Cristina’s Marathon Training Advice for Dummies: Run your legs to complete exhaustion, then rest up for the last three weeks so you can peak on race day. Today was my FINAL 20+ mile run before Boston. I am so incredibly happy. I can’t believe I made it to the taper.

Ocean "Ice+Salt" Bath

Ocean “Ice+Salt” Bath

My plan for this week was to focus on loading up the miles so that my legs were tired for the twenty-two miler (replicating that feeling of complete exhaustion at the twenty mile point in the marathon). Here’s what the week looked like:

  • Monday: Six Mile Run (Average Pace: 8:15ish) Flew back to LA
  • Tuesday: Run MDR Track (6×200, 3×300, 2×400, 2×400, 2×300, 6×600)
  • Wednesday: Three Mile Run and Yoga
  • Thursday: Eight Mile Run (Average Pace: 8:30) Got a Sports Massage and had dinner with speedy Uncle Eddy who wore his Boston shirt to dinner 🙂
  • Friday: Ten Mile Run (Average Pace: 7:28) I love doing a faster run before a long run. Forces you to take it easier on the long run. 
  • Saturday: Twenty Two Mile Run (Average Pace: 8:20) Ran with Ellen and Gisele. Marta and Bri joined us for part of it.

Woah. I feel exhausted just looking at it. The sad thing Is it’s not even that high of mileage for speedy marathoners, but I squeeze in what I can squeeze in and with all the travel, lack of sleep evening plans, etc, I was just tired this week. I usually take a day off during the week, but decided to switch things up because I’m going on vacay on Sunday! More on that next week 🙂

OK, more pics from our amazing ice-bath in the ocean after our long run. This needs to be a habit.

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Here are my notes:

Friday Dinner: Spaghetti with Alaina’s homemade sauce. Thanks Alaina 🙂

Friday Sleep: Slept from 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM. Not the greatest sleep. I kept waking up. Probably because I kept thinking, FINAL LONG RUN!

Pre-Run Breakfast: PB+J with Whole Wheat Bread (might skip the whole wheat next time)

Post-Run Snack: PB/Chocolate Oatmeal and Greek Yogurt for the protein

Long Run Fuel: Honey Stinger Chews, pretzels from the airplane (I always ask for extras and save them for long runs)

Long Run Hydration: Beach path water fountains

Long Run Outfit: Lulu shorts and shirt, you guessed it…target sports bra, lulu socks and Nike visor.

How Did It Feel: Today was comfortably hard on my legs. My stomach was meh..I ate too much too late, but it was fine by mile 10ish. My legs felt tired, but I felt good and never hit a “I hate running” wall. We chatted the whole time, which made the time fly. It was my best 20+ run so far! Gisele’s endless energy and peppy attitude helps me on these long ones! I know Ellen and I really appreciated her company 🙂

Other Notes: My sports massage therapist (I’m going once a week during the taper to make extra sure I’m ready for the race) suggested putting my legs in the ocean after a long run for the salt and cool temps. We had so much fun splashing around. Overall, I’ve also been dealing with lots of ups and downs with this training cycle. I think it’s because I was so focused on qualifying for Boston and I felt like AHH I just have to get through this training plan without any injuries so that I can show up on race day and soak in all the energy. My shin pain a few weeks ago really messed with me. I’m feeling great now, but I was so worried for those two weeks that something was going terribly wrong and I wouldn’t be able to run. I’m pretty sure driving and wearing unsupportive shoes at work was the problem. I couldn’t quite understand why I felt the sensation more walking than while I was running. I iced like crazy and stretched out my legs and am 10000 times better. I am SO excited to run Boston, but it doesn’t feel real yet. I got my runner’s passport in the mail yesterday, but until I am there at Athletes Village with all the other runners, and walk over to my corral I won’t believe I’m actually running the Boston Marathon. I already have a goal for the New York Marathon—don’t let the training mess with my head as much. Easier said than done.

photo 2Ok time to rush and get ready to go to MALIBU WINES for Marta’s Bday Celebration. I’ll leave you with other happenings this week…

I saw Diana at Equitas this week. I taught her when she was a 6th grader, and now she's in 12th grade. Her sister goes to Equitas. She is beautiful inside and out!

I saw Diana at Equitas this week. I taught her when she was a 6th grader, and now she’s in 12th grade. Her sister goes to Equitas. She is beautiful inside and out!

Track this week.

Track this week.

Cutest book EVER! Read it to my second graders.

Cutest book EVER! Read it to my second graders.

How did I miss this at Playa Provisions? I'm always there.

How did I miss this at Playa Provisions? I’m always there.



Planes, Trains and Automobiles


I’m back in LA after spending a few days in New York. It was a little hectic shuffling around from NY to Newark to Albany and back.I crammed a lot into six days. I landed late Tuesday night and took a cab straight to Carmen and Jim’s. I was in bed by midnight, and up by 6:30 to squeeze in my long run before heading to Newark for a school visit. I’ve complained enough about that long run. Snow flurries, 28 degrees, poorly dressed. It was the worst, but I got it done. When I got back I couldn’t even talk to Jim. I was awkwardly trying to speak, but my lips were frozen. It wouldn’t have been bad with gloves, pants and a jacket. That was bad planning on my part. I didn’t even drink any water or practice any fueling. I just ran (slowly) and felt sorry for myself the entire time.

