Running On Average

The Not-So-Long Run

This weekend I had a 14-miler on the schedule, but well, sometimes life has different plans. I have ulcerative colitis which means that sometimes my stomach has plans of its own and last week was one of those weeks. Treadmill runs are fine because, if I need to, the locker room is right there. But 14 miles without pit stops? I stressed all weekend just thinking about it. And it made me very irritable.
To the point where I texted Danielle and ask her about missing runs during marathon training. At the beginning of her last marathon training she sprained her ankle pretty bad and it hugely affected her schedule. She assured me that it wouldn’t ruin my race, but to try and run/walk or see how many miles I can go. So yesterday afternoon, I got all decked out in my gear, laced up my Wave Rider 16s, grabbed my boy and off we went to explore new roads!  He had mapped out (mostly in his head) an exploratory route. It was fun and zig-zaggy course. We paused at mile 4 and tried some strawberry Clif Bloks. The verdict is still out on them. Tasty, but I’m not sure how easy they’d be to chew and digest in a marathon. When we took a pause at mile 5 before heading back, Dave offered up these words of encouragement, “I hate you. Why can’t you be obsessed with 5Ks??” To which I responded, “I am obsessed with 5Ks. I want sub 24 minutes.” Not the answer he was looking for. 🙂

photo 1 (1)
Dave started dragging around mile 6 and our pace slowed. I began running all the cul-de-sacs while he walked past them and when we got to the final mile his knee was hurting something awful so he headed home and I ran some extra detour blocks. I ended up back in the garage at 8.98 miles. Oh HELL no. I ran back outside around the parking lot until I heard 9 miles in my headphones. Then I bee-lined for the bathroom. Life gets real. Anyway, at that point I was in the house, I was feeling great and after how awful I felt about last week’s run, I decided to stop while I was ahead. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, stopping short, but when you have colitis, you learn to deal.
Afterward I also tried a nuun in my water, and the verdict is still out on that, too. It was (mostly) tasty, but it tingled almost like it was carbonated. But not in my stomach, only on my tongue. WEIRD.

photo 2
Anyway, here’s a rundown of the paces. Can you tell where Dave got tired? 🙂
Mile 1- 9:38
Mile 2- 10:31 (got lost and walked a moment)
Mile 3- 9:40
Mile 4- 9:07
Mile 5- 9:33
Mile 6- 9:05
Mile 7- 11:57
Mile 8- 11:06
Mile 9- 9:46

SmartWool socks! Love them! And a blanket because I was FREEZING

Today was 4 easy miles on the treadmill. BORING! Today was 2 miles at 6.2, then alternating between 6.4 (verses) and 6.8 (refrains) for 2 miles to keep me interested. It felt great! And running at 1% on the treadmill felt like running downhill. haha

What do you use to fuel your runs?

Week Review

The last time I ran a marathon I was lazy and did little to no weight training. I’m pretty certain that had a lot to do with my butt hurting SO BAD and my back basically feeling like all the vertebrae collapsed onto each other around mile 21.


Yelling “This sucks SO BAD!” at mile 20. Not pretty at all.

So this time around I’m incorporating 3 days a week of weight training in the hopes that it will prevent those issues and improve my overall experience. Here’s what my week looked like.

Ran 3.1 miles at 9:35 pace on the treadmill. Easy-peasy.

Leg Day!
3×10 squats
3×10 calf press
3×10 leg extension
3×10 leg curls (not too sure if that’s the legit name)
3×10 of this spiffy little exercise: Prop yourself on your right elbow. With your legs straight, rest your left leg on a weight bench. Then lift your lower leg up to the bottom of the bench and lower it back down to the ground. Switch sides. It’s a great workout! I’ll try to provide pictures later.

Chest and Tris
3×10 bench press
3×10 tricep extension
3×10 tri raises
3×10 pec dec
5 mile speed interval treadmill workout (averaged a 9:20 pace…workout to come!)

