Jason & I ran 632 miles in March- what’s your excuse?

 I ran 396 miles in March. Jason ran 236. Combined we covered 632 miles in 31 days. If you do that math- that is roughly 20 miles per day. Let’s say we average about an 7:45 pace, so we spent about 2 hour and 35 min per day running. For the entire month of March, this equates to about 4,898 min or 82 hours. Roughly 18.5 hours per week spent running. Sounds like a lot of time, right?

What does our life look like that we can devote so much time to running?

We make time to run. It’s a conscious decision to set your alarm at 5:15am and get your butt out of bed to run. When you come home from a long day of work and you are hungry and tired and full of excuses, we make choices. Those small choices on a daily basis add up to a lot. Everyone all have 24 hours in a day. It’s what you do with those hours that make a difference. Most days we are working  10-15 hour days.

I’ve been working full-time as an accountant for the past 4 years. Having a full time career in finance is extremely full-filling, and I love it. I work the 9-5 grind just like everyone else 😉 In addition to my career, 2 years ago I started my own business as a run coach. I work around the clock every waking hour of the day for my business. It’s my favorite part of the day. Interacting with my athletes and seeing how they are doing is so exciting. I love it! I would easily describe myself as a workaholic. I truly enjoy exhausting myself & giving life my “all”. I have always been really driven. I just have a strong sense that I need to work hard in all aspects of life.

My husband  works full time as a teacher. In addition to teaching, he has a year-round part time job at lifetime fitness as a run club coordinator. He is also in graduate school to get his Administrative license. As you can see, we are both very busy, but we still make time to train.

We are homeowners & “dog-parents” 🙂 Our dog even loves to run, so it is just an added bonus.

Next time you are thinking of an excuse to not run- think again.

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Running is more than PRs

What is a PR? A PR is a personal record. In the running world these are a measure of time it takes you to run a specific distance.. They give you a reputation. They tell a story.

My first year competitive running was PR breaking smack down. I must have raced 15 times, and every time was a PR. I guess I didn’t really even think of it as anything special. It was  expected that every time I ran a race, I would PR. My 5k dropped from 24:50 down to 20:59 in one year. I was living on cloud nine as a runner. I never once questioned my love for the sport or my ability to improve during that first year of competitive running. I was also very naive because I judged people who did not constantly PR.

On the anniversary of my first 5k, I ran the same exact race in 21:30.

It finally happened to me. I didn’t PR. Not only did I not hit a PR, I ran 30+ seconds slower than my PR. I immediately started doubting my running abilities. Everyone gave me a million reasons why it could have happened. I chalked it up to a “rare event” and continued on with my running life.

However, from that moment on, In the back of my mind there was always a fear of not PRing.

A Fear of underperforming. A fear that my efforts weren’t ‘good enough’.

I was afraid that my love for running would not be accurately shown by my race day.

Fast Forward 1 year later, when I crossed the line of my first marathon in 4:09. I was deeply disappointed in myself. The worst part is- I was not even remotely proud of myself for finishing. I had placed the entire value of the event & my running on a sub 4 hour marathon.

It’s funny how the cycle repeated itself again.. 2 years

Boston 2015: my first Boston Marathon

After running a 3:19 at the Goofy Challenge, I was ready to shoot for another PR ( a 3:11-3:15) at Boston. I trained harder for Boston 2015 than I ever have for any race in my entire life. I was doing crazy workouts & long runs. I set all my current 5k-half marathon PRs leading up to the race.

I didn’t PR.

At the race I had trained for YEARS to qualify for, the holy grail of running, I missed a PR. I had trained harder than ANY race, ever.. But I failed in my eyes all because I didn’t PR. A 3:20:44 finish less than 60 seconds off my PR, and I was heart broken.

 

 

TC Marathon 2015- the turning point

After running my 3:14 PR at Grandma’s 2 months after Boston, I thought, why not push for another PR in the fall

I have never in my entire running career felt like I did during the TC Marathon.

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I went out thinking “Let’s just see if I can PR”. I put soooo much pressure on myself and the pacing. I needed to break 3:10. I was obsessed.

MILE FREAKING 8. I knew it was over.

I texted my husband this exact text at mile 10 : “I’m dropping– where are you? come to mile 11″

But- I kept running.

I have never felt so scared running a race in my life. Everything was wrong. I could envision myself dropping out of the race, hugging my family and just getting a ride home.

“It could all by over if I just step off the course. No more racing. No more pressure.” 

I was having a mental breakdown about my running goals during a marathon. Why would I want it to be over? So I could go run again tomorrow and next week? So I could try to salvage my legs and conserve for my next PR? 