After my run I took all my stuff and headed to Newark to visit North Star Academy’s Valisburg Campus. Our CEO at Equitas told me she’d never seen a more rigorous Kindergarten program. They were so welcoming and their model inspired me. It was also great to see that our current Kindergarten team at Equitas #1 is equally strong. I was reminded at the importance of having a visually appealing school. It correlates with the academic program, saves time with organization and gives a sense of pride for the school. Having a warm office staff, super important too!

After spending a few hours at North Star I took the longest uber ride ever to Penn Station to catch my Amtrak train to Albany for the Uncommon Impact Behavior and Culture Workshop. Two days with Teach Like A Champion guru Dave Lemov. He’s a celebrity in the Ed World, and it was some of the best professional development I’ve ever attended. I feel much more comfortable with coaching teachers to improve their ability to manage classrooms so that they can focus their attention on academics, not behavior. We got lots of good practice (I just read Practice Perfect, and I’m sold). I also managed to spend 2 full days inside and ran an entire three miles while I was in Albany on this awful dreadmill with a Cindy Crawford skincare infomercial streaming in the background. Yes, I just googled Desmond Hotel treadmill.


By Friday night I was feeling pretty blah about running. I was questioning how prepared I was for this marathon and was freaking out about my calf and shin tightness. I had a bad 16 miler, ran 3 miles in Albany, and this is supposed to be my peak. I was also very jealous of Marta who didn’t have a plan to work off of and who was done running her marathon. Next week. I told myself, next week I’ll peak before my final 20+ run. Hungry Runner Girl posted this on her blog yesterday, and it make me feel 1000 times better about my running life right now.

Friday night I rushed to the Amtrak station and took a train back into the city, dropped my stuff off at Carmen and Jim’s and Brent (who flew in Thursday) and I went straight to dinner to hang out with Meredith and Nicole, my Columbia buddies. It was strange seeing them in snowy weather rather than sweating in the summer.

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Saturday and Sunday were family days. My entire family came to New York for the weekend. Marta came from LA. My parents flew in from Michigan, and Alicia and the fam drove up from DC. We didn’t do much besides play with our selfie stick, shop, playing with Colby and Miles and eat. Gotta love family time.

Sunday night I shuffled again. Marta ended up staying in New York for work, so she got a hotel room in midtown. We planned on running the Central Park loop before going to Sushi Samba for dinner, but our poor packing forced us in the gym. Over the weekend I was able to have a few good treadmill workouts. A six-mile tempo, and a six-mile easy. Would have loved more distance but six miles is beyond my treadmill limit. My legs felt so much better. I think the icing (and natural icing from cold weather) and strengthening exercises are helping. Maybe the Albany low mileage days were a blessing. I’m SO excited to get back to yoga on Wednesday. I’m feeling super tight.

Monday morning Marta and I hit the gym, and were determined to get a GOOD New York bagel so we sprinted half a mile to Pick-a-Bagel for a bacon, egg and cheese. 25-degree weather in shorts was worth it for the 2 (6)

I then took the 6 up to the Bronx and spent Monday morning at South Bronx Classical Academy in Mott Haven. I observed primarily Kindergarten classrooms and was again reminded at just how much Kindergarteners can handle academically. I find it fascinating to listen to their thinking and watch them work through challenging content. After a few hours in the Bronx, I headed back into Manhattan and got lunch with Carmen at Chopt (they need this in LA). She showed me around the Amazon Publishing office before I headed back to the hotel, packed up and headed to JFK.


Check our some LA Marathon Pics. Ellen and I ran a combined 3:13:01 and were the FIRST relay team.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.26.40 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.35.16 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 8.34.31 AM

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Hello from NY + Friday Inspiration

Good Morning from Albany, New York. I am in some serious need of running inspiration. I found this video yesterday, and it kinda reminds me just how silly all this marathoning stuff really is. In exactly one month I’ll be running the Boston Marathon, and more than any other marathon, I cannot wait to cross that finish line. This week’s runs have been blah. I’ve been stretching and icing like a crazy woman, but am getting very little running in. I am trying to love the marathon, but right now I just don’t. I had so much fun at the LA Marathon running the half. Can’t wait to get back to halfs and 10Ks.

This week I flew to NYC, and spent Wednesday visiting schools before taking the train up to Albany. My whole family will be in New York this weekend, so I wanted to get my long run out of the way before my school visit on Wednesday morning. 7AM, 27 degrees, snow flurries and this dumb Angelino tried to walk out in shorts and a long sleeve. Carmen looked at me like, uhh, do you have any pants? I switched to capris, but it wasn’t my legs that were cold. This was the most miserable long run. I ran a much slower pace because I spent the entire run breathing into my sleeves. 5 seconds one side, then switching to the next. I almost turned around so many times, but I just wanted to get the sucker done. Boston’s got to be easier that this, right? At one point I tried to take a picture but my fingers were in so much pain I couldn’t unzip my spibelt. It was a warm 30 degrees when I finished my run. Capris, no gloves and a lulu long sleeve shirt wasn’t enough. The one positive was I didn’t have to ice my leg after the run!

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Here in Albany it’s even colder, so I stuck to the hotel gym. The first day was a fail. I got to the gym too late (all the other a-type principals were hogging the treadmills). I got on the elliptical for 20 minutes then called it quits. Today I waited patiently in line and managed a whole three miles! Hoping to get at least 1 or 2 decent runs in New York before flying back early next week. It’s crunch time and I am doubting myself. Can I finish pain free? Can I PR? Ahhhh! 4 weeks. I’m dreaming of the taper so that I can stretch out and be ready for Boston Marathon 2015!

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Can’t wait to be back in the city to see the whole family!

North Star Academy in Newark

North Star Academy in Newark