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Running For More…

The personal blog and website of Kristen Cincotta

Posts Tagged ‘Month In Review’

Running Month in Review: August + Half Marathon Training Week 7

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

This post is part of my regular monthly running recap series. You can find the rest of my month-in-review posts here. This post is also part of my weekly series tracking my training for the AllState 13.1 Half Marathon. To read the rest of my training posts, please click here.

It genuinely feels like just yesterday that August was beginning, and now it’s already September. Here in the South, school starts sometime in early August, so by the time September rolls around, the kids are well into their routines already. For me, though, having grown up in Upstate New York, the Wednesday after Labor Day will ALWAYS be the first day of school. A day to refocus, set new goals (or reaffirm old ones), establish new habits, and kick things off with a new attitude. After my mentally tough training week last week, this reboot could NOT have come at a better time. I took last Thursday and Friday off from work (my first vacation days since starting my job at the CDC just after Thanksgiving!) and used my time to refocus myself and to get back on top of things. I took care of some errands that had been languishing for far too long, I got back on top of some things around the house, and I recommitted myself to my training for the AllState 13.1 Half Marathon in early October. When I woke up this morning, I was more than ready to kick start this fall with an eye towards making it one of my best ever. Don’t you just love back to school time??


If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that for the most part, my training in August went really well (you can find my weekly training recaps here). My ankles are still chronically achey and beg to be iced after most of my runs. However, other than some mental gremlins last week, that’s been the only real challenge that I’ve faced in this training cycle. The miles will keep getting longer though as the weeks push on and I’ve got a low-key 10 mile race coming up soon that will serve as my dress rehearsal for the half, so I definitely need to keep my eye on the ball through each of these runs and workouts!

Rather than inundate you all with back-to-back posts, I figured I’d just quickly run through week 7 (SEVEN! ALREADY!) of my half marathon training here:

Half Marathon Training Week 7


Full body weight workout, after work. Same as usual.


4.97 easy miles before work

My five mile route is pretty easily my favorite, so I love how often my training plans calls for five milers. It starts with a tough 1.5-2 miles of hills followed by a relatively easy three miles of flats and downhills. I always try to hit negative splits on this route and this run was particularly great for that.


4.51 miles as part of a 45 minute tempo run + Core Fusion yoga after work

I really would’ve liked to get down to a slightly faster pace for this tempo run, but at least I managed sub-10 min per mile. That’s still a big benchmark for me to get under, so I’ll take it.

I also hit up Wellness Wednesday Core Fusion yoga after work, which was a particularly great way for me to kick off my five day vacation. Almost immediately after the class ended, the girl next to me turned to me and said “You are REALLY flexible!” which was an excellent morale boost as well (years of gymnastics and dance classes have left me quite bendy!). It turns out she runs regularly with the Phidippides running group as well, so hopefully we’ll cross paths again soon!


Enjoying my hard-earned popsicle!

Enjoying my hard-earned popsicle!

Core strength session + 3.01 miles with the Phidippides running group

Going into this run, I expected THE WORST. First of all, I had been running errands all day and I had mall food for lunch. Not especially ideal. Then I came home and did my core strength session since I decided that morning snuggles in bed with Shenanigans took precedent over an early morning workout on my vacation. I also did some ankle strengthening exercises that my Mom’s PT recommended that I’ve been trying to do a few times per week. So my legs were pretty tired. Plus it was approximately 300 degrees outside. So I figured these three miles with the running group would be some of my slowest ever. And then I averaged a 9.39 pace, which was faster than my tempo run the previous day. Guys, I apparently have NO idea how pacing works or what my legs can do when they’re tired. But I got a popsicle AND a beer after my run, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. Hurrah for vacation running!



By which I mean, I spent most of the day cleaning out my closet, climbing up and down on a step stool, lifting heavy piles of clothes, and hovering around in random squat positions. So basically a whole body workout.


11.06 miles with Mike

Usually, we do our long runs on Sundays. However, we have some “traditions” that we like to observe on Labor Day weekend, so we decided to get this one out of the way on Saturday. It was hot and sweaty, but we got it done. It was Mike’s longest/farthest run ever!

