Hello beautiful Summer & a 5K recap

Hello Summer!  We are one week away from school break and I cannot wait. The end of the school year with three little ones is a bit maddening but with a glimpse of lounging, lazy days (overly hopeful on my part?) on the horizon, we are grinding through. It has not been without hiccups. People think I am crazy when I say I can’t wait for the kids to get out of school but with ours at the brink of almost having less summers left with us than they’ve had, I’m trying to soak up every bit I can get with them….even if they do argue over the silliest things, like who gets the “good” goggles when they are all the same.

Since this is a running blog after all, where does Summer leave me? It’s a challenge for sure. The running part is easy. I wake up early and knock that out. I eliminated run doubles over a year and a half ago when I started working with a new coach. I no longer have to drag three kids to a park or put on a tv show in the afternoon to squeeze in an extra three miles.  Those three miles were something we determined wasn’t worth the stress (both time constraining & injury concerns) that accompanied. It’s SO easy to fall into the “So and So runs this many miles, I should too” trap. I am very guilty of this! Luckily I’ve felt like my training in the past year has proven that I can do well on less. Instead of extra miles I supplement with cross training in my own home, either strength work or swimming (I realize how lucky I am to have a pool available to me). This won’t be easy to maintain with kids home but doable with some advanced planning. Also, for the parents- Picking a late Fall marathon is a huge help. I won’t need to start most of my 20+ milers until after summer break. Here is a quick glimpse of what my typical training weeks have been like lately.

Monday-  Easy paced 8 miles followed by 45 minutes of Strength work.

Tuesday- AM- Speed day. 2 mile warm up stretching & drills, 3 by 1 mile (as much rest as needed), 2 mile cool down. PM- 45 minutes of Swim .

Wednesday-  5 miles easy. 45 minutes of Strength work.

Thursday- AM- 2 mile warm up, drills & strides, 5 mile time trial, 2 mile cool down.

PM- 45 of Swim Intervals.

Friday- 45 minutes of Strength work. No running.

Saturday- 10 miles, negative splitting the run.

Sunday- Off Day. 


Yes, you read that right. I’ve had two days off a week.  It won’t last much longer but I’ve been loving it. With 140ish (?) days until my goal race, there is no rush. Rushing leads to injury for me. I’d also like to note that I am stretching constantly.  I’ve been really pushing the short speed lately in hopes of getting my times down before marathon training begins in another month or so and with my body, I MUST stay on top of things to stay healthy. Stretching, hydrating, and sleeping are huge priorities for me on a daily basis.

Speaking of short speed, I raced a 5K this past weekend.  It was the Low Rent 5K in Chic’s Beach, only a few miles from my house. The event was awesome with gorgeous views, post race party at Commonwealth Brewery, and lots of free race photos.  I highly recommend it to any friends thinking about signing up next year. Here are some photos and a quick recap.

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New PR!   Honestly this was the first race in ages that I only looked at my watch twice (a huge improvement for me), once at about .75 miles in and then right at the end. At the finish line I was shocked to see I had run just about a minute faster than my last 5K at Big Blue. I’ve been coming back slowly, mileage is still very low, and low interval reps for speed days, so I didn’t feel 5K ready. The first mile I went out with a small group of friends. I told myself to hold back until atleast the halfway point but I got a bit antsy and picked up the effort at .75 miles in. Funny how during the warm up I commented to my friends that I felt horrendous, then miraculously I felt great during the race. The final mile was tough but I felt strong and smooth the whole time and had enough left to pick it up the final stretch.


Strollered  by my great friend Thomas and his daughter Amya. No big deal they came in 3rd overall on a turn filled hot course.  


If you are wondering why I’m in my race outfit for all the post race festivities, it’s because we had to take a bus to the start (closed roads) and without a bag check, I didn’t bring anything, not even my phone. I don’t usually hang out at a brewery in my sports bra for hours.


With The Fit Petite! I didn’t get the memo that the donut smile was supposed to actually look like a smile.  oops. 


Post race beer & smiles.

