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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 16: Fueled (or should I say, Ruled) by Sugar

Thanks for the comments last week Maura and Jill!  You both made my day :)

Week 16 was decent.  My mantra of being tired continued for the beginning of the week and I may have gorged on sugar a few times.  I have easy access to sugar from the zillion Easter baskets my kids got.   BAD BAD BAD.  

Monday 4/13
Plan says: Easy 4-5 miles, 6 x 20 second sprints followed by 10 seconds easy

What I do: 0 miles.  I took a rest day since I did my long run the day before.

Tuesday 4/14
Plan says: easy 7 miles

What I do:  Monday's missed workout. 4.7 miles total, 36:02 (7:40/mi) 

Wednesday 4/15
Plan says: Rest or cross-train

What I do: Tuesday's missed workout.  7.01 miles, 53:12 (7:35/mi avg).  

Thursday 4/16
Plan says: easy 7-8 miles

What I do: 0 miles.  I was running a day behind on my plan and was very tired. So I did what any addict does - laid on the couch and gorged on sugar!

Total: 0 miles

Friday 4/17
Plan says: OPTIONAL easy 3-4 miles

What I do: I had a church meeting so I did not run.  Before you feel too badly for me it was a group of women from church who met to have nails done, wine and snacks.  Yeah..that kind of "meeting". ha ha ha

Saturday 4/18
Plan says: 14-16 miles

What I do:   Headed out during nap time.  I made this avocado pasta dish for lunch from Runner's World and it was delicious.  Fueled up, I grabbed my ipod and took off.  I was way overdressed so I dropped my LS shirt off back home after mile 1 (I usually get the first mile done in our neighborhood).  It was a beautiful sunny day and I got very emotional listening to the Another Mother Runner podcast below - I may or may not have started getting choked up when they played Brave and thinking of the marathon. 

Here was my podcast lineup:
3: This American Life #554 Not It! (partial)

I felt really great the last 6 miles of this run.  I went out too fast (miles 2-5) and paid for it.  (Have been thinking a lot about strategy for race day!)

1 - 7:26
2 - 7:19
3 - 7:14
4 - 7:22
5 - 7:20
6 - 7:27
7 - 7:45
8 - 8:03
9 - 7:39
10 -7:29 
11 - 7:33
12 - 7:35
13 - 7:34
14 - 7:41
0.14 - 1:06

Total: 14.14 miles, 1:46:29 (7:32/mi avg)

I have some great tan lines going on mid-thigh from my shorts, on my neckline from my shirt and my watch.  I actually love it even though the first time I have to wear a swim suit this summer I'm going to curse them!

Sunday 4/19
Plan says:  Rest

What I do: Rest.  I had planned on getting Thursday's missed workout in today but alas. It was pouring so I took it as a sign to skip it.

Week 16 Total Mileage: 25.85 miles
Completed 3 of the 4 mandatory workouts

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marathon Training Week 15: Kicking off the taper

You may have noticed that I have been getting delayed posting these.  Sorry!  I'm not entirely sure how many people are actually reading these (besides Sneeder, who asked me last week when I was going to get around to posting!) so if you're reading, leave me a comment!

Week 15 turned out to be a decent week, building on the success of Week 14.  (I still get excited about that 20 mile run!)

Race Day is 2 weeks and 4 days away from today (Monday 4/13).  EEK!

Monday 4/6
Plan says: Optional easy 3 miles

What I do: Unfortunately I didn't even attempt to run because I had to take my son to the doctor right after dinner where he was diagnosed with a double ear infection.  Fun times! 0 miles

Tuesday 3/31
Plan says: easy 5-6 miles

What I do:  0 miles.  I went to Costco with my in-laws.  

Wednesday 3/25
Plan says: Rest or cross-train

What I do: 5 miles (Tuesday's missed workout).  5.08 miles, 38:05.6 (7:30/mi avg).  My legs were definitely still tired from the 20 miles.

Thursday 3/26
Plan says: 1-2 miles warm up, 5-6 miles tempo, 1-2 miles cool down

What I do: I was still tired, so I did Friday's workout and logged 3.51 miles.  Unfortunately, I did not record the pace or anything about this run and a glitch in my Garmin deleted a week's worth of data before I got a chance to upload.

Total: 3.51 miles

Friday 3/27
Plan says: easy 3-4 miles

What I do: rest 0 miles

Saturday 3/28
Plan says: 20-21 miles

What I do:   Missed tempo workout.  Anticipating that I had no battery left on my Garmin, I took it with me to work to charge.  The watch charged and I threw it in my purse.  Not sure what happened, but I left on my run and got the low battery warning about 3 steps into my run.  UGH!  The watch officially died at 2.63 miles.  So i did what I thought was at least 7 miles, and I was HUFFING it.  I returned home to find out that I logged 7.5 miles (via Gmap Pedometer).  Again plugged the Garmin into my computer so I would have it for the long run.