Post-run, we met up with my friend Julie to explore the Decatur BookFest and then spent a few hours wandering around downtown and taking in all the great people-watching. For you non-Atlantans, our city hosts a number of “events” over Labor Day weekend – BookFest, Dragon*Con (Comic*Con’s southern cousin!), Black Gay Pride, a big NASCAR race, and some major college football kick off games. It’s so nuts in our city Labor Day weekend has been dubbed “ClusterFest”. Mike and I can’t get enough of all the crazy things going on, so we make it a point to do some serious people-watching every year. By the time we finally stumbled home on Saturday night, I’m pretty sure we logged an extra 5-6 miles of walking on top of our long run. Our legs were DEAD.


4.93 hot, sweaty miles with Mike

Since we had a late night on Saturday, we weren’t in a rush to get in our run on Sunday. That meant we ended up running in some of the hottest temps of the day. We also were both still dealing with some seriously tired legs. Given all that, I’ll settle for an 11 min/mile pace on this “recovery” run. It was a victory just to get it done!

Total Planned Miles: 28.5

Total Completed Miles: 28.48 (Seriously? I missed it by 0.02??)

Total Cross Training workouts: 3/3 

So those are my stats from my training last week. As for the rest of August…

Training Stats for August

  • Total miles run in August: 108.38 (Almost twice as many as in July and my first 100+ mileage month EVER!!)
  • Total runs in August: 22
  • Total cross-training sessions: 6 strength sessions + 3 yoga classes


At the beginning of the year, I told myself I wasn’t going to race in August. It’s always hot and I always hate it. So, of course, we raced three times in August, all 5ks. Because I am a race-aholic.

Atlanta’s Finest 5k (ATC Grand Prix #5)

I won my entry into this race way back in January at the Atlanta Track Club’s annual Member’s Party, so that’s how this one ended up back on the race calendar. This course is downtown and is relatively flat, save for two ENORMOUS hills. I ran decently last year and was optimistic going into this one for a strong race. Ultimately started a little too fast and didn’t have as much left as I wanted for the later hills, but overall felt good about this effort. Really was striving for my first sub-29 minute time since April but just missed it. Final time of 29:03.

Jog Days of Summer 5k (ATC Grand Prix #6) 

I hate this race. This course is REALLY tough, with a lot of big hills that just don’t quit. It seems like everyone who runs these two back to back Grand Prixes loses at least a minute off their time on this harder course and I was no exception. Admittedly, I went into this race with a pretty negative attitude, which is probably why I ran so poorly. Final time of 30:58 which broke my streak this year of sub-30 min 5ks but WAS a course PR by over a minute.

Adam’s Reality Run for the Park 5k (our 4th “festival” race of the year) 

This was a total last minute entry for us. At the beginning of the year, we decided to try to run in as many of the festival-associated races around town as we could. The Grant Park Summer Shade Fest is one of our favorites and we’ve really been enjoying that neighborhood this year. We didn’t actually know about this race until the week before when we spotted some information on it at the weekly Grant Park farmer’s market. So we decided to just go for it. Unlike the Atlanta’s Finest race, I started out on a slow side for this race and then was able to build my speed over the course of the race. I logged some picture perfect negative splits (I listed them in this post) and finished in 29:41. Solid rebound from the Jog Days race!


No fundraising in August. I took some time to think through what happened with my BCRF fundraiser in June/July, though, which really helped me feel prepared to launch my #Run4Results to benefit the American Cancer Society this past weekend. Please click here to read all about this fundraiser which I am doing in conjunction with my training for the AllState 13.1 Half Marathon!

 So that was my August of charity running. Now, it’s time time to move onward into fall, where I will face cooler temps (I hope!), three double-digit races (including my second ever half marathon!), and a lot of fun events. Stay tuned!

Running Month in Review: July

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Back when I posted my goals for 2013, I mentioned that I wanted to write monthly running recaps as a way of keeping myself accountable and maybe, just maybe, enticing a few people to make donations to some of my ongoing fundraisers after seeing how hard I’m working to prepare for my big races. A few weeks ago, I covered the first six months of 2013 all in one post. This post is the first of my shorter monthly recaps!

