Friday, March 23, 2012

Fan Fare Friday - Texas Style!

Today's Fan Fare Friday is about Cam, who is the epitome of a good friend.  Whether she was getting me stoked for the NYC marathon (by sending good luck notes or singing "Baby You Were Born to Run" into
my answering machine), offering to hostess a birthday get together, listening to me whine on a bad day, or just generally always being up for fun adventures, Cam has always made me feel lucky to have her as a friend.

Cam ran her first half marathon, the Lady Speed Stick Women's Half, in St. Petersburg, Florida a few years back.  You might recognize her from their 2010 ad campaign (did I mention she's famous?)
Celebrity Cam!
She's at it again!  Cam has decided to run another half this year - the Dallas Rock N' Roll Half Marathon - as a fun way to challenge herself and keep her fitness top-notch.  [She's dedicating mile 7 to me!  I'm honored!] She's been pushing herself to excel in training and is poised for a PR this weekend.  Let's go Cam!  Below, she shares her race prep and some elements of the training that have helped her see her training times plummet:

How did you pick this race:
One of my half marathon buddies moved to Dallas last year, so I'm getting to see her new life and city, as well as get another race under my belt with her!  I also have a sister and bro-in-law in Dallas, so excited to have some of my family see me run and cheer me on!
PR to beat and Goal for this race:
2:15.  At first my goal was 2:12, then down to 2:10, not down to 2:08.  I have built up my speed considerably over the past few weeks!!!
Cam, after finishing her first half marathon in a respectable time of 2:15
Training Plan:
I like the Hal Higdon training plan and roughly follow it.  However, I never have time to do much cross-training.  I hit my 2 short runs and 1 long run every week, and usually make it to yoga 2 times a week.  This time around, I also did not taper down, rather did 11 milers two weeks in a row as my final long runs.  I did have to do some treadmill training early in the training process because it was so cold out.  BORING, but a great way to really focus on speed.
Added Speediness:
I wish I had the secret sauce to share, but I don't.  For me, added speed just comes with practice and more runs.  I did start running once or twice a week with the Jersey City Road and Trail Running Group, and I think this helped quite a bit.  When you're running with other people who are faster than you, you naturally push yourself to keep up.  And slowly it became easier and easier to keep up!  The competitive side of me is also fueled by running with others :)  I have athsma, so have trouble talking and running at the same time, but it's ok to have your headphones in while running with others.  Even if there's no conversation, the company is great!  Tempo runs would be great to fit in, but who has time for it all?!?!
Added Training:
Aside from a combo of treadmill and road running and the occasional running with a group this time around, nothing was too different from my last race.  Consistency is key.  It's about increasing mileage and fitting in your runs.  I now live in Jersey City and run on the Hudson - it's pancake flat.  When I lived in Manhattan, I trained in Central Park, so had more hills.  Without the hills, I really could focus on speed rather than powering through hills.  Fortunately the Dallas half is flat :)
My knees and hips are not fans of running.  I ice my knees after my long runs once I hit 8+ miles.  Pigeon pose is my best friend when stretching.  I also do a lot of outer hip stretches.  I try to get a sports massage every few weeks while training.  My right knee currently feels like it's locked on and off, so I'm trying to not lock my knees and hoping it works itself out by race time.

Good luck this weekend Cam!!!


  1. Thanks for stopping by on my blog. I love your Fan Fare Friday idea! I love that you highlight a running friend every Friday and blog about their running experience. Very nice. Also nice for readers to learn from their experience!

    1. Thanks, Running-girl - I'm flattered! I'm really inspired by them, too - in fact I can't wait to get over this darn bronchitis I've had to run again and try out some of their advice. I'm so proud of how they've all done in their races!

  2. Well this old runner finds it interesting that your friend feels that without hills she can focus on speed work. She should know that most coaches and long in the tooth runners believe and advocate that running hills builds speed (although interval work outs also are recommended to build maximum speed). But it is neat to see see combines travel fun with running races in other cities. Careful because Dallas can be hot. ERISA Runner.

    1. She PR-ed by over 10 minutes this weekend - seems to have worked!!

  3. Just saw your update/comment - congrats Cam! That's awesome!!

  4. Thanks Running Girl!

    Anonymous, I am not a hard-core runner by-the-book runner, I just do what works for me. I cut 12 minutes off my last race (went from 2:15 to 2:03), so this worked!!! I also don't have hills near me, so I just run where I can.