Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Running Year in Review

It is the last day of 2015!

2015 was a great running year for me.  I ran 1,042.59 miles, which is almost double what I ran last year (566.59 miles).  (To be fair, I didn't have a newborn, nor was I nursing a child this year!)

My goals for 2015 were to:

1.  Qualify for the Boston Marathon:
This was the focus of the first 4 months of 2015 and I did it!  I ran the Wisconsin Marathon in 3:25:50 on May 2.  I received confirmation of my acceptance into Boston 7 weeks ago and our hotel and one leg of our trip are booked!

2.  Incorporate more core work:
This is a poorly worded goal and maybe that is why I didn't really nail this one.  Certainly I had periods of time where I was doing great with my core work, but nothing consistent.

3.  Break 19:00 in the 5K:
Alas.  I was 20 seconds from this.  I gave up on this after my 4th try in September.  Will this reappear on my 2016 list? You bet.

Other Fun Facts
A.  I ran 8 races in 2015.

1.  Wisconsin Marathon 3:25:50 (May)
11th female, 4th age group (AG), 63rd overall

2.  Run Tosa Run 5K 19:41 (May)
1st place female, 7th overall

3.  Silver Linings 5K 19:51 (May)
2nd place female, 2nd place AG, 18th overall

4. Walleye Run 2 mile 12:13 (June)
2nd place female, 2nd place AG, 12th overall

5. Not Just A Walk in the Park 5K 19:52 (August)
1st place female, 13th overall

6. TosaFest 5K 19:20 (September)
 4th place female, 2nd place AG, 27th overall

7.  Briggs and Als Run 8K 32:17 (September)
9th female, 2nd place AG,  87th overall

8. Harvest Fest Half Marathon 1:33:23 (September)
1st female, 4th overall

(Thank goodness for Athlinks!)

B.  I also joined Oiselle Volee this year, which has been a fun opportunity.  Word is they are opening up the program in 2016 again!  (Sign up for their email list on their website if you are interested.)

C.  I was accepted as a Nuun Ambassador for 2016!

D.  I ran 17 miles on a treadmill on Valentine's Day.  Seriously.  I don't know that I will ever forget this!

E.  I started a running streak on Thanksgiving that to date has lasted 36 days! (#RWRUNSTREAK)

F.  I used 5 pairs of shoes.  To be fair only 2 of these are no longer in my rotation.

Thanks for reading!  I am looking forward to 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #2 of HMR....RWRunStreak CONTINUES!

The second week of my HMR plan was a beast...and I survived.  I started the week with a cold AND it was a holiday week so when I saw three tough workouts on the plan, I felt my anxiety ramp up big time.

Tough workout 1 was 1.6 mi warm up, 6 x 800 @ 3:15 pace followed by 1.6 mi cool down.  It was 5 AM and drizzly when I did this workout and each 800 (0.5 miles, really) began and ended with some phlegm spitting and snot rockets.   I was tempted to skip the cool down, but some small part of me continued on.

Tough workout 2 was 2 mi warm up, 3.5 miles tempo (~7:00 pace) and 800 m cool down.  This was a turning point in the week and felt great.  My average tempo pace was 6:50 despite have some W-I-N-D-Y conditions!  I did this the morning of Christmas eve and in my new Oiselle Juno tights (Christmas gift to myself!).

Probably the hardest workout of last week was 4 miles easy.  I SLOGGED through this.  My legs were so tired!

Tough workout 3 was 12 miles, the day after Christmas.  Long runs always freak me out.  Luckily I was on a tight timeline because we had a Christmas celebration to get through so I could not procrastinate as I tend to.  I even forced myself to do an out and back course.  I also get very anxious about out and back courses because I think that I am not going to be able to get back - it is all very mental for me!  I did not have a new Serial to listen to so I put the new Adele album (Christmas gift from Nate's cousin) on my iPod and took off.  That got me through the first hour (that and lemonade Nuun) and it was smooth sailing the way home...until it started raining.  Avg pace was 7:32 for this.  I also had to do 6 stride outs after this workout and I felt like I was running REALLY fast during the stride outs.  My neighbors, who already think I'm crazy,  probably thought I was REAL crazy watching those.

As I was wrapping up my log of the week, I felt joy looking back on it.  It was a lot of suffering in the dark and cold and it made me a stronger runner.  Great post on the value of suffering by Kristin Armstrong here.)

Total Miles Last Week: 31.4  (Plan Goal: 28.25 miles)

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on my "off days".  I have now run 33 days in a row!

Monday, December 21, 2015

HMR week 1 and the #RWRunStreak Continues!

My first week of the HMR plan went well, although I have a cold - consistently mostly of a hacking cough.  My daughter has the same cough and is up all night coughing, which interferes with everyone's sleep.  AHHHHH!

Regardless, I logged 29.2 miles last week AND continued the #RWRunStreak!

I had a tempo run of 2 mi warm up, 3 miles at 6:55-7:15 pace followed by 1 mi cooldown.  I ended up doing my tempo a bit faster (6:50) despite strict instructions to NOT do that.  Oops! Sorry, coach.

My long run was to be an easy 11 miles.  I was planning on doing it Saturday afternoon.  After a warmer than usual December in Wisconsin, it ended up being 15 degrees or some crazy cold day on Saturday.  That and the fact that I wasn't feeling the greatest, made me decide to push off the long run to Sunday.  It ended up being a good decision - it was 40+ degrees on Sunday!

The long run was not easy though.  I ended up eating chili for lunch which was a bad decision.  Of course all restrooms are closed for the winter along my usual route so I ended up ducking into a Dairy Queen (has happened before ....THIS SAME WEEK LAST YEAR!).  I made it through 11.43 miles because my foggy brain couldn't do math accurately.  My pace was 7:50 average, which typically is a bit slow for me but felt hard.

My two maintenance workouts were 4 miles each.

At this timepoint, I was much faster last year compared to this year.  I'm not exactly sure why.

Total Miles Last Week: 29.2  (Plan Goal: 25 miles)

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.

As I am writing this, I have completed 25 days of consecutive running.

Last week I also found out that I was accepted as a Nuun ambassador for 2016! I really like Nuun products, which is why I applied for their program.  Fun times!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The final week of the BAA Plan and the #RWRUNSTREAK is still going!

