Tag Archives: Marathon Training

2016 Goals

A reflection on my 2016 goals and a look back at how I did on my goals for 2015.

2015 was kind of a crash and burn year for me. I can safely say I have never been so happy a year was over. I actually said “Bye, 2005” at midnight accidentally because I was so over 2015.

Emily and I were texting (duh) on Friday and she said she loved New Years because it felt like a clean slate. And honestly, this year, it does feel like a clean slate to me. I’m sticking with three attainable goals for this year: one physical, one personal and one professional. Shit, am I getting it together?

2016 Goals:

  • Run a 3:45 marathon
    I said I wanted to BQ this year but my Achilles injury majority set me back, including having to throw in the towel for the LA Marathon. I’m toying with running Pittsburgh again and I’m definitely entering the lottery for Chicago. If I don’t get into Chicago, I’ll run Portland.
  • Travel More
    I traveled the least in 2015 as I have in years. In 2014 I was be-bopping around somewhere every other week. Also I hated where I lived so… that’s a thing. Anyway, I already have a trip to Tulum booked and plans for Nashville, Vancouver (again) and maybe a few others (Seattle, Austin (again), Europe of some sort or Morocco, somewhere super secret but insanely cool, and hopefully Cuba with my dad).
  • Work on Something That Ends Up in AdWeek
    Well, I guess now’s as good a time as any to mention I accepted a new role on the Social Media team at Old Navy, minus me changing my LinkedIn and Facebook after a couple too many glasses of wine (which in my case, is any number over one glass). So yeah, trying to do epic shit.

Let’s see where I netted out for my goals for 2015. They were way too aggressive, which everyone told me, but you know, 2015 Cassie just couldn’t listen.

  • Run a 1:45 half-marathon: Fail. I didn’t even work hard enough to try. I did take like ~2 minutes off my time throughout the year. If it happens in 2016, cool. If not… well, that’s what 2017 is for.
  • Run a full marathon (Pittsburgh Marathon – 4:06)
  • Get Back to my Happy Weight: Fail. I’m actually further from it. But I’m working on it again. While learning how to love and accept myself. I’m going to say hating myself is keeping me from weighing what I want to weigh. So I’m just going to work on balance this year.
  • Stop Snacking After Dinner: Another fail. But I am getting a little better with not letting myself get ravenous hungry at night, hence why I would snack after dinner. I’m also doing better at saying “Shut up stomach, you can have breakfast in the morning” and going to sleep.
  • Strength Train Four Times Per Week: Remember when I said my goals were too aggressive? I’m working on this one, too. Except like, when I can. And saying at least 15 minutes but ideally 30.
  • Go to Yoga AT LEAST Twice a Week: I went maybe once a week. Whoops. I do have a monthly unlimited pass to the new Baptiste Yoga in SF and I like that walk a lot better than the walk to Yoga Flow and I can also easily ride my bike there. And I like that studio approximately 100 times better. It’s no Amazing Yoga, but it will do.
  • Go to SoulCycle Once a Week: That happened like 5-6 times a week in November/December thanks to my Achilles injury.
  • Juice More Regularly: I did use my juicer more this year. And I also bought Pressed Juicery Greens 4 like it was my job.
  • Post Four Times a Week on AGIT: I think I posted like, ~3 times a week on average.
  • Improve My Photography: Not where I want it to be, but a definite improvement on the past year.
  • Business Plan: This like, is half-started. I realized I would have to move home to make this happen and I’m just not in any hurry to leave SF now.
  • Actually Go Surfing: I went surfing a decent amount of times this year and took a Surfcation to Sayulita, which I would like to make an every year thing (at least the Surfcation part, but maybe the Sayulita part because my surf instructor was hot).
  • Be More On Time For Things: I’m going to say this improved. Having to be on time for shit you pay for (SoulCycle, your therapist) makes you more on time for other things.
  • Stop Procrastinating: Nope. Still procrastinating.
  • Visit One New Country: Counting Mexico.
  • Visit Vancouver: Seawheeze! And already registered and have a house for Seawheeze 2016!
  • Take More Advantage of the West Coast: Going to take a hard fail on this one. I went to Big Sur. That’s it.

Chat with me:
Did you achieve your goals for 2015? What are your goals for 2016?

