ROTD 7/9/08 Eccabex -
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#1 of Old 07-09-2008, 09:47 PM - Thead Starter
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Each ROTD post should include, but is not limited to the following
  1. Running History - I started running almost 3 years ago. I had lost a bunch (80 pounds) of weight and was doing a lot of weight training. I was also playing soccer. However, I would become winded with even the thought of running up the street. A trainer I was working with encouraged me to start running and to pick a goal race. I signed up for a 5 mile run in November and began training. I did the run 1 minute, walk 5 and moved up from there. By the time the race hit, I was hooked. I signed on to do the National Half Marathon, but wound up with some knee pains and not too much motivation and decided to put my running on hold. I rediscovered later that spring. My first 1/2 marathon wound up being a nice little one over here, called The Double Creek Half Marathon. I was actually going to do the 5K they offered, but signed up for the half on a dare. Since then, I've been some what consistent with my running and have found a real enjoyment of it. Knock on wood, I've been pretty much injury free, just little aches and pains here and there (oh, and the embarrassment of only having 7 toenails during sandal season)
  2. Current miles per week (MPW) I am averaging aroun 20 or so miles a week, depending on time constraints
  3. Highest ever MPW and when 41 miles, during training for the Delaware Marathon
  4. Training pace(s) Recovery 11:49 -12:29, Long runs 10:49 - 11:49, Easy runs 10:49 - 11:19 (According to McMillan....this is one of my issues)
5. Race PRs and paces - 5K 24:07 (This spring)
5 miles 43: something ( I cannot find it now)
10 miles 1:36:XX (august, 2007)
1/2 marathon 2:08x (June, 0
marathon 5:10x (May0
6. One year from now, I hope to... still enjoy running. I would also like to become tougher , mentally, to help combat "hitting the wall"
7. I plan to achieve the above by... Following a training program that is a bit more agressive and trying to stick better to training paces.
8. I specifically want input on... Nutrition. Mine is not the best (not the worst, but I feel I can fuel my body much better, but I'm not sure where to begin without getting overwhelmed. I also have an extremely hard time sticking to the training times I should be using. I know there is a lot of value to slower runs, but I always seem to have time constraints. How do you guys deal with this issue?

9. My past 2 weeks over workouts have been more mental health runs and base building than anything else. I will start my marathon training (Philly, Nov) in a week or so. I will be using the KR program Merigayle posted.

This is from the HM is June

Thank you so much for your input. I really do enjoy being a part of this board. Thanks!
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#2 of Old 07-09-2008, 10:07 PM
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I have loved reading these ROTD post and yours is no exception. Your training paces are similar to where mine were, but your race times would smoke me. That must be a testament to your dedication, trust and consistency of your training program. (The toenail thing is a badge of honor...not an embarrassment.)

PS. Doncha hate when those smilies appear when you try to type in times and dates?
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#3 of Old 07-10-2008, 12:26 AM
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Fixed your pic for you.

I constantly have issues with toe nails too. At least one is always in some state of growing back.

Oh, and 80 pounds of weight loss is very impressive.

Congrats on your running and racing. You're doing well!
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#4 of Old 07-10-2008, 09:48 AM
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Hey Becca, great post. I had no idea you lost so much weight from your running. Good for you!!! I think that as far as nutrition goes, green pants Maria will have some good advice for you since she has recently lost some weight as a result of smart eating. I consider myself to be a healthy eater but I am actively trying to eat smarter as well. I definitely need to be getting more fruits and veggies into my diet.

As for training paces, according to McMillan your PR's above are all in line with the chart except the 5k. You really blew that one away. Do you think that in a 5M or HM you might be able to beat any of those above times? Instead of plugging in my race times into McMillan for training paces, I plug in my goal time and use those paces to train with. Not sure if that is how I should be doing things or not, but that's what I do and that's how I've improved. Anyway, as for running and time constraints, I only have that issue during the week when I need to be home by 7:30 am at the latest, so I have been waking up at 5am. It's either that or the treadmills at the gym (and I refuse to do that unless it's winter and too icy to run.)