The BAA Plan Week 4 has come to a close and once again I finished all four prescribed workouts, and did a better job of trying to run within the target paces.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 4 x 1/2 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 2 minutes of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1 mi warm up @ 7:26
8 x 1/4 mi (6:51, 6:42, 6:42, 6:41 pace each, recovery jogs at 7:45-8:30 pace each)
1.2 mi cool down @ 7:37

Workout 2: 4-5 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4 mi @ 8:05

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

4.5 mi @ 7:35

Workout 4: Long Run: 10-11 mi easy (8:15-8:50)

9.3 mi @ 7:37 (*This was all over the place as I overdressed and stopped to remove a layer and forgot to start my watch again for almost a mile so time is inaccurate!)

Total Miles Last Week: 26.2

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.

As I am writing this, I have completed 19 days of consecutive running...and I still don't like it, but I have surpassed the halfway mark!  I have been really lucky that we have experienced a VERY mild Wisconsin winter thus far.

In bigger news, I got the first few weeks of my custom marathon training plan from High Miles Running last night!  I will start this plan tonight (Tuesday) and so am done with my BAA Training Plan which served me well the past 4 weeks.

AND our flight to Boston is BOOKED!  We arrive late afternoon Thursday April 14!  We haven't gotten our return flight yet because they are still pretty expensive, but hoping to come home Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BAA Plan Week 3 and continuing #RWRunStreak

The BAA Plan Week 3 has come to a close and once again I finished all four prescribed workouts, and did a better job of trying to run within the target paces.  I was on the low end of the mileage ranges because it was A WEEK.  My daughter had surgery to fix an umbilical hernia (everything went great!), my son turned 2 and we had a birthday party for him, presentation to CEO at work, book club meeting, volunteer event, there was a Santa breakfast at my daughter's school, and the usual appointments/schedule that already make for a busy week.  I truly was squeezing running in whenever possible!  On top of that, I did not get a ton of sleep because I was anxious about the surgery.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 8 x 1/4 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 60 seconds of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1 mi warm up @ 8:07
8 x 1/4 mi (6:36-6:53 pace each, recovery jogs at 8:00-9:00 pace each)
1 mi cool down @ 7:46

Workout 2: 4-5 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4.1 mi @ 7:55

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

4.1 mi @ 7:24

Workout 4: Long Run: 8-10 mi aerobic (7:50-8:10)

8 mi @ 7:28

I continued the #RWRunStreak challenge by running 1.1 miles on the other 3 days of last week.  1.1 miles is the distance of one entire loop of my neighborhood.

As I am writing this, I have completed 12 days of consecutive running...and I don't like it.  It seems silly that I am stressing out to get out to run a mile just to say I ran that day and not break the streak.  It feels like I am running to do the streak, rather than really enjoying it.  I think it is also contributing to me feeling "meh" about gearing up for another marathon.  My book club unfortunately got an ear full of negativity and as I listed to myself whining to them, I was thinking, "Boy, I do not sound like someone who is in love with running right now."

On the positive side, the BAA plan has helped me log 3 great running weeks in a row (24.6 miles, 24.2 miles, 24.4 miles).

In bigger news, I had a great running conversation with a friend and running coach last night which made me excited about training.  He is serving up a running plan in the next couple of weeks and then I will officially stop this BAA plan and use his. His philosophy about running really resonated with me.  I was slightly nervous to talk to him because I REALLY do not want to be running more than 4 days a week...and let's be honest, with working full time outside the house and wanting to see my kids, I can't really commit to more than 4 days.  To my surprise and relief, he was down with it.  PHEW!  I am a little afraid of his "two big workouts" though after he promised that they would be hard.

Now I am off to try to find a half marathon in the next month or two!

Monday, November 30, 2015

BAA Plan Week 2 & #RWRunStreak

The BAA Plan Week 2 has come to a close and once again I finished all four prescribed workouts, albeit still too fast for my target paces.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 8 x 1/4 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 90 seconds of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1 mi warm up @ 7:48
8 x 1/4 mi (5:58-6:40 each, recovery jogs at 7:30-8:20 each)
1.3 mi cool down @ 7:38

Workout 2: 3-4 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4 mi @ 7:31

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

5 mi @ 7:00

Workout 4: Long Run: 7-9 mi easy (8:15 - 8:50)

10 mi @ 7:46

Thanksgiving day also started the #RWRunStreak challenge.  RW stands for Runner's World (magazine) and the challenge is to run at least one mile from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  37 days of consecutive running.

This will be a challenge for me because I already feel that 4 days of running per week is a challenge to fit in so my plan is to do the BAA plan workouts on 4 of the days and run 1 mile the other 3 days of the week.  This will make it more doable for me mentally and physically.  Wish me luck!

Friday, November 27, 2015

BAA Plan Week 1

In order to increase the consistency of my running, one of the tactics I am trying is following a plan.  The Boston Athletic Association has a number of training plans for the marathon.  I picked the level one plan as it is built around 4 days of running/week, an optimal amount for me.  Week 1 kicked off 11/16 and I am proud to say that I nailed all four of the workouts.

One thing I really like about this plan is that it features fairly specific paces for each workout based on what your goal marathon finish time is.  I picked a marathon finish goal time of 3:15.  Yes that's pretty fast - and would be a big PR for me, but it is my "conditions are ideal, training was ideal" goal.  Based on that, here are my goal pace times:

Easy Run: 8:15 - 8:50
Aerobic Runs: 7:50-8:10
Marathon Pace Runs/Intervals; 7:25-7:35
Half Marathon Pace Runs/Intervals: 7:00-7:15
10K Pace Intervals: 6:40 - 6:55
5K Pace Intervals: 6:20-6:30

On that note, the paces seem so SLOW.  I'm sure I won't be saying that once the workouts ramp up, but the most difficult piece of week 1 was running much slower than I am used to, even for "fast" workouts.

Workout 1:  1-2 mi warm up, 8 x 1/4 mi at half marathon pace (7:00-7:15) with 90 seconds of jogging in between, 1-2 mi cool down

1.43 mi warm up @ 7:42
8 x 1/4 mi (6:12-6:29 each, recovery jogs at 7:50-8:05 each)
1.44 mi cool down @ 7:52

Workout 2: 3-4 mi easy run (8:15 - 8:50)

4 mi @ 7:49

Workout 3: 4-5 mi aerobic run (7:50-8:10)

5 mi @ 7:12

Workout 4: Long Run: 7-9 mi easy (8:15 - 8:50)

10 mi @ 7:44

Monday, November 16, 2015


I haven't blogged much and as my last post indicated, my running has been a little all over the place.