How to Have a Successful Long Run

First off – I’m not a trained running coach, a doctor and my last science class was AP Biology in high school, so the below is what works for me. It might not work for everyone. I’ve been running for 11 years now so I have figured out what works best for me – and I’m still figuring it out every day – but this is what I’ve used to run my past successful four half-marathons in 2013. Also I don’t know what kind of shape you’re in – I have the mentality I can do whatever I put my mind to (aside from being taller than 5’0”) so basically I’ve developed and honed the “crazy runner gene” over the past 11 years.

There was a time in my life where I was terrified to run more than 5 miles. I thought I couldn’t do it. Then one day I had a lot on my mind and went and ran five miles and it was over before I realized what happened. This was in high school – and I still remember it 6-7 8-9 (crap, I’m getting old) years later.

The biggest hurdle of increasing your mileage for the first time is the negative self-talk. I’ve discovered the biggest part of forcing myself to go out and run double-digits in single digit temperatures and piles of snow is telling myself I’m good at what I’m doing, that I’m enjoying it and I’m fully capable of whatever it is I’m trying to do. Once you tell yourself that you’ll leave all the negative self-talk for another time, you’re overcome the hardest (mental) part.

Increasing mileage safely is really important.  I add 1-2 miles to my long run each week when I’m increasing my mileage. It works for me, but I also run 1000+ miles a year (rough estimate, but probably close to accurate) so I have a good base. Be sure you have a good base – you can easily run 3-4 miles – before you try to run 5 or 6.

Okay now to the fun part – fueling! Eat a good breakfast. What works best for me I’ve discovered is oatmeal with nut butter and some banana. Be sure you didn’t get wasted the night before and drink a lot of water the day before and the morning of.


Nut butter – essential to long runs. Deliciousness courtesy of Angela.

I also take homemade energy bites or Larabars with me – maybe 100-200 calories worth – if I’m doing anything over 10 miles. If you’re starting out – take it with you for 6+ miles. Sometimes I’m more fatigued than others. Eat something when you’re starting to feel tired – I can tell that my legs feel heavy and I eat something and I get a pep back in my step.

almost getting it together national oatmeal day trail mix energy bites

Make my Trail Mix Energy Bites to take with you on your long run.

More important than food is water. I used to never take water with me, which was dumb. When I get dehydrated I start to get really negative. When I start to have negative thoughts, I drink more water – whatever, it might be all in my head but again these are tips that work for me. I have a little 10 oz Amphipod I use. On really hot days and really long runs (think over 12 miles) I either keep more water in my car and make my route stop by there to refill or stop and get water. (One time I stole a little Gatorade out of the machine from Sheetz when I was running near my grandparents house because I was DYING and they didn’t have a water spigot. I didn’t have any money with me. I still feel bad about it… kind of.)

Another important thing for keeping your attention in the run and not giving up and walking home is to have an interesting route. I love trail running because of my cross-country background so usually I do 90% of my runs on a trail. Sometimes if it’s snow covered or I need a change of scenery I go somewhere else.

Have a good playlist to listen to. I recently listened to Madonna’s MDMA Tour Live on Spotify ~1.25 times on a 15 mile run. It actually went by fast in my head because I was jamming out to all of Madonna’s classics. (And let’s be real – she’s great thinspiration fitspiration because she’s in great shape for being in her 50s. Say what you want about her arms being veiny – she’s able to werk it on stage still. You can’t do that without being fit.) I also recently discovered Podcasts and those keep my mind off the insane amount of time I’m spending in the snow, dodging ice and cars. I recommend The Dinner Party.

Finally – have a delicious meal to look forward to. Don’t go eat 1,000 calories in one meal and undo all the hard work you did, but eat something warm (if it’s winter out, duh) and nutritious. I love having a huge salad with some sort of treat – healthy muffin, kabocha, or my 10 Minute Gluten Free Pizza. I also have an almond milk latte after every long run. I don’t know why – it’s just my thing and I look forward to it so it helps me get through it.

Again – these are things that work for me. They may not work for everyone and don’t go trying something new on race day. Rookie mistake.

Chat with me:
Do you do long runs? What are your ways of coping with a long run (or super intense workout/bike ride/swim/whatever)?

I’m joining Lisa from The Skinny on Health for her Fit Tip Tuesday. Head to her blog to see more fit tips!

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