Marathon Training

I am currently in the process of training for two fall marathons (Chicago Marathon in October, and NY Marathon in November where I will be running as a guide for a disabled runner). Although the training is tiring, long, and challenging, it is also my favorite part of the whole marathon. In all of my previous marathons (10 overall), I have had different techniques / training / ideologies and approaches. Here is what I am doing THIS time around.

 

Mid long run stretch. I think between miles 14-15. I sometimes takes breaks to drink / eat / breathe / rest.

 

Like most marathon runners, I am competitive and type A. Typically when I run a marathon, I care about my time and have a strong desire to get a personal record (PR).  There have also been marathons where I have not focused on time (NYC last Fall and Boston this Spring) and simply run. But for the most part, I go out there to prove to myself that I am doing my best and getting faster.

 

Training in Oregon is great with its beauty of all the trails and rivers.

 

So how do I prepare? It takes MONTHS to get ready to run a marathon. I tend to start 16-18 weeks ahead of the marathon to get ready in prime marathon shape. All of this to say, that to prepare for a marathon you RUN a lot. I know that this is stating the obvious, but I usually run between 45-60 miles a week, each week. But in every run, I vary the intensity, the distance, the course, and the overall effort.

 

I am lucky to have a good friend, Nancy, who is 60 and a marathon runner herself, who will often times get on her bike to pace me and keep me company in those long runs in the early morning. Makes the biggest difference!

 

So I run 6 days a week with one rest day. During these six days of running, I have some easy runs (at a slow pace), a long run (with varied speeds, some with progressively getting faster and faster and faster), speed runs on track, speed runs on pavement / trails / roads, and tempo runs. There are days when I feel like I have had the best run and days when it is a challenge and I want to throw up. All of these runs make me faster, stronger mentally, and up for the challenge of facing the day.

 

Eugene is filled with lots of runners (a ton of elite runners train out here) and the neighbors lare all runner-friendly. Makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, and helps me on those long runs!

 

Basically, I am stating the absolute obvious, but to prepare for a marathon, you simply RUN. RUN A LOT. But short story, you mix up those miles and change here and there, and then finally, wam bam 16 weeks go by,and it is marathon day! So, Fall marathons, I am getting ready for you and can’t wait — but also enjoying the current state of preparation.

 

I did a progressive run this past weekend – 4 miles at an easy pace, 4 at 8 min pace, 4 at 7:30 min pace, 4 at 7:00 pace, and last mile HARD. I was super nervous leading up to the run, but I gave it my all. And I did it. Super hard work that I am really proud of myself for doing.

 

If anyone has specific marathon questions, let me know. I love talking about running (kind of like some people talk nonstop about their jobs or kids, well, I can do that with running!). Hope you are off to a great week and enjoying August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Nike Windbreaker

I am currently on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State in the San Juan Islands. It is incredibly beautiful with its lush green mountains, crystal clear lakes, Cascade Mountain views, and the Pacific Ocean. It is literally a summer dream, except for the fact that it is quite brisk and on the colder side. Going into the week I had no idea about the chilly temperatures, so when I got to Seattle with ONE sweatshirt, I ended up at the Nike Store (in Seattle) and bought a windbreaker. Yes, it was a spur of the moment purchase, but I am SO happy with it, I can’t seem to take it off (and not just because I need it). It is lightweight, retro stylish, cool, unique, and the perfect layer on piece.  I plan to wear it on runs, casually, and basically, all day everyday!

 

Retro windbreaker — both the design, the look, and the color. But I love it!

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Jump Rope

As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to jump rope on my front steps with my brother. Since I grew up without a TV in the house, I had to create my own fun after school. To me, that meant climbing trees, playing with yoyos, creating secret gardens, and jumping rope. My brother, Giora, and I were very competitive with one another and we always tried to outperform each other. As a result, I became a pretty good jump roper (yeah, super proud of this #HumbleBrag). I love it — it is fun AND the best workout. And as you know, I love to have fun and love to exercise, so the two together is the perfect whammie. Recently inspired, I bought two new jump ropes for my summer of travels and adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

 

After a failed purchase on Amazon (too long, and expensive – 60 bucks!), I went store to store in NYC in search of the perfect jump rope.  I bought these two, which are similar (at least I can’t tell the difference between them).