1. I was/am trying hard to become a "morning runner".  Unfortunately, I seem to forgot that becoming a morning runner requires me to be a nighttime sleeper.  What does it mean to be a nighttime sleeper? First, I would have to go to bed earlier.  Most nights I am trying to get to bed between 9:30 and 10:00.  Even if I wasn't trying to get up by 5 to run, I am still really tired when my non-morning-run alarm goes off at 5:30.  SO.  I should be trying to go to bed earlier.  Given that the end of the day is the only time I have for myself, I have a hard time giving it up.

Second, I haven't really slept through the night in a while.  Sometimes it is one of my children that is waking me up.  Sometimes it is the mouse that lives in our attic, evading the trap we have sent.  Sometimes I have to pee.  Regardless of what wakes me up, I have tremendous difficulty getting back to sleep because my thoughts start wandering.  If I manage to fall back asleep, the alarm at 5:30 often gets snoozed until 6:15.  And then boy am I really late. 

Third, running in the morning just doesn't FEEL the same as running at the end of the day.  Yes, it's nice to be done and have the full evening free.  But at the end of the day, when my body is tense as all hell, the run helps loosen that up.  And running in the morning isn't really preventing that from occurring in the first place.  Maybe I haven't given it enough data points to really make a sound judgment on that one, though.

I'm still going to attempt getting a morning run in.

2. I was in no man's land.  I don't have a training plan for right now and my next race isn't until January.  I have found that I do well when I have a plan to follow.  SO, i remedied that in a two pronged approach.  1) The training plans created for the Boston marathon start today! 2) I have asked a friend's coach husband for help with my marathon training plan, which likely will start post-Christmas.  My weeks from now until 4/18 will be more regimented!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Short and Sweet, Trick or Treat

It's October 30 already?

Where the hell did this month go?

Running has been absymal lately in terms of it hasn't been happening.

The End.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Getting PUMPED for the marathon

Deena Kastor broke the US Masters Marathon record today at the Chicago Marathon! Woot woot!

Having access to Oiselle team pages on Facebook and thus having marathon posts throughout my Facebook feed has really gotten me pumped to run another marathon...on an emotional level.  If I start to think about all those training workouts and miles I start to get less excited, I'll admit :)

This is very evident in my training log for the last week:  26.1 miles.  Holy Schnikey!  (Here is the part where I clue you into the fact that this is a lot for me.)  I EVEN GOT MY BUTT OUT OF BED ON TWO mornings to get workouts in before work!  I am going to make an effort to do this at least two days during the work week.  It does make me really tired (more so than if I ran at night), but it is nice not to feel rushed at night thinking "Hurry up - get kids to bed".   And while it is dark now in the mornings, it is dark at night when I run too - at least the mornings will lighten up with daylight savings time.

If I run before work, I have a short run - 30 minutes and some change.  I get up at 5, throw clothes on, get the run in and dive into the morning routine to get out the door by 6:45 so I can be to work by 7.  It's somewhat of a challenge but doable.  Once I have to stretch those runs out longer, I don't know if I can get up any earlier than 5.

I finished a yoga for runners seminar at our local yoga studio.  It was Ah-Maze-ING.  I am really sad that the instructor doesn't do regular classes.  She gave us some handouts to do a routine at home - but we all know how yoga at my house goes (pssst.  It doesn't).

Marathon training starts 12/28/15.  I don't have a plan selected yet...thinking about hiring out for that.  I may just use the same plan I used for the Wisconsin Marathon last May too.  I have 78 days to decide.

In the next 78 days...I have nothing.  I have not signed up for any races before 4/18/16.  I still am hoping to find a good 5K to give the sub 19 one more try.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

That time I won a half-marathon!


MY NEW HALF-MARATHON PR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know.  What the hell?!  All of that speedwork must be improving my long distance game, is all I can say.
(Part of me is like, if I can shave 2 minutes off my half marathon PR, can I please shave 20 seconds off the 5k?!? #ungrateful)

Backing up a bit, my Oiselle racing singlet arrived on Tuesday last week.  It was, as expected, too large (because I ordered a size large instead of a medium...dumb). The length was great, the width was not (#LongTorsoProblems).  I was going to attempt to take it in but I was nervous I would screw it up.  So on Thursday night, I decided to try running a few miles with it and see how it felt.  It was fine.  I mean, a little baggier than I would like, but I felt it would be fine to wear on Saturday.  (My mom has since given me some advice so I can still take it in.)

We left for Sheboygan Friday afternoon and got checked into our hotel room.  The kids were excited because the hotel had a water park in it AND my best friend was coming with her family too.  (She was running the 10K).  We went out to eat as a big group on Friday night and tucked into bed.

Unfortunately my 22 month old son kept up his new routine of waking up in the middle of the night, screaming MAMA!!!!!!!  The hubs and I aren't exactly firing on a full night's sleep lately.  And double suck that it's in a hotel room - so you really HAVE to get out of bed and get him to be quiet, for the neighbor's sake!  The hotel beds were not exactly comfortable so while I would like to say I went into it well rested, it was not the case.  On a postive note, I took advantage of the wake time to get more hydration in!

Race time was 8 AM.  We were up at 6:30 going to get breakfast.  Of course, I should have thought about breakfast, but I didn't so we were stuck eating gross expensive cereal from the hotel coffee shop.  I dug in my bag and came upon a Larabar so it wasn't all bad.

Finally, we were off to walk to the start.  I was going to try to start out with 7:30 miles and see how it went.  The gun went off, I started my watch, and we were off.

The race I did was not a large race - 179 half marathon entrants.  My friend was trying to get me to win it based on last year's times and I was laughing because while the winning times of previous year's races weren't out of reach, I felt they were based on my training level.  However, heading into a huge hill at mile 1, I was in 4th place (ladies).  Mile 1 was 7:00 on the dot.  I felt really good but also worried that if I kept this up, i would be dying at the end so I tried slowing down.  Mile 2 was 6:56.   Somewhere before Mile 3, I found myself in 2nd place.  I was going to try to keep the first place woman in my sights and see what happened.

The course was an out and back course.  As we got to the turnaround point, I was still in 2nd and the gap between the first place woman and I was about the same.  I still felt good and my miles were in low 7s (Mile 3 7:02, Mile 4 6:53, Mile 5 7:11, Mile 6 7:05.