Thanks for reading friends!  Have a wonderful week! If you will PRETTY PLEASE click on this link and vote for our amazing friend Ryan to get on the cover of Runners World, I will be thankful to you for life. Ryan has been an amazing local runner, mentor, training team leader, training partner, and friend to so many of us here in Virginia Beach. I’m so proud of everything he has done for our local running community and cannot think of a more deserving person. It only takes 3 seconds so please click HERE.  I promise Runners World won’t send you spam unless you click that box that says they can😉  Xoxo!!

Race Plans

Happy May friends!  I hope you all had a fun filled Cinco De Mayo. We are celebrating tonight…FriYay! Honestly I cannot believe it is May already. This year has flown by and I doubt it helps that we haven’t reached typical Virginia Beach weather yet. I believe it was warmer in Canada then it was here yesterday! Ugh. I love my hot weather and can’t wait.

As far as training as has gone, I’m in the “use 5K’s to get into shape” training method. I’ve run a 5K every week for the last three weeks, which I believe may be more than the entire total number of 5Ks I ran in 2015!  First 5K was my favorite, ODU Big Blue 5K.  The look on my face in the second picture below adequately displays how I felt.  Horrible!!  :) I went out way too fast and while I didn’t wear a Garmin with splits, judging from my regular watch, I must have run my last mile over a minute slower than my first.  Yikes.  The afterparty and finishing on the Old Dominion football field was pretty amazing though so it was worth that 5K pain. Results and website HERE. This was the most fun 5K event I’ve run in a very long time and watching the kids run the 1K race was the cutest bonus.





The Thursday after the ODU 5K, I ran a 5K on a local Navy base.  The only pictures of myself were equally on par with the above pain face, so no point in sharing. I still felt out of shape but enjoyed having friends to race with on a random Thursday instead of busting through a hard workout solo. I ran it only a few seconds faster than my first 5K but my pacing was much smarter. Progress.  The final 5K I ran was yesterday and I did it solo in my neighborhood.  There was an awesome local 5K (Corporate 5K Challenge) but my son had a baseball game against the number one ranked team in the league and I couldn’t stand missing that. They ended the game tied 9-9 (two hour time limit and pouring rain made the Umpires end the game) and my son pitched a few innings, pitching better than he ever had before. Hearing him say “I’m so tired but so proud!” was priceless. So while I didn’t want to miss the local 5K with friends, Mom Life always comes first.  The solo 5K was brutal. More of a mental struggle than anything. I grinded out a 18:53,  not because I was fitter than I was at the ODU or Navy 5K but because of pure stubbornness. I wanted progress so I willed it that badly even if it was by mere seconds.

Judging from the past three weeks, I’m still far off from my fitness prior to Shamrock, but I’m content with where I am at during this point of the post-recovery comeback. The first month back is always the hardest and I’m almost through that.  After weeks of okay legs, I’m starting to get that bounce back.  So, what am I training for?  I’ve gotten this question many times. I told a few people and was hesitant to say. My plans were to hold off telling anyone else but after many inquiries, it’s easier just two write it out.  I am THRILLED to say I will be running the New York City Marathon this Fall.

I’ve said it before that the marathon is my favorite event.  In my mind, everything else I run is aimed as preparation for my next 26.2.  Mr. Law was deployed when I ran at Boston last Spring. Having him miss that dream experience of mine was tough. I wanted to share it with him so badly. This time though, he will be in NYC to experience this bucket list race by my side so I want to make it a great one. 2015 was a rebuilding year for me and this past Shamrock Marathon exceeded my “comeback” expectations, so as long as I can stay healthy (the key for me!) I feel confident saying I can run fast on the challenging New York course come November. I thrive on accountability and laying it all out there so my running goal for 2016 is to run sub 2:47 at NYCM. Get there healthy, be brave,  be thankful I get to run on one of the best courses in the world, and be faster than ever!



Before NYCM, I have on my race calendar- The Strider Mile,  Allen Stone Braveheart Run-Swim-Run (Guys I’m Swimming!! ), Strider 10 Miler, my favorite half Crawling Crab Half, Fox Trot 5K,  and Wicked 10K. I’m still looking for more races so suggestions on the East Coast are welcome.  We are traveling a ton this Summer so traveling too too far for races is probably not an option for me.

If anyone had NYCM advice, blog posts, helpful links, etc. please send me my way!  I could read race recaps all day long so New York ones are greatly appreciated.