Total: 7.5 miles, no idea on pace or total time

Sunday 4/12
Plan says:  Rest

What I do: Long run!  I really messed around with this run to the point that I was back at my house at 13 miles and really thirsty so I stopped and did another 2.3 after dinner, about 4 hours later.  Hello split distance!  It was hotter than it has been - mid 60s and sunny so I tore through 16 oz of water that I took along right away.   I still felt really tired during this run.

Once again, i listened to some podcasts, outdoors.  I have found that if I don't listen to podcasts while running, I won't listen to them so it ends up being a great way to "kill two birds with one stone" to borrow a Joodlism (husband's term for something my mom says).
1: Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin with David Blaine (remaining partial)
2: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, podcast #7
3, 4: This American Life #552 Need to Know and #553 Stuck in the Middle (partial)

1 - 7:55
2 - 7:34
3 - 7:27
4 - 7:38
5 - 7:27
6 - 7:46
7 - 7:49
8 - 7:39
9 - 7:41
10 -7:52 
11 - 7:38
12 - 7:34
13 - 7:40
14 - 7:26
15 - 6:53
0.44 - 3:03

Total: 15.44 miles, 1:57:03 (7:35/mi avg)

Week 15 Total Mileage: 31.02 miles
Completed 4 of the 4 mandatory workouts!

Marathon Training Week 14: The Optional Workout Gets Done!

This week ended up being a great week.   I had a busy work week but actually did all the workouts - EVEN THE OPTIONAL ONE!  That might be the first time that ever happened!
Monday 3/30
Plan says: Easy 4-5 miles, including 6 x 15 seconds in zone 5, each followed by 15 seconds easy

What I do: 4.48 miles 33:01 (7:22/mile)

Tuesday 3/31
Plan says: easy 8 miles, mid 6 at race pace

What I do:  8.06 miles:
7:33, 7:10, 7:08, 7:08, 6:55, 6:54, 6:53, 7:18

Total: 8.06 miles, 57:29 (7:08/mile)

Wednesday 4/1
Plan says: Rest or cross-train

What I do: The "fun workout" - After dinner walk with kids! Yay! Weather is improving so we can return to our post-dinner walks.  (Also, I count this as a workout because I am pulling two kids (total weight about 70lbs) in a wagon.  I am definitely sweaty at the end of it!)

Total: 0 miles

Thursday 4/2
Plan says: Fun Workout

What I do: The optional workout - 3.51 miles, outdoors, IN SHORTS!  Also did another walk with kids which turned into a run.  It IS possible to pull kids in a wagon and run - not advisable, of course!

Total: 3.51 miles, 25:10 (7:11/mi avg)

Friday 4/3
Plan says:  OPTIONAL 3 miles

What I do: Rested up, anxiously awaiting the 20 miler tomorrow

Total: 0 miles

Saturday 4/4
Plan says: 20-21 miles

What I do:   Procrastinate like crazy.  This is a common theme in my house right before I embark on the long run.  I think of a million things to do besides going out for a run and start doing them, while fully dressed for a long run.  But, I eventually got my butt out the door and logged 20.3 miles!  And best of all, I actually felt good while doing it.  

I ate 3 gels and had 32 oz of water during this run.  I did loops so I was able to leave a water bottle at two points and loop past continuously so I didn't have to carry water. (This is my usual plan for hydrating since they close down public water fountains that are along many of my routes for winter...and have yet to turn them back on.)

I listened to podcasts during this run, even though I was running outdoors.  
1, 2: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, episodes 2 & 3
3, 4: This American Life #551 Good Guys (which I started convulsing crying, around 8 miles, during the story of the dive) (partial) and #549 Amateur Hour (full)
5: Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin with David Blaine (partial)

1 - 7:47
2 - 7:46
3 - 7:41
4 - 7:34
5 - 7:52
6 - 7:47
7 - 7:38
8 - 7:53
9 - 7:51
10 -7:53 
11 - 7:36
12 - 8:00
13 - 7:26
14 - 7:44
15 - 7:40
16 - 7:36
17 - 7:42
18 - 7:38
19 - 7:30
20 - 7:36
0.3 - 2:15

Total: 20.3 miles, 2:36:23 (7:42/mi avg)

Sunday 4/5
Plan says:  Rest

What I do: Rest and eat lots of Easter candy!

Total miles: 0

Week 14 Total Mileage: 36.35 miles
Completed 4 of the 4 mandatory workouts AND the optional workout!