After turning around, we of course were meeting all the runners and I was totally pumped up by all the people, women especially, who were cheering for me.  [The course was very quiet, but pretty, well marked and with ample water stations (every mile to 1.5 miles).]  I closed the gap and was running with first place by Mile 7: 7:06.   I felt good, but didn't want to pull ahead too early and lose it.  However, I am not used to running with people either so that was driving me crazy.  I decided to gamble and pull ahead.  Mile 8: 7:02.  I encouraged the woman to stay with me and wasn't sure if she did.

Now I was in no man's land.  Not really sure where she was behind me, and not wanting to turn around to check.  There was no one in sight ahead of me either.  Clearly it shows in my next miles:  Mile 9 7:11, Mile 10: 7:18, Mile 11 7:19.  I took a Gu near the 10 mile mark, anticipating the water stop.  Salted caramel goodness....Yum!

By Mile 11, I was like "I am going to win this thing no matter what."  I tried to hang on and got to Mile 12 in 7:14.  My legs were hurting but I also didn't want to lose!  I still had no idea if she was right behind me or what.  I had caught up to 2 guys and passed one of them.  As I rounded the corner to the finish, I was a few steps behind the other guy and I saw my best friend and my daughter and my BF yelled, "C'mon Ames - you can get that guy".  So I dug in and passed him  My last mile was 6:55.  Finished in 1:33:23.  4th place overall and 1st place woman and a new half marathon PR.  I WAS PUMPED! (2nd place woman finished in 1:36:27).

The great September racing calendar has come to an end.  3 races in a month.  It was a lot - my family is definitely tired of races.  "Why do we always have to go watch mom run?" was heard out of my 5 year old's mouth over the weekend.

Yet...I still think a 5K under 19 is achievable this year.  I'm considering another small one on 10/11.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Next up: Half Marathon

September has been CRAY CRAY.  It always is.  This is not a shock.

I am running a half marathon on Saturday.  What the hell was I thinking?  I have not exactly trained to run this thing, which makes me even more curious about how it will go.

I ran 10.28 miles on September 5.  I felt good during it.  My avg pace throughout was 7:25, so I am going to shoot for finishing in less than that which would be around 1:37.  This may be a bit ambitious.  I typed in my race prediction time from my recent 8K time and it was 1:29:45.  With my recent 5K time, it was 1:28:07.  That of course presumes one trains for the actual 13.1 mile distance!

The only other distance work was a 27 mile bike ride that my husband and I did on September 13, but that was not exactly pushing the pace.  Still, my legs were sore the next day!

I really like the half marathon and have said that I would love to train specifically for one and try to see how fast I could do it.  Unfortunately, most of my half marathon experience is more haphazard than that.  My half PR is 1:35:22, just shy of 7:17 pace.

I have commented before that I have felt like a slug lately, particularly while racing.  I definitely need to get back to a more consistent training plan (this summer has been ALL over the place) and incorporate some strength work.  Fall goals....before Boston Marathon training starts after the holidays!!! (I received my official acceptance email last Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

What I am REALLY hoping is that my Oiselle singlet gets here before Saturday's race! It shipped last week!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

8K Recap: Briggs & Al's Run!

Today was the 8K Briggs and Als Run for Children's Hospital.  I ran this event several times back in college, on a team sponsored by an old cross-country friend's dad.   Then there were several years that I didn't run it until last year.  My goal this year was to place in the top 100, as I missed it by 5 people last year.  I think it would have been great to beat last year's time too.

All in all it was an ok race.  I ran a 32:17.7 which is 5 seconds slower than last year (32:12.9), however, I placed 87th overall so that was great.  I was 10th woman overall, and still second in my age group.  (In fact, the woman who won it overall is the same woman who won the 5K I ran last Saturday!)

I started having a sore throat yesterday and the post nasal drip woke me up at 4AM.   I had a grande sized coffee from Starbucks and a few sips of water before the race.  I was standing near the start thinking about how dry my mouth was.  NOT the most brilliant pre-race plan.  We were running into the wind when about 0.5 miles in, my favorite blue running hat flew off my head.  I kept going but heard "Did someone lose a hat?"  I turned around and saw a guy holding my hat! I freaked out and said, "I did!!" and he sprinted up to give it to me.  Not sure how much that little snafu cost me, but at least I had my hat back!

I sucked water at each of the 3 water stations, but have felt thirsty ALL day.  (The post-race cheeseburger probably didn't help matters!).

My Garmin had the race at 5.06 miles, with a 6:24 avg pace/mile.  I was sort of all over the place with mile splits though:

Mile 1: 6:03
Mile 2: 6:34
Mile 3: 6:20
Mile 4: 6:40
Mile 5: 6.24

Interestingly, if you look at my Garmin data from last year, my pace was actually 3 seconds/mile faster this year.  Last year's mile splits were:

Mile 1: 6:22
Mile 2: 6:44
Mile 3: 6:24
Mile 4: 6:29
Mile 5: 6:16

Mile 4 sorta sucked this year :)

My favorite moment of the race was actually when it was over and I was standing my the finish looking for family members and friends who also ran and I saw a little boy, maybe 3 years old, get out of his wheelchair cart that the Angels were pushing for him and toddle through the finish.  My eyes filled with tears.  The slogan of this year's race was "for the kids" and that is the image I will take with me from this race.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Closer, but not Quite Sub-19


That was my 5K time on Saturday at Tosafest.  Womp. Womp.  It is my best 5K this year, but it still starts with "19".

I don't usually warm up, but have found while training that I could benefit from warming up.  Getting older, I guess.  I warmed up a bit before the race on Saturday and felt ok.  The gun went off and we were off.

I was the lead female for the better part of the first mile, which led me with the suspicion that I went out too fast.  My first mile was 5:59 so where I wanted to be, but it felt like a 5:00 to my legs.  The second mile was 6:27.  The third mile I just kept trying to stay in it but it was difficult.  I ended up with a 6:06 third mile.

I remember looking down at my watch as we got on the track for the last bit and it was in the high 18s.  I wanted to finish strong.  I was on the heels of an older gentleman and I knew my positioning was annoying to him, but I just could not make myself run faster.  "You can go around me" I heard him say; to which I replied, "No. I can't" and he said "YES YOU CAN" so I went around him and he yell cheered at me through the finish.   Later on, I saw him at the awards ceremony and he said "You had some real grit out there."  So that was a highlight of the race.

When I finished, an older man approached me with a camera indicating he needed me for a photo.  He brought me over to the first two women finishers and it became apparent that he thought I had finished 3rd.  I had finished 4th.  I indicated that I hadn't finished third and then went to find the real third place finisher and I don't know if the man felt bad for me or what, but he made me be in the picture.  The 2nd place woman asked if the 3rd place woman and I had tied...a subtle way to ask, "Why the hell are you in this photo".  It was really embarrasing.

