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Happy Friday! Last weekend’s Ultra Trail du Hurricana 65km race was pretty epic, and I promise to give a full race report soon. For now, E and I are beyond pleased to have finished the race safely, under the cut off time (just barely!!), and in great spirits, crossing the finish line hand in hand in 10 hours and 51 minutes. Such a joyful moment!

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I’m also very pleased to report that I did not fracture my wrist – I have a sprain (i.e. ligament tear) and thankfully no major ligaments involved, which means no surgery or cast. I got a new custom splint that allows for much greater mobility and with a little rest and then some therapy, I should be healed within 1-2 months hopefully!

In the meantime, here are some great tips on running form on Livestrong.com, including several from yours truly! 🙂 I contributed to this article a few weeks ago and it went live last night. It has some good info on improving efficiency and avoiding injury before, during and after your runs. Check it out!

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Have a great weekend everyone! Happy running!

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Back in December, I received a random email asking me to be one of the “expert” coaches for the April edition of “Ask the Experts” in Runner’s World. I was very excited, as I had only been published online in RW and a few other publications until now. The question was as follows:

“What should my weekly mileage reach before I can start spring speedwork?”

My original submission was a long paragraph, and there was much back and forth with the editor until we agreed upon the final submission below:

Gradually increase your mileage for at least two months until you are logging 15 to 20 weekly miles in three to four easy runs. This mileage base, ideally accompanied by twice-weekly strength training, will allow you to begin speed-work with minimal injury risk. Even still, ease into faster running with a few weeks of fartlek (unstructured pace pickups) before tackling tempo runs and repeats. Also, never do speed-work more than twice per week, always separated by recovery days, and refuel within an hour of your efforts to maximize speed-work rewards. 

–Claire Shorenstein, R.D., is a dietitian at Montefiore and an RRCA-certified coach (thefightandflightresponse.com) at Manhattan’s Physical Equilibrium (www.physeq.com).

As you can see, what ended up in the actual magazine was much shorter than above, and did not include the sentence on nutrition, but I am still VERY pleased to see my name in print!

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Have other training questions or looking for a NYC-based running coach or registered dietitian? Shoot me an email at thefightandflightresponse@gmail.com to find out about the various services I offer. 

How’s everyone handling this incredibly hot, first official day of summer? I’m trying to convince myself that it’s easing me into the similarly high temperatures in Rome, where I’m spending the weekend, but there’s no easing into a sudden heat advisory, is there?! Although tomorrow is supposed to be even worse, so I suppose that’s progress…

Class today felt particularly draining – I couldn’t sleep last night, lab this morning was long and hot, my quiz was harder than I expected and then I spent a few hours taking practice exams to prepare for my orgo midterm tomorrow. By the time I headed back to Manhattan in the late afternoon the temperatures were starting to soar and I was completely fried, both mentally and physically. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a tempo run. I hate the dreadmill, but there was no way I was going to attempt a hard session outdoors. At least the gym had AC!

But what really motivated me to quit my whining and put on my running shoes, aside from the promise of AC, was this article written by one of my Gilda’s Club runners. Mary Beth, who is a journalist as well as a member of Gilda’s Club, asked me after our first meeting if I would be willing to talk to her about the rising popularity of marathoning for an article she was writing for Salon.com. The article would also discuss her own decision to run her first marathon after enduring a grueling phase-1 clinical trial for cancer treatment. I of course said yes!

We had a really lovely chat over the weekend, and I’m really pleased with how the article came out. Funny enough, one of the other coaches she interviewed is Patti Finke, who taught my RRCA coaching certification course. I agree with everything Patti says – I certainly don’t think anyone off the street can run a marathon, but if you train properly and you have the DETERMINATION, yes I think you can do it. It pains me just how many people go into marathons poorly prepared – I remember overhearing a man tell his friend at mile eight of the Portland Marathon that he was officially in unchartered territory, since he had never run more than eight miles. That’s NOT what I meant when I was talking about proving something to yourself! That’s just plain stupid.

