My Experience Easing Back into Running after a Marathon 

On March 5, 2017 I ran the Napa Valley Marathon in 3 hours 20 minutes 15 seconds. My best time by over ten minutes. I also felt the best I ever have post marathon. My first experience with Napa and Sugarloaf left me needing months to recover either from overtraining or an injury. With a solid training cycle and no injuries, I felt strong during this race! After the race my body was tired but overall I felt good so I knew I had to reign myself in and make sure I didn’t jump back in to running too soon. 

Now I want to share with you how I progressed through those first weeks back. 

Week 1 – focus of the week was recovery 


As you can see I did run a total of 4.6 miles. I did one mile with my dog one day and a short warm up and cool down around a yoga class a week after the marathon. My goal was to listen to my body during that run and then decide how to proceed. I knew if I had a plan before that’s how I would get sucked back in too soon! 

Week 2 – the focus this week was still recovery 


My sister was in town this week and we love running together so I decided to try a couple easy runs with her. This week still included all easy runs 9:xx pace or more and a rest day following every run day! As you can see I got up to 26 miles! Woo! 

Week 3 – reverse taper 


This week was still lower mileage (that was planned) but to add a bit of speed back into the legs to see how it felt. Wednesday’s tempo felt great- as noted by the smiley face, so I added in another tempo on Sunday to see how it felt. A note about this week, oringinally I had more mileage planned but based on how I still felt I cut back and shortened my tempo workouts and added some walks instead. I almost reached 30! 

Week 4 – still reverse taper but with a bit more mileage 


Four weeks out was the first week I ran over 30 miles, and not by much! I tried a tempo workout this week and it felt abnormally hard so I changed my runs for the remainder of the week to easy runs, no need to force the recovery because I want to be in good shape for Chicago!! 

It wasn’t until week 7, last week, that I surpassed 40 miles for my weekly total! 40 miles a week was the normal during my training cycle, I believe I peaked around 55 miles a week, so I knew my body could handle more, but what was the rush? My body just accomplished an amazing thing, it finished a marathon, it deserves 7 or more weeks of me truly listening to it. 

My point is, it is easy to feel pressured to jump back into running and racing. Heck I ran a half marathon Monday and the woman that won ran Boston that same Monday in 3:08! Some people it is just natural for them and their bodies can handle it. Don’t get trapped comparing yourself to everyone else, do what is right for you! No one likes to be injured and personally I knew that if I didn’t ease back and really take my time getting back into higher mileage and higher intensity my body would probably burn out and that would be me, injured and on the sidelines. Truly Tune in and listen to what your body is telling you and adjust your runs from there, or better yet, run for fun! run watchless! Run with your pup! Run with a friend! Or don’t run at all! Go on that hike you have been thinking about! Try that new class at your gym! Mental and physical breaks are what keep me loving the sport, whether it’s an entire break from running or just a break from formal training, we all need them! 
– Jules 

Vermont City Training Week 6 Recap 

This week was my first week since my marathon on March 5th where I ran over 40 miles! I am really happy with the slow comeback I have allowed my body to have. I had to adjust the schedule a bit because I got a nasty cold in the middle of the week, but here goes! 

Monday: Rest day but had girls on the run, so did three miles of walk jogging. More on the walking side which I was thankful for. Also spent my day tracking and loving everything about the Boston marathon.


Tuesday: 5 miles easy. Also did a new strength routine- 5 minutes of alternating planks, bridges, clamshell and leg lift variations and hydrants which I love! 


Wednesday: started the morning with a 2 mile walk with lyla. At lunch I did my 8 mile tempo – 2×1 mile at 6:55 and 6:38, then 3 miles at 7:14, 7:18, 7:02! Finished the day with a one mile walk with lyla. 


Thursday: 8.3 miles easy and girls on the run. Also did my strength routine again from Tuesday and concluded with foam rolling. 


Friday: today was a sick day so I did a three mile walk jog with lyla because she needed some exercise then I did some light stretching and foam rolling. 


Saturday: 4 miles east with strides. Lylas birthday!!


Sunday: Portsmouth half marathon! 1:33:24 and second female! Recap was posted yesterday. Splits were 7:04, 7:11, 7:11, 7:16, 7:28, 7:23, 7:10, 7:09, 7:02, 6:50, 6:39, 7:01, 6:53! 


Week total – 42.3

Year total – 637.05


Thanks for following along with my training! 

– Jules 

Portsmouth Half Marathon Recap – April 23, 2017

Today was a beautiful day to run. The morning was cool but near the end of the race it was starting to heat up. I wanted to do this race because it’s in my town and the course I run frequently on my runch runs at work! 