This would have been a great race to go under 19 as there were some fast women there.  The winning woman was 31 years old and 18:29.  Second place woman was 41 with a time of 18:52.  Third place woman was 37 years old and 19:14.  So yay for 30+ year olds rocking it :)  I ended up with an age group medal.

Also, this course is billed as flat and fast..."a great course for a PR".  The course was more difficult than I was anticipating because of that - there were more inclines than I was anticipating.

Now I am in the conundrum of trying to find another 5K to do to again try to go under 19.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Updates

Happy first day of September!

I have some updates!

First, last week, I broke my yoga hiatus and went to a studio near my house and tried their yogalates class - a blend of yoga + pilates.  It was a good class, but not as great as my former lunch classes were.  I am going to try it again this week and then starting next week, I signed up for a weekly "yoga for runners" class at the same studio that lasts through September.

I also bought a Groupon for 3 barre workouts.  My SIL did barre before her wedding and I keep seeing Instagrams about it so I thought, why not?!

Finally, I have been biking some with my family...the hubs and I signed up for a 25 mile bike ride + foodie event to celebrate our upcoming 8th wedding anniversary!

September is also a big month for me running wise.  I have signed up for THREE races:

9/12: 5K
Hoping to break 19 (please dear God) on this self-proclaimed "fast course"

9/19: 8K
Annual Al's Run! If you are so inclined to donate to this Children's Hospital of WI fundraiser, you can donate via my page here.  (THANK YOU!)  Last year, I had a great race here and ran 32:12, placing 105th overall and 2nd in my age group.  It would be awesome if I could break the top 100.

9/26: 13.1
Yes.  I signed up for a half marathon.  I have no goal for this.  I want to finish it and see what my time is.

I need to find a 10K in October then I will have checked off 5K, 8K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon off the race list in 2015!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Unintentional Yoga Hiatus

One of the good things about transitioning to a Garmin several years ago is that I now have tons of data to look at.  One of the bad things is that you can get into comparison mode BIG time with all that data.

I looked back at my training last summer to compare it to this summer and last summer I was definitely faster, and not doing speed work.  Last summer was more of a "go out and run 4-5 miles, over and over...occasionally throw in a long run" type of plan.

What gives?

There is one big difference between last summer and this summer and it wasn't to be found in spreadsheets of Garmin data.


I changed jobs at the end of March this year which overall was a great move for me EXCEPT that the power yoga class that I diligently took for 4 years every Tuesday at lunch was no more.  While yoga is still offered as an employee benefit at my new job, the time stinks - 5 PM on a Monday.  I mistakenly thought, "Oh I can do yoga at home to make up for it."  THAT did not happen.

It's high time to get back into regular yoga practice so I will be trying out the yoga studio in our suburb. They have a yogalaties class that I think looks good as well as a few other types.   I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Three Races in September

September is a big month - I have signed up for THREE races.

September 12: TosaFest 5K
"An excellent course for a PR"
Let's hope so!  The top 3 women's times last year were 18:29, 18:59, 19:34.  I'm hoping being in a more competitive race and having a fast course will get me under 19!

September 19: Briggs and Al's Run for Children's Hospital 8K
We had a great time doing this race last year so this year I am captaining a team, mostly consisting of people from my office and some family members. My time last year was 32:12.9.  It will be nice to be able to compare this year's time to something.  I am hoping for the same cool weather we had last year.  Amy + cool weather = awesome

September 26: ???
My BFF & I planned on doing the harvest fest race in Sheboygan this day.  Our hotel rooms are booked, the families are coming along and now we just have to register.  I can't decide if I want to do the 10K or half-marathon.  And...I better decide because I will have to start beefing up my long run like yesterday.

This seems a little wacky and my primary goal is still to focus on the 5K and let the 8K be what it will.  I have done more speed work this summer than I did last summer, but so far, I feel like it is backfiring rather than helping!  Regardless of which distance I select for 9/26, I won't be racing racing it, and for that reason, I am leaning towards the half.  Am I crazy?

Friday, August 7, 2015

A disappointing 5K


My official time for last night's 5K.

I wasn't even close to 19:00 and I was disappointed.

My first mile was 6:04 and it felt terrible.  My 2nd mile was 6:20 and my third mile was 6:40 (estimated from my memory of my Garmin).  If I wanted to get sassy, I did win the race.  If I wanted to get sassier, I beat the cross country girl who got 2nd and was half my age.

I am still disappointed.

This time is only 8 seconds faster than my time on this course last year and 11 seconds SLOWER than the first 5K I did this year.  I have Shalane Flanagan's quote "Success is not linear" on my work computer and that definitely applies to my experience with the 5K this summer.  A huge womp womp.

 I have had very few runs this summer where I legitimately felt good.  Mostly my legs feel heavy and the run is more of a slog.  I am not overtraining - trust me.  I run 3-4 times a week and the longest run I have done in the past two months is 6 miles.

I need to work on pushing myself, especially if I am running by myself.  Yesterday I ran the first mile with a group of people, which had thinned out by mile marker 1.  I ran the rest of the race by myself, with the exception of the last .2 where a guy game from behind me.  At that moment, I was really dragging but my competitive nature fired up and I was able to really push and finish hard.  How do I tap into that competitive spirit when I am on my own?

Building on that, I really love my comfort zone.  I was not in my comfort zone last night, but every time it really hurt, I backed off...and still could finish strong and was fine when I stopped.  I don't like to hurt!  How weird is it that this was on the Runner's World Instagram feed last night:

So things to work on.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  Off to find another 5K to enter!

The one thing that was NOT disappointing is that Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run (one of my favorite songs) was playing when the gun went off.  Cliche, but awesome.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I have come to the end of my 5K training via the 8 week Oiselle plan.  Generally I did pretty well with this plan, and found that I liked running by minutes versus miles, although I would have mileage goals for the time goals in my head.

The 5K I am running is Thursday!  I am really going to try to push myself to break 19:00 in this race.  Last year, I ran 20:00.28 on this course.  I enjoy the course - it reminds me of cross country courses from high school.  I will have to be ok with making it hurt more than I usually do though!