I have faith in my runners and in my own ability to motivate them – that is why I 100% believe they CAN do it. But WILL they do it? That depends entirely on them – because at the end of the day, there’s only so much a coach can do! It all comes down to the individual runner. You have to have the desire, as well as the discipline – not only to train but also to respect your body. And of course there are always things out of our control that happen – injuries, stomach problems, or whatever else. But yes I know my runners can do it – and I’m going to do my best to help them actually do it. 🙂

After reading that article, what excuse could I really give to skip my run? I headed to the gym and although my run was pretty crappy, I’m glad I ran. It’s going to be a low mileage week with Rome so I have to front load my training this week as much as possible!

Time to pack for Rome and start studying for my midterm – 8pm already?! Yikes. My exam is mid-day and I head to the airport directly afterwards. Unfortunately I only have 48 hours in Italy, since I have to be back for class on Monday (and yet another exam shortly thereafter), but I’m excited. I am finally seeing E, celebrating the wedding of a dear friend and last but certainly not least, taking two entire days off of studying orgo – woo-hoo!

Happy Summer Solstice everyone – and be careful if you’re running outdoors!

Nothing like running in a downpour and getting soaked to the bone to kick off the week! It’s NASTY out there for sure – but it kinda felt good after the heat of Saturday’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. Okay, maybe only for the first few minutes (as I still try to get water out of my ears)…

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t sure how this race was going to go. Both E and I were a bit of a mess this week – E in particular, with jet lag, the beginnings of a cold and no recent experience running in warm weather. We ended up missing our sub-1:50 goal by a few minutes, but it was still a great race and a fun, productive weekend overall.

  

We woke up at 4am to eat and arrived at Prospect Park around 5:45am – surprisingly we were both feeling somewhat awake! Even at that early hour, it felt a little too comfortable out – no need for garbage bags or long sleeved shirts. Yep, it was going to be a hot one!

The race was fairly well organized – we dropped our bag and headed to the start. My one complaint was that there were no bathrooms in the corrals, which closed at 6:40am for the 7am start. E had to make a last minute run to the trees! I was tempted to do the same but managed to control myself.

The first couple of miles of the race were CROWDED – much more so than the NYC Half, partly because the roads were a bit more narrow but also because we were of course quite a bit further back than where I usually start. It was frustrating having to weave so much and zapped some of E’s energy, but eventually we got into a groove and we were right on pace by mile 2.

However, by that point, it was already obvious that E was going to have some trouble with the heat. I established a system for each water station to try to keep him hydrated and moving at a steady pace – I would sprint ahead to grab two waters – one for him at that point, and another one for a half mile or so later to carry him through to the next station. It was a bit hard to keep the water in the cup as I ran, but I managed to keep enough in there most of the time (once I handed it to him and it was empty – oops – he was pissed!). It was a good system for the most part – and a great fartlek workout for me – although he did say that later in the race when he was really struggling, my offering water in between miles was a slight distraction from his attempts to “get in the zone.”

Once we hit the big hill after mile 4, he started to struggle a bit. We were still within reach of our goal as we left the park around mile 7, and I tried practically every motivational technique I could think of to get him to keep up with me and make up lost time in the park, but it just wasn’t working. I was hoping we would at least get him a PR (under 1:52:40ish), but he kept slowing down with each mile and by mile 11/12 it became clear that it wasn’t going to happen unless he really picked it up.

It was a slightly frustrating experience for me. I was concerned about him in the later miles so that was of course my priority – making sure he was okay and staying hydrated – but I also really wanted him to reach his goal and I couldn’t get him to stay anywhere close to on pace. You can only do so much to get your runner to stay with you, I suppose! It just wasn’t his day. I did get a compliment from another runner along the way that I was a “great support team” so that was nice.

