Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

Total miles ran in 2014: 566.59

One last number for you!

Believe it or not, 2014 was the first year I tracked mileage for the whole year so I have nothing to compare that to.  I set a goal of 500 miles in 2013 and then abandoned that when I found out I was pregnant with #2.  Considering 2014 was year 1 of baby #2's life, it all comes full circle.  (It's Nothing like Erica's 2200+!)

I don't have a numerical goal for 2015.  Obviously I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Hopefully that goal is crossed off on May 2.  If that happens, I will come up with a new goal for the second half of the year.  If not, the goal remains!

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

TBT in Review

My official marathon training plan begins today (December 29).  I reviewed my 2014 mileage in early November and decided that I needed to have a pre-training plan training plan ("Training Before the Training" or TBT) to ramp up my mileage.  I set a goal number of miles to run for each week of the TBT period.

My 8 week TBT plan was overall a success, despite getting sick 2x in that time frame, having a nagging foot issue, and working around the holidays.  I only met my goal mileage for 4 of the 8 weeks, but I doubled my average number of miles run per week and upped my long run and average length of the run.  I also added a full run/week.

Goal miles for TBT period:  195.7
Total Miles Run in the TBT time period:  169.51 (86.6% of my goal)
Number of weeks I met my goal mileage:  4 (50%)

Average number of runs/week:  3.5   (Compared to 2.3 in previous 2014 review)
Average number of miles/week:  21.19  (Compared to 10.3)
Average length of a run:  6.02   (Compared to 4.36)
Shortest run: 1.05 miles (Compared to 1.49)
Longest run: 12.01 miles (Compared to 9)

Here is the pace of every run of the TBT time period

1.     6:59
2.     8:00
3.     7:07
4.     7:08
5.     7:24
6.     7:16
7.     7:21
8.     7:18
9.     7:30
10.    7:30
11.    7:24
12.    7:16
13.    7:27
14.    7:14
15.    7:49
16.    7:02
17.    7:14
18.    7:25
19.    7:34
20.    7:33
21.    7:11
22.    7:23
23.    7:08
24.    7:01
25.    7:24
26.    6:59
27.    7:20
28.    7:19

Garmin tells me that the average pace of all running done in my TBT period was 8.2 mph or 7:19 per mile.  Based on this, I am keeping my marathon goal pace for training at 7:30.

Final week of Training Before the Training Recap

Goal mileage for 12/21 - 12/27:  31.4 miles
Actual mileage for 12/21 - 12/27:  25.99 miles (82.8% of goal)

While my mileage is lower than the goal, I am still satisfied with last week's training given that it was a holiday week.  Christmas time for us is a zoo so the fact that I got a good mid-distance tempo run and a long run in is a miracle in itself.  We had very mild winter weather last week which always helps in the outdoor running department!

Wednesday 12/24: 8.23 miles, 57:32 (6:59 pace).  I felt really great during this run, as is reflected by my pace.  This now is the fastest 10K record holder in my Garmin log.

Friday 12/26: 5.75 miles, 42:08 (7:20 pace).  Nothing really stands out with this run.

Saturday 12/27: 12.01 miles, 1:27:46 (7:19 pace).  During this run, I started equating long runs with pregnancy.  (I know - wackadoo).  The first part I hate, the second part is glorious, the last "trimester" is a mix.  It takes me several miles to get into a groove where I don't want to quit.  But I wanted to get to 12 miles by the end of my training before the training session and I did it.  Here is my mile by mile breakdown:

Mile 1: 7:19
Mile 2: 7:29
Mile 3: 7:24
Mile 4: 7:24
Mile 5: 7:03
Mile 6: 7:24
Mile 7: 7:15
Mile 8: 7:13
Mile 9: 7:19
Mile 10: 7:16
Mile 11: 7:14
Mile 12: 7:21

That concludes my 8 week training before the training plan!  A recap of the last 8 weeks will be up next!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Marathon Training Plan Description

The marathon training plan that I am using starting Sunday (12/28) is the Marathon: Own It plan from Train Like a Mother.  Description of the plan is as follows:

"Best for: Another mother runner who has at least one marathon under her shoes, has done speedwork in the past, and has pinned on a race number (for a range of race distances) fairly consistently for the past 2 years.

Physical Prereq: You should be able to rip off a 10-mile run without it being too much of a hiccup in your life or on your legs.