I came to the conclusion that I just needed to swallow my pride and stop with the 99999999990930948238 excuses I was pulling out of my ass all the time.

Why do I deserve to always PR?

Why do I think I always need to set all these PRs constantly?

How do you think people who haven’t PRed in years feel like?

I changed my attitude to accomplish the only real goal at hand: to finish the marathon.

I smiled. I was joyful. Most important- I wasn’t such an uptight asshole.

I started high fiving the crowds. I started just enjoying the moment. I was in a world of pain, but I knew my purpose was just to cross the finish line and attempt to motivate anyone out there spectating the race.

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I had vowed to myself during that race that I would stop taking myself so seriously. I was running the TC Marathon that day because I truly LOVE & ENJOY running. The pressure of constantly having to “better my best” and “run4prs” was exhausting and causing me to HATE the sport that I love.

I didn’t need to run a PR that day to prove I loved running. I just needed to be out there doing what I love doing with thousands of other runners who are doing what they love doing.

As I came down from the epiphany experience of the TC Marathon, I remained true to myself. Although my IG name and business name is RUN4PRS, there is a lot more to running than PRs. Your love or passion for the sport is not and will never be measured by the PRs you hit on race day.

You know how they say that “you should get a job doing what you love instead of doing it for the money because you will be miserable” or “You should do what you love and the money will follow”. I believe this can be the same for running at PRs.

You should run because you LOVE RUNNING not because you love the results or you love beating people.

Not everyone has to love running. You can love lifting, rowing, cycling! Everyone is different. You should do what you love even if it is not what you are naturally good at because it will make you happy.

I get a lot of people asking my “goals” or what “time” I am shooting for. I don’t have any. If someone took my garmin and all of social media away from me, I would still run. I run when I don’t have to. I run when no one wants me to.

 

I run because it changed my life in college. I don’t even know the person I would have turned into if I had not found running. It taught me dedication, hard work, disciple, integrity, etc.

I run because it makes me feel alive. Running makes me feel like I have a purpose in life. It makes me feel like I am unstoppable. It makes me feel like I am capable of anything.

I don’t have time goals because my goal at races is to be smart and enjoy the celebration of being a runner.

 

4 workouts to get faster!

SPICE THINGS UP WITH THESE 4 WORKOUTS. FIRST, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CALCULATE CUSTOM PACES & MILEAGE FOR YOU.

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CALCULATE YOUR PACES:

 Please use your mostrecent 5k-10k PRs for the input into this calculator:

PACE CALCULATOR

Note: If you don’t have a 5k-10k PR, you can do a 1-3 mile “time trial” to test your current fitness level.  A “Time Trial” is essentially “racing against yourself”. This is a strenuous activity, and you should take 1-2 days of easy running to recover from your time trial before proceeding with these workouts.

HOW FAR SHOULD YOU RUN?

1- Take your weekly mileage

(EX. 35 MILES PER WEEK)

2- Divide by how many days a week do you usually run

(EX. 35 MILER PER WEEK/ 5 DAYS PER WEEK= 7)

 2- Multiple that number by .95

( 7X.95= 6.5 MILES)

All the workouts will have a “warm up” and “cool down” component at an easy pace.

The warm up and cool down should consist of 25-40% of the total run. 

Example: 6.5 mile workout ( 1.5 to 2.5 mi warm up/cool down)

1- Intervals & hills mix

Warm Up Easy 

2-3 min @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

2-3 min @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

30-45 sec uphill fast

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

2-3 min @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

2-3 min @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

30-45 sec uphill fast

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

2-3 min @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

30-45 sec uphill fast

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

Cool down Easy 

How to customize it: add or subtract “2-3 min @ 5k pace & 30-45 sec uphill fast” following the above pattern to hit the mileage you need

2- Short LT Tempo

Warm Up Easy 

10-15 min @10-5 sec slower than 10k pace

3-4 min easy recovery jog or walk

10-15 min @ 10-5 sec slower than 10k pace

Cool down Easy 

How to customize it: add or subtract “10-15 min tempo intervals” following the above pattern to hit the mileage you need

3- Pyramid

Warm Up Easy 

1.5 mile @ 15k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

1 mile @ 10k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

.5 mile @ 5 sec slower than 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

.25 mile @ 5k pace

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

.12 mile @ FASTER THAN 5K

2-3 min easy recovery jog or walk

.12 mile @ FASTER THAN 5K

Cool down Easy 

How to customize it: add or subtract “cut out intervals or add extra” following the above pattern to hit the mileage you need

4- AT Tempo

Warm Up Easy 

20-35 min @ Half Marathon pace or 5 sec slower than 

Cool down Easy 

How to customize it: add a longer warm up and/or cool down 

The Plan Behind my PR’s 

LOVE THIS!