So let’s start from the beginning. I got to the shuttle around seven, which was the parking lot across from my office. I wasn’t happy to be that close to work on a weekend but I quickly pushed past it, ha kidding I didn’t mind. I got on the shuttle which came about every five minutes which was great and I enjoyed the ten minute ride to the start. I got off and met my friend Kailey, who I have been coaching for the past couple of months. She is my favorite Portsmouth running buddy because she is always down for everything and we always just talk on our lunch runs – we work at the same place! 


Anyway I caught up with her, went to the bathroom and then grabbed my number and shirt. We warmed up a bit in the Mercedes benz parking lot since that was where the start was. I scoped out my next car, also kidding. With about 15 minutes to the start I wanted to go to the bathroom one last time, nervous pee anyone?! So here comes my one complaint of the race… there were only 10 porta potties!! I knew there was no way so I darted into the woods. Hey, nature calls, literally. Now it was time to go to the start. 

Soon we were off and the first three miles were a loop where we would pass by the start/finish again. It was flat and I definitely started out a little fast but held myself back a bit after realizing that. The portion alone route 33 which is a pretty busy road in Portsmouth was my least favorite but after that I must say I loved the course. Once I passed the original starting point we went out into a road that leads to Newington. 

Around mile 5 I got a strange tightness in my right hamstring out of nowhere. I haven’t been having any troubles but I backed off a bit just to see if it improved, if it got worse I was going to really dial it down. I don’t want to power through only to get injured! Around mile six it felt much better, it was almost like a muscle spasm. 

I was running behind a girl and a guy that were easily running 7:10s and it was clearly a conversational pace for them. I was impressed, it was my goal to hang out with them and then at mile 8 or 9 to drop down to 7 pace. The scenery was great, it’s all older houses and farm land and at some points you can see the ocean. I am biased because I love this road to begin with. 

Around mile 7/8 was the turnaround point in Newington center which I had never been to and although small I found it charming. I was clearly enjoying my surroundings. So after the turnaround was my favorite part because you were running back the same way so you saw other runners. I had a great time cheering others on as I looped back and I LOVED everyone who cheered me on. It gave me a little inspiration to keep hanging on. 

With about 5 miles to go the two people I was hanging with really picked up the pace. I mean it must have been comfortable 6:30s. I saw them pass the girl currently in first and just keep going. I knew that wasn’t feasible for me today, so I just ran my own race. I took in the surroundings and the other runners and tried to catch the second place female. It took me three miles to catch up to her. I wasn’t sure how much I had in me, I knew if she sped up I probably would have to let her go since we still had two miles left, but I had a little more left than I thought. I got into second for females and just tried to hold strong until the end of the race, which I did! I crossed the line in 1:33:25! 



My favorite thing about races are the strangers I meet. No one is afraid to go up to a fellow runner and congratulate them or talk to them. After crossing the line the super fast male runners congratulated me and said I ran a great race. I waited at the finish and congratulated some of the other female runners I had run portions of the course with, this was the best part! Meeting the other inspiring runners! One woman came up to me and told me I ran a really smart race and that it was awesome to watch. This made me so happy because I used to not race smart at all! I used to go out with a bang, thinking the faster I ran at the beginning the faster I would finish, WRONG! 

Eventually I made it to the food and awards tents. Since I got second female I got so many things! I got a bag with a fleece, a shirt, socks, beer, a pint glass, stony brook Tupperware, a mug with chocolates, and 50% off a loco race in 2017! So with that said I will be back! 


Another note, loved all the dogs at the finish line. I wish my little pup was there to see me, I am sure she would have had a blast saying hi to all the sweaty runners, she loves that. 




And with that, I definitely recommend the Portsmouth Half for anyone in the seacoast area looking for an April race next year! 

-Jules 

Chicago Marathon – Plan for Success

The Chicago Marathon is sneaking up on me. It’s easy to think, oh it’s in October, that is a ways away, which is true. However, the training for Chicago is right around the corner! Generally I like to have around 16 weeks of training for a Marathon, that means I start in mid-June, what!! To me, that feels like tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO excited to start training for a specific goal again,  but I also want to give my body enough downtime. I guess 2017 is the year of marathons! Luckily I don’t plan on pushing my body to the extreme for Vermont City (hopefully my sister doesn’t have a crazy secret plan to do that), so recovery will be easier, but I also WANT to give myself 1-2 weeks off with no running, preferably 2 but I am going to see if it is feasible with my goals.