With my friend Cliff, my race date for the Dekalb-Decatur 4 Miler

July in Atlanta is usually hot. Super, crazy hot. And also humid. This year, though, it has also been insanely rainy. At one point, I read that it had rained something like 21 out of the first 23 days of the month. Unreal. However, all that rain wasn’t completely unwelcome. First, it made the usually unbearable summer temps much more tolerable. Sure, we missed the sun, but for running, you really can’t beat an overcast day. Second, both Mike and I spent a good chunk of the month rehabbing injuries. In Mike’s case, he tweaked his knee shortly before the Peachtree and ended up taking three complete weeks off from running to let it recover after that race. In my case, a week after the Peachtree, I was finishing up a short training run and rolled my ankle right across the street from my house. I think my initial ankle injury was pretty mild, but after racing on it at the Atlanta Track Club’s Dekalb-Decatur 4 Miler just two days later, I was really hurting. After “internet-diagnosing” myself with a mild high ankle sprain (and possibly a regular ankle sprain as well), I took a complete week off to recover and then slowly eased back into running over the following week, aided by a lot of ice and KT Tape. My ankle still isn’t 100% back to normal, but it’s strong enough to finally start training for my next half marathon – the AllState 13.1 half in early October!


As you can tell from my little intro, there wasn’t much actual “training” that took place this past month. For the first week, I was tapering leading into the Peachtree. Then I had one week of light running in between the Peachtree and the D-D 4 Miler which ended with my ankle injury. The following week was supposed to be Week 1 of a new half marathon training cycle and was instead spent with my ankle on an ice pack. And the last full week of July was spent easing back into running, following a modified half marathon training plan. Starting tomorrow with Week 3, I’m going to do a weekly post focused on my half marathon training. However, because those first two weeks were pretty minimal, I’m just going to quickly run down the details here.

Half Marathon Training Week 1 (July 15th – 21st)

Planned workouts:

  • Monday – Core strength
  • Tuesday – 3.5 mile easy run
  • Wednesday – 6 x 400s at the track + Core Fusion yoga (1 hour)
  • Thursday – 3 mile easy run + whole body strength
  • Friday – Rest!
  • Saturday – Rest!
  • Sunday – 3 miles

Actual workouts:

  • Sunday – 3 miles, which were not entirely ankle-pain free

Summary: Ran 3/9.5 planned miles, plus I skipped my speed work, two strength sessions, and yoga. Boo.

Half Marathon Training Week 2 (July 22nd – 28th)

Planned/Actual workouts:

  • Monday – Rest! Not a typical rest day, but my ankle needed it after my short run on Sunday
  • Tuesday – 3.5 miles before work + upper body strength after work, both of which got done
  • Wednesday – Planned to go to Core Fusion yoga (an Exhale gym here in Atlanta offers free classes outdoors at Atlantic Station on Wednesday nights). However, it was raining, I had a work presentation the next day that I needed to finish, and I was pretty nervous about all that twisting and balancing on my bum ankle. Ended up deciding to skip yoga for another week. I also usually do speed work on Wednesdays but I decided after my Sunday run to wait another week before adding that back in. So I didn’t technically skip that run.
  • Thursday – 3 miles before work + core strength after work. I finished the run but bailed on the core strength for no very good reason.
  • Friday – Rest! I like to leave Fridays for rest days both as a treat at the end of the week and to have a back up day in case I have to skip any workouts at the beginning of the week. I also race a lot on Saturday mornings, so a built in rest day on Friday makes planning around races a bit easier.
  • Saturday – 3 easy miles with Mike and Shenanigans. Mike’s first run in three weeks!
  • Sunday – 7 miles. My ankle was finally starting to feel strong at the end of the week, so I decided to push it with a Sunday Long Run Day. Happily, this was mostly ankle pain-free.

Summary: Ran 16.5 miles (all planned) and completed one strength session. Skipped one planned strength session and yoga, and chose not to do speed work.

Training Stats for July

  • Total miles run in July: 55.8
  • Total runs in July: 15
  • Total cross-training sessions: 5 strength sessions


I raced twice in July – the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th where I set a big 10k PR and the ATC Dekalb-Decatur 4 Miler on July 10th, my fourth ATC Grand Prix race of the year. You can read my recap of the Peachtree here and you can read my quick blurb about the D-D 4 Miler in my mid-year running recap post, here.

And that wraps up July!

Ending the month on a high note - colorful, new running shoes!

Ending the month on a high note – colorful, new running shoes!

How was your training in July? What races did you complete? Do you have any go to moves for strengthening ankles post-injury?