Catch Up

Hello long lost friends! I know I haven’t been around much in the last few weeks, but I wanted to pop in and say HI before I wrap up the end of a very crazy month. Like I mentioned before, I moved! While packing and cleaning might be one of my favorite things, it is a lot to move an entire apartment in one day. I am finally all unpacked and I can’t thank my parents and Will enough for all their help. I’m officially settled and am so happy to have this craziness behind me.

Bye Bye. It’s been real N302.
Hello breakfast bar.

Work is still beyond crazy, and I think will be for the next few months. We are playing catch up and seem to always be one step behind. Once we are caught all up, it will feel absolutely amazing. Until January, where we sign on another 1,700 providers. Oye vey. But until then… I will enjoy any brief respite I may get!

And the long awaited topic… NYCM is this Sunday! When in the world did that happen. I can’t believe it’s already here. Part of me feels beyond ready and excited. Part of me wonders if my goals are a bit too far out of reach, if I trained enough, and if I can actually run 26.2 (usually more like 26.4) miles. I am so excited to run the infamous NYCM, but no matter how many marathons I have finished, there’s always a sense of the unknown. Weather conditions, how I will feel race morning, will my stomach even cooperate? All these factors can significantly influence how race day goes.

Not my best. And so not feeling it. But finished regardless.

I have some high hopes. My A-goal for this race would be a big PR. I’d really like to run a sub 3:12. I will be extremely happy under a 3:15. Many people I’ve talked to have said NYCM isn’t necessarily a PR worthy course. The narrow roads early on, the mass volumes of runners, and the headwind-prone course can always effect your time. I am hoping the stars align and if anything, I just enjoy those 26.2 miles. Now we will see how timing goes, but all I know is I’m lucky with getting in the wave right after the elites, so I get to start at 9:50, which is still VERY early considering some waves don’t leave Staten Island until 11:50am.

I will check back in after the race and hopefully have some glorious news to share. I am looking forward to taking the time away from running for the month of November and really focus on cross training and spinning. Part of me is getting a bit burned out from the past 18 months of continuous training. I think a solid month off will help me get refocused and work to really crush a sub 3:10 at Boston. At least that’s the plan for now…

Good luck to Michele and Kaella and everyone else running the marathon this weekend! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and if you’re in NYC cheering this weekend – I love you.

And as always, thank you Amanda for letting me babble on in such a wonderfully incoherent fashion.

The Crazy Chronicles

Honestly I think that’s what my blog should have been called. Life has been nothing short of crazy (in a good way) lately so I apologize for my sporadic posting. Work has picked up once again (beginning and ends of quarters are no joke). Not to mention Will starts a new job on Monday, I move next weekend, and I’m running a marathon in less than three weeks. Welcome to crazytown. So I’m linking up with Amanda today to tell you where I’ve been, what I’m doing, and what lies ahead.

Thinking-Out-Loud

I’ve been running a lot. 15 miles on a treadmill = death in case you were curious. Last week was my final peak week for NYCM training – I capped it off with a 21+ mile run, and ended the week at 70.02 miles. Now it’s time to taper. And honestly, I can’t wait.

Like I said before, work has been crazy making for lots of long days and a very tired brain. However, I have been finding some time to enjoy this amazing fall we’re having. So I’m going to blast you with some pictures. I know I’m not the only one who likes looking more than reading.

My ride or die.

He’s single ladies.

When Will and I tried to be festive at a pumpkin patch and go apple picking. Neither of these things occurred. What did occur was a lot of traffic and a low tolerance for lines and screaming children so we left five minutes after arriving. But I took a picture of gourds and posted it on social media so it’s almost like it happened.

Gourd-ous.

Sometimes I wish I was a dog. Specifically my dog. He lives the life I’m telling you.

Excuse me you’re in my sun.

And finally, I went to my first Ranger game of the season Tuesday night. It was nothing short of awesome. We had some pretty great seats, and were able to get there in time for warm-ups which was really cool. A neat experience as one might say.

Rangerstown

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to get my “ish” together and post these next few weeks. Between work and moving I’m going to be busy. Add in running a marathon… well yeah. I will do my best to stay connected, and I plan on posting about my goals pre-race sometime in the next two weeks. Like before the race…. Duh.