Wishing all the Moms and Amazing Women that are just like Moms a wonderful Mother’s Day!! We are thankful for you!  Sleep in, make them bring you coffee, wear your pajamas ALL DAY LONG, then make them bring you cake🙂 Enjoy your day!

Recovery Time


Days Since Shamrock Marathon- 26

Number of Days I have run since Shamrock- 11

Average miles run on said days- 4

Cinnamon rolls consumed in past 26 days- 23

Fast miles run- 2.

How I felt during those 2 miles- Death

Favorite recovery period quote- “When I said you have to get hungry, I didn’t mean for pie.” -Jerry Frostick

Up Next- ODU Big Blue 5K

As a firm believer in taking as many days off/easy as the distance you race in miles, I am nearing the tail end of my post Shamrock Marathon recovery period.  Unlike the Philly Marathon where I didn’t feel like I had spent my energy, after Shamrock I was drained both physically and mentally, happy as can be, but drained.  I did not run a step for 6 days after the marathon and a quarter mile into that run, I turned around to go home. The following week I ran twice, then each week a little more. Nothing planned, nothing formal. For someone who adores marathon training, I adore a good rest period and I”ll never be the kind of person busting out miles soon after an A race.  My mind had zero desire to run even a foot. Thats how I knew it was a good training cycle.

We told myself I wouldn’t start planning things until I got hungry again. (Hungry for running not hungry for dessert) and coincidently my “hunger” started back up when then Boston Marathon news started peaking last week. I entered my first race back, which will be the ODU Big Blue 5K this upcoming Saturday. I don’t expect much out of it but I’m anxious to shake some rust off these legs and see where I am at. I’m hoping I surprise myself but the cinnamon roll count above hints otherwise.

Here are some snapshots of life lately but other than this, I don’t have much to share running wise. By the way, for the East Coasters, today is Wawa Day.  Go get yourself some free coffee!


Even Bart Yasso agrees!


More fun bike miles than run miles lately



This arrived in the mail, along with a nice check, from which Britney tickets will be bought. #bucketlist


Geocaching with my favorite twins! We searched for this one FOREVER and have the leg scratches to prove it.

Good luck to all my friends running Boston next Monday! Go 2015 Boston roomie, Michele!!!  I’ll be spectating and cheering from afar! Best of luck to friend Jenny running the Carmel Marathon on Saturday!  If anyone has any interest, here are my recaps of my Boston Marathon 2013 and Boston Marathon 2015.  Happy training friends!




Shamrock Marathon Recap


Never did I expect a race experience to exceed the one I had at Boston last year, yesterday though, at the Shamrock Marathon I had an experience that surpassed my expectations and will be a day I will not ever forget. While the time on the clock doesn’t show it, I do believe it was my best marathon to date.

First the stats, then the recap with a little backstory.  As you can see in the below picture, I was 3rd overall female. I think everyone is aware that I really wanted to make top 3, it determined our entire race strategy for the day but I’ll get into that later. I did not negative split like I had hoped. Weather conditions were unreal. Over ten miles of extreme headwinds with gusts of 30mph and side winds just as bad.  We did have a tailwind for the last three miles, which I was so grateful for. If we needed it anytime, it was then. So all things considered I am thrilled with my time, placing, and pacing.


The backstory. Going into this race I was a bundle of anxious nerves. I knew I was fit and ready but the truth is, I hadn’t had a great marathon in two years since the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013.  I spent 2014 injured. I ran Boston 2015 coming off an injury and Philly 2015 was a bust after reaching for an OTQ and crashing bad. While I appreciate my experiences at Boston and Philly in 2015, they didn’t leave me with the most confidence. I fought so much self doubt these last few months. I confessed to close friends and my coach in private that Philly really messed with my head. The amount of mental prep that went into yesterdays race was extensive and necessary.