Lately, as I have been thinking about my training plan for Chicago and running in general, I came up with a few focus points for my training. Pieces that I think I fell short with during my Napa training. Watching the Boston marathon this week clearly inspired me 🙂

Chicago Marathon Focus Points:

  1. Pre-Race Meal Practice: Before my long runs I want to practice my pre-race meal. I have never taken the time to do this before. I usually wake up early and run before the sun comes up. I know this will be even trickier with the heat of the summer (my stomach gets testy with heat and exercise), but I know it will pay off. In the past I eat like three hours before a race to ensure I don’t have stomach problems, but I still don’t feel great while running.
  2. Timing of Long Runs: This one I thought of when reading an article about Jordan Hasay, who is such an inspiration! Jordan is 25 and just got 3rd in her marathon debut at Boston AND ran the fastest debut time of an American. I was jumping up and down watching her. Anyway, it sounds like she really trained perfectly, she ran her training runs at 9:32 when she would be starting Boston and practiced her meals and everything beforehand. I know this won’t be possible for all my runs, but I want to incorporate it when I can!
  3. Hydration while Running: I am terrible at this. I don’t even carry water or bring any on training runs, but with this training cycle being in the summer that won’t be an option anymore unless I want to crash and burn. I have tried tailwind nutrition and want to create some running routes that go by my house midway so I can practice drinking more. In my past marathons, I take water but I drink minimally.
  4. Do more than just run: This one is important and I did it well for Napa, but have since fallen out of the routine. This really encompasses, eating well to fuel your body for all the runs, doing yoga/stretching, doing strength exercises to prevent injury, and more walking to help my legs recover. I hope to strategically get those back into my weekly training on a more consistent basis!
  5. Every Run has a Purpose: Every run shouldn’t be the same, each run adds something to the overall plan. Although I am doing much better at running my easy runs easy (watch turned over), I still want to remind myself of the reasons for each type of run and how it contributes to my overall goal.
  6. Push Yourself but Listen to Yourself: Make your workouts hard, but keep yourself grounded. Know yourself. Don’t think that because so and so is running their hard days at 6:30 pace and you are running yours at 7:30 pace for the same workout that you should be doing 6:30’s, NO. I catch myself doing this and have to remind myself that I am my own person and am on my own path and I may get to those paces but I am not there today. After all, it’s a marathon, not a sprint 🙂
  7. Practice the Mental Side of Running: We all have good runs and bad runs, we also have curve balls sent our way that interrupt our lives and our training, this is okay. The bad runs, the hard runs, the runs where you don’t know if you will make it they make you a stronger runner. I need to remember this, I also need to come up with more ways to trick myself to get through rough patches in running. How do you get yourself to power through the pain and exhaustion for the last 5k of a marathon?
  8. Do What Works for YOU: Not all runners are created equal, something might work for you that doesn’t work for someone else, but if it works for you do it! Focus on yourself and how to prepare yourself to get to the start and finish line!

Besides a new training plan, where I hope to approach 60-70 miles a week for my peak, I want to purposely make time for everything I mentioned above. I love the marathon not just for the running, but everything else that comes in to play to get to the start AND the finish. That is what keeps me coming back for more! I can’t wait to share my Chicago training with you starting in June!

Also a little more fun here are 5 marathons on my bucketlist! Not for the near future since I think I will take a marathon break after Boston in 2018!

  1. CIM – California International Marathon – actually I may have just lied this one MIGHT happen in 2018 since I believe it is in December
  2. London Marathon
  3. Florence Marathon
  4. St George Marathon
  5. New York City Marathon – I want to qualify so may take a couple years 🙂

What are your bucketlist marathons?!

-Jules

Vermont City Training Week 5 Recap 

Today feels like a holiday for me, I can’t wait to track all the Boston Marathon runners and hopefully watch some of it as well! I cannot wait to head to Boston next year, it was my goal for over a year to qualify and run it. 

Here is a recap of my last week, I have still been building my mileage slowly since Napa but it’s working for me, so I am going with it. 

Monday: walk/jog at girls on the run but overall a rest day!


Tuesday: 6.5 miles easy with Megan! It was so beautiful out. I also threw in a plank 🙂 


Wednesday: 4 miles easy with strides. 2×2 minute planks, clamshells, hydrants, band exercises, one legged deadlift, ball hamstring exercises.


Thursday: 11 mile tempo! 2×1 mile at 6:59 and 6:40, then recovery and 2×2 mile at 7:14, 7:07 and 7:11, 7:16. 


Friday: Rest/ nature walk!! 

