Goal for 2018: SRT Run/Hike 50K

As many of you know, I am a very goal-oriented person. I like having bucket life list and checking items off as I accomplish them. I can say I’ve completed five marathons, hiked all 46 high peaks, and even accomplished the professional goal of becoming an RD. But what’s next? I’ve been struggling with what my next goal should be. I’ve always wanted to run a 50K, but do I really want to run for that long when I’m just not into running that much anymore? How about hiking? Enter the Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run/Hike 50K.

Jona and I have been talking about doing this event for the past few years. Finally, we both decided to commit to it! In Sept. 2018 we will be hiking (and running) our way through 30 miles of the Shawangunks in the Catskills. The best thing about this race is that there is a generous cutoff time for the racers, which means we’ll have all day and until midnight to hike/run the 30 miles. Bring it on!

Back in November, we both decided to attend the STR training hike to see what we’d be in for if we do in fact sign up for this race. On a beautiful November day, we drove down to Ellenville to meet up with the Race Director and a few other people interested in running the race. We hiked a five-mile portion of the course as an out and back and it was gorgeous! We hiked to the Roosa Gap Fire Tower, which offered a great view of the Shawankgunks and Catskills.

There were great views from the top of the tower! How come this one isn’t part of the Fire Tower Challenge?

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Roosa Gap Fire Tower via the Shawangunk Ridge Trail
Distance: 10 mi RT
Time: ~5 hrs, 30 min

It was a great hike and it had Jona and I looking forward to the 50K in September!

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Journey to RD

A few weeks ago I officially began my last full-time semester of graduate school to become an RD. It’s pretty crazy. I’m in the process of applying to Dietetic Internships (DI) and my application is due in two weeks. I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to this point!

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Around the time when I started this blog, in 2010, I decided to go back to school for nutrition. I attended an info session at my current school, applied, and got in! But, from 2010-2013 I took prerequisite courses that I needed for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at my college. Thankfully I already had a Bachelor’s, but since it wasn’t in science, I had to pretty much start from scratch. The DPD program is required to apply to a DI and eventually take the RD exam. The pre-req courses included Psychology, General Chemistry, Microbiology, Statistics, Accounting, Intro to Nutrition (I had to re-take at my current school, even though I got an A!), and Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2. I took these courses in the evenings at Hudson Valley Community College, after work. I was working full time (at the same place I still work part time) and taking classes and doing homework, and training for marathons. Busy! Little did I know, it would get way more intense.

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In spring 2013, I completed my last course at HVCC, A&P 2. Next fall it was time to start graduate school! I was enrolled in the Applied Nutrition graduate program for a Master’s degree, but I also knew I wanted to become a Registered Dietitian, so I had to complete two different programs. I started taking graduate classes and courses for the DPD program, which are mixture of undergrad and grad students. I was a full time student again! My classes were in the evening, and I was still working full time. I was taking three courses a semester! Every night after work I was at school. That year was really hard, but I got through it.

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By fall of 2014, it came time to take more DPD courses, all of which were held during the day. I knew something had to give and I decided to work part time. Thankfully, my Agency let me cut my hours and work half the amount. I got to organize my work schedule around my classes, and for that I am forever grateful! It also gave me more time to work on homework and get projects done. Now it is 2016 and I’m in the process of applying for my DI. We rank the DIs we want to apply to and submit our application electronically through a program called DICAS. On April 3, we get matched with one of the programs we’ve selected. The DI is 10 months long with rotations in clinical nutrition, food service, community nutrition, and out patient care. To say I’m looking forward to April 3 in an understatement!

This process has been pretty crazy. It has been almost six years since I started. Since then I’ve moved five times, ended one relationship and began a new one, ran four marathons, and started hiking the 46, all while chugging along to another goal: becoming an RD! And now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I get matched to an internship this year, I will be completing it from August 2016 through June 2017, finishing seven years after starting this process. All that remains after that will be taking and passing the RD exam (and finding a job)! I’ll also be graduating in May 2017 with a Master’s in Applied Nutrition. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this crazy long process. The end is near!

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New Years Fun and the Hangover Half Marathon

Happy new year! I can’t believe it’s 2016 already. Where does the time go? My good friend Jackie and her husband Brian came up to visit from NJ on Thursday for New Years. Jordan and I brought them to Thacher so Brian could try fat biking with Jordan. It finally snowed and the trails were covered in snow/ice!

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Jackie and I just walked to the hang glider cliff while the guys rode the mountain bikes. It was really quiet there with not many people on the trail. We only saw one other guy trail running. We chatted with him for a little bit when we stopped at the lookout, but it got cold pretty quick, so we headed back.

IMG_0641The sun started to go down–the clouds had this pretty glow. I love that!

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It was nice to spend new years eve outside, even if it was just a short hike! We didn’t get too crazy that evening. We played some games and had a few drinks. Very low-key!