Another exciting development is that I got in on the Oiselle running team, Volee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They have made this available twice, and really if you can make it through the technology snafus that inevitably happen when lots of people attempt to get on the same web page, and pay $100, you're in.  I didn't make it through the first time so I was pumped to get through this time.  My jersey has shipped, but I don't know that it will be here in time for Thursday night's race.

Friday, July 10, 2015

5K Training

Apologies for the silence.

I have been chugging along using the Oiselle First or Fastest 5K plan as a guide for training for a sub 19:00 5K.  Here is a sample from week 4 (current week):

They also include a speed workout.  Here it is for Week 4:

I do the speed workout as written.  The other days, I use the total times as the goal to run and ignore the run/walk subtext (which is designed for a first 5K plan).  So for example, in the plan above, Monday is 25 minutes total so that day I run at least 25 minutes.  There are 3 supplement workouts that appear every week as well:  Dirty Dozen, 5 Step Circuit and the Dynamic Warm-Up.

I am halfway through this plan and it is the first time that I have followed a plan by time rather than mileage.  It took me a bit to get used to this, but i am enjoying it.  In doing so, I am running a bit farther than the other 5K plan I was considering by mileage.  

I am NOT so good about doing those supplemental workouts.  I am supposed to do Dirty Dozen 2x/week.  I have done it exactly two times.  Ever.  

I am loving the speed workouts, especially after most of 2015 was marathon training and the speed workouts were more like tempo runs versus track work.

I did the above speed workout last night.  It was a bit of a chore to get out the door and I convinced myself to skip it no less than 6 times.  I had wine with dinner and a few handfuls of chocolate chips.  But then I was reading a Runner's World and saw a picture of Desi Linden wearing the same shoes as me and that was it.  I was lacing up and out the door.

The deets:

10 minute warm up:  1.35 miles at 7:27 pace.  The first mile is always the hardest.

Set 1
2:00 at Current 5K Pace, which is 6:23.  I did 6:03.  
1:00 rest (8:26 pace)
1:00 at Goal 5K Pace, which is 6:04.  I did 5:48.
2:30 rest (8:10 pace)

Set 2
2:00 at Current 5K Pace.  I did 6:19.  (That's better!)
1:00 rest (8:05 pace)
1:00 at Goal 5K Pace.  I did 5:38.
2:30 rest (8:09 pace)

Set 3
2:00 at Current 5K Pace.  I did 6:02.  
1:00 rest (9:13 pace)*
1:00 at Goal 5K Pace.  I did 5:31.
2:30 rest (8:09 pace)
*I was running and heard someone from behind and turned around and there was a guy RIGHT THERE and I jumped!  He apologized for creepin'.

Set 4
2:00 at Current 5K Pace.  I did 5:54.  
1:00 rest (8:55 pace)
1:00 at Goal 5K Pace.  I did 5:39.

12:30 Cool Down, 1.66 miles, 7:31 pace

I was happy with this effort, and am always surprised at generally how consistent pacing is.  My current/goal 5K paces were faster than they should have been.  A 5:31 5K would  be 17:08. It's much easier to run that for a minute than it would be to keep it up for 17! 

Next 5K is Thursday August 6!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Race Report: 2 Miles!


Another race in the books for me.  I ran the Walleye Run 2 mile race on Saturday.  I would have loved to run the 5 mile race but the start time and time to travel was not in the cards for us.  

I was nervous about a 2 mile race given that I haven't run a 2 mile since high school track and I haven't had too many speed workouts in the past month.  Switching from marathon training mindset to 5K training mindset has been interesting!

I am not really pushy about my start line position, although I probably should start closer to the front than I usually do.  I ended up getting boxed in by a kid and his dad because I started really far right of the starting line.  As I got to the 1 mile mark, I was the 4th female and my Garmin posted a 6:03 mile split.  

I caught one woman about 1.5 miles in and as I saw the finish, I kicked it in to pass one more.  I was 9 seconds away from the first place woman.  While I felt like I was pushing it during the race, I had a lot left in the end so my pacing for a 2 mile needs some work.  However, if I could figure out how to run a 6:06 pace for a 5K, I would break my 19:00 goal!

The woman who finished right behind me gave me a hug and thanked me for pushing the pace at the end.  I later saw her on the playground at the festival with her 3 kids and we chatted about how finding time to run with kids is difficult. 

My next race isn't until August 6.  Plenty of time to get some more 400s in on the track...if I can survive the humidity.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Another 5K For the Books


That was my time in the 5K I ran this morning.  I felt like I was dragging and had to fight for that time, even though it is 10 seconds slower than my 5K 2 weeks ago.

I wanted to win the race.  But there was a woman, in my age group, who put the hammer down and ran a 18:42. I was happy with 2nd place and the engraved rock that I took home to add to my rock from last year (where I took 2nd in my age group).  Last year I ran this race in 21:16 and took 2nd in my age group, was 26th overall and was 3rd female.  The winning female time last year was 20:45.  It was more competitive this year - I was still 2nd in my age group, 2nd female, and 17th overall even though I ran 1:24 faster.  

The most exciting thing about today was the my 4 year old daughter decided last minute to do the kids run and had a blast!  She spent the rest of the day playing road race.  (For real - she made all of us run laps around the house.  The kid crashed at 6:50 PM for bed.)  We immediately signed up for another race:  We'll see you at the Walleye Run in 2 weeks!  She will be doing the 1/3 mile kids run and I will be doing the 2 mile road race.  

Tomorrow is June 1.  Time to get with the running program.  My month of lollygagging is over!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Time to shave off 42 seconds


That is the time I ran the 5K last Saturday and with that, I won!

It was a small, neighborhood race and I had checked out the winning women's time from last year and with those two facts, my goal was to win.  My legs felt a little heavy throughout but overall it was a fine race with a fantastic prize pack.  The event was a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald house of Milwaukee.

I also got my post-marathon massage on Sunday which was glorious.  Thank you to my aunt Jennifer, massage therapist to the stars...or something like that.

I'm still slowly dabbling in running post-marathon.  I ran 4 days (including the 5K) last week, 2-3 miles each time.  This week I kicked it up and broke the 4 mi mark.

I also tried out my new shoes - the Brooks Glycerin 12.  I am calling them my speed shoes since they seem ridiculously light after the last shoes I have had (Asics Gel Nimbus and Saucony Triumph).

My favorite running store in the area (Performance Running Outfitters) also hosted the Tales from Another Mother Runner book tour on Wednesday night so I went. (My marathon training plan was from the Another Mother Runner training book.) It was a nice event, very well-attended.  They had some great door prizes, but my luck didn't show up that night.  However, I got my book signed by (and my picture taken with) Dimity McDowell (one of the editors) and drumroll..there was a goody bag! 