Plan Overview: This is a fairly serious, intense plan that can get you a BQ or a significant PR, and with either, some heart-swelling satisfaction. Over the course of 18 weeks, you'll be running four to five times a week, doing three 20-mile runs, and generally turning into a sleek, fine-tuned running machine."


There are a few concerns I have -

1) "Four to five times a week":  My TBT time demonstrated that four runs/week is optimal for me with everything else going on.  The plan is set up for 5 days/week with one day/week being the "if the universe is suddenly conspiring against you getting your run done, skip it - and don't sweat it" run.  I'm not sure if it is good or bad that I am already planning on skipping those.

2) "Doing three 20-mile runs":  I have run 5 marathons, including Boston.  In the course of training for those, I never ran 20 miles more than one time.  20 miles is a.lot.

3) Week 1 long run is 12 miles.  IN WEEK 1!

I am fully aware that this plan may be more than I can hack at this stage.  My plan is to try it for a month and re-evaluate.  I may need to downgrade to the Marathon: Finish It plan from the same book:

"Best for: Injury-free runners with four-plus relatively clear months who are ready to check a 26.2 mile race off their bucket lists.

Physical Prereq: Before stepping up to this plan, mother runners should have logged at least 9-12 months of week-in, week-out running, along with some experience stepping up to a race starting line.  You should be able to run 8 miles comfortably and have no current shin splints, IT band issues, or other maladies.

Plan Overview: We're not gonna lie: Training for a marathon is a big deal, but this plan makes the path to it seem manageable.  Training to cover 26.2 miles requires commitment, especially for the weekly long runs.  On this [20 week] plan, you'll do seven runs that are 15 or more miles long."

With each training recap, I will review what the plan says and then what actually occurred, similar to my TBT recaps.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Training Before the Training Week 7 Recap

Goal mileage for 12/14 - 12/20: 28.5 miles
Actual mileage for 12/14 - 12/20: 23.59 (83% of goal)

Confession - the above total mileage is a slight fudge as I did my long run today (Sunday, 12/21) instead of 12/20.

Last week was a whirlwind.  I had a busy week at work in addition to one kid with an ear infection, another with a fever/sore throat/cough, a sick husband and by week's end, I too was sick. Add on a Christmas Pageant at church, a holiday party at daycare, the annual holiday book club get together and a performance of the Nutcracker.  Running was far from a priority, although it was a mild week weather-wise so the times that I did get out were great.

Tuesday 12/16:  1 hour power yoga and 6.01 miles, 42:52 (7:08 pace).  I ordered a pair of Saucony Triumphs and took them for their inaugural run.  They felt good, although my foot/ankle was nagging.  I used my knuckle lights too and really like them.  I still don't love running in the dark, but the lights definitely help.

Friday 12/19: 6.2 miles, 43:32 (7.01 pace).  This run holds the 10K fastest pace record on my Garmin!  Another run in my Triumphs. It took a few miles for my foot/ankle to get into the groove.

Sunday 12/21: 11.37 miles, 1:24:04 (7:24 pace).  I ran on the Bugline Trail for part of this so that was fun.  Unfortunately had some GI issues so had to make a pit stop in a DQ on the way back since the restrooms along the trail that I use are all locked for the winter.  GRRR!  It will be obvious which two miles I was doing the stop and bathroom check when looking at my paces below! I am still doing my long runs in my Asics.

Mile 1: 7:09
Mile 2: 7:23
Mile 3: 7:33
Mile 4: 7:21
Mile 5: 7:13
Mile 6: 7:20
Mile 7: 7:10
Mile 8: 7:43
Mile 9: 7:14
Mile 10: 7:54
Mile 11: 7:22
Mile 12: 7:20

So you can see that if I had run one more day, I likely would have made my goal mileage. I actually feel good about this week even if it didn't meet my goal.  (A good reflection on missing training for moments was written by an old high school classmate of mine here.)

This week we are celebrating Christmas!  Which means that I likely won't hit my mileage goal.  This week is also the last week of "Training Before the Training" since my marathon plan begins 12/28!

Goal mileage for 12/21 - 12:27: 31.4 miles

Monday, December 15, 2014

Training before the Training Week 6 Recap

Goal mileage for 12/7 - 12/13: 25.9 miles
Actual mileage for 12/7 - 12/13: 26.06 miles (101% of goal)

Yay! Goal mileage met.  However, it wasn't easy.  I felt very sluggish and off all last week.  I'm sure it didn't help that I was on a business trip for the first half of the week and not eating my usual food, sitting 11 hours a day in a conference room. Three of the four runs also took place in the morning and I am not a big morning run person.  I feel like I don't have enough gas in the tank for morning runs.