3 miles easy treamill at 9:32 pace

Back and Bis
3×10 lateral pulldowns
3×10 rows
3×10 shoulder raises
3×10 e-z bar curls
3×10 inverted back extension (with weight)
3×10 (each side) obliques on the same machine used as back extension (with weight)

The weights schedule is staying basically the same for now, but the runs will obviously be getting longer. I’m never sure why marathon and half marathon training plans always start out running SO LITTLE, even when you say how many weekly miles you already do. But I’m not expert yet so I’m sticking with it (for now!). We’ll see how it works.

In other fun news, I learned yesterday why Starbucks cups say “do not microwave” on them. The burn. Like, legitimately burn.

photo 3


I can’t blame Starbucks because it definitely warned me, I’m just glad it didn’t get out of hand or set off the fire alarm at work. New girl setting off the fire alarm? Probably not a good start. It kind of smelled like burnt sugar, which I thought was weird until it was pointed out to me that my drink did in fact contain sugar. DUH.

Pittsburgh’s Hills

On March 30th I will be running my second marathon! Yea! It’s the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I looked at the 2013 course before I registered and I knew it would be a hilly course, but stupid is something I do well. Or determined. So hills be damned, I decided to run one hilly-ass marathon.

Knoxville Marathon 2013

Knoxville Marathon 2013


Luckily, I live outside of Pittsburgh and my home is surrounded by hills. Saturday I had a 12-miler in wind and cold with slushy and icy roads. I did the first 7 3/4 miles on my own in my Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s, then I came home, changed into my spankin’ new Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s, picked up Dave and we ran the last 4 1/2 miles together. I was dying the last few miles and whining like a baby, but we finished it. Came home again and propped my feet up on the wall for a few minutes. It drains the blood out of your legs and feels fantastic.

Old Riders, New Inspires, Happy Feet

Old Riders, New Inspires, Happy Feet

I had some almonds, a tangerine, and some nice HOT COFFEE for a snack while Dave cut up and added some bell peppers to a frozen pizza and put it in the oven for lunch. We were both really hungry, so I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, and only got the last, lone slice.

Yummm snack

Yummm snack



We decided to have a date night on Saturday night and went to see Wolf of Wall Street, which we both agreed was a horrible movie. It was out of control, and I guess it was based on a true story, but it was too much for me to handle and became uncomfortable to watch. Afterward, we decided to try Bubba’s Burghers for dinner. I got a buffalo chicken burger and fried pickles. And a Black & Brew beer. I’m a sucker for a good stout. It’s such a fun and spunky sports bar and the food was all AMAZING. But not at all healthy. Life is all about balance. Run 12 miles. Eat like King Henry…on occasion!

My goal for my second marathon was a 4:03, but with the hilly course I’m not so sure I’ll be able to achieve that. I’m going to try, but my back up is basically to PR and get under a 4:30.

How do you handle hilly runs? Cold runs?
Do you change your goal time depending on course difficulty?
What are your thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street?

Nice to Meet You! Let’s Review.

Happy New Year! I hope that your start to 2014 was full of fun times, a nice day off and, if your from PA Dutch Country, pork and sauerkraut.

So I decided to start out and give you a crash course into my life and this blog it would make sense to give you a 2013 review in pictures! Yea! It’s long, but stick with me and it’ll be fun, I swear. So ready? Okay, here we go.

I drove out to Pittsburgh for an incredible long weekend. We went to The Porch for lunch, the top of the Cathedral of Learning, Phipps Conservatory, Kaya for dinner where I had amazing sangria and a curry dish. Then we went to the traveling Broadway performance of Les Miserables. A-MAZ-ING.


I ran my first 20-mile run! It was 21 degrees and snowing. I found out later that I got an interior ankle sprain during that run. 6 weeks before my first marathon. Not cool. But what was crazy cool was the I PR-ed in the 5K on my sprained ankle (before I knew it was sprained)!

I ran my first marathon! On Saturday, March 15th, my mom and I drove down to Washington D.C. for the Rock N Roll USA marathon.
tarting line!

We stayed at the Marriott Metro Center. Dave also made it down to support me and navigate the metro with my mom so they could cheer me on at various spots. I didn’t get the time I wanted, but it was an amazing experience. My runner friend, Danielle, ran the half marathon option, too. For a full recap, check out my old blog:
igh fiving Dave en route! 

