Time On Your Tootsies

I want to thank each of you that sent me an email regarding the passing of my aunt. While I haven’t responded to each one yet I most certainly will. We all go through ups and downs in life and being able to share and comfort one another is so important. My Auntie Dee was a RIOT. While there will no doubt be tears at the upcoming service there will be a LOT of laughter too. She wouldn’t want it any other way.


For the first time since Chicago I ran 50 miles last week. I managed one solid tempo, several easy runs (lets talk about easy runs in a minute) and 2 long runs. I ended the week with Chacha and Pam at the SD Half Marathon.


Pam ran a smart, strong and fast race. It was so much fun to cheer her on and watch her finish. She is going to do so well in Boston! I wish I could share with you all of the funny stuff that happened that morning. For some reason when I type out the stories they just don’t bring the comedy. I will tell you this: there is a cop in town that must think Chacha and I are the two biggest idiots on the planet. I blame it on the time change. Or the fact that we are hilarious. Probably a little of both.

Back to running.

This week is a back down week since I am running a half marathon on Sunday.  So far I have managed two easy 4 milers and a 6 mile tempo. I will likely run one more 4-5 miler at an easy pace and that will be it.


I mentioned above that my 50 mile week included a lot of easy runs. Fact is most of my weeks include easy runs. Several of them. Slowing down has made training for races much more enjoyable (running is fun!) and way more effective. 

Getting ready for 13.1 or 26.2 means preparing my mind and body to do work for a few hours. If I ran every single run at race pace (or faster) I wouldn’t be doing myself any good. Not only would I likely be injured, I’d be burned the heck out. Some people call easy runs junk miles. I call them practice. 

Once I learned to slow down on my easy days and go hard on fast days it all started coming together. I saw my race times improve a LOT. A good friend of mine told me that once I figured it out I would have a race breakthrough. And I did. 

So how do you know if you are running too fast too often? How can you be certain you need to slow down your long run? Easy.

If your training pace is faster than your race pace it’s time to slow down.

Hit the breaks! Long runs are meant to build endurance. It’s all about time on your tootsies. Your long run pace should be easy enough that your form doesn’t fail and you enjoy it. You should be able to hold a conversation without sounding like your gasping for air. I know you know what I’m talking bout (Hi-breath-I-breath-am-breath-running-breath-too-breath-fast….)

Slowing down your long run doesn’t mean it’s going to be a cake walk. The miles aren’t changing, just the pace.  

So how is it done?

1. Make a conscious effort. It may take some getting used to but you can do it. If you find yourself going too fast stop, take a second, and start again. Remind your self that it’s a training run, not a race.

2. Follow a training plan. Yes, a real one. Pencil in your easy runs and stick to them. When you write it down you are more likely to do it.

3. Find a friend or group to run with. Not only is it fun, having someone to hold you accountable helps tremendously.

If for some reason your inner racer is still bursting at the seems throw in a few strides. That should help get your ya-yas out. 

Remember, you have plenty of opportunities to run fast during the week that will have you ready to race. Give yourself the chance to recover by slowing down your long run. Your body and your mind will thank you.


Anyone else participating in a St. Patrick’s Day race?

~~ Good luck to all of my friends running the LA Marathon on Sunday!!

13 thoughts on “Time On Your Tootsies

  1. I am running exactly the same way these days three key/miserable runs and two easy coffee talk runs… I feel strong and hope my breakthrough happens on a Monday morning in a little town called Boston. Fly like an eagle this weekend beautiful girl…may the luck of the Irish be with you! xoxo

  2. Good luck at your race! I’m sure you will do great 🙂

    Did you ever decide on Chicago? That’s a tough decision to have to make!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt as well. Your family has been through a lot lately, Any been a strong rock holding things together. Hugs! I really like your advice too on easy runs. I finally have my first marathon coming up at Marine Corps and I finally found a coach that can work with me on a better plan to incorporate more mileage to change the variation. There’s no point in racing all of the training runs! Xo

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt. Sending prayers for comfort in the coming days. You are really an inspiration. Having been through so much lately and still staying positive and faithful. It’s truly inspiring.

    I’m running the Shamrock Half in Sacramento on Sunday. Well…running it is overstating as I really haven’t trained. It will be a matter of willing myself to finish which I know I can do….it’s more a question of how long it will take. I refuse to quit (stubborn much? lol) just because I’m dumb and allowed myself to make excuses for not running. So….my consequence is going out there and run/walk/drag myself to the finish. Should be a party! Ha! 😉

  5. Sorry to her about your Aunt. 😦

    Good luck at your race! I’m running a 10K race called the Shamrock Hill Run tomorrow. They haven’t provided a course map or any hint about the elevation, so I guess we’ll find out tomorrow why it’s called the “Hill Run”

  6. So sorry about your Aunt. 😦

    My husband and I are “running” a 5K today. Coming up on 7 months pregnant we are just doing the event to be out and see everyone. Beforehand he will do his long run and I will ride my tribike (on trainer) beforehand.

  7. Excellent advice, my speedy friend! Glad the heat stayed away today for your half!

    I am hoping my craptastic hangover courtesy of my BIL’s farewell to the bachelor/party beach pad lets up by 4pm so I can get in 14 miles. Meh.

  8. You’re a sweetheart Nicole! 🙂 You don’t know how happy it made me to see you & Chacha there at the race. It was especially a sweet surprise that the two of you ran with me at the end. I really don’t think I would’ve kicked as hard if it wasn’t for you two!! love you both!!! 🙂

    CONGRATS on your awesome 1/2 this past Sunday!!! You did GREAT!! 🙂 xo

  9. You’re so right. Wish I’d listened to advice like this sooner. I used to try to push on every run (and run the same pace on every run), and it wasn’t working very well. In the past 6 months, I’ve been varying my run types more than ever and my pace more than ever. I’ve been taking those long runs a lot slower (with the occasional burner to gauge my progress) and am hoping it pays off this season.

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