Training Diaries

The spring edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jackie, a Race Pace Runner, on her journey of acheiving a big half marathon PR this spring. Learn more about Jackie and her goals here.

With the race just around the corner (!!), I’ve been thinking a lot about staying motivated. As I wrote about previously, the first couple weeks were pretty rough as I transitioned from a fair-weather runner to a runner training for a specific race. Now, my training is challenging in different ways. My long runs are getting longer, my speed workouts are getting more intense, and the overall hours each week devoted to training has increased. But even as running takes up more and more of my time and energy, I’m remembering just how much I love this terrible, wonderful sport. That love makes all the hours and miles and sore muscles completely worthwhile.
Smiling after ten miles

Smiling after ten miles

Recently, Jess was quoted in an article on about what motivates runners. In the article, she discusses the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, and reading her words got me thinking about what really drives me to lace on my sneakers every morning and hit the pavement (or treadmill!). Since this is my first big race in several years, I knew I wanted to line up a lot of outside motivators to get me going. And I have plenty of them, like a crazy fast goal time, a coach to provide a weekly training plan, and my family and friends to support me. I feel really fortunate to have so many people cheering me on and encouraging me, but at the end of the day, those outside factors only go so far. It’s my intrinsic motivation, my plain and simple love of running, that really helps me stay focused and determined. My goal time is just a number and my friends and family will still love me no matter what, so it’s entirely up to me to hold myself accountable for each workout. Running is a choice, and I’m grateful to be in a position to make that choice every day. Even though some days I may not feel like it, when I get back home after a run all sweaty and red-faced, I’m always glad I chose running over not running.

 jackie 12 miles Because here’s the thing: running sucks. It’s hard and painful and some days it doesn’t go well. Some days you struggle through three miles and wonder how you’ll ever do 13.1. But other days you feel great through five miles, or ten miles, or twenty, and you think, I can do this. Yes, running sucks, but not running sucks even more. As Jess said in the article, “If you love running, it will always be a priority,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Three weeks to go!

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2014 1st Quarter Review

by Jess on April 2, 2014

1st Quarter Running 2-14


* I saw this topic pop up on #runchat this past week and thought it would be fun to summarize how my 1st quarter of running went 2014.

One word to describe my training from January to March:


One word to describe how I feel about being inconsistent:


Favorite Run:

14 miles in the sleet/rain/snow over the 59th Street Bridge to Roosevelt Island with Fiona, Steph and the Nike Running Group.

Biggest Accomplishment:

Learning to embrace the treadmill and setting a personal treadmill distance record of ten miles on a cold winter day. I never thought I’d be capable of doing that!

Favorite Song to Hear on the Run:

Biggest Lesson:

I don’t have to stress myself out so much about trying to PR. PR’s aren’t everything and they aren’t why I’ve kept running for 26 years. In fact, I spent several years as a stress-free, pr-free runner and loved nearly every minute of it. I’m going back to that space as of yesterday, April 1st.

Best Race:

LA Marathon (the only race I ran this quarter).

Top Three Things I’m looking forward to in the second quarter:

1. Boston Marathon (duh!)

2. Hitting the reset button after a lackluster season of training.

3. Not having a marathon on my calendar!

What one word would you use to summarize your first quarter of running in 2014?


Like many other things, there’s no one right answer that works for everyone when trying to decide if you should run when you have a cold. However, here are a few non-scientific reasons why I generally choose to rest over run.

  • Running at a modified intensity level due to not feeling well will most likely not contribute to increasing my fitness level.
  • Taking the day off means getting more rest and stressing my body less.
  • I’m convinced the duration of my cold decreases when I skip my training runs.
  • I don’t want to risk compromising my immune system and ended up with something worse than just a common cold.

On the flip side, the Mayo Clinic says mild to moderate exercise is okay and may even help you feel better.

The question I always ask myself when struggling to make the decision to workout or rest when I have a cold is, “How is this workout going to contribute to my running goals?”

Normally, the answer to that question is simple. The workout I’m able to do with a cold isn’t actually going to contribute to my running goals.

This question should also be applied to almost every workout you do when you’re training for a very specific goal. If a workout doesn’t serve a purpose, then why are you doing it?

I think this is one of those things where you have to decide what is right for you, not what is right for someone else. You also have to listen to your body and mind and give it what it needs the most.

What about you, do you normally stick with your training schedule when you have a cold?


Race Pace Training Diaries: Half Way There!

March 24, 2014

The spring edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jackie, a Race Pace Runner, on her journey of acheiving a big half marathon PR this spring. Learn more about Jackie and her goals here.  I can’t believe how quickly these first six weeks of training have flown by! I’m very happy to be halfway there, and I’ve been […]

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Spring Marathon Training: LA Marathon Recovery Plan

March 19, 2014

After crossing the finish line of the LA Marathon, my number one goal was to do everything I could possibly do to recover quickly so I could get back to training for Boston. Typically after a marathon I do a few of these things, but not all of them. Here’s what I did on race […]

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LA Marathon Recap: I Left My Ego In New York City or Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

March 14, 2014

Words of advice rang in my ears during the 26.2 mile run from Dodger’s Stadium to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California. “If you feel good, hold back. If you reach mile 15 and you still feel good, hold back.” ~ Coach Andrew Kastor “Don’t acknowledge the heat. Once you do it becomes a factor.” […]

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Race Pace Training Diaries: Take the Bad with the Good

March 11, 2014

The spring edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jackie, a Race Pace Runner, on her journey of acheiving a big half marathon PR this spring. Learn more about Jackie and her goals here. I love social media like Instagram and Twitter, but I tend to share only the good parts of my life online and leave out the bad parts. […]

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4 Goals for the LA Marathon

March 4, 2014

My goals for the LA Marathon are simple (but not necessarily easy): Finish the race. This will be a huge accomplishment in and of itself. I’m running this 26.2 as a training run for Boston and on fewer training miles than any of my previous six marathons. Number 7, will definitely be one for the books. […]

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Asics Giveaway

March 3, 2014

As a member of the Asics LA Marathon Team, I’ve gotten to connect with some great people and try some great gear. I am looking forward to running the LA Marathon on Sunday, though I’m quite nervous (more on my goals later)! As a thank you to you for supporting me and cheering me on […]

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February Favorites

February 27, 2014

 1. Ginger Fireball: Maybe it’s coincidental, but I swear drinking two of these over the course of 24 hours cured my cold. I’m not going to pretend to know much about oils, but this fiery drink contains oil of oregano which might have been what did the trick. 2. The Skimm: If you don’t have […]

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