I took Sunday off because I flew out that afternoon and my legs felt tired from Saturday's long run.  I was in Atlanta Sunday night - Wednesday afternoon and thought I could easily get a run in all three days since I didn't have family responsibilities.  WRONG.

Monday 12/8:  4.58 miles, 34:39 (7:34 pace).  I felt like a slug.  This run took place at 5:30 AM EST, which is 4:30 to my central time zone dwelling body.  I was thinking that since I was going to the eastern time zone, that it wouldn't be as dark in the morning, but neglected to take geography into account.  Point being - it was way early, and pitch black the entire run.  Atlanta isn't known for having smooth sidewalks people!

Tuesday 12/9: 4.64 miles, 35:01 (7:33 pace).  Lawdy I was TIR-ED.  This time I tried running AFTER my meetings and still was battling lack of light.  I really wanted to run at Lullwater on the Emory campus but it was NOT well lit so as the minutes went by and it got darker and darker, I gave up and went back to the hotel, even though I had wanted to do 6 miles. My shoes (Mizunos) felt like they were rubbing my right ankle in a weird spot. Since I was still away, I didn't make it to my usual Tuesday Power Yoga class.

Wednesday 12/10: 0 miles - I set my alarm to get in a run before my meetings, but slept through it.  ZONKED.  The good news is I flew back home Wednesday afternoon.

Friday 12/12: 5.62 miles, 40:24 (7:11 pace).  I headed out in my Mizunos and it still felt like my shoe was rubbing my ankle weird so I turned around to switch to my Asics. Although my pace was good, I still felt tired. (I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record.) I'm starting to feel like I should give up on the Mizunos.  I have 58.01 miles on them and still am not the biggest fan.

Saturday 12/13: 11.22 miles, 1:22:55 (7:23 pace).  I am really proud of this run.  Whereas during last week Saturday's long run I felt great, this one was the complete opposite.  I had a bad attitude towards it before I even left my house.  I knew I had to get to 11 miles to meet the week's goal because every other run this week was shortchanged.  Even though it was only .75 miles more than last week's long run, 11 miles felt so LONG to me.  My thoughts were along the lines of "Why am I running a marathon again? I don't even like the marathon".  I ended up getting dressed and out the front door.  I did the first section of my planned route (~2.25 miles) and switched routes to running laps around the pond in our neighborhood so that I could bail early.  My legs felt so stiff and heavy.  I thought, "I just have to get to 6 miles.  I will quit at 6 miles".  And then 6 miles came and I thought, "I can do one more." and that was how it went until around 8.5 miles when a man walking his dog asked me "How far do you run in a day?" and I responded, "Today is my long day so I'm going 11 miles."  That was when I knew I would finish it.  Unfortunately my right ankle/foot area (same area that I have been having issues with) has been sore since.  Here is the mile by mile pace breakdown:

Mile 1: 7:26
Mile 2: 7:26
Mile 3: 7:31
Mile 4: 7:27
Mile 5: 7:21
Mile 6: 7:31
Mile 7: 7:24
Mile 8: 7:20
Mile 9: 7:18
Mile 10: 7:23
Mile 11: 7:16
Mile 12: 6.59

Last week's mileage put me over the 500 mile mark for the year!

Goal mileage for 12/14-12/20: 28.5 miles

Monday, December 8, 2014

Training Before the Training Week 5 Review

Goal mileage for 11/30 - 12/6: 25.9 miles
Actual mileage for 11/30 - 12/6: 27.65 miles (107% of goal)

Woohoo! I was happy to have a good week of training after last week's setback.  

Sunday 11/30: 5.66 miles, 40:42 (7:14 pace).  Unremarkable run. Felt decent, no back problems, stomach not too bothersome.

Tuesday 12/2: 1 hour Power Yoga and 1.05 miles, 8:11(7:49 pace). So yoga worked wonders on my back...lots of twisting helped tremendously. Unfortunately by the time I got outdoors for my run, it had been snowing and after I almost fell flat on my face from slippery footing, I yelled eff this and went back inside. I did use the knuckle lights for that mile and they worked great!

Thursday 12/4: 6.04 miles, 42:30 (7:02 pace). I ran at work again which really is optimal on so many levels for me. I saw two hawks on my run which pumped me up. I felt great during this run!