I’m not sure why, but every NYRR race lately seems to involve narrowing roads and multiple sharp turns in the last 400 meters. Very annoying! In this case it didn’t matter so much as we were already off our goal, but I was still trying to get E to pick it up at the end. There was a slight bottle neck as we turned onto the boardwalk and then it was a straight shot to the finish. After all those miles of trying to get E to stop slowing down and to keep up with me, he suddenly sprinted towards the finish like a bat out of hell. We had joked that this race – our first race we were running together – would be his golden opportunity to cross the finish line before me (I had told him that would be his reward if he reached his goal). He had been struggling so much I was shocked by how fast he was going – I obviously wasn’t going to let him finish first so I went into full gear. A woman was right in front of me so I had to slow down at the last second, thinking E had finished first, but guess what? We tied, with a time of 1:53:57 – haha! Nice try, E – you will never beat me!

  

Despite not reaching our goal, finishing together was pretty special. He gave me a big sweaty hug and it was just so nice to share the actual finishing experience. I was proud of him – even though that sprint indicated a bit too much left in the tank, I know he tried his best.

I was also really pleased with my first pacing experience – it certainly is a fine art, figuring out how to motivate your runner, what to say (if anything), what to do if your runner is struggling etc. You need to know your runner well, and you also have to accept that you can only do so much to make it happen! I also discovered that running a half around that pace with minimal training is not a problem at all for me – it wasn’t easy but I wasn’t working that hard either, so that’s good to know for the future, as I definitely plan to offer pacing as one of my coaching services. I would certainly pay someone to pace me, sprint ahead to get me water etc!

  

We met up with my running buddy afterwards, who got a PR – impressive in that heat! It was my first time in Coney Island and we had a great time wandering around on such a beautiful day and in such a festive atmosphere. I would definitely do that race again!

  

We tried to wait on line for a Nathan’s hotdog but it was just too long…oh well, another time!

We did, however, have some amazing food later in the day in the West Village. We wandered all around town and ended up meeting a friend at a great little restaurant with outdoor tables. A bottle of bubbly, pizza, salad, burrata, sunshine….oh yeah, it was awesome. My first weekend without any studying to do, in great company and incredible weather! It felt amazing.

  

And now, after a wonderful weekend, I’m flying to California. Time to head to the airport! My family, friends, redwood forests and beautiful beach await me…

This week has been pretty calm in terms of running (taking it easy after the half marathon), but extremely high intensity in just about every other area of my life! It’s also been filled with blossoms – I can’t tell you how excited I am that Spring is finally here. Makes it tough to lock myself up in the library with the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, but my runs have been glorious.

I finally took my last midterm this morning – it was an online exam that I could take anytime this week and was more challenging than I expected so I am very glad that it’s over. Not my favorite Sunday morning activity, I must say! I wish that I could take the rest of the day off to relax, but unfortunately my next round of exams start up next week, and I have a lot of studying to do, not to mention other work for my two volunteer positions and countless other things. But I did want to take a few minutes to share my latest updates!

Firstly, I am very excited to report that I have secured my first formal coaching gig, coaching the Gilda’s Club team to run the 2012 NYC Marathon! This has been in the works for several weeks, but I didn’t want to mention it until my position was official. Physical Equilibrium, where I intern, coaches Gilda’s club every year for the marathon and needed a running coach, so I obviously expressed interest and interviewed for the job. I can’t wait to finally make use of my RRCA certification and get some great experience – earning money obviously is helpful too, given that my two other positions are unpaid!

I will be coaching seven long runs and attending several meetings beginning in June. I will of course be doing my own training for the Chicago marathon, so I’ll need to make sure I remain available and committed to my runners without sacrificing the quality of my own runs. The solution I’ve come up with is to do my long runs the day before or day after the group runs (since I have the flexibility to choose the group long run days), and use group runs as recovery (since I don’t have to run more than 6M with them, unless I want to). I can also perhaps bike alongside my runners if I’m too tired to run (if I can borrow a bike). I’m sure I’ll also do a few longer runs with them too, but I’ll figure that out once I have a better sense of everyone’s pacing and what my own training schedule will be like. Should be fun! Also makes me feel better about not running NYC this year, as this way I still get to be involved.

Second, in this past week’s cooking class, I learned how to butcher a whole chicken. I realize that doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it was pretty cool. It will also help me save some money, as buying a whole chicken is far more economical. Obviously, I took photos (look away if you don’t like chicken).