I'm looking forward to meeting up with you in Philly. That will be fun. I'll get in touch soon about my plans for a visit.
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#5 of Old 07-10-2008, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for sharing Becca! That weight loss is awesome. Congrats to you. I really enjoy reading these ROTD and the input that comes from other's here. I'll step aside and read the replies. Best wishes on your running career.
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#6 of Old 07-10-2008, 10:49 AM
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Becca, based on your smokin' fast 5K time, I think you have the potential to smash those other PRs very soon. Are you doing any speed work? I noticed all the training paces you listed were for easy/recovery/long runs. What about your pace for shorter runs? Track workouts? Intervals? Bueller?

As for nutrition, use common sense. Lots of fruits and veggies, whole foods (nothing processed), whole grains, beans and legumes, protein, carbs. We've made simple switches like whole wheat or multigrain pasta instead of white pasta, adding flaxseed to cereals, eating oatmeal for breakfast with fruit, etc. There's some good advice here and here.
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#7 of Old 07-10-2008, 11:07 AM
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Nice ROTD post, congratulations on your weight loss and great picture!

Count me in with the busted-up toenail club, I'm currently nursing two that I hope make it through the month of July. Ugh.

Anywho, regarding nutrition ...for me it was all about cleaning my diet up. I eat pretty good most of the time but I'm also all about balance. I don't feel it's necessary to deny myself something tasty to eat or drink if I want it but also don't go overboard. Planning ahead is a big thing (and you know w/having children) in the food game. Plan out meals, snacks, everything and don't keep the junkie stuff around. As Alexis said, whole foods (no processed stuff), tons of veggies and fruits and healthy snack options (almonds, walnuts, plain yogurt w/fresh fruit & nuts, cut up veggies, etc). Whole grains replace anything with enriched flour, [and for me] most dairy replaced with soy and soy products and an emphasis on trying out new ways to make foods you love. What it really got down to, for me, was knowing that lugging around a few extra lbs. would make my runs all the more easy and more enjoyable.

Now pre-run and pre-race nutrition is another game and pretty individual. Do you find you need help in that area?

I like the consistency you've held your running to and how you mix it up with soccer, tennis, etc. I think that's totally key in enjoying running far into the future. As to adhering to those slower paces, when applicable, is there any way to incorporate your kids into your running? Eeither by running on a TM or having them bike along with you? ...apologies if they're much too young, I can't recall their ages.

Keep up the great work Becca! I look forward to meeting you at a NE/Mid-Atlantic Meet-Up
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#8 of Old 07-10-2008, 06:04 PM
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Hi Becca!! Your posts are always so energetic, and I love your ROTD post! And your quad definition is very lovely!

Super-congrats on losing and maintaining such a significant weight loss...good on you! I'm curious about the nutrition thing; you've mentioned that you have a lot of time constraints, and I wonder if that affects your eating as well? Do you skip meals to take care of family issues, or snack on whatever's available when you're pressed for time? I'm not sure if those are issues for you, but you might consider doing a food diary for a week or two to track not only what you're eating, but when and what's going on when you eat. You might find trends and habits that are easy to break, and perhaps others that you can work on in the longer term. Maria and Theia have some great food advice.

I'm curious about what do you mean by hitting the a race? During training when the mileage gets high, or during sprint work?

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#9 of Old 07-10-2008, 06:56 PM
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You are a strong and beautiful runner and you have a long and wonderful running journey ahead. The mental toughness is already there.....the confidence that comes with successfully navigating long/hard races will demolish the wall that you think is there. No racing is ever easy, no matter how well trained or experienced the runner.

your pal,


I start cussing at the farm animals as I pass. Really, punk cow? Now you wanna race? WTF where you the first 10 miles? That's right, you were sitting on your ass chewing some cud. lazy POS......refinnej
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#10 of Old 07-10-2008, 11:05 PM
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Your story sounds a bit like mine. I lost a bunch of weight, not quite as much, and spent a lot of time in the gym. But my cardio was crap.