Oh, and I’m running a half marathon Saturday. Ha! Fingers and toes crossed for no rain 🙂

Follow me on IG for all my life happenings. Because as you can see, I only post the most important of things.

Have a fabulous Thursday!


When life gets crazy, what do you do to eliminate extra stress?

Anyone else excited to taper? I know in two weeks I’m going to feel the crazies, but for now, I don’t hate it.

Big plans this weekend? 

Running Fasted

Last week I mentioned that more often than not, I run fasted. I have been training and racing on an empty stomach for the past two years. I think 2013 was the last time I tried to eat before a race and it just didn’t end so well.

I want to preface this post by saying I’m not a nutritionist, doctor, trainer, professional (in any sense), so please take this all with a grain of salt. If this is something you are truly interested in trying, I highly suggest you consult with someone with a lot more knowledge than myself. But keep in mind, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

Although I will mainly talk about my personal experience, I did want to talk about the science behind “fasted running”. The idea behind running on an empty stomach, or going on “fasting runs” is to train your body to utilize available fuel more efficiently. This is especially beneficial for endurance athletes who want to avoid “hitting the wall” or “bonking”.

Why Run Fasted?

Our bodies rely primarily on carbohydrates to produce energy. Carbohydrates (or our bodies energy) is stored as glycogen which is broken down during a workout or a race to be used as fuel. While this all sounds good – our bodies can only store so much glycogen, so once those glycogen stores are diminished, our bodies turn to breaking down fat, which is a WAY less efficient fuel source. This is when we “hit the wall”.

By fasting before a run, we start teaching our body to burn fat more efficiently. Because we have a lot more available fuel in our body in the form of fat (just not an efficient process), training our body to use that fuel helps with endurance and aerobic performance, and avoiding “the wall”.

How Should I Start?

Start after an overnight fast. This was easy for me because I’m a morning runner. Once you get up and get out the door, your body doesn’t have time to register that it’s hungry for fuel. Because glycogen stores are already low, our bodies are forced to burn fat for fuel. So after time, our bodies become more efficient at utilizing fat for fuel.

You should also start by incorporating this into your easy/recovery runs. Do not start by racing fasted or trying a track workout fasted. For me personally, I have always kept my speed work for the afternoons, after I do have fuel in my body. I find I am more able to hit certain paces and maintain a higher intensity for longer.

So What’s Bad About Training Fasted?

Training in a fasted state usually means you won’t be able to run as fast in training. To break down fat you require more oxygen and it takes longer to break down so therefore you usually end up running slower. If you notice, a lot of my mid-week, mid-distance runs are about 60-90 seconds slower a mile than my race pace. Running hard while fasted is especially taxing, and I really only reserve that type of stress on my body for race day.

And For Me…

I started running fasted for two reasons. 1. I’m a morning runner but didn’t want to get up any early to eat before hand and 2. I have a stomach that does not handle food well before running (especially hard or for long periods of time).

When I first started training for my first marathon in 2011, I would munch on some saltines and peanut butter before heading out for any run lasting more than an hour. What I found was my body felt sluggish, I would cramp up, and I just felt “heavy”. I started to research what are the best things to eat before a run and I stumbled upon the concept of fasted running. I decided to give it a try, so the next morning I woke up, didn’t eat, and went out for a 7 mile run. I found myself feeling lighter, I didn’t cramp, and shockingly, I felt like I had more energy. From then on, I never ate before any training run. I continued to eat before half and full marathons, as I had only been following a “fasting running” training plan for a few months / I still had no idea what I was doing.

From my first marathon in 2011 to my third in 2013, I ate saltines before the race start. Although I didn’t get the same “heavy” feeling as I did with other foods, I still didn’t feel as great as I did on my training runs. But I was too nervous to not eat before such a long distance.

The first marathon I raced fasted was in 2014. I have had a lot of personal success with training and running fasted. It is something that has taken me YEARS to understand and “master”. I have that in quotations because I am still playing with what works best fueling wise. Because I don’t eat before I run, I have to focus a lot on hydration and my nutrition leading up to a race. I tend to drink a ton more water before I head out for a particularly long training run and continue to do so while I’m running. Nutrition wise, I make sure in the days leading up to the race, I’m fueling my body with lots of complex carbohydrates, a good amount of protein, and a good amount of “good fat” – think nut butters, avocado, etc.

