Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 9 Half Marathon Training Recap + End of October!

Wow, the end of another month and another week of half-marathon training!  I only did 4 workouts last week, mostly because I was tired.  I had a decent long run Saturday.  I just found out while reviewing my mileage that I set my Garmin 10K PR during it (which shows you how often I run 10Ks!).

Monday: 4.01 mi, 31:20 (7:48 avg pace) + 8 strides (0.06 mi in length) Pace for strides 5:14-4:45

Tuesday: 5.23 mi, 40:33 (7:45 avg pace)

Wednesday:  Off (should have been 7 miles continuous - 1 mi @ 7:00, 5 miles @ 7:20, 1 mi @ 7:00)

Thursday: Off

Friday: 5.25 mi, 39.41 (7:34 avg pace)

Saturday: It was in the upper 60s weather wise so I pushed back my long run to the afternoon so I could soak it up.  I had 8 miles on the plan today and instead of my usual negative split long run, I decided to do 1 mile warm up and then do the 7 mile workout I missed Wednesday.  I ran it too fast.  My second mile was 20 seconds faster than it should have been.  Miles 3-7 should have been around 7:20 and they were 6:42-7:02.  It was hard.  I didn't always "master the discomfort".

8 miles, 55:01 (6:53 avg pace)


After that run, Garmin has my 10K PR at 42:22.  The Wednesday workout that I missed was called The Reality Check - "if you cannot complete this workout as written, consider adjusting your race goal".  I think 7:00 avg pace for the half is a realistic goal based on my Saturday workout.  Sub 7:00 pace?  We will see.  I would love it.  It is my hairy scary goal but my mental game will have to be 100% on point.

Sunday:  Off.  I was going to do an easy 5 but we all slept in on Sunday and I didn't have time to get it in before church.  Then, I tackled freezer meals all afternoon and cleaning so that by the time my kids were in bed, I was pooped.  I went to bed at 8:02.

Week 9 Mileage: 22.49

This morning, I was up early and out for my run.  I found it funny that on Saturday I was hot in a tank and shorts during my run and this morning I was in capris, a short sleeve, a long sleeve, a jacket, hat and gloves.    October miles are logged.


October 2016 Total: 129.08 miles!!!!!!!!!!!
This month mileage was 79.8% higher than last October.  To date, my mileage is up 195.81 miles from last year at this point.  In fact, I am 9.45 miles from hitting my 2015 mileage total!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm So Tired...I Haven't Slept A Wink

Wow.  I have been hit by a ton of bricks the past two days.  Tired.

Sunday night and Monday night were NOT great nights of sleep.  (Thank you 2 year old!)  I was able to suck it up and get my morning run in on Monday and Tuesday morning regardless.

Tuesday night I went to bed on the late side (9:45 pm for me), and I slept like crap, woke up to POURING rain and turned off my alarm.  Woke up late (6:15 am).  Wednesday was a day of the walking dead.  I kept thinking, "Am I getting sick? Please do not let me get sick."  (My 2 year old has a cold AND is very affectionate.)

Wednesday night I went to bed as normal (9:15 pm) and I slept well until our alarm system started beeping intermittently in the middle of the night.  I struggled to go back to sleep, eventually fell asleep, slept through my alarm, slept through the 2 year old coming into our bed at some point and DRAGGED my ass out of bed at 6:30.  Make that TWO mornings in a row that I have missed my workout.

I really just want to nap.

Every so often this happens to me - crash.  I have tried to be better about listening to my body and going to bed at a reasonable hour.  However, the number of uninterrupted nights of sleep that I have gotten in the past month can be counted on three fingers.

Hoping to make up one of my workouts tonight after kids are in bed and one tomorrow morning or Sunday morning.  Race day is 10 days away!!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 8 Half-Marathon Training Recap

Week 8 featured the longest run in the 10-week plan and it's done!   Overall it was a good training week.

Monday: 4.2 miles 33:23 (8:08 avg pace) + 8 strides

I was pleased with the pace of this recovery run!

Tuesday: 5.04 miles, 39:05 (7:46 avg pace)

Wednesday:  Unfortunately I had another child-sleep related incident on Wednesday and I ended up trying some Hyland's Calms Forte to get back to sleep after tossing and turning for an hour.  YIKES.  I not only slept through the alarm, but I felt pretty groggy the entire next day.  I ended up leaving work to do this run by my office.  I was supposed to do 1 mile warm up, 4 miles cutdown, 1 mile cool down but I ended up starting fast so I just went with it.  My cutdown was supposed to be 7:20/7:10/7:00/6:50.  I cut down a little farther than that and finished with a 2 mile cool down.