Friday 12/5: 4.61 miles, 33:21 (7:14 pace). This was a morning run squeezed in before my husband left for work. I really dislike morning runs except for when they are done. My legs felt tired. I did eat a caffeinated picky bar pre-run which worked well.

Saturday 12/6: 10.29 miles, 1:16:13 (7:25 pace). You read that right - double digits!! This is the current "longest run" record on my Garmin. I really enjoyed this run. I headed out thinking that I wanted to do 8 miles but 10 were needed to hit my goal, so anywhere in that range would have satisfied me. I did better with pacing...likely my legs were still tired from two days before this.  Here is my mile by mile breakdown:

Mile 1: 7:11
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:30
Mile 4: 7:43
Mile 5: 7:21
Mile 6: 7:22
Mile 7:  7:30
Mile 8: 7:22
Mile 9: 7:25
Mile 10: 7:15
Mile 11: 7:14

Goal for 12/7-12/13: 25.9 miles. I'll be in Atlanta for work for 3 days so hoping to get some runs in then!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Training before the Training Week 4 Review

Goal mileage for 11/23 - 11/29: 23.6 miles
Actual mileage for 11/23 - 11/29: 9.11 miles (38.6% of goal)

Well.  Last week, from what I remember, wasn't that hot.

My stomach wasn't quite right during last week's long run on Saturday.  The feeling continued on Sunday and Monday so I didn't run those days.  Tuesday morning I woke up with some nausea, which I thought would get better once I ate something.  (I felt like I was in the early stages of pregnancy - yes, that kind of nausea.)  Due to the holiday week, I did not have my usual power yoga class on Tuesday at noon so I brought running stuff to the office to get a run in during that time.

Tuesday (11/25):  5.11 miles, 37:04 (7:16 pace)  I didn't feel great during this run but not awful.  I was more concerned about my footing because I had run on some trails near my office that were slippery in spots.

I got back to my desk post-run, ate some lunch and boom.  I had to go home. STAT.

I spent the remainder of the afterrnoon and evening and the next day under a duvet, freezing with nausea and body aches.

I started to feel marginally better on Thursday morning (my husband went down Wednesday around midnight) and I got out of the shower, went to put on body lotion and WHAM.  My back was out. (More specifically my lower back, butt and hip area on my left side.)  This made trying to pick up my almost-one year old son who weighs close to 30 lbs slightly difficult!  Luckily my aunt is a massage therapist and we had Thanksgiving at her house on Friday so she worked on it a bit.  (Gluteus medius and QL muscles, specifically.)

Saturday 11/29: 4 miles, 29:51 (7:27 pace).  I pushed myself to do this because I was literally sick of being cooped up in the house.  I was crabby.  For the good of my family, I had to run.  My back did not bother me at all while running - phew, however I still wasn't feeling 100% in the stomach arena.  Unfortunately my back is still bothering me, particularly when I change positions (e.g. sitting to standing).

So there you have it.  Not the best week for much of anything, least of all running.

Goal mileage for 11/30 - 12/6: 25.9 miles.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Training before the Training Week 3 Recap

Goal mileage for 11/16 - 11/22: 21.4 miles
Actual mileage for 11/16 - 11/22: 22.52 miles

Another good week!

And now it's time for a breakdown (never gonna get it never gonna get that tune.)

Sunday 11/16: 5.14 mi, 37:11 minutes (7:14 pace).  First run in the snow!  It was a little slippery, but not too bad.  I was/am not mentally prepared for the fact that winter running has already started.

Tuesday 11/18: 1 hour Power Yoga and 5.01 mi, 37:21 minutes (7:30 pace) on the treadmill.  The dreadmill wasn't too bad because I listened to music, which I only do indoors.  Turns out I can run ok on a treadmill if I have Flo Rida blaring in my ear.

Friday 11/21: 5.33 mi, 40:00 minutes (7:30 pace).  I had wanted to get outside for this run but it was 5 degrees and very windy that morning so the dreadmill it was.  Thankfully last week's Serial podcast got me through.  I ordered a foam roller and started using it post-run.  My most painful spots are my quads and IT bands.

Saturday 11/22: 7.04 mi, 52:05 minutes (7:24 pace).  This was more of a struggle for me even though generally the weather was ok.  Again I was aiming for 7:30 pace

Mile 1: 7:24
Mile 2: 7:21
Mile 3: 7:28
Mile 4: 7:31
Mile 5: 7:25
Mile 6: 7:30
Mile 7: 7:08
Mile 8: 7:16
I definitely am jumpy when I start a long run, nervous even.  Thankfully after a few miles, I can settle in.  More foam rolling after this run!