Forgot a picture today!! 

Saturday: 4 miles easy, it was a beautiful day! Then I met my friend for a donut 🙂 


Sunday: 14 miles easy. I originally set out for 16 but it was randomly 85 degrees so I knew it wasn’t the day to bang it out. After my run I did a plank routine and a bunch of hydrants for my hips and flutes, also variations of clamshells. I am trying to focus on my Weak areas to prevent injury!!


Week total: 39.5 

2017 total: 594.75

This weekend was beautiful weather and so relaxing. I started to really plan for Iceland in a few weeks and it got me really excited!! Can’t wait to keep planning and watch the Boston Marathon after work! 

Good luck to all the runners!!!

-Jules 

When I realized I was obsessed with running

In high school I ran track but mainly for the social aspect and to stay in shape for soccer. My coach will be the first one to tell you we expended more energy laughing than running. Our winter track meets were at Reggie Louis in Boston and he used to come into the back when we lined up for the relay and try to get us to stop laughing, it was impossible. This isn’t to say we weren’t decent runners then, we were. I think we all just hadn’t realized our potential yet, but I wouldn’t change anything because my track memories are my favorite. Anyway my coach probably would have done anything to get me fully invested in the sport, like run on weekends but that never happened. He asked us what our competition was doing and I was still unphased, I played soccer on the weekends which involves running, so same thing right? 

Anyway, years later I am now obsessed with running. I love it, it is more a passion for me than soccer ever was. I still talk to my track coach, he is probably my favorite coach I ever had in any sport. I update him on my running PRs and talk about how I want to be a coach someday like him. I think he still sees this as a success, because he got me in the end! 

2016 was the year I truly became running obsessed because I realized the following were all true for me. 

  1. Sunrise runs. Early morning runs before the sun comes up are a common occurrence. 
  2. Weekend sunrise runs. Even on the weekends a long run starts before 6am usually. 
  3. Running reads. My recent books are running related. Advanced marathoning, hansons method, 80/20, simple marathon training, how to become a faster runner, etc. you get the idea 🙂
  4. Running hobbies. Outside of working a full time job I started making training plans for friends and asking people if I could coach them – as if running wasn’t already taking up my time, but I love it! 
  5. Runch. Instead of lunch at work sometimes I do a runch with my runner friends at work. 
  6. #seenonmyrun. All my workouts are on social media- also I am obsessed with the instagram running community, I think if we all lived in the same area we would be best friends ha. 
  7. Running shoes. I always have to have at least five pairs of running shoes and although all my other shoes need to be upgraded my running shoes will still come first. 
  8. Exceeding my running budget. Going off the last one, my spending money goes to races and shoes… 
  9. Sunday runday. my ideal Saturday involves a long run with some podcasts and then a breakfast sandwich and relaxing 
  10. Missed runs. If I have to miss a run, my mood is shot. The day is over, I am grumpy and sad. 
  11. Rest days. I cherish my rest days but on those days I think about running and plan running routes, races or workouts. 
  12. Vacations.I plan some vacations around running – hello Napa Valley and Chicago! 
  13. Runs come first. I plan my day around my runs and my weekends. 
  14. Foam rollers. Me and my foam roller are best friends and my compression socks, true love right there. 
  15. Yoga for runners. Pigeon pose is also a lifesaver 
  16. Bucket list. I have a bucket list of destination races 

I am sure there are so many other things my boyfriend and family and friends could mention, but these are the ones I know to be 100% true. A lot of these even happened today! 

Well, I hope you enjoyed the read, until next time friends! 
– Jules 

Vermont City Training Week 4 Recap 

This week was a race week, woo! My legs are feeling tired today, but overall good. 

Monday: GOTR, rest day 


Tuesday: 6 miles with strides 


Wednesday: 7 mile tempo – not sure of times but probably the 7:30 range. Then I did 3 minute a string hold, 3 min plank, pidgeon pose, clam shells, leg lifts and band exercises. 


Thursday: 4 easy miles, 2:40 minute plank, hydrants 


Friday: rest and headed to Vermont


Saturday: Half marathon Unplugged Vermont! (7:24, 7:12, 7:15, 7:19, 7:23, 7:32, 7:26, 7:21, 7:07, 7:03, 7:15, 7:13, 6:35 and 5:23 for the .1) also did a warm up to the bus and a cool down home. 


Sunday: 3.3 miles easy in the 60 degrees! 


Weekly total: 35.7 miles 

2017 total miles: 555.25

Another good week in the books, trying to make more time for yoga and strength now that my half is over!