Starting off too fast?

We read, write, hear and tell our runner friends and acquaintances that running out too fast at the start of a long distance race can ruin a great race and rightfully so.  When we train as long and as hard as we do, we can’t chance ruining a great race in the first few miles and we don’t want anyone else learning  that awful lesson first hand.

The things I say to myself when I am starting a long distance race, to keep from sprinting than crashing, come from many places. From my parents or sisters. Also I hear this from my friends, extended family, the books and blogs I read, and many many internet sites. This is because everyone agrees on this topic.

This is my top list of what I say to myself to speed up SLOW DOWN at the start of a distance race.

Starting with my most favorite,
Your not going to win the race in the first mile!

– Run your own race!
– Don’t worry about people passing you now, you will end up passing them later on!
– Negative splits are what I aim for, if you run out too fast you my not accomplish that.
– Who needs to be with the pack? Not me!

what do you say to yourself to stop from starting too fast?


Running secrets!

Excellent post RatherBeRunnun’. These are good secrets for new runners, seasoned runners, and everyone in-between!

Rather Be Runnin'

Heyyyyyyyyyy! How are you doing today?

I am fantastic!


I have secrets to tell you today.

They are secrets that some runners don’t know!

This is under ground stuff… black market secrets.

Not really.

But I have learned a few tricks in my years on the street (as a runner, NOT a street walker!) that I would love to share!

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Tri-training swimming

Last week was my first week of Tri-Training Swimming.

I haven’t been in the pool for a while but quickly remembered how to breathe and what not. I also quickly remembered how it was not like running and quickly was out of breath. I needed to slow down, so, I did some kick boarding in between laps and then towards the end of the first day in the pool I was back to flip turns and feeling my old self again.

Ice Age,,, fond memories

AWWW Ice Age,,, fond memories

Something I saw the lady next to me doing, with some ease, was breathing on both the left and the right.

Is that better?

Hum, so this past Sunday after my training laps were done, I tried it out. At first I was having a good deal of trouble but after about my 5th half lap I was feeling pretty good breathing on both sides. I typically only breath on my left, so I am a bit slower doing both but will keep training with it a little at a time and see if I get a benefit.

Do you breath on both the right and left side?

Tri-training, first biking recap

There are many types of bike riding, there is…

This type of riding.

This type of riding.

this type

this type

or maybe

this type

this type

And most definitely,

This type!

This type!

HA! Yep, you guessed it! That is naked bike riding…

I didn’t do any of those types of biking last week, but I did take out Shelly’s K2 for a spin and learned a few lessons about Road Biking.

napolian w kip

Got to the bike path around 5:30am and quickly realized that the bike seat height is different from what I am used too. It took me a few minutes but then I was able to do a running quick step,step,step – HOP up and get on, start, and was on my way.

First things first, check how the gears work! But I didn’t realize that the brakes act as gear shifter too, DUH, and I rode in only one gear the whole time swearing up and down the bike was broke. But it wasn’t. Just the old kick in the tush user error!  Thank you to Downingtown Bike Shop for setting me straight and getting me back out on the bike path faster.

Ended the ride well, but not tired at all. I need to find a different longer trail with less down hill! At least I didn’t do this!



Do you have riding tips for me for my next ride?

Training by the numbers last week

Last week was my taper after my half and my first week of Tri-training

– Fire 30
– swam 3 days. Two lap days and one sprint day
– ran about 13 miles 1 short tempo run
– went riding for an hour at Great Scott Farm
– biked a trail around 40 min
– spin class
– Jillian Michaels 6 weeks to 6 pack abs
– lots of dog walks

Tried a new Mahi recipe which I’ll share soon.

Why (I think) I got a PR, 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon

Just too cute not to post!

Just too cute not to post!

I was talking about how I was so confused with the ‘taper’ and that I wasn’t sure what to do or why, but coming out of my last race (PR!) I think I have a slight handle on it. (phew)

The week before my 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon PR I did the following workouts:

Monday: Rested, Tuesday: tempo 4 mile, Wednesday: Riding and Turbo Fire, Thursday: easy 5k race, Friday: Rest Saturday: Race Day!

What I ate: Veggies, Fruits, Rice, Quinoa, Fish, and Pasta [the night before]. My calorie intake was not much higher than normal but just enough. I drank Nuun  during the day and Mikes Recovery drink after workouts.
love fruit and veg

I slept: Great almost every night, kept a positive, no worry, no stress attitude about the whole thing and reminded myself of how much I loved the course. I did some light visualizing and a lot of positive self talk.the more i run

So what do I think took me to my PR? (in no specific order)

– The AMAZING constant unending love, support, and encouragement from my family and friends.
– Cross Training (Turbo Fire and Riding)
– Ate less than the past, but more carbs overall
– Less Stress, less planning, less worrying overall
– LOVE of the course and love of the sport
– Tempo runs
– Hydration


My finishers medal!

My finishers medal!

What do you think helps you do best at your races?

1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Race recap

The 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut half was a race I signed up for 4 weeks ago and was very excited to complete. I had run the Marathon the year prior and scored a PR, I love this course!

My finishers medal!

My finishers medal!

The morning started out at 4:20am, getting up and ready to hop in the car by 5am to take us to the race. I had my pre-race oatmeal all set and my gu’s all ready. The drive in was uneventful, I wasn’t as nervous or teary eyed as I have with my others. I cared a lot how I was going to do on this race but I was taking a different, less stressed approach. I think it helped. I wanted to PR. I didn’t care if it was by 1 second. I wanted it! I deserved it! I have put tons of time into my training and felt ready for anything.