And I don't think you want nutrition input from a guy who's getting ready to do a competitive eating contest. Although I will say that when I'm putting in a lot of miles and hitting the gym, I try to think of the quality of fuel (food) I'm putting into my body. I know it needs good stuff to keep operating well with all that I'm putting it through.
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#11 of Old 07-10-2008, 11:43 PM
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Becca, great ROTD. Makes me want to catch up for a run even more!

Like Cus, I am amazed by your smoking fast PRs compared to our fairly similar training paces. I so want to run a 5K with you just to force myself to keep up with you.

On the nutrition front, Theia and Maria are way smarter than I am. I'll say though that having a plan for what you need to eat every day and how much of it goes a long way towards improving nutrition.

I started eating on the DASH plan to lower my blood pressure, but it makes a lot of sense as a way to structure your food plans. At my calorie level, here's a sample: Breakfast = a grain, a dairy, and 2 fruits. Lunch = 2 grains, 2 veggies, one or two dairies, a meat/fish, and a fruit. Dinner = a meat/fish, one or two dairies (depending on how much I had at lunch), 2 veggies, and a fruit. Beans/nuts come in about twice a week or mini-servings throughout.

Knowing what I've missed or how close I've come to eating right keeps me on track. And keeps me fueled well enough to run. If you're looking more for electrolyte replacement nutrition advice, I'll quiet down cause I'm still trying to learn that myself.
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#12 of Old 07-11-2008, 09:17 AM - Thead Starter
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Thanks for fixing the picture Tim!!!!
Cus I'm looking forward to meeting you in May (for PGH marathon)!
Jill, I plugged in my recent HM time to McMillan. I am going to plug in mygoal time for Philly and adjust. Thanks!
Thank you Maples!
Theia - my sppedwork has been lacking post marathon. The new training program I have includes it. I am going to plug in my goal time and figure out what it is. I have been throwing some fartleks into some of my runs. My non long runs tend to hover between 8:30 and 9:00 m/m.
Maria I am going to try running with the kiddos riding next to me. I had tried it last year, but DD2 was so slow (training wheels) and DD1 was too fast. It was a disaster. Now, DD2 is riding a big girl bike, so it might work!
Biah I am ashamed to admit that I am an every 2 hour eater. However, I tend to grab stuff on the go. I need to plan better, like packing a small cooler with healthier snacks. This is really where my downfall is. As for hitting the wall, it's usually during runs over 10 miles. It used to be for all of my runs (even e mile runs), but I've been able to get passed that.
Dear Oache,
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I am not a very confident runner, so that is something I really need to work on.
Your pal,
Voo That is my downfall. I have a hard time resisting the the not-so-quality foods (usually when I am tired). Mmmmmm...competitive eating...
Ahimsa Thanks for the DASH plan info. I'll have to look into it a little bit later, when I am not surrounded by children and dogs. I am looking forward to running with you at some point. We live too close to not meet up!!
Thank you everyone! Your input is invaluable!
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#13 of Old 07-11-2008, 11:43 AM
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Becca - Thanks for another great ROTD. You've gotten some great advice/suggestions already, but I have a couple things that come to mind:

First, congratulations on the weight loss! That is truely impressive.
Second, "I would also like to become tougher, mentally..." The determination it took to lose 80 pounds, added to the dedication it took to train for a marathon, added to the pushing through back problems in your 26.2, means you already have the mental toughness you think you're looking for. Remember that.
Finally, I'm excited to see how your marathon goes in November. You have the experience of one behind you now -- you'll do great in Philly!

If today was perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow.
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#14 of Old 07-11-2008, 01:21 PM
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Becca - all that weight loss is so impressive - congrats!

I want to know what your secret is - cause you're speedy, your mileage is manageable, your nutrition (while it may not be what you want) keeps you going, and you've figured out how to keep raising the bar for yourself!

I'll think on possibly other feedback I can offer, but congrats and continued success on your running!

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#15 of Old 07-15-2008, 10:23 PM
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Finally catching up with these ROTDs. First off, congrats on the weight loss, Becca! That's definitely a great accomplishment.

As far as the nutrition, instead of being overwhelmed by changing everything at once, perhaps concentrate on a select few things that you know you can handle at a time. Once those you've mastered those after a couple weeks, just add to the repertoire and after awhile, you're not really thinking much about it.