Last Tuesday we started getting hints of bad weather.  I felt awful for our out-of-towners, the volunteers, and the race staff but selfishly it took pressure off me. I know I can run in gritty weather. I had the advantage of knowing the course and training on the course in every element. I wasn’t worried.  That being said, we hadn’t anticipated the winds. There is always wind in Virginia Beach, there is always wind during the Shamrock races, not wind like this past weekend though. It was much worse and had everyone a bit worried. The gusts were knocking over port potties and even walking was difficult. So my coach and I talked the night before the race and we threw away the old plan of hitting the halfway mark in 1:25 and then slowly speeding up and making an attempt at a negative split and possible PR. With no real reason to hit a PR other than pride, the goal was properly placed on overall placing. I wanted to place as I high as possible.

Thank you to my friend, Megan ,who volunteered to help and was told to walk me from the race hotel to the start. I was a bundle of nerves and she was a calming influence. At the start I saw friends, Steve Speirs and Stacin Martin.  We decided to work together and that quick decision was one of the best I made all day.  I know these guys well. They are experienced, fast runners and I trust their judgement and pacing expertise. We stayed together for a good 15-17 miles and every time my mind felt a little worried or overwhelmed I knew I was just taking another brisk run on my favorite streets with friends.  They quickly became the leaders in our pack of 8-10 runners but by mile 18 we were all strung out. A few times I told myself out loud- “Nothing flashy” as a reminder that I needed to stay at a safe pace, nothing aggressive. Females 1 & 2 were already gutting it out minutes ahead of me and in the back of my mind I was worried I would hit a wall and be passed by other female runners. Nothing flashy was my way of reminding myself to race smart. I didn’t have much to gain but had a ton to lose by taking a big risk.


I won’t go over the middle miles too much. My nutrition was good but I know I did not consume enough fluids, something that is sometimes difficult for me (those cups are so hard to drink out of while running!), and I paid for it later in the race. I should have taken more time at each aid station but I skipped many because I was so concerned about staying with my pack. I knew if I fell off the back end I would helplessly be alone for miles. At the halfway mark I felt AMAZING. I saw Megan and my husband Steve and I gave them a huge smile and wave to let them know that I was feeling fantastic. The amount of course support I received was unreal. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who cheered for me! Somewhere around 16 I saw my coach and he told me I was running a perfect race and that was a huge confidence booster.  Around mile 18 I started to tell myself that I only had an hour left and I could do anything for an hour. At that point I was still feeling very strong. Around that time period (I could be remembering the distance wrong) Steve Speirs surged ahead. My biggest regret is not going with him and instead choosing to stay with another group.  Not that I think I could have stayed with Steve, he was flying, but because it would have put some faster momentum in my legs.  The pain was starting to creep into my calfs but the end of the marathon is supposed to hurt real bad.  I didn’t hit the real pain train until mile 23ish and I wish I had been a bit braver a little earlier.  All good though, no point in overly analyzing it.

From miles 23 to the finish I was hurting bad. A good friend Cardave gave me some words of encouragement that I am so thankful for. My coach told me to race until mile 25 because I can always dig out another mile and that was a huge piece of advice. It’s so true. I got to see him twice in those last few miles and we were both smiling like crazy.  At the last stretch on the boardwalk I felt amazing.  My legs were in agony but I knew I was going to finish 3rd female and I knew that my friends and husband were at the finish line area waiting for me.  Best…feeling…ever.  It was arranged by the J&A Racing staff that my husband would be in the medal area and place my medal on me.  That was PRICELESS.  My heart was full giving a few of my training partners hugs and I just can’t even describe how perfect it all was. My legs were in agony but I had the happiest smile and tears. I had worked SO hard and it paid off.



Many thanks to my running coach, Jerry Frostick, for telling me I didn’t need high mileage or doubles to be successful, that I am faster than I think I am, and that fast times aren’t the most important thing in our sport anyway; it’s the people and experiences that matter most. Thanks to the whole J&A Racing staff for another perfect event. Thank you to Running, Etc. for their support and endless advice. I love going into their stores and chatting running for way too long🙂 Thank you to Direct Performance, Raeswear, and Handful for helping me out this training cycle and a few others. And big thanks for my friends and family..you’ve all been amazing! Congrats to all the Shamrockers. I want to name specific names but there are too many fantastic ones to include. You were all incredible and this  entire Shamrock weekend was also incredible. We survived the storm! Celebrate well & enjoy your recovery! I got to celebrate with friends post race and last night and we obviously had fun.  Take care all!