Some people have asked if I ever get hungry when running fasted – particularly for my 20+ mile training runs. I am usually up around 6, out on the road by 630, and done by 915. That’s a lot of calories burned and no fuel for a long time. When I initially started training fasted, I would feel hungry while running, it was because I didn’t fuel properly in the days leading up to a long fasted run. Now, I can head out on the road for 3 hours and not once feel hungry. It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of doing.

While this method of training works for me and has only benefited me in my training, it is not for everyone. I know some people who HAVE to eat before they run, and that is okay! It’s so important to listen to your own body and know what it needs to get through a 20 mile run.

I wanted to do a high-level overview as to not get too complex on the science of it all. Although, I do love me some science. If you guys have any other questions, or want me to go into more detail about something specific (science or personal wise!) please let me know!

I also think these articles are great resources for learning more about fasted running:

Should You Try Fasting Before Running

Train Your Body to Fuel Efficiently with Fasting Runs

Training in a Fasted State

The Science of Bonking and Glycogen Depletion


Was this helpful? 

Should I do more informational posts like this?

Anyone have any additional questions for me!?

The Rain Can Stay

Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I was totally digging this dreary weather we had last week/weekend.I don’t know what it is about the rain, but sometimes it just makes me feel cozy… even if I’m at work. I am also welcoming the cool morning and evening temps with wide open arms. Not losing my body weight in sweat is magical.

MiMM

So here I am, Monday morning, linking up with Erin for Weekend RecapTara for Weekend Update, and Katie for Marvelous Monday .

This weekend, I started working on my post regarding running fasted. It has a little bit of science, many cited articles, and a lot of personal experience. Keep an eye out for it later this week!

I also cooked (gasp) my famous vegan butternut squash lasagna over the weekend. Recipe to come. I love how filling and healthy it is, with the added bonus of warming me up during the work day. Nothing says fall like hot food for lunch!

In addition to my lasagna, I made some date balls, because who can watch the Giants play on Sunday without some game time snacks!?

Running last week went well. I moved my long run to Thursday night afterwork. I was hoping to get some miles in outside before moving to the treadmill, but as I pulled out of work, the rain started and I just didn’t want to risk it. Therefore, I ran 15 gloriously (long) miles on the treadmill after work. Talk about crazy.

Friday was relaxing. A short day at work led to an evening full of errands/laundry/cleaning. That way, my weekend was totally free. I also went to SoulCycle. Why oh why is it so addicting, and why oh why do I find the clothes so damn necessary?!? Friday night Will and I saw The Martian. Highly recommend.

Saturday I was able to visit with my best from college. It’s been far too long and we decided we were far overdue for some food and good old fashion gossip. Just keeping it real.

Afterwards I braved the tropic winds and watched Wills rugby team. Post-game warm comfort foods were a must so I indulged in some noodles at a new to me place in Fairfield called Mecha. Amazing. And so different from what I usually eat, it was a nice change of pace.

Sunday was full of relaxation. Will and I watched Homeland and The Leftovers and of course indulged in Sunday football, topping the night off eating our homemade pizza. One of these times I will actually get creative and add more than just veggies to the top… maybe…

This weekend went by way too fast, but the good ones usually do. Here’s to hoping for another quick week. Oh, and my final peak week of NYCM training!

Happy Monday : )


What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Anyone else enjoy rainy weather every now and again?

#TOLT Rabbit Rabbit

And it’s officially October. Although I feel like the summer went by far too fast, I know the next few months are going to whiz by. So I’m linking up with Amanda today to tell you what I’m looking backing on and smiling, and what I am looking forward to this month.

Thinking-Out-Loud

September went by far too fast. Starting out the month with a long weekend is always enjoyable, but often times it leads for some longer than usual work weeks. Will got his surgery, and work picked up. Add in some high milage running weeks and we had one really tired Jamie. I took an unplanned hiatus from blogging to regroup, but I am so happy to be back. I signed up and was accepted to the Boston Marathon, I saw my friend Kathryn off before she headed to the West Coast, and went to a pretty amazing concert. All things considered, September was a pretty awesome month.

First 20-miler
Jam Sesh

PS I’m obsessed with my standing desk.

