…)



Finisher’s party: The Annapolis Running Classic is known for their great afterparty. The dozen oysters is super unique, although not to my liking. I did LOVE the unlimited beer. However, one beer at 8 AM after a hard run left me with a headache, and I had to drive home anyways. The band that was playing was fantastic and if I didn’t have somewhere to be I would have stayed all day to listen to them. On another note, I liked that the premiums were picked up AFTER the race – so that you had to finish to get your shirt (#sorrynotsorry). The 13.1 runners received a sweatshirt while the 10K runners got a t-shirt.


Post-race thoughts: I was so high on emotions after this race. I earned a PR for the first time since April 2015. This wasn’t a PR by being my first race of a certain distance, I worked hard for it. I felt so much redemption after running a 1:02:39 at the Wildman Biathlon and coming in dead last in the 10K leg of the race.

Most importantly I felt like all of my hard work was finally worth it. I often put so much pressure on myself at races, and when I flop I hate myself and consider giving up. I went into this race with zero plans or expectations. Actually, the night before, I told my friend “The night before races I always get lost in dreaming that I’ll wake up and be fast.” While I may not be “fast”, this was the fast I have been waiting for and knew that I was capable of. And it felt awesome. 


Verdict: This race had some flaws, but all in all, I really liked it and will be back. It’s a great fall race to either finish off a racing season with, or to do just for fun. A review of the race itself (not just my experience) will be up on soon.

Disclaimer: As a Annapolis Running Classic A-Team member, I received a complimentary entry into this race. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Zooma Annapolis 10K Recap

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to run at the Zooma Annapolis Women’s Race Series in Annapolis, Maryland. I had initally looked forward to this race as my first “goal” half marathon of the year, but moved down to the 10K due to the quad/hip issue I dealt with throughout the spring. While I was at first disappointed this wasn’t going to be half marathon #9 for me, I was happy I was able to downgrade.

Packet pickup: I got my packet on Thursday at a running store in downtown Baltimore, which was a very easy experience. I was given my number, shirt, and a small keychain. I didn’t expect to go to the expo on Friday, but made it with my friend and her aunt. It was teeny tiny, but their packet pickup was easy. I was disappointed that they had a bag with samples but those who picked up their packets early didn’t. Barefoot wine was there for a “party” but by the time we got there there wasn’t much left – but the sparkly wine was good!


Pre-race: We stayed up a little late on Friday so the 5:00 alarm came really early. I was a little spontaneous and had 2 pieces of cold pizza for breakfast and headed out! Thanks to easy traffic and parking, my friend, her aunt and I got to the Naval Academy Stadium at 6:15. There were plenty of porta-johns (for once!) and there was morning-of packet pick-up, which is a nice touch. I joined up with the ambassadors for a photo before it was time to get into the corrals (self-seeded). It was nice to get to talk to a few of them!


Miles 1-3: The first half of the course brought us around the Naval Academy stadium and then into downtown Annapolis. There were a couple of gentle hills, but it paid off when right before mile 3 there was a good downhill going into the harbor. Right off I realized it was humid. Oh so humid. I was running at a hard, but challenging pace, saving some energy in case the heat and humidity killed me.

Miles 4-6.2: This is when the heat/humidity and then the hills started to get to me. I walked for a quick minute to take an unplanned Gu (Thanks, AK!) and was still able to keep along, just a little bit slower. The hills were long and gradual, but I was happy to be passing plenty of people who were walking up them. The worst was running up the Naval Academy Bridge! It was just straight up at around mile 4.75, when I was starting to struggle a bit. The last .5 mile was uphill too, which was rough!

bazu-8474181 (1)

Finish Line: I finished at 1:04:30, which I was a tad disappointed with. However with the hills, heat, and humidity, I’m just happy I finished and that I did so without pain! The finish chute was easy – medals and water was given to us and it was just a short walk to the food. I had Pirate’s Booty for the first time and boy was it good! There were a few vendors out, but you know me – I headed right to the wine with my friend and her aunt! There was a great band playing and we were given two small (and I mean small) “glasses” of wine. I wish we could have stayed for longer but I had to be at work for 11!


Verdict: The race itself was pretty good. The 10K course was challenging and everything was well organized, aside from the water stops. They weren’t well spread out which lead to a lot of congestion. For the (few) people that choose to run through them, it really slows you down! (I lost at least 30 seconds from congestion).  I would have liked there to be more wine available at the end, as that was a big promotion for whole “girl’s weekend” aspect of the race. The medal is cute and while the shirt isn’t a typical “tech tee” it is a nice tri-blend shirt that I’d wear on a short run. And there were free race photos!! Would I do it again? Yes! Will I do it every year? Probably not. It’s the same day as the Baltimore 10 Miler, which I also love.

I’d like to thank Zooma for having me as an ambassador! I had a great time at the race and can’t wait to be back again. Don’t forget that you can continue to use the code SAMANTHA16 for Zooma Cape Cod or Zooma Amelia Island!

Disclaimer: I am a Zooma Women’s Race Series ambassador and received a complimentary entry into this event. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.