Sunday, Tuesday and Friday runs were done in my Mizunos (new shoes) without any problems!  I still like wearing my cushy Asiscs for long runs.  

I was excited to get the Lauren Fleshman Believe training journal in the mail last night.  We had already finished all of the Picky Bars that were delievered weeks ago (both my husband and I loved them).  I am going to start using this Week 1 of marathon training, which starts Dec 28 (1 month away! Eek!). I like my Garmin and feel it makes the training log easy but I don't like having to manually enter the treadmill runs into the online interface and usually write them down on a slip of paper afterwards anyways.  Also, I have to check this site to even remember what my goal mileages are.  Call me old-fashioned, but I love paper and pencil.  (Yes, I do still use a paper calendar/planner!)  I also like that the book will be around should either of my kids get into running.  (Because I just said that, neither of them will!)

Goal mileage for 11/23 - 11/27: 23.6 miles  
Thanksgiving week!  Could be problematic or it could be easy to get runs in due to holiday time away from work!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Goal Marathon Pace

I started out this marathon training thing with a goal of qualifying for the 2016 Boston Marathon.  For my age group this means that I need to run better than a 3:40 marathon.  For all practical purposes let's say this means a 3:39 finish time which is 8:21 pace.

That still is my goal, but if I'm honest, I have had a few other loftier goals floating around in my head:

Lofty thought 1: Marathon PR
My current PR for the marathon is 3:30:20 (8:01 pace) ran in Chicago in 2006.  My goal for this race was to qualify for Boston which I did.

For all practical purposes, let's say a Marathon PR goal is 3:29 or 7:58 pace (even though I would take a 3:30:19!)

Lofty thought 2: Run a marathon at what I keep calling my default pace - 7:17

This would be a 3:10:57 marathon which is a huge PR jump.

Lofty thought 3: Run a marathon in what the Runner's World Race Predictor tool says based on my 5K time of 19:10.

This would be a 3:03:50 marathon at 7:01 pace.  I would probably shit myself if I pulled that off.

Obviously, this is a wide range of paces from 7:01 - 8:21.  I will likely narrow this down a few weeks into my actual training plan but has been fun to consider.

Until I firm up my plans, I think I will use 7:45 as my MP for my training runs and see how that goes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Training Before the Training Week 2

Goal mileage for 11/9 - 11/15: 19.5 miles
Actual mileage for 11/9 - 11/15:  20.47 miles

Cue happy face and green text!

The breakdown:

Sunday 11/9: 5.64 miles, 40:18 (7:08 pace).

Monday 11/10:   4.53 miles, 33:29 (7:24 pace). Ran laps around my neighborhood in the dark. Wasn't the greatest, but wasn't as awful as I anticipated.

Tuesday 11/11: 0 miles, 1 hour power yoga.

Wednesday 11/12: 4.03 miles, 29:15 (7:16 pace). More laps around my neighborhood in the dark, however it was SO COLD I broke out the fleece lined tights I bought from Athleta.  It is too early to be this cold!

Thursday 11/13: 0 miles, gluteus medius and hip flexor workouts from Runner's World.  I definitely got cocky with these as they seemed easy at the time.  The next day I was sore!

Friday 11/14: 0 miles.  The PLAN was to get a run in before the hubs left for work (the only time that was going to work that day for a run) but he had to go buy a carbon monoxide detector so no run for me. The best laid plans...I'm happy to report our home is carbon monoxide free.

Saturday 11/15: 6.27 miles, 46:05 (7:21 pace). More cold air and more fleece tights.  I am working on my LSD (long slow distance) run pace, even though I'm not sure exactly what that is yet. (Sidebar: I have been thinking a lot about pace lately.  Check back on Thursday morning to get my thoughts.)  I was trying to slow it down to 7:30 for this run but was not successful.  My mile splits:

Mile 1   7:23
Mile 2   7:18
              Mile 3   7:28 (close!)
Mile 4   7:18
Mile 5   7:19
Mile 6   7:21
Mile 7   7:20

Goal mileage for 11/16 - 11/22: 21.4 miles.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Running in the Dark

I have run in the dark twice this week.  It is not an optimal situation but necessary if I am going to train for a spring marathon given my schedule.