Hangover Half Marathon

The next day I was planning on running my third Hangover Half Marathon. Organized by the HMRRC, one of our local running clubs, the Hangover Half is a no-frills race on New Years Day that starts at SUNY Albany. I had zero goals, as usual. It turned out to be a pretty decent run for me. I finished in 2:15:35, about a 10:10 per mile pace. Not bad, considering my last long run was only 9 miles. And with that, my marathon training cycle officially began!

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Can’t say I missed the endless State Office Campus loops though.

Shipyard Maine Coast 39.3 Challenge Goals

It’s been awhile since I’ve set goals for myself. But this time I have some I want to stick to for this training cycle.

  • Clean up my eating and drink less alcohol
  • Weight train 2x per week (either with Bootcamp or Kinetix classes at my gym)
  • Speedwork or hill workout 1x per week
  • Yoga 1x per week

Don’t forget, if you plan on signing up for any of the Maine Coast Races, use my code JenM for $5 off you registration fee!

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On Marathon Training – Time to Taper!

Sunday marks two weeks until the big day–Marathon Day! Last weekend I ran my longest run of marathon training, my second 20-miler! I decided to run two 20s this time, just because I felt like it would prepare my legs a little bit better. Both of them went well, and I managed to stay at goal pace, under 11 minute mile.

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My training for this marathon was a bit different than my past training plans. I followed a plan loosely. I didn’t stick to it religiously. I ran about three times a week, with long runs on the weekend and and during the week I did yoga or piyo for some cross training. Sometimes I substituted a long run with a long hike and a Ragnar Relay which worked out well because one gave me a lot of time on my feet and the other gave me a lot of hill work. The most important thing I did was get in the crucial long runs, the 16 miler, the 18 miler, and two 20s. I think this is the most important part of my training!

Usually I can’t run a race without a goal, and this one is no different!

“A” Goal – Finish in 4:35:18, average pace of 10:30 per mile – both my 20 milers were run in 10:50/mile average pace, so this might be a stretch, but there is a chance I’ll have a really great day. However, I’m not counting on this one

“B” Goal Finish in 4:44:55, average pace of 10:52 per mile – seems more realistic given my training

“C” Goal Finish under 4:54:01 (my marathon PR from 2013), average pace under 11:13 per mile – hopefully I can PR again because this year I’m not injured!

Of course, anything can happen on race day, so I’m ready for anything!

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Goals for my 29th Year

Today is my 29th birthday. The last year of my 20s! I can hardly believe it. I feel like it was just yesterday I was 18 and starting college.

Its a big year for me! I have a lot going on this summer and fall and wanted to make a list of my current goals that I want to complete before I turn 3-0 next year.

Finish the Northface Endurance Challenge. That’s it, just finish without getting pulled from the course or breaking my neck. I am very well aware that this race is going to be a difficult one. My first priory is to have fun and enjoy the time out there in woods. I love trail running, and this is just going to be a way for me to test my limits and see what I can actually do out there. I know I can do the distance. I know I’ll be slow, I just don’t want to go beyond the four hour time limit for the race.

the elevation profile. eek.
the elevation profile. eek.

Hike at least 10 more high peaks. I have a total of seven right now. I have a few trips planned this summer to hike in the high peaks, and I cannot wait to get up there again. Right now my next trip up is in June. I hope the snow melts up there ASAP.

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Finish the Runner’s World Hat Trick. In the beginning of June, I’m running the 5K & 10K on a Saturday, and the Heartbreak Half Marathon on Sunday in Boston. They call running all three events the hat trick.  I’m really excited to take part in this Runner’s World event. They’re going to be having awesome seminars and I’m sure the expo will be great. Although. Just note, unlike most blogs I read who gain free entry to this event, it isn’t sponsored. I don’t get any of this stuff for free.

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source: http://rw.runnersworld.com/hhhalf/register.html

Go backpacking for a weekend this summer on the Northville Placid Trail. I’d really like to thru-hike the entire NPT some day, but that’s a lot for someone who has never backpacked, ever. I feel a weekend trip would be a great start, to determine if I even like backpacking…

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Have fun at the ARE’s Trail Running Camp. This summer I signed up with  my friend Loretta for the Albany Running Exchange’s trail running camp! Every year a bunch of runners stay in cabins at Dippikill for the weekend where they trail run in the Adirondacks to their hearts content. Sounds like a great weekend, if you ask me! They finish the weekend with a five mile trail race called the Froggy Five, a race that’s been on my to-do list for years. Bring it on!

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Run my third marathon under 4 hours, 45 minutes. I start marathon training in July, right after trail running camp. I plan on incorporating speed-workouts into this training cycle. For my two previous marathons I didn’t. For Marathon 1 I just focused on distance because it was my first marathon. For Marathon 2 I got injured, so speed was definitely not one of my priorities. This time I plan on staying injury free and running the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:45, at least. There is also still time to DONATE to my charity, Run for Wounded Warriors. 😀

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