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Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Summer has officially started and tonight I leave for a European adventure.  And yes, another summer, another marathon training season! Here is my newest playlist for running and training!

 

Summer running means hydrating and drinking a lot of water. On long runs, I always carry a water bottle and then whenever I find a refilling station, I fill my bottle up. Thank you, NYC!

 

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

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Ball Girl For The Day

One of my lifelong dreams is to be a ball girl for the US Open. Not as a joke or as a ‘maybe someday’ … but an actual ‘this is going to happen at some point’ dream.  One of the prerequisites to be a US Open Ball Person is to volunteer at the Jana Hunsaker Wheelchair Tennis Tournament that takes places annually at Flushing Meadow (where the US Open is held). So, despite it being an incredibly busy time in the end of the school year rush, I signed up to volunteer (and even got two friends to join)!  And I am so glad I did — truly a highlight of my week, month, and YEAR!

 

To say we were excited was an understatement. The three of us were giggling nonstop, before, during and after. Truly, a fun and highly enjoyable day. And we all want to do it again next year — this specific tournament as well as sign up to try out to be official Ball People at the US Open. I was a little unprepared and had to buy myself some tennis shoes — I only own running shoes (which scuff up the courts) — literally, they arrived the night before.

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Vintage Denim Jacket

As of a few months ago, I had not bought something at a vintage store since High School (when I was a regular at our local Goodwill to buy denim). Fast forward to this spring when I was on a mad and unsuccessful hunt for the perfect denim jacket.  I was looking for something perfectly weathered / cropped / and that fit like a glove.  Wherever I looked or asked for help, I had no luck. Then, at the recommendation from a stylish friend, I went to 9th Street Vintage, and bought my new favorite piece of clothing, a vintage denim jacket.

 

This jacket is from the 30s! How cool is that! Almost 90 years old — and so supers stylish and cool. GAWD I love it.

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HICKIES No Tie Elastics

Through the retail world, we recently met the owner and creator of HICKIES No Tie Elastics. And I am now a huge fan! I love how fun, colorful and easy they are to use and assemble. What are no tie laces? Well instead of laces, you place HICKIES laces in the shoelace eyelets. And voila, no tie, easy to slip on, shoes! You can get creative and have different designs, tightness and looks. There is a huge assortment of colors and looks of the HICKIES to match all your different shoes and needs. They are not just for kids, but adults, too.

 

Playful laces.

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Boston Marathon 2018

On Monday, I proved to myself that not only was “Boston Strong” but that “I was strong.” In the middle of freezing rain, super windy conditions, and low temperatures (mid 30s), I ran and completed my first Boston Marathon. It was not at all pretty, fun, or wonderful. It was actually quite the opposite; horrible, gruesome, difficult, and treacherous. Boston is considered the most prestigious of all world marathons with everyone having to time qualify to run, and I was super excited to attempt the master of all races. Due to the weather conditions, I knew that it was going to be difficult to run my hardest. So instead of racing, I focused on perseverance and completion.

 

Expo picking up my number.

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Boho Bandeau

This past weekend, I had two friends from Oregon come and visit. They brought a bunch of gifts to help remind me of home. My favorite is the Boho Bandeau — a rainbow tie dye running buff — that is so Oregon, so me, and so practical. I love it! SO SO much.

 

 

Me and the wonderful Eugene friends wearing my Buff gift! The buff is the rainbow ear muff / headband / multipurpose WONDER piece of fabric.

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Sunriver December 2017

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great finish to 2017 and a strong start to the New Year….I was happily in bed and asleep by 10:30 NYE after a fun dinner out with family and friends. I am still trying to create my goals for 2018, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of our adventure out west last week in Sunriver, OR with my parents, and brother’s family.   It is truly a great family friendly place for everyone to experience the beauty and nature of Oregon. We never get tired of it, even when going twice a year (this year in March and again in December). Enjoy the photos of beautiful Oregon!

 

Once again, Ken was the one who went downhill skiing with the kids. I only went one day (Christmas Day) and although it is fun, nothing compares to cross country skiing. So Ken is the downhill guy, and I am the cross country gal. yin and yang.

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Currently Loving December 2017

With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

Holiday Card Display

 

GENIUS.

 

I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!