The goody bag contents:

1 3-pack running socks (can't remember the brand)
1 pair Balega running socks
1 root beer flavored Gu pack
1 package Gu Chomps
1 container of Hylands Calms Forte Homeopathic sleep aid
1 tablet of Hylands Leg Cramps PM
1 LaraBar
1 full-body Action Wipe
A bunch of coupon codes for various products that AMR endorses

I was a little disappointed that we didn't get any Nuun - it was announced that the shipment didn't arrive in time.  Ah well.  Beggars can't be choosers :)

Back to the 19:41.  I have 42 seconds to shave off that 5K time to get my second 2015 running goal of breaking 19:00 in the 5K, which I think is doable.  I am going to try to do one 5K a month that benefits a charity.

Next one: May 31 The Silver Linings 5K in West Bend, WI which benefits The Boys and Girls Clubs of Washington County.  I ran this 5K last year and it was a nice event.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Post-Marathon Fog

I started running again after 8 days off.

During those 8 days, I did nothing in the realm of physical activity.  I had a glass of wine (or two) or a beer (or a two) every night.  I tried to give up eating dairy.  And sugar.  I got new running shoes!  (Brooks Glycerin 12).  (Then I updated my 2015 running spreadsheet and discovered my Sauconys probably had about 50 miles left on them.)  I went to bed early every night because I was so dead tired.

But now I am back running.  And eating sugar (currently eating rolos while typing).  I'm still on the limiting dairy kick.  For now. (And yes, I'm aware that my rolos are not dairy free, Smartass).

Yesterday I ran 2.2 miles.  The first mile was exhilirating.  The second mile hurt.

Tonight I just got back from running 3.1.   My legs felt looser although still sore.   The pain of the marathon is fading.  In six months, I'll probably sign up for another one, ha ha ha.  (Read this to get my joke:  That Marathon Was More Painful Than You Remember.)

I'll probably meander through May with short little runs.  I have a 5K on Saturday, which doesn't seem very competitive.  The winner gets some Cranky Al's donuts.  Hmm....good thing I'm not on that sugar free diet anymore :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

THE MARATHON...and Beyond!!

24 hours ago, I qualified for Boston!  Woohoo! I checked that goal off the list.

Want the details?  You got 'em:

Last Saturday evening, I started having a sore throat, which blew up on Sunday and Monday.  Then on a 4 mile run on Tuesday evening, my knee felt a little weird.  Wednesday, the knee hurt all day.  I skipped the 3 mile run the plan had.  Thursday it felt ok during the 3 mile run I did - the last run of the plan!  My throat started feeling progressively better through the week but still was bothersome.

Friday night, I set my alarm for 4:45 and went to bed at 8:30.  I slept great but still dragged a little when my alarm went off.

I had set out all of my stuff the night before so I quickly dressed and went downstairs to wait for my mom, hoping my kids would stay sleeping!  My mom got there around 5:10 and I grabbed my Nuun All-Day water, my peanut butter toast and we were off to Kenosha.

I was feeling pretty good, although I was slightly nervous about the temperature in the forecast.  Last weekend, I did my last long run in tights and a jacket.  But of COURSE, we were in for a hot weekend the weekend of my race.  OF COURSE.  Side note - I am not a fan of hot weather running.

We easily found a parking spot and started the walk to the start.  I had planned out cheer spots for my mom and two friends (BCK & RTC) who were making the trip down so my mom and I tried to figure out where she was going.  I had a successful porta potty stop (runners, you know what I mean) and I started peeling off my clothes.  I was trying not to think about how nice it felt, already at 6:45 to be in a tank and shorts.

The gun went off and we were off.  I started my Garmin when I crossed the start line, which ended up being about 10-15 seconds off from the official clock.  I wish I would have started my watch with the gun for several reasons that i will get into.

My "strategy" other than to make it to the finish was to run the first 5 miles on the slow end of my preferred pace - so 7:45-7:50.  This was very comfortable in terms of pace for me, although I really had to fight the urge to pass people.  The marathon and half marathon ran all the way together.   I saw my mom at mile 4.5ish and I was all smiles.  Here are my Garmin splits.  You can see the boost that seeing my mom and the crowd had on my mile 5 split:

Mile 1: 7:49
Mile 2: 7:41
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:44
Mile 5: 7:28

The next 5 miles were going to be through a few parks and along the lake.  My strategy for this section of 5 was to pick up my pace to around the 7:40 range and see how it went.  I felt GREAT during this section and took a gel around mile 7 with a water.  (Other than the first water station between mile 1-2 I took water or gatorade from every station).  Here are the mile 6-10 splits:

Mile 6: 7:38
Mile 7: 7:39
Mile 8: 7:40
Mile 9: 7:40
Mile 10: 7:41

My strategy for the next 5 miles was to see how I was feeling and try to hang on if it felt difficult or try to push it a little more if I was feeling good.  I was feeling GREAT so I pushed it.   I again saw my mom, RTC and BCK between miles 10 and 11.  This was a surprise to see RTC & BCK as I wasn't expecting them until mile 14 so I definitely started running faster (see Mile 11 below). Once we hit the spot where the half marathoners turned to finish it was like instantaneous crickets.  The whole first 12 miles had great crowd support and there were also a lot of runners around you.  It became clear that most people ran the half marathon at the turn spot.  I still felt really good at this point and was prepared for the 2nd half to be pretty quiet.  I was excited to see BCK & RTC at around Mile 13-14 again.

Mile 11: 7:26
Mile 12: 7:35
Mile 13: 7:33
Mile 14: 7:38
Mile 15: 7:29

My strategy from this point forward to just hang on and do what I could do.  I was feeling good still but it was definitely getting hotter and the sun was beating down on us.  (It turns out that we would not get a break from the sun from Mile 14/15 through the finish).  There were more than a few spots where we were on gravel roads going through marsh and that sucked.  I got a few pebbles in my shoe and the dust was not fun.   It was very lonely.  I almost expected a tumbleweed to cross my path.  I started really struggling at Mile 19.  I was very hot and thirsty.