As far as the training paces, maybe you can squeeze in some doubles if you can't squeeze it all in one session? Just based on my one lone marathon attempt, I know that my training paces being too fast was just one of my many downfalls to making that race a not-so-optimal experience

Keep up the good work, and best of luck with your marathon training!

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#16 of Old 07-17-2008, 08:57 PM
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Becca Thanks for writing your ROTD and huge congrats on the weight loss. That is amazing hands down.

Thoughts on avoiding hitting the wall. *sheepish smile* I read a lot last night. I read something about hitting the wall. The deal is you make it so that wall never comes by doing this... Train for beyond what you want to run on race day and you've built your endurance beyond your goal distanace. Meaning if you are going for 26.2, you last long run could be something like 27-28. This way you are not wondering if that extra race day magic is gonna kick in to get you to your goal you know you can cover that distance and more so you go in confident that you're not going to hit that wall because you're beyond it. Of course I'm reading Galloway so I'm starting to buy into this theory of walk breaks big time and the benefit of allowing your muscles to actively recover during the long runs and races. Makes a ton of sense to me.
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#17 of Old 07-22-2008, 09:32 AM
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Becca, I was thinking about your "wall" in your training runs...are your paths out-and-backs or loops or straight? One thing I've found for me is that out-and-backs suck more mentally than the other options, and I find it much easier to do loops or straights. Or maybe you can break up your long runs into shorter distances with designated breaks ever 5-6 miles or so? I like that because it mimics my water stops during a race, and sometimes just 30-60 seconds is enough to recharge. One final suggestion is to meet people for the later miles in a run (I don't recall if you run alone or with people?). This works nicely because you can even ask friends who only run shorter distances to come with you for the middle or end miles.

Good luck with your marathon training for Philly - you're going to really rock that race!

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#18 of Old 07-22-2008, 05:21 PM
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Becca -

As usual, I'm late to the game.

1. Great job on the weight loss - if I can get down to the weight I'd like to be at Boston, then I'll have lost a similar amount, so I know how hard that can be.

2. If you're losing toenails, I'd recommend getting a new shoe. Properly fitting shoes shouldn't do that to your toes!!

3. Based on your shorter PRs I'd say that a consistent training program is going to provide you with a boatlad of PRs in the upcoming years.

4. Learning to slow down on training runs - I said it before and I'll say it again - the treadmill is great for learning new paces.

5. Training at goal paces - No! No! No! - you should be training at the paces prescribed by what you've already done - I'd use that 5k PR since it's the fastest and also pretty recent. Training at goal pace is more likely to lead to overtraining/injury.

6. I've got nothing on the nutrition - you've already received some good advice.

7. Nutrition during long runs - I've taken gels at the beginning of my races and then every 45 minutes thereafter. This has worked well for me in races and I'd assume that it'd work well on a training run as well.

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments to date - keep up the great work.
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#19 of Old 07-22-2008, 05:59 PM
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...and I'm even later.

I think CoachT really nailed it up above.

I too have time constraints w/slowing down. I'm never sure if I can/want to sacrifice a few miles so I can slow down - meaning instead of running 16 I struggle w/not wanting to slow down and run 14. A battle that still rages w/me. I usually run the full distance and slow down only a little - probably not as much as I should. It's usually easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission.
That said, I did benefit from slowing down my pace (~20 - 30 seconds/mile) this past winter/spring so if you can do it, definitely work it into your training plan. Slowing down your training runs may help with that wall () you're speaking of.
My gel plan is usually to take it at mile 8/12/16/20 - with a Gatorade/water 50/50 mix. I use less gel on training runs - I'll opt for a powerbar or something late in the run.

One other thing - you mention that you're not a very confident runner. I found this surprising. From my virtual perspective, you seem to be very gutty and determined. It's a canned statement, but true....if racing were easy then more people would be doing it. Take solice/pride in the fact that you're doing something that's difficult and doing it well!

Congratulations on your progress so far.
Thanks for a great ROTD post.
Good luck to you.
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