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Sunny with an A

As I get older, my network of awesome and talented women keeps expanding (one of the many upsides of getting older).  One of my newest mom friends, Sana, happens to be nice, smart, sweet, inclusive, open, interesting, beautiful, and inspiring. And not only is Sana a great person, but she is also the founder of kid’s pajama company, Sunny with an A.  I recently bought a pair for Tusia, and she literally will not take them off — they are amazingly soft, perfectly thought out, and super colorful. Take a look at the interview below, and thank you, Sana! (And mom, it may be time to start doing kids!)

____

 

Sunny, indeed.

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2017 NYC Marathon Recap

At this point, loyal readers are probably sick of hearing about my marathons and the recaps. I know —  I get it, in the past 4 years, I have completed 9 marathons — and in the last 7  months, THREE! There is not much more to say that is different about each race, and yet, this race is different. The NYC marathon is the most incredible marathon on the planet, and this year, when I gave up any expectations and ran to enjoy myself, was even better and more successful than imaginable. Giving up expectations, having no pressure, and just relaxing in to the moment made all the difference. I soaked up every second, looked at the views, talked to people, applauded my fellow runners, and truly enjoyed every minute.

 

Good or bad, I decided that my outfit for the marathon was going to be the exact same one that I wore a month ago for the Chicago marathon — yes, much colder temperature wise in NYC (my mistake in Chicago) but the shirt was a success in Chicago, so I went for it again in NYC. And man oh man, SUCCESS it was. Literally, once a minute, someone in the crowd would yell “Go Mama” — and I would yell “Thank you” and wave my hand up. It made me feel connected to the crowd and all their energy and positive vibes definitely helped.

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NYC Marathon- Congrats!

(Guest post from the Josie Girl’s husband)-

 

Congrats to the Josie Girl for ROCKING the NYC Marathon yesterday, finishing in a personal best 3:26 just 4 weeks after running Chicago.  She is recovering this morning and will have a full recap later this week.  Go Mama!  Congrats to all of the runners out there, especially Shalane Flanagan, the first American woman to win in 40 years.

 

More to come from the JG later this week..

 

Currently Loving October 2017

One more day left of October, so not too late for “Currently Loving” for the month! Here they are! Here is what I am currently loving in October 2017!

 

1. Busy Philipps

 

Her name is Busy. Her daughters names are Birdie and Cricket — now do you wonder why I want her to be my BFF?

 

I don’t know her from tv or movies, but I somehow landed on her instagram account (isn’t that how everything works these days….everything leads back to instagram…) and became obsessed with her instagram stories. She is genuine, authentic, beautiful, and oh so funny. I love her taste in music, clothes, and random thoughts. You must watch her on her stories — too funny. I also am determined to become friends with her…anyone have a connection? Sign me up please!

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Nike Cropped Sweatshirt

Since I spend 40% of the time in workout gear (the other 40% is equally divided by Natori pajamas and day clothes i.e.jumpsuits and rompers), I was ecstatic to find a new silhouette of a sweatshirt — cropped and boxy. It is Nike and comes in multiple colors, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that I needed two immediately.

 

Cropped. Boxy. Petite. SWOOSH.

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2017 Chicago Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran my 8th marathon in Chicago. It was a terrific day but not a great race (or even run). It was super hard out on the course and I walked away disappointed and upset. I went in hopeful after a good training season with high mileage, fast speed runs, and a strong mental set….but for whatever reason, Sunday wasn’t my day and I didn’t do well. Without making any excuses, one thing after another happened — I had a side ache from the get go (and still have it!), my Nike App was totally off (it said I ran 27.5 miles so therefore was off the whole time, making me super confused…), I lost my caffeine gum, the top of my water bottle with my nutrition in it fell off, I sweat uncontrollably (it was 77 degrees), yada yada yada….nothing went well. And so I started to derail mentally, and thought I should quit because each step was hard on my side and nothing felt great – …..all of that to say, it was my hardest marathon to date, both mentally and physically. I clocked in a 3:33, but know I can do much better.

 

The trip was quick — I left Saturday morning at 9, and came back Sunday night at 930. Quick turn around, but happy to make it short and the marathon the focus of the weekend. Before I left for Chicago, I did lots of legs up the wall to help relax my body…

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Marathon Packing- Chicago Here I Come!