Hello Ellie

And running wise, September was great. Humidity finally dissipated, and I was able to start enjoying those fall morning runs. I ran one race (read about it here), logged a bit over 220 miles with an average pace of 7’56”. I also took SIX complete rest days which is more than I have any other month this training cycle.

Struggle was real .

What am I looking forward to in October?

My last full month of marathon training. A little over two more weeks before I taper. I have been working hard this cycle and am really hoping that the stars align on race day.

Another long weekend –  thank you Christopher Columbus!

Running another half (first ever SoNo half marathon!) as a final tune-up before race day.

Celebrating my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary and Will’s first day at his new job (!!).

Moving. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this one, but we will see how it all goes.

Ranger games.

#TBT

And of course, not celebrating Halloween. Even though NYCM is in November, I have to tie it in with Halloween. I’ll be needing a good night sleep for that early morning ferry ride, so I will be hitting the hay early. Needless to say, the holiday should make for some interesting scenery the race day morning.

#TBT all the way to college. Peace. Love. Red Bull

Not to get ahead of myself, but I have a feeling that November and December will be gone before we know it and we’ll be ringing in the New Year together. And just as a fair warning, I love all things festive. Get ready.


What is your favorite holiday? Do you go all out dressing up/decorating?

What was your favorite part of September?

What are you looking forward to the most this month?

WIAW Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

In pure form, all these eats are from Tuesday. I had a dentist appointment Tuesday morning so due to an earlier than usual wake up call with no morning run, I got a bit hungrier than usual throughout the day.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their feedback yesterday. I’m working on a post about fasted running and why I think it works best for me. Keep an eye out for the next two weeks! WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS1-300x150

And as always, thanks Jenn for hosting!

Nothing is more sad than a totally empty refrigerator…. And this is what mine usually looks like by the time Saturday afternoon rolls around. It’s photos like these that make me realize I am SO not ready to be an adult.

😦

Breakfast: Vega protein, banana, almond butter, almond milk, topped with some strawberries and blueberries.

Morning Snack: oatmeal with cashew butter – this might be the only semi-attractive looking photo I’ve ever taken on my oatmeal. Go me.
 Lunch: spaghetti squash with tomato puree, a green bell pepper (not pictured), and a s’mores Quest protein bar (also not pictured). Hunger was real today my friends.

Snack: celery for days. I usually cut up an entire bag on Sunday and bring the container to work with me so I can munch on it instead of the countless quantities of chips and granola we have in the office. Pair it with some PB2 and we got a winner!  Dinner: post run I usually crave something salty so I figured why not, and had 4 egg whites, 1 piece Ezekiel bread, and a 1/4 cup of Diaya shredded pepper jack cheddar cheese.

Sad news: I had a dentist appointment  yesterday morning and they informed me I have not one, not two, but six cavities. For someone who doesn’t eat a lot of sugar (at least I don’t think so…) I’m pretty shocked. So, thanks to my enamels incredible ability to become super porous, I am no longer drinking soda. Which gives me the sads. I will also no longer be eating candy, brownies, or cookies. I will however still eat frozen yogurt. And cupcakes. Because we all need something.

Let’s see how long that lasts…


Anyone else have a ridiculous amount of cavities?

What food to you crave after a run?

What other food can I bring to work to snack on to avoid the chips and granola?

Hogsback Half Recap

First off, I want to thank everyone for such kind words and congratulations after my race on Saturday. It really means the world to me. Running is just part of who I am, but I am so happy that it ties me to a community full of wonderful people.

Like I’ve said previously, I like running halfs during marathon training to tune-up before race day. If my pre-race nerves for this half was any indication, it has been far too long since I’ve raced. Although I stayed in Friday night in hopes of getting a lot of sleep, I couldn’t relax. Between the pre-race jitters, wondering how I was going to run 13 miles (um I ran 20 7 days before… you would think I’d know I would finish but nope!) and the idea of moving apartments getting real, I was up until after midnight. Which made for a 6AM wake-up not the most fun.

I sweet talked my wonderful parents into road tripping with me. I’ve run this race the past two years and have driven myself. No matter what, I always finish and wish someone was there to drive me home because I just want to close my eyes and rest. But this year my mom and step-dad made the trip with me which was super nice and really fun to have some fans waiting for me at the end!