I have ran laps around my neighborhood and the adjacent neighborhood because:

1) The lighting in my neighborhood is good due to extensive use of exterior lighting by most of our neighbors.  The lighting in the adjacent neighborhood isn't as good, but it's doable.

2) The traffic is very minimal.

I wear reflective gear to be seen - armbands, vest and a small blinking light attached to a visor/hat - but I have been contemplating purchasing something that facilitates ME seeing.  I have landed on knuckle lights.

Has anyone used these and if so, give me your review in the comments!

I am always happy to hear tips for running in the dark too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Training before the Training Week 1

My goal is to provide a weekly update with the previous week's mileage summary every Monday or Tuesday.  That's the whole reason for starting the blog - social pressure to keep me honest, right?

Last week my family accompanied me to a conference and then we were on vacation for 4 days after that so I was way more tired than I usually am - and used my kids nap time to nap myself most days. The city we were visiting hosted a marathon Sunday morning which both inspired and scared me. 

Goal mileage for 11/2-11/8:  19.5 miles
Actual mileage for 11/2 - 11/8: 14.13 miles

Cue sad face and red text.

The breakdown:

Sunday : 4.3 miles, 30:02 (6:59 pace).  Outdoors, felt good.  This is a good example of my standard or default run in terms of mileage and pace.  I leave my house thinking hmm..what should I do today? And 9 times out of 10 think "how about 30 minutes".  I know that I can finish this workout and I'm really not pushing myself very much with it.

Tuesday: 0 miles, 1 hour of Power Yoga.  I have been doing an hour of Power Yoga on my nonexistant lunch hour every Tuesday for about 4 years.  My workplace offers it and it is an excellent class.  I have definitely noticed improvements in my running due to it.

Thursday: 4.02 miles, 32:00 (7:58 pace). Indoors on hotel treadmill, while listening to the latest Serial podcast...which THANK GOD I had that because it was all I could do to run during the entirety of that.  It was definitely one of those runs where I could feel every jiggle and the fact that I was running facing a mirror was not helping matters! Oh and sidebar...It may have not been the smartest to chow down a huge burger and drink a Moscow mule PRIOR to doing a workout (duh). My foot bothered me more than usual during this run and I wondered if it was due to the treadmill.  I had just read an article about how the biomechanics of running on a treadmill are different so my theory may be entirely because of that article.

Saturday:  5.81 miles, 41:24 (7:07 pace). Ran through my old college campus.  Most of me was exhilarated to be running on a "new" route and inspired by the nostalgia of it all.  A tiny part of me was hating how windy it was!  But my foot did not bother me at all so that was good news.

Week 1 Takeaways:
1. I realized that I have to be a little more proactive in scheduling my runs rather than the "we'll see what happens" approach I have been taking (which clearly wasn't really working for me if you read last week's post!).  

2. Additionally, an easy trick that I have incorporated this week is to stop viewing a regular run as 30 minutes/4 and some odd miles.  My new goal to build up mileage is to move my default run to 5 miles.

3. I need to ice my foot.  Period.

4.  I read 4 runners world magazines in the period of 4 days (back issues from 2013/2014 that have been decorating our coffee table for the last year) and have some new glute strengthening exercises I am going to try on my off days.

Goal for 11/9 - 11/15: 19.5 miles.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Running Review

I did not have any mileage goals with running at the beginning of 2014 other than to get out there and enjoy it. (I did have race related goals for the 5 races I did, as I have already detailed.)  I wanted to run 3 days a week.  I didn't want to overdo it and have my milk supply affected as I am nursing/pumping until my son is 1 year old.  That's it.

The plan that I am going to follow for marathon training starts Dec 28 and has 34.5 miles total for week 1. (More on that later.) So, naturally I was curious how far off that is from my current state of affairs.

Um...turns out PRETTY FAR.

I've never been great at keeping a running log but with a Garmin watch it is easy since it does it for you.  Upon reviewing the last 38 weeks of running and running reports on their website, it turns out I did not run nearly as much as I thought I did this year!

Here are the details:

I started running on Saturday February 15, ten weeks after the birth of my son.  Or rather, I started running with my Garmin at this point.  I honestly can't recall if I ran before that and if I did, I didn't record it.  So I'm going with that date.  It was 5 miles at 7:54 pace.  Not bad!  As it turns out, most of my mileage clusters on Fridays-Sundays.  This makes sense to me because I do not work outside of the home those days, so it is easiest to fit a run in those days.  Most of my "good" running weeks occur during the summer.  Again, this makes sense to me because those are the days with the most daylight - most of my weekly runs occur after 7 PM when my kids are in bed and weekend runs typically occur in the early afternoon when they nap.  I am definitely struggling to get runs in these days when it is dark at 4:45 PM!