Dave and I went to Taming of the Brew in Bloomsburg, PA. It’s a food and beer festival featuring local breweries and restaurants. I went to college not too far away in Selinsgrove, so I was totally psyched when BJs Pub and Steakhouse was there. O.M.G. There was chocolate stout (!!!) and peanut ale (!). I think someone should have knocked these two together and made the most incredible black & tan there could ever be.  Just wait, one day I will make it happen. Chocolate. Peanut butter. Beer. That cannot possibly go wrong.
My little sister, Ronnie, and I ran a local Beat Beethoven race. I ran and PR-ed in the 10K and she ran and kicked total ass in her very first 5K! One by one, I’m turning my family to the dark side. Running. Muahaha.
She can eat like it’s going out of style.

Attended a Run for Boston with Danielle. The turn out was incredible and it was the most moving run I’ve ever participated in. I believe the number was in excess of over 800.

I went to Paris, Versailles, Rheims, and Epernay France with Dave! We had a whirlwind time and got to experience so much in 10 days. We got go on a champagne cellars tour and tasting, went behind the scene of a chocolatier and pastry chef, the Louvre, Eiffel Tour, the catacombs, Orsay Museum, Notre Dame, and more. If you ever go to France and find yourself around Monparnasse, try out Mustache. It’s a delicious French/Thai cuisine, by far our favorite place. And it was called Mustache, how can you NOT love it??

The Catacombs of Paris….bone chilling!

The summit of the Eiffel Tower.

Paris Skyline


Dave and I went to Alaska! Ronnie was already up there for the summer, so the three sisters reunited! The morning after we arrived we got up at 4am and made our way down to Homer to watch the sunrise and go halibut fishing. So. Much. Fun.
We went fishing. Just for the halibut.

Homer, AK.

Bear Creek Winery. Yes, Alaska makes their own wine. And it’s delicious.

Moose in the front yard!
At the end of the month, my friends Laura and Janelle and I went to Atlantic City for the Food & Wine Festival.
Cupcake win truck? Yes please!

Me, Laura and Janelle

Pretty chill month.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon! I ran it last year as my first half and this year it was my second…but my mom’s first! She kicked total ass and finished in 2:17 and change. I PR-ed with 2:00:18!
Had a fun weekend at the Maryland Wine Festival with Dave, a bunch of his frat brothers and their girlfriends/fiancés/wives. I have never had a bad time with that crew. So fun.

Had a Philly weekend with Dave. We went to Village Whiskey for dinner, followed by the Franklin Institute for the SPY Exhibit and wrapping up with late night drinks with Anne at The Dandelion, a British pub on the corner of Sansom and 18th Streets. She introduced us to a drink called Pimms and it is SO GOOD.
Also went to a gala at Penn State with Dave’s frat. I have never been a huge PSU fan, but it was for him, so I went and it was a ton of fun. I even got to squeeze in a nice run down to Beaver Stadium and back.

Ran the Oley Country Classic with my mom! She came in 3rd in her division for the 5K and I came in 3rd in my division for the 10-miler. We both PR-ed. Cold, hilly race, but we came away champs.
Danielle and I also headed down to Disney World for a long weekend and to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. We agreed before going that it was purely going to be a FUN RUN sSo we relaxed, went at a leisurely pace and had a really great time. Oh, and we dressed as Mike and Sully. FTW.

Loving the swag.

Mike and Sully showed up to Disney World.

On Thanksgiving morning my mom, Ronnie, Danielle, Crystal and I ran a Flippin Fun 5K that ended up being a lot of fun.
Ronnie (in the orange) making me proud with a sprint to the finish.

Mom, Ronnie, Me, Danielle, Crystal

Also, I moved to Pittsburgh and moved in with Dave. 😀

Not too much happened this month either. Other than, you know, moving in with Dave and starting an awesome new job. And we got to go home for Christmas, so it was a pretty awesome month.
First run at the new place. Holy hills, Batman!

So that’s my year in 1500 words or less. I’m looking forward to having (and documenting) many more adventures in 2014!!

What was the greatest part of your 2013? Travel anywhere fun? Set any PRs?