 

I also had my first training with City Harvest on Friday – it was our own training on the Fruit Bowl program, so that we are prepared to begin training teachers next week. I will be working with two other volunteers to train about 500 teachers at 60 or 70 sites (preschools, after school programs etc) on the basics of healthy nutrition, the goals and objectives of Fruit Bowl (essentially, promoting healthy eating habits and regular physical activity to fight childhood obesity) and various activities they can use in their classrooms. The goal is to enhance participants’ knowledge about the Fruit Bowl program resources and prepare them to provide healthy snacks and nutrition education activities for the children they teach.

The training went very well – we essentially reviewed the entire presentation we will be giving and practiced leading nutrition activities. I was slightly nervous but I got positive feedback from my trainer, which gave me confidence. It’s a lot of information, and I have quite a lot of prep to do to familiarize myself with the materials, but it was fun, interesting and I really like the two other volunteers. I think we’ll make a great team! Our first site is a preschool up on West 155th street early Friday morning. It’s going to be a lot of work, given that we will be doing several site visits a week (and each will take up to 4.5 hours), but I think it will be worth it. Certainly my experience as a nutrition educator will help me develop skills that will prepare me for coaching this summer, and also for my career as an RD.

Lastly, I decided to enter the Brooklyn Half Marathon tomorrow, which is on May 19th. I really want to get another shot at improving my time, but after speaking with my PT on Wednesday, I decided that I need to focus on letting my hamstring heal 100% before getting back into structured training. She reminded me that running strong in Chicago is far more important to me than shaving a minute or two off my half time. My hamstring has been a bit sore after the race, but I’m hoping that with some low mileage weeks, lots of stretching and continued PT, I’ll bounce back soon. I’m tired of being in this weird gray area of injury – well enough to run but not well enough to push myself as much as I’d like – so I need to put in the time now to make sure I’m feeling great before my next training cycle begins in May.

Photo by Eddie Jacob taken from Real Women Run by Sam Murphy, published by Kyle Books

While I lived in London, I was fortunate enough to discover UK-based running coach and author, Sam Murphy. We met for an initial consultation back in December 2009 and I knew immediately that she would be a great person to guide me through my first marathon in Paris. Chemistry is really important when choosing a coach, and my gut told me we would work very well together.

Her coaching style as well as her patience and support leading up to race day encouraged me to train with her for the NYC marathon too. I had an ambitious goal – to qualify for Boston – and I trusted her to help me achieve it. And I did! Experiencing the benefits of coaching was what motivated me to become a running coach myself this past October through RRCA’s certification program.

I admire Sam’s expertise and the wide variety of things she does in her career. I have also enjoyed watching her success grow since we met. She coaches, leads workshops and a running group, writes regularly in publications such as Runner’s World, The Financial Times and many more, has written seven books and is breaking into the barefoot running scene (she coached me on barefoot technique this past November, and I bought a pair of Vivo’s from her and her husband’s latest venture, a minimalist shoe company). She certainly was successful when I met her, but she seems particularly busy these days!

Although I have chosen the field of Nutrition as my primary path, I plan to develop my own coaching career over time. I feel it’s important to have role models as I gain experience and try to figure out what I want to achieve. It’s great that I can look to Sam for inspiration, and hopefully I will meet other coaches I admire in NYC too!

Anyway, I’ll get to the point of this post. Last summer, Sam asked me to contribute to her next book, called “Real Women Run,” which will be published in late March 2012. I was very honored and obviously said yes! I enjoyed writing my short “running story” (which I will share on this blog once the book is published) and modeling at the subsequent photo shoot in Southeast London.

We needed to take two photos to accompany my “story” – one standing still (pictured above) and one action shot (pictured below)- but I ended up staying a bit longer to model for other chapters of the book (hill running, for example). It was exhausting, since I basically did a mini hill repeat session on top of my morning interval workout, but I had a great time!

I’m excited to finally post some of these photos on FFR! I believe these four will appear in the final version of the book. I saw part of the draft a couple months ago, and it looked great. I can’t wait to receive my copy!