Mile 16: 7:32
Mile 17: 7:25
Mile 18:  7:37
Mile 19: 7:45
Mile 20: 7:53

The remaining 10K was not pretty.  I walked some. I stopped to stretch.  I desperately wanted more water than was available.  At this point, I knew I had a cushion to work with in terms of qualifying (that's the bad part of having a Garmin).  I knew RTC & BCK were going to be around mile 23-24 so that kept me running and then they told me my mom was going to be at Mile 25.  A guy that I was running near for the whole second half asked when the next water station was going to be and I replied that I didn't know.  When I saw my mom, I yelled for her to grab my water bottle out of my backpack and so by the time I reached her, I chugged half a bottle and offered the rest to the guy.  I tried very hard to run the rest of the way to the finish from that point.  I again saw RTC & BCK at the 26.1 mark and I heard RTC yell "Yeah! BOSTON!" and at that point, I just tried to keep running, but I had a huge smile on my face.  I crossed the finish and my watch said  3:25:35 so I knew it would be 3:25 something given the 10-15 second delay (My garmin also had me at 26.49 miles instead of 26.2 - yep, I'm not great at running tangents!).  My official finish time was 3:25:50, 15 minutes faster than the time I needed!  Yee-haw!  3:25:50 finish is 7:52 pace.  Not too far off my official marathon pace of 7:45 that I used for training.  Here are the splits for the last 10K+ :

Mile 21: 7:50
Mile 22: 8:00
Mile 23: 8:03
Mile 24: 8:31
Mile 25: 8:15
Mile 26: 8:37
0.49: 3:46

Place stats - Finisher #63 of 762 total and 11th woman out of 360.

Let's see - what else did I get yesterday? Oh yeah.  A lot of sunburn.  Dumb - I didn't wear any sunblock.  I have zero clothing rub or chafing though so I was happy about that.  I have a big blister on my right bunion.

Have I thought about what might have been if I hadn't been so hot? Oh yeah. I mean, I'm thrilled with the outcome - I qualified for Boston (My original goal) and I shaved 4:30 off my previous marathon PR (A secondary goal).  I still think I could have stayed under 8:00/miles the whole race in 20 degrees cooler. Ah well.  I was heartened to see this post on the Milwaukee Running Festival Facebook page this morning:
"Looking for a fast Marathon or Half Marathon this fall?  They say temperature is the number one factor in good race times.  Just ask those who participated in last month's Boston Marathon where, despite a strong headwind, rain and a very difficult course, the average times were faster than in previous years and many runners were turning in PRs due to temperatures in the 40s for the entire race. Or ask those who ran in yesterday's Wisconsin Marathon (ahem) where temperatures rose into the 60s and 70s by the end of the race, resulting in slow times and tough conditions."

Apparently I was not alone in thinking it was hot.  (RTC and BCK said that one of the women who finished well before me said "This F___ING SUCKS" when she passed them.)

My husband asked me "What's next"?  Even though I plan on taking it easy for the rest of May, I actually have two 5Ks planned for May.  My colleagues have a 5K planned for 2 weeks and then I have a 5K with my BFF on 5/31.  As I told my friend Erica via text yesterday, I will NOT being doing a fall marathon.  Sorry folks, I think I might still have to talk myself into training for the actual Boston marathon next year.  I still do not love the marathon! I do want to do a half or two in fall.  Until then...onto working on my core and trying to break 19:00 in the 5K!

Keep checking in - I want to try to keep this blog up with the same weekly posting schedule that I have been (mostly) maintaining!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Motivation is a difficult thing for me so I like to have a number of strategies to call on when the motivation tank dips low.

One motivator throughout my training is public accountability through this blog.  Even though I don't have a ton of readers, on more than one occasion, the thought of having to tell people I hadn't run has spurred me to action.  Obviously, if you have been reading, you know that I missed plenty of workouts so that didn't ALWAYS work! (Gretchen Rubin would label me an Obliger.)

Another motivator is the little girl that I was paired with two years ago in the "I Run 4" program. This program matches runners with people with special needs or disabilities which prevent them from being able to run.  It operates mainly through Facebook.  I often think about my match when I am having a really difficult run, or through a difficult patch and it really does help me get through it.

I also signed up to follow a lot of running related accounts on Facebook and Instagram so when I scroll through either of those feeds they are mostly related to running.  Somehow, even just seeing headlines, photos, and motivating quotes helps.  This is also why I ripped out a "We Are Boston" New Balance ad and hung it on my fridge.

I love a good running-related story.  Here's a great one on the man who finished this year's Boston marathon in last place.

What motivates you?

Monday, April 27, 2015


Last week was another wind down week.  I have no more long runs before the marathon on Saturday.  In fact, this week I will not run more than 4 miles at one time!  WEIRD!  (And delightful, I must say).

I'm planning on doing a post later this week on my thoughts about race day, but if I don't follow through with that, here's the short version.  All.Over.The.Place.  Some times I feel great, and then when I am battling a sore throat and swollen glands and fatigue, I think not so much.

Here's last week's recap

Monday 4/20
Plan says: Fun Workout

What I do: 0 miles.  As I have said before, these fun workout days are sort of like rest days for me - I totally just count running around with the kids as my "fun workout".  (For the record, the actual plan indicates that this is a-ok.)

Tuesday 4/21
Plan says: 1-2 mile warm up, 3-4 mile tempo run, 1-2 mile cool down

What I do:  Rest

Wednesday 4/22
Plan says: Rest or cross-train

What I do: Tuesday's missed workout.  1 mile warm up, 4 miles temp, 1 mile cool down.  6.01 miles, 42:46 (7:07/mile avg).

Thursday 4/23
Plan says: easy 6 miles with 4-6 stride outs.

What I do: That exact workout.  6.02 miles, 44:51 (7:27/mile avg).

Friday 4/24
Plan says: OPTIONAL easy 3 miles

What I do:  Why start doing the optional work out now?!  0 miles, rest.

Saturday 4/25
Plan says: 10-12 miles

What I do:   Headed out during nap time.  I really really wanted to have no miles be above 7:30 pace for this.  I wanted to keep it easy.  I did an ok job.

Here was my podcast lineup:

1 - 7:34
2 - 7:30
3 - 7:27
4 - 7:35
5 - 7:31
6 - 7:38
7 - 7:37
8 - 7:44
9 - 7:46
10 -7:37 

Total: 10.02 miles, 1:16:05 (7:36/mi avg)

Saturday was also packet pick up day!  Things always feel a bit more real when you have your race bib in hand!

Sunday 4/26
Plan says:  Rest

What I do: Rest. Gorged on burrito bowls at book club. :)

Week 17 Total Mileage: 22.04 miles
Completed 4 of the 4 mandatory workouts