Philly in the distance…

Usually, I worry, worry, plan, plan to the smallest detail possible, worry more, tear up in anticipation and then get to the race and run and worry… This time around was going to be different! I cooled it with the worrying, cooled it with the planning. I did, however, go over the race in my head a bunch of times, but not in a stressed out way. More of a ‘man I love this course’ way and thought that the mantra of the day would be “just run” …AND it all paid off! I PR’d by almost 3 minutes and I felt awesome throughout the entire race!

Getting to the Cannstatter Volkfestverein

Sorry about the fence, it surrounds the complex

Sorry about the fence, it surrounds the complex

I picked up my packet with ease and stood in line for the bus.

Waiting in line for the bus I heard many weird conversations...

Waiting in line for the bus I heard many weird conversations…

My parents were there to support me in my efforts and cheer me on, and well, just be there for me because they are so great. I was meeting them at the starting line.

On the bus, I people watched and reflected on the ride noticing that I didn’t see one pair of shoes that was like the other. I mean, everyone was wearing two shoes that match, it was just that no one in the place was wearing the same shoe! Are there that many different types of shoes that I step on a bus of, what? 100 or so people and no ones matchy-matchy? It is mind-boggling. The ride was short but a couple had time to fit in some PDA. Crazy, I know, I get it, but really?

Anyways… At the race location

Pennypack Park, race location

Pennypack Park, race location

there were plenty of Port-o-pots, lines were not outrageous and I went for a short warm up jog. During my warm up I picked it up to my race pace so I could feel the pace I was planning to run, stretched and it was time to get into my starting wave. I was in wave 2. There were 1000 runners, and notably one guy was running 160 in one year (he wore a ‘supermarathoner’ suit with a cape). I saw him a few times on the course.

The start had a few hitches, but then we were off. The pack was running fast, I stuck in there and said “just run.”  Usually at this point I would worry about going out too fast and petering out later on. Not this time. I just ran. Getting to the first hill and the second water station there was a row of young lady’s all dressed in their Lederhosen. It was neat, I passed them by, this time, but would see them again on my way back. This race is an out, up Mount Cuckoo and back. Rolling Hills and beautiful views!

(Sorry no more pictures till the end, I still haven’t got that ‘take photo while running thing’ down.)

Running at first was pretty uneventful, just running, I was going back and forth with a runner and finally asked her if she wanted to run together, because it was exhausting passing and then being passed (about 5 x) she said yes and we quickly began chatting and discussing life, family, running, and solving worldly problems (as we all do while running a race).  We were keeping a pretty good pace, gliding up hills and flying down the other side.  I ate a gu at mile 5 and she and I split up at the off-road trail. The race supplied Hammer Gels, I took one to try later. I don’t like trying new things on race day. That I will not change.

The off-road trail (Mount Cuckoo) is probably my most favorite part about this race.  This is what the race website ( says about the off-road trail- ” Mount cuckoo is a 1 mile trail section that might feature minor roadblocks like rocks, dirt, possibly horse poop and some short rolling hills. This section is relatively easy by trail runner standards, but the surface is definitely different from what you usually discover during a (half)marathon. This might just slow you down enough to miss your PR even if the weather cooperates.”

When running this race you really do run on a path riddled with mud, stones, rocks, sticks, horse poop, and there is a beautiful uphill then a nice downhill and I love it! One thing I find is that when non-trail runners see a trail they almost do a complete stop. When we all hit the start of the trail we were running in a close straight line.  The moment the first person hit the dirt it was almost like a wave of dominos almost ready to fall backwards.

Is that bad to say?

Is that bad to say?

I had to get past those people if I was going to hit my PR, AND I did!

I was through with Mount Cuckoo and had less than a half of the half to go. I said “just run” and I did. I put my feet to the pavement and ran and passed people.  This is new to me, usually I am dying on the second half.  I hardly looked at my Garmen and tried to be a ‘Gazelle’ AND it was working!

Gliding up hills and flying down the other side. I said hello to the ladies in their Lederhosen which was located up the last hill and took a sip of water.  Down this last hill, a few more bumps in the next 3 miles, and I was home free. My mind said, “slow down you need to conserve” and I said back a resounding “just run” and I did!  I passed a ton more people, which, again, is all brand new for me. I chatted with one runner who was upset about her time and I had to leave that negativity and picked up my feet, bent my knees, and “just ran”.

Cow bells in the not so far distance told me the finish line was near! I looked at my watch, it said 2:00:01,  I wasn’t going to finish under 2 hrs. no worries. I minute later I was at the last bend.  I picked up my pace.  I was flying, smiling, and yes tearing up.   I saw my Mom and she yelled for me to “GOOOO” and I pushed harder. I felt a little nauseous but said, to myself, “you throw up at the end if you need too, but you are just going to run now” and I did!

No, not throw up! Run! and I finished official chip time 2:02:20! My new 1/2 Marathon PR. Awesome.

Who's Awesome? You are!

Who’s Awesome? You are!

The fans were great, the course amazing, and the race administrators are one of a kind. I will be doing this again next year!

I have  a few thoughts of why I did so well this race. I’ll share that with you in an upcoming post.

What is your favorite course?