A big thank you to Vicky Orchard for emailing these to me, Eddie Jacob for his photography skills and of course to Sam for inviting me to be a part of her upcoming book!

Stay tuned for more info on where to get the book if you’re interested, as well as the text from my contribution. In the meantime, enjoy!

Photo by Eddie Jacob taken from Real Women Run by Sam Murphy, published by Kyle Books

Photo by Eddie Jacob taken from Real Women Run by Sam Murphy, published by Kyle Books

Photo by Eddie Jacob taken from Real Women Run by Sam Murphy, published by Kyle Books

Last Sunday, E and I attended an all-day running workshop that my coach, Sam Murphy, held at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in South London. I had been in contact with Sam over email for many months, but it had been quite some time since she had seen me run. I thought it would be the perfect time to check my progress, and in particular my technique, as I launch into my next marathon training cycle. I also figured it would be a great opportunity to observe her in action, given that I admire her coaching style and will soon be a coach myself! Lastly, I was excited for E to work with Sam – he had only met her briefly before one of my sessions, and I knew that he would benefit from her feedback.

The title of the workshop was Running Well, which also happens to be that of one of Sam’s books. Principal topics of the day, which was divided between classroom presentations/discussions and outdoor practical sessions, included technique, injury prevention, drills/warm-ups, running-specific strength exercises, different types of runs, how to structure a training program and stretching, among other things.

Given my previous coaching sessions with Sam, and the fact that the workshop would surely be geared towards runners of varying levels and experience, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when E and I arrived at 9:45am. Additionally, Sunday was predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year (and it certainly was) – not ideal for either spending time in a classroom or performing various running activities in a crowded park, including a mid-afternoon threshold interval session! However, we survived, and everything Sam covered turned out to be extremely relevant and useful, in addition to being presented in an interesting and fun way. E and I left at 4:30pm feeling wiped out, but enlightened and pleased we attended!

Our group consisted of 15 runners, myself included – a good size! Sam obviously led the workshop, but her husband Jeff, a lovely guy who also happens to run a 2:29 marathon (!!), as well as another coach named Suzy helped her throughout the day. Having, effectively, three coaches was awesome and in my opinion, a huge selling point of this workshop. Not only did it help Sam lead the group more professionally and efficiently, but it was great to have the additional support and feedback to ensure that each of us received a substantial amount of personal attention within the larger group setting. So – £55 for a six-hour workshop with three coaches? Not bad at all.

Sam kicked off the day with a video analysis – each of us had to run for a short distance at a normal pace while she recorded it with a camcorder. She would later play back and analyze each person’s recording frame by frame, together with a second video taken later that morning. She had done a video analysis with me about a year earlier in a one-to-one session – it can be shocking to see yourself run, particularly for the first time, but is crucial to becoming more aware of your technique and discovering what you need to improve. It’s quite common to think you’re doing something a certain way when in fact you’re doing quite the opposite!

For example, E and I both thought we had moved away from heel striking, but then later saw clear evidence that we had not. Even worse, we were overstriding – our feet were landing in front of rather than directly below our bodies. E seemed pretty surprised – he insisted he had corrected this after completing a series of sessions last year with some running specialists who focus on biomechanics (recommended by Sam, in fact). I think it’s quite easy to slip back into old habits, though – it can take awhile to retrain your body! For me, I had a feeling before watching the video that I hadn’t fixed my heel strike, but I really thought I had improved my stride/foot placement! Sigh. At least Sam confirmed that the rest of my technique was looking great, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my kick is actually relatively high. I always feel like my heels hardly leave the ground, compared to other runners I observe.

We moved into the classroom around 10am. After introductions, Sam addressed in detail how to warm up properly before a run and why this is important, as well as how to instill good technique (as well as what defines good technique) by performing a variety of specific drills. Sam had taught me some of these before, but they have been missing from my routine for quite some time, so it was good to jog my memory as well as learn some new drills. Hopefully those images of my feet landing way too far forward will make me more disciplined about incorporating drills into my training on a more regular basis.