So how many miles have I run in 2014 so far?  388.02

How many of the last 265 days have I run? 89 (34%)

How many days/week on average have I run in the weeks since February 9 (counting weeks starting on Sundays):  2.3  yikes.

How many miles/week, on average, have I run? 10.3

Let's categorize that:

weeks of 0 miles = 1
weeks of 1-5 miles total = 3
weeks of 6-10 miles total = 18
weeks of 11-15 miles total = 11
weeks of 16-20 miles total = 3
weeks of 20-25 miles total = 2

Average length of a run: 4.36 miles
Shortest run (other than not running) = 1.49 miles
Longest run = 9 miles

Total time spent running: 46 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds
Average Speed: 8.2 mph (7:19 pace)
Calories burned: 42,623 (makes me feel better about all of the Halloween candy I have inhaled

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  it looks like I have to start slowly ramping up my mileage and paying attention to this in the remaining 8 weeks before my plan begins.  Holy mother.  Why am I doing this again?!

I back calculated kind of sort of using the 10% rule and came up with these goals for the next 8 weeks:

This week: 19.5 miles
Week 2: 19.5 miles
Week 3: 21.4 miles
Week 4: 23.6 miles
Week 5: 25.9 miles
Week 6: 25.9 miles
Week 7: 28.5 miles
Week 8: 31.4 miles
Week 9/Week 1 of Plan: 34.5 miles

Some say the 10% rule isn't the greatest (according to this read) but that's what I am going with since I've used it before without problems.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I've had some pain in my right foot for a couple of weeks.  Soreness, dull ache, on again, off again. It become more "on again" than "off again" about two weeks ago so I made an appointment with sports medicine.  I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, despite my best Google and social media diagnosing efforts so I backed off running the past week.

My appointment was this morning.  I first met with a resident who thought I had posterior tibial tendon irritation after feeling around on my foot. (Yes, I did totally go to down with a foot file last night and slept with my feet lathered up in Olivu 425 Heel Stick.)

Dr. L came in and saw that I was reading The Goldfinch and we briefly discussed books.  So, in other words, I immediately liked her.

She looked at my foot, watched me walk, watched me stand on one foot, yadda yadda and proclaimed I had a neutral foot with high arches.  A "beautiful dancer's foot" (She takes care of the MKE Ballet). She agreed with the resident - posterior tibial irritation, a common injury.

The good news - no tear and I can keep running.  I have to make some rolling ice bottles and ice it with pressure a few times a day and take ibuprofen.  If it does not improve in 2-3 weeks, call back and she will get me into PT.

She also thought I should keep up with a more supportive, well cushioned shoe due to my arches.  I have recently started using a new shoe, rotating two pairs.  The pair I have been running in since April/May is Asics Gel Nimbus 16.  I was fitted for these by a local running store with gait analysis, yadda yadda.  I have liked running in them except for the fact that they are much heavier than what I am used to.  I recently bought Mizuno Wave Rider 17s off Zulily.  While I have liked the lightness of them (they are 1.6 oz lighter than Nimbus) , they definitely are not as cushy as the Nimbus so now of course I'm wondering if it was the shoes?

I never was picky about running shoes, boasting that I could run in anything.  Perhaps in my old age, this is no longer the case.  I asked Dr. L about those shoe inserts that running stores are all over and she said that the success of them varies by person.  Some people do well with them, others not so much.  (Any reviews?)

Off to Google...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Race Report: Kiwanis Halloween Run 4 "K"

Yesterday I ran another 5K.  While the greater MKE area is fantastic for running, there are not that many races that actually occur in our suburb so I try to do those that do happen just so there are more of them.

It was a beautiful day for a run, although I think they would have had a better turn out if they held the event on a Saturday, versus Sunday, morning. It was a very small event!

The location was right down the street from our church.  I had messed up the time, but my original plan was to go to church, change and run the race but I had the start time wrong so I ended up dropping the fam off at church and having 45 minutes to sit.  I ended up knitting in my car for that time, which felt kind of weird!

The gun went off and a younger guy wearing a college track and field shirt took off.  Behind him was a pack that included two 50+ men, a young girl in a batman costume, and me.  Eventually I pulled ahead of that group and ran the whole race by myself, finishing 2nd.  College guy ran 16 something minutes.