For me personally, I race fasted. So for half marathons I do not fuel. I don’t eat before and I do not take in any fuel during the run. I usually find this helps me race my best. I like feeling light pre-race, and usually get some GI issues if I am running at a tempo pace.

My goal for this race was to go in and run slightly faster than marathon goal pace. The course is challenging. It mimics Boston as the first portion has a steep decline in elevation, followed by a mildly flat stretch, and the finishing with rolling hills, and the last mile up hill. Because that’s fun and what everyone wants to run up after 12+ miles.

Before the race I was able to fit in a 1.5 mile warm up at about a 9’30” pace. I never used to be a fan of warming up, but after a long car ride and sitting most the morning, I need something to get my legs moving. Although I didn’t warm up for Boston, I think the walk from Athlete’s Village to the start line was sufficient enough warm up.

Before the race I actually bumped into a friend from college. She was a fabulous runner in college and a triathlete. She had taken a break from racing, but is back training for NYCM as part of Fred’s Team as she has personally seen the tragic effects of cancer on loved ones. If you’re interested in donating, this is her page. I’m super excited because this means I have a friend to hang out with in NYC!

The race was scheduled to start at 9:00AM which is late for me. I like running early and being done by then, but the race offers an early start at 8:15 for runners who will take longer than 2:30 to complete the race.

I have seen some familiar faces at these races before and enjoy casually chatting before the race. I heard a small group of males saying they’d like to run around 1:30. Going into this race, I was hoping for a 1:34. It is a challenging course, I was coming off a 60+ mile week, and I was not rested.

The gun went off promptly at 9:00 and I was out in the front with two other women. Though the race starts downhill, I tried my best to reign in my pace. Last year I ran the first mile sub 6 and was absolutely DYING for the last three miles. Lesson learned.

My splits were as followed:

6’26” 6’23” 6’45” 6’42” 6’47” 6’55” 6’51” 6’53” 7’05” 7’01” 7’00” 7’00” 7’16”
Watch time 1:29:51

For the first few miles I found myself running with two other women and with a few men. It was a great group as we were mostly on pace. After the third/fourth mile I was first female which was an interesting experience, because I’ve never been first female for a half. I was escorted by a race official on a bike which was pretty cool, and to be quite honest, probably attributed to falling into a groove with my pace.

Pain train

I took water around mile 8 – and in pure form splashed 99% of it all over my face. I kept chugging along and with the exception of the last mile (uphill – ugh) I felt good. In all honesty, I felt like I could’ve kept going. I’m sure my pace would’ve slowed a bit, but on a course with less of a climb at the end (+350ft elevation change), I think I would’ve been able to hold  on for longer at comfortable pace. Last year I came in third overall, but this year I finished as first woman and can now proudly say I won my first half marathon. Truly something I NEVER thought would happen. Although as my mom put it – I was only 4+ minutes slower than the overall finisher… next year mom… next year : )

All I can think when I see this is “wow I look tired”

I cooled down at the end with a half mile run making it 15 miles for the day. It was a perfect day weather wise, and the race had a strong group of competitors. Again, it was so nice to see my parents at the finish line as they are always such great supporters. I am usually pretty nauseous after I run so I stuck with water for the time being. I had a few orange slices but was barely able to stomach anything else. Therefore, the amazing homemade post-race food was 100% consumed by my parents. And of course I had to steal a Rice Krispy treat for my mom. : )

Would’ve preferred a real cupcake… but I’m not picky 🙂

We hung out on the grass for a bit while waiting for awards. While it was perfect weather to race, it was a bit chilly with the wind. Sitting in sweaty clothes didn’t really help either. I won a super awesome bottle of white wine, a hat, two cookies (which are now gone), and a pretty neat metal.

Hogsback is one of my favorite races. The people. The course. Everything about it. If you’re near Colebrook, CT and want to run a really awesome half marathon, remember this next fall! I know I’ll be back!

I have one more half before NYCM. This week is another week of lighter milage, before peaking next week with 70+ miles. The third weekend in October I’ll have a very local half which means a lot more sleeping the morning before! I can’t believe I’m already this far in my training. It seems like just yesterday I started making my training plan…


What’s your favorite half marathon course? How is it challenging for you?

Would anyone like me to talk specifically about fasted training/racing? I started doing this about 15 months ago and have had a lot of success with it.