Our classroom time was followed by our first outdoor session, which gave us an opportunity to put what we had just learned into practice under our coaches’ watchful eyes. It was only 11am, but already the temperature was very uncomfortable – we were sweating buckets after a simple warm-up!

The hour covered technique drills, which included (just to name a few, and including language borrowed from Sam’s handouts) things like jogging to a metronome to encourage a higher cadence or faster leg turnover, “elasticity bounces” or quick jumps on the spot to bring focus to the foot strike, “pick-ups” or kicks up to your butt to help avoid overstriding and “exchanges,” where you stand on one foot with other foot raised in a “number 4” shape and switch to the other foot in one swift movement (pictured below). Obviously these are better explained in person or with photos, but hopefully you get the idea.

Sam discussed a specific technique goal and demonstrated the corresponding drill to achieve it, which the group then attempted either in place within two lines (pictured above – I’m in the pink top across from Sam) or moving forward and around a set of cones (as in the below).

  

So what did Sam define as elements of good running technique, supported by these drills? Some key points from her “Running technique” handout include the following:

  • Body posture – head up; eyes forward; torso upright (not bent forward at the waist – slight forward lean comes from the heels); pelvis in neutral (think of it as a bucket of water, that you don’t want to spill); and shoulders relaxed;
  • Arm position – elbows bent to at least 90 degrees and kept relatively close to the body, but rotated slightly inwards; movement from armpit not shoulders; and hands relaxed;
  • Legs/feet – land with the foot under the pelvis with bent knee, rather than in front of body; lead with the knee not the heel (as I do!); increase cadence to 180 steps or higher; bring the foot off the ground more quickly; pull the leg through more quickly with a strong knee bend; and move away from a pronounced heel or toe strike and towards a flatter landing.

Here we are, below, determining our cadence (steps per minute), which you can do by running for 60 seconds and counting how many times one foot lands (easier than trying to count both feet!), and then multiplying by two. We did this twice, and I hit 196 both times! This is a definite improvement since I first started to train with Sam.

After drills, Sam had us do a short run, where we ran at an easy/steady pace but concentrated on a specific aspect of our technique for one minute at a time. Because of the heat, this was cut short slightly, so in total we only ran about 1.8 miles in the entire morning session. We had to save ourselves for later, so we were told!

On our way back to the classroom, Sam did a second video analysis, to see how much of what he had learned had seeped into our technique. Obviously no one changes these things dramatically overnight, but it was still impressive how many of us, myself included, made some small improvements.

The air conditioning felt incredible when we went back inside for our short break. I had a big snack (half of my packed lunch, an amazing cous-cous salad I had cooked the day before), knowing I would struggle with my sensitive stomach to eat lunch and do speedwork in the heat less than two hours later. Sam then launched into her “talk and practical on running-specific strength” – like with the drills, she explained and demonstrated each exercise (things like the plank, bridge with knee lifts, lunges/squats etc., as well as slightly more obscure running specific exercises), and we then tried it on our mats. Much of this Sam had shown me before, but it helped to go through them and check with the coaches to make sure I was doing them all properly, since I had a few questions from when I used to do these more regularly.

Lunch was a “working lunch,” where we gathered into small groups and received feedback on our running videos while eating. Sam clicked through each frame (the clips were only two or three seconds long), showing us what we were doing well, and what we weren’t doing correctly. It was interesting to learn from others as well as from my own video – many of us were guilty of the same mistakes – primarily, heel striking and overstriding.

I was excited for the next segment – training programs – given that I still need to create my own Portland marathon training plan. Sam explained the various types of runs – recovery, threshold/tempo, VO2 max, long etc. and stressed the importance of ensuring that you go into each run knowing what purpose it serves in the context of your training. This was nothing new, but as with some of the other material, good to hear again.

I did, however, have many questions about preparing my own program and got some clarification on several things, including tempo runs (continuous running at a comfortably hard pace) versus threshold interval runs (also run at this pace, but as you would imagine, broken down into shorter periods of time with short recoveries). Although Sam only gave me the intervals to do during my two training cycles, which I had always wondered about, she said that I can alternate between the two in my upcoming program. She also provided me with other tips that I will think back on while building my own marathon schedule for the first time.