While approaching the finish line, I could see the clock...18:47, 18:48.. but alas, I finished in 19:10.  It is the first time ever that my Garmin time matched the official time, so I'm getting better at using that thing!

19:10 is still a 5K PR for me so I'll take it.  The 50+ year old guy that came in 4th had an awkward conversation with me after.  Gotta love guys who can't stand getting beaten by a woman, ha ha ha.  

Overall it was a nice event - the course was on a nature preserve/park that we have here in town so it was pretty and very well organized.  I will look for it again next year!

I don't have any other races planned.  My right foot has been bothering me so getting that checked out tomorrow and will see what the running forecast is after that.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The 5K: "Freaking Awesome" or Freaking Easy?

I'll be honest.  I never thought very highly of the 5K.  I have only done a handful of them and not very seriously.  I never kept track of my times in previous races, however, by using I found some old races and my previous PR for the 5K was 20:38 from a race I did in 2006, the same year I was training for the Chicago Marathon in an attempt to qualify for Boston.  That was before I had a different last name and 2 kids.

Fast forward to this year. 2014.  I am loving the 5K, even though my approach to it is haphazard at best!

My second child arrived on 12/6/2013.  I really wanted to get back into running as soon as possible after his arrival.  Luckily my best friend encouraged me to do a 5K with her at the beginning of June. My time was 21:16 and I finished thinking that I could have run faster.

The next 5K I did was 9 weeks later.  My goal was to run sub 21 minutes.  I crossed the finish line at 20:00:28.  Woot!  New PR for me!

In September, I ran an 8K in 32:12.9.

The third 5K I did was a "fun run" this past Saturday, although it was still timed.  I did not set a goal because my back was bothering me and I had taken a few days off from running.  However, once I started going, I felt good and stayed with the lead pack.  My time at the finish was 19:23, but my Garmin recorded 19:31.  Either way, I am pleased.  I was tired at the finish, but knew I held back.  I want to really try to go all out and see how fast I could do the 5K.

So, logically I signed up for a 4th 5K (or 3rd "real" 5K) this Sunday. My goal is to run under 19 minutes, which I think is doable if I can embrace the fact that I will have to REALLY get out of my comfort zone.

Here are 10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome by one of my running idols, and fellow #motherrunner, Lauren Fleshman.  For me, the thing that I have come to really like about 5K is the competition aspect (#4 in her list).  I started running by running competitively on my high school cross country and track teams way back when.  Sure it is "easy" to run a 5K to finish it, but to race it? Therein lies the challenge and the fun. After I get this BQ business out of the way, I think it would be fun to specifically train for the 5K and really have it at.

Road to Boston 2016

The last marathon I ran was Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee, WI on October 5, 2008.  I didn't train too intensely for it, and started out way too fast.  (This was my 5th marathon so no excuse for starting out too fast.) My half marathon split was 1:38:19, not too far off of my half-marathon race PR. Shortly after the half, I saw my mom, cheering for me and I told her, "I am never doing this again." Somewhere along the last 10K, I saw my best friend, and I stopped gave her a hug and started crying.

UGH.  My finish time wasn't terrible (3:40:35) but it was not an enjoyable event.

I didn't have the itch to return to the marathon for six years.  

Then earlier this year, something changed.  I was watching coverage of Boston when I could sneak updates during my workday and I thought, "I wish I was running this!" 

The seed was planted.  There was no going back.

The more I thought about it, the more obsessed I became.  

I knew I needed to do a few things to keep me motivated.  The earliest I could do Boston was 2016, having not run a marathon this year to qualify for the 2015 race.  I will be 35 years old at the time of the 2016 Boston marathon, which according to the qualifying standards, I need to run 3:40:00 or less. I would prefer to run a fall marathon to qualify, but did not want to put all of my eggs in one basket. I decided the best thing to do was to register for a spring 2015 race, that way if I missed qualifying, I could have another chance with a fall 2015 race.

So, #1, I had to find a spring 2015 race.

I wanted something close to home and cheap.  I decided on the Wisconsin Marathon, located in Kenosha, WI, about an hour away from home.  Race day is May 2, 2015.  I registered the day it opened.

I also knew that I needed some peer pressure.  The more people I told about my goal, the more people to hold me accountable.  I have a fairly high internal locus of control motivating me, but I knew that it would be even more motivating to have others hold me accountable. 

So, #2, I started this blog to document my training.

194 days until race day!