Tomorrow, I leave for Chicago for my marathon weekend. This time, I am going totally solo and will fly, run, and stay COMPLETELY alone. I am not sure what I am more nervous about; the 26.2 miles on Sunday, or the fact that I will be alone for 36 hours (I am not good alone for long periods of time). I know I have a bajillion friends and family to call, and I am actually staying at a runner friend’s extra apartment (I met her when running the 2015 Paris Marathon and stayed with her at the Chicago 2015 Marathon — and yes, that is only after meeting her once while running… runners are AWESOME), BUT BUT BUT, who am I going to wake up in the middle of the night to tell them I am nervous????? MY BABERS WILL NOT BE THERE TO TELL ME TO GO BACK TO SLEEP AND NOT TO WORRY. ***GULP**** In any case, I am packed and ready to go on my adventure. And here is what I packed.

 

This is of me, two years ago, eating dinner before the marathon. I am planning on eating there AGAIN. So cute and good. I look tired, because heck, I was most likely tired. And I probably look even worse now. ALSO, please note my red nail polish. It is a belief of mine to always have my nails painted BRIGHT red before marathons (mind you, my nails are almost painted red year round, but especially right before marathons), because my sister, Courtney, told me that it is a good reminder to “run like fire.” And so red nails, it is.

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Utah- Via Ferrata Climbing

Ken and I went to Utah this past weekend for a belated 10th anniversary celebration. And what a weekend it was — can’t rave enough about the extraordinary experience we had during our stay. It was to date, one of my favorite vacations and involved everything I love: adventure, exercise, beautiful sunny weather, nature, great food, and relaxing. One of my favorite activities was a climb in the mesas of the Canyon Valley of Southern Utah. The type of climb we did is called a Via Ferrata which involves steel rods / climbing ladders, and a steel cable that you are connected to. So yeah, JV type of climbing, but so fun and scary nonetheless!

 

This activity involved a guide, and I told the guide that we were both in good shape (#humblebrag) and wanted the hardest via ferrata climb that they had…..so look at the mesa we climbed. OY.

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September 2017 Running Playlist

Since my next marathon is 11 days away (but who is counting?), I am compiling motivational songs to help my runs and overall energy. Here is my latest running playlist. Enjoy!

 

Me running, or pretending to run. Looks like I am on Mars, but I am in Utah. We just returned from a short belated 10th Anniversary celebration.  Stay tuned for full details!

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Crap Eyewear

Yes I realize that summer is now over so sunglasses are less important. BUT, big but, there is always a time and place to wear sunglasses. I found a pair of sunglasses in June, and they immediately became my favorite pair. They are cheap (although not GAP cheap), good looking enough, durable, and snazzy (super important adjective). And they have the best name, Crap Eyewear. I know, right? The line was born in reaction to the expensive eyewear market, but the glasses are fashion forward and… affordable! Win-win.

Here I am in ny crap eyewear.

Here I am in my Crap Eyewear.

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Currently Loving September 2017

Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.

 

Shower slides.

Shower slides. With no shower.

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Generation UCan

A good friend of mine who happens to be a kick ass triathelete, ultra-maranother, and marathoner (slacker), turned me on to Generation UCan for fuel during my training runs and marathons. This friend is so fast and knowledgeable that whenever *she* tells you to do something, you do it.

 

This friend gave me a care package for one of my recent marathons, and it had everything a marathoner would want or need; water bottles, sleeves, gu blocks, and lots of UCan packages. As always, such a sweet and loving friend, thank you!

This friend gave me a care package for one of my recent marathons, and it had everything a marathoner would want or need; water bottles, sleeves, gu blocks, and lots of UCan packages. As always, such a sweet and loving friend, thank you!

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1st Week of Summer 2017 in Oregon

It is hard to believe that ten days ago, I was in NYC….it feels like I’ve been gone for months! My life in Oregon is quite simple, but it is easy, wonderful, and I love it. Here are some pictures of the past week – Enjoy!

 

We do a lot of biking in Eugene. My parents actually don't drive anywhere, they SOLELY bike. So we have fun biking around the river, picking the kids up from camp, or just doing errands. In this photo, I am with my daughter and my littlest niece, Nadia.

We do a lot of biking in Eugene. My parents actually don’t drive anywhere. So we have fun biking around the river, picking the kids up from camp, or just doing errands. In this photo, I am with my daughter and my littlest niece, Nadia. (My helmet is from Sawako Furono Helmets)

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