Boston Marathon Registration, My Next Race, and More RP News!

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Hi all!  I know I’ve been out of it for the past several weeks on this blog, but I’ve been moving to Boulder, starting a new job, buying a house, doing all kinds of home improvement and decorating activities, etc. etc.  I haven’t been running a ton, but I did do the classic Boulder Skyline Traverse a few weekends ago (mostly hiking, admittedly!), swept a portion of the Never Summer 100K, and have done some cool hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  Photos and other updates available on Instagram.  Now that I’m fairly settled in Boulder, I’m finally getting focused back on races!  MOST IMPORTANTLY…

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Big News! Also, A Week and a Half Until Mt. Hood 50K

img_2212If you follow me on Strava or Instagram, you might have noticed that I haven’t been doing a ton of running lately.  I had the Bayshore Marathon a month ago, and then the Ultimate Direction Golden Gate Dirty 30 the following week (my first ultra! — here’s what I ate and wore).  Since then, I’ve been in recovery/rest mode and adjusting to the heat of the summer.  And eating Hello Fresh.  But I have some news!

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What I Wore, Packed, Ate, and Carried at My First Ultramarathon

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Last weekend, I ran the Ultimate Direction Dirty 30, a 50k race in Colorado.  Read about it here.  As promised, this post is all about those pesky logistics of ultrarunning:  what to carry, what to pack in a drop bag, what to eat at aid stations.  These are things I’d never given much thought to during a road marathon, and they seriously stressed me a little bit for the ultra.  I think I did a pretty good job packing and eating, so here we go…

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How to Lose Weight While Training for a Marathon (And Still PR)

IMG_8835We have all been told that — contrary to conventional wisdom — it is really hard to lose weight while training for a marathon.  In fact, a lot of people gain weight when they up their training mileage.  Personally, after 21 marathon training cycles, I know these struggles all too well.  (There may be people out there who start running and watch the pounds melt off; I am not one of them.)  But I also think it is pretty unhelpful to say “It can’t be done,” and as I recently learned while completing a cut on the RP diet and simultaneously training for a BQ-pace marathon, it can be done.

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Non-Race Travel: The Best of St. Moritz, Florence, and Rome

IMG_3321Better late than never on this one!  My husband and I were fortunate to be invited to a wedding in St. Moritz, Switzerland in mid-January this year.  I honestly had never heard of St. Moritz, but as soon as I Wikipedia’d it, I was pretty pumped, even if I mis-pronounced it for several weeks until someone correct me (Mor-RITZ, not MORE-itz).  We also decided to extend the trip with stops in Florence and Rome, Italy.   Here are some of the highlights.

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Did Orangetheory Help Me BQ?

I feel like I could write about 234,908 posts about all of the things I learned, tried, tweaked, etc. during my journey to BQ.  So I’ll just do that until you or I get bored, whichever comes first… So far I’ve covered nutrition and pacing and my race tunes. Today’s topic is Orangetheory.

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How to BQ: The Right Tunes

I’m continuing my post-Phoenix Marathon brain dump, which I hope can help me with future races, but also help my readers who are looking to optimize their own performance.  I previously provided an overview of all the thoughts I had during the race, and then I wrote about how pacing and nutrition played key roles in my success. Next up: MUSIC!

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How to BQ: Pacing and Nutrition

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I spent years working toward my goal of running a Boston qualifying marathon time.  Recently, it all came together for me at my 21st marathon, the Phoenix Marathon, where I ran a 3:28:56, over six minutes faster than the BQ application cutoff for my age.  This race was obviously a PR for me, but I was shocked with how much I was able to improve over my three most recent races culminating at Phoenix.

First, I PR’d at Chicago with a 3:42.  I credited a fast course, good weather, improved training (mainly Orangetheory and running hills at altitude), and a stronger mental game. (My previous PR of 3:44:46 was achieved way back in 2012; for my thoughts on what went on in the five intervening years, check out my slowdown story and my thoughts about getting back on the BQ wagon.) Two months later, I PR’d again at Kiawah with a 3:37, an unexpected five-minute improvement.  Again, I credited a fast course, good weather, new mental strategies, and my altitude training.  But I also ran negative splits for the first time in a long time, and I felt like that made a huge difference compared to Chicago. Then less than three months after that, after training back at sea level, I PR’d and BQ’d at Phoenix with 3:28:56, a whopping eight minute improvement over Kiawah, and a 13 minute improvement over Chicago in less than five months.

As someone who thought that Chicago might be as good as it gets in terms of race conditions, that 13-minute improvement was unfathomable — especially without significant changes to my training. (During the buildup, I frequently Googled “What is a reasonable marathon time improvement?” and “How long does it take to BQ?”  Here’s my answer!) So what made the difference?

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