Jess GO with it!

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Very frequently people will ask me what training plan I use or how I have improved so quickly. I know many people use plans from Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway, etc. I looked into all of them after signing up for my first half marathon. They are everywhere- you can google training plans and find them easily. My husband even put a training plan together for both of us to stick to using some of these internet plans. I think they probably work great for most, it worked for my husband for his first half marathon. In my mind, I wasn’t a runner at that point, I needed more and I needed customized help. As I’ve said before my schedule is hectic. I found myself missing a lot of the runs I had on my schedule due to work or travel. Sure, I could find a way to make it up…

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Looking for a Run Coach?

I met my husband back in 2012 after I had been running for several years. My husband has 10+ years of coaching experience, and I found myself immersed in his coaching world very quickly from track and cross country meets to hosting clinics for adults.

Soon, I began coaching athletes on my own. The first person I coached was my own mom who had NEVER been a runner. My coaching started slowly, but now I have coached hundreds of athletes. Running and fitness are my passions in life, so it just came naturally. I love to run, and I love helping others in their running and fitness journeys. 

About 2 years ago, I launched run4prs coaching. The majority of my athletes are coached on an “online basis” using the app training peaks.

Here is a glimpse of one of my athletes in the app training peaks:

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This particular athlete is training for a marathon in a few weeks. She is hoping to break 4 hours. We have been working together for 9 months now.

Most of my athletes have goals to run a goal time for a half or full marathon. Because of my first hand experience starting running as an adult & coaching hundreds of adults, I feel that I can really relate to my athletes and apply all my experience to make the best possible plan for them to optimize their training and hit their goals on race day.

 I believe there is not a “one size fits all” guide to training. Every athlete responds differently to different kinds of training. What works really well for one person might not work as well for you. I like to encourage people, and I completely understand that “life happens”. No one in Run4PRs is a professional athletes, and I want all my athletes to enjoy the process while improving along the way! I also like to share knowledge & answering questions- knowledge is power for my athletes! 

What do some of the RUN4PRS athletes say?

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For more questions you can contact me at irun4prs@gmail.com OR you can click on the coaching tab here
Happy Training 🙂

Why I’m thinking about Ultra Marathons

4 years ago, I discovered that some people did something called “ultra marathons”. I remember not believing that people could actually run 30+ miles at a time. I watched countless videos on youtube and tried to wrap my head around the idea of running for so long.

“How far can I go?” was always a question in my mind. I was very fearful and doubtful that I had the ability to run long. Sure, I could run 3-6 miles 7 days a week, but could I run further than 13 miles?

I signed up for a 30k without telling anyone in May 2012. I had never ran more than 13 miles. I wanted to do this 30k because I wanted to see what would happen to my body when I ran for 19 miles. I ran a 2:32 (8:10 pace), and I was immediately hooked on it.

I know I did too much too fast because Summer and Fall of 2012, I was out for months with an injury. I was very sad and frustrated. In spring 2013, I finally decided to try my first marathon. This time, the experience was far different.

My first marathon left me in tear and HATING distance running because I was so set on a pace goal. I “needed” to break 4 hours. It was so arbitrary, but my value as a runner depended 100% on my tine. I never thought about throwing in the towel on running.

After a bad race, I never think about giving up. I love running. Everything about running is great. The one thing I don’t like about running is the stress. I hate following a plan. I hate having time goals. Why? Because when things don’t go “your way”, you start to question why you run. I know why I run. I run because I feel free. I run because I love how you can push past the pain and quite your mind for hours. I can run 4x a day and not get sick of it.

 

It’s been 3 years since my first marathon. In that time, I have ran 12 marathon and 1 ultra marathon. I have struggled a lot between wanting to run fast 5ks and wanting to run ultra marathons. 2 years ago, I ran my first ultra marathon. I loved the experience. I was second overall. It was a rugged crazy course not like the road races I was used to. I immediately signed up for another one. However, I never trained or stated that ultra. I was very torn between training for a fast 5k/10k/half vs. training for an ultra.  I ultimately decided to focus on the fast road races.

I put the whole “ultra marathon” thing on the back burner. I actually almost completely forgot about it until this past weekend. I had a fire light under my add again. I realized that I was now ready. I could really careless about running a fast 5k/10k/half/full. I’m very content with my PRs and sick of following the same ol’ training. I want to be challenged in other ways. I want to try something I’ve never done. I know this is the right time after 13 marathons/ultras. Ultimately, I just wanna run as much as I can (forest gump style)!