By this point, it was around 3pm and not only an oven out there but also a complete zoo in the park, with TONS of people, animals, vehicles and everything else you can imagine all around the place. In other words, it was the PERFECT time for a threshold interval session!

There I am at the start line of our loop – don’t I look thrilled to run 3 x 6min at 7:25 – 7:40 pace, with 90sec recoveries?! E obviously was equally excited. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but I’m happy to report that I somehow managed to hit an average pace of 7:27, despite the heat, crowds, a very unhappy stomach and slowing down at the end when I felt like I was going to die. Sam, Jeff and Suzy were each positioned at different parts of the loop to announce the time and, more importantly, encourage us to keep working hard in such tough conditions. That is where having a coach present during a training session can make a huge difference. Okay, and I confess that my competitive self managed to escape and ensured that I maintained my position at the front of the pack – but only because I had to hit my goal pace! Check out my Garmin entry to see how I did in more detail.

Finishing this session was a massive relief, not only because I wasn’t sure I would hit my target, but also because all that was left for the day was a nice long stretch session in the shade. It felt awesome, and it was also great to get feedback from the coaches on something that is so important, and yet far too often neglected after a run.

We returned to the classroom for some Q&A, said our goodbyes and then E and I made our way back home. We were exhausted, hot and hungry – but also feeling slightly ill, not only from the physical exertion but also from the mish-mash of foods we had eaten throughout the day (gatorade, flap-jacks, banana, cous-cous salad etc). Exercising in that type of heat really messes with you if you aren’t used to it, and if you aren’t careful about your nutrition and hydration. I think mostly, we were just tired.

But it was SO nice out by this point in the day, and everyone we knew had spent the afternoon lounging in the park, that we couldn’t help but stop for some pear cider in an outdoor cafe, which of course went straight to our heads. We then were suddenly starving and cooked up some Ostrich burgers. Turns out the whole combination was NOT the best idea and we spent the next hour lying on the floor (literally) curled up in a ball not feeling very well. Eventually it passed, and by perhaps 10pm it finally stopped feeling like a sauna outside, and we were able to look back on our day with a sense of achievement, as well as a new awareness of what we must improve going forward.

To check out Sam’s comments on how the workshop went, as well as to read about future workshops, click here.

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

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Grateful for quality time this week with my little pumpkin! 🎃😍 Happy Monday from California! I haven’t posted any running pics for a long time as I’ve been dealing with a hip injury for the last few months (and zero running for the last 5 weeks). 😓 I haven’t run a race, even a short one, in over a year - so different than how I imagined my postpartum running life to be. It makes me sad that I can’t run especially while in Santa Cruz, but I’m trying to stay active in different ways, be diligent about my PT, and remain positive even though the road to recovery feels endless at times. Yesterday, E and I went on a beautiful beach walk in the morning and then I did a hike with a friend and our babes in the afternoon, where I normally run in Nisene. I miss running but hopefully will get back to it soon, stronger than before! Baking “for the baby” tonight (so I say as I gobble up these delicious treats). Made mini pumpkin muffins (and a few mama sized ones), recipe adapted from @babyfoode. So easy to make - I added full fat Greek yogurt and almond butter to include some healthy fats. I think Arielle will love these - if for some crazy reason she doesn’t, more for me!! 😂 Nice work on tonight’s dinner, @trailz.io!! So good I’m going back for seconds. Veg bake with layers of eggplant, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini, ricotta, breadcrumbs, & spices with arugula on top. 👌🏻 Surprise package in the mail today! Thx @rxbar - stoked to try out the new gingerbread flavor. Speaking of, how on earth is it already the holiday season?!?! #rxbar Love @siggisdairy triple cream yogurts - perfect to satisfy a craving for something sweet and indulgent while providing 9g protein, relatively few calories (170), and calcium. The chocolate flavor was so delicious! #dailysiggis

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