4 miles, 27:00 (6:44 avg pace) 7:14/6:44/6:38/6:13
2 miles, 14:46 (7:21 avg pace)

This was faster than it should have been, I think because I was nervous I wouldn't get back in time to get my kids picked up.

Thursday: 5.5 miles, 43:48 (7:58 avg pace)

Flew out to Boston, then drove to Falmouth to meet up with some girlfriends from graduate school!

Friday:  off

Saturday:  I woke up and it was misting rain.  I brought along a pack of Gen UCan to try for the first time so, prior to heading out for my run, I drank about 8 oz of the 16 oz I made.  I brought the remaining 8 oz along in my hand-held bottle.  I didn't have any expectations for this run.  I didn't really know where I was going - I had some loose directions from my friend.  I ran along the ocean for the first few miles and then turned onto a wooded bike path and turned around at Woods Hole.  I thought about continuing through Woods Hole and attempting to return to the house but got nervous that I would get lost so just double backed the way I came.  I finished the rest of my Gen UCan by the 8 mile mark.  At 10 miles, I went back to the house and ran in to get my phone to run back to the harbor for a picture.  Overall it was a decent run.  I felt tired.  I do always struggle with new food, new environment so that may have contributed to feeling a bit off.

11.01 miles, 1:21:13 (7:23 avg pace)

The Gen UCan went down well - I had no distress from drinking that.  It was a little chalkier than I expected, particularly the first half.  The second 8 oz was mixed a lot better from sloshing around during my run.  The taste was nice and light though.

Sunday: off

Total Week 8 miles: 31.64

The most exciting thing is that I broke the 1,000 mile mark for 2016 last week!  I didn't break the 1,000 mile mark until December last year.  I also have cleared 100 miles for October, which is my first 100 mile month since May (I just missed it for September).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Links!

It's FRI-YAY! Extra YAY as I am with some girlfriends in Cape Cod (well, I wrote this yesterday in anticipation that I would be in Cape Cod).  Looking forward to running my long run on part of the Falmouth Road Race course tomorrow!

Here are this week's links:

Secrets to Success: Dynamic Warm Up
Do you do anything like this?  I would like to start.

Fertility and False Choices
I am a big Laura Vanderkam fan, particularly of her blog, although I have read her books. I can always gain some insight/wisdom of how to make time for things from reading her work.  Her comments about "work/life balance" in this post resonated with me.

New Season, New Goals
"When I was training for Twin Cities last year, I learned there is an unbelievable amount of magic in utter belief, and when training for the Trials I learned that you can do everything perfectly for 4 months, and it might not matter.  Even though that sounds like a crappy lesson to have learned, it's actually kind of liberating."

When I read that, I thought of my Boston 2016.  She's totally right.  It is a crappy lesson and all these months later, I do feel liberated by it.  I don't need to put all this pressure on myself to have good races!

What Do You Like About Yourself?
I like that I keep showing up, dark morning after dark morning.  I like that this year, I have consistently reflected on running and have grown from that practice.  I like that I can run fast when I am not afraid.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Half Marathon Training Week 7 Recap

After two weeks of increasing mileage, week 7 was a welcome cut back week.  My focus for the week was to run the hard workouts (speed + long run) hard, but dial back the effort on the three recovery runs. I previously mentioned aiming for an 8:00 pace for my easy runs because there is no removing my Garmin from my wrist.  My goal is to recover and train my brain to be okay with a slower pace.   I would say that based on this goal, I had a successful week!

This was also a week where I wanted to try to get back on the plan of having Friday and Sunday off, which required me to run a LOT of days in a row (continuing from week 6).  I definitely could feel how tired my legs were on Monday (which was my 5th day in a row running), so the pace was not really that hard to come by!

Monday:  3.12 miles, 26:36 (avg pace 8:31) + 8 strides

Tuesday: 5 miles, 40:19 (avg pace 8:03)

Wednesday: "The Burner".  I was anxious about this because the description of this workout begins with, 'This will be a hard workout!".

Instructions:  Hard mile 20-30 sec under goal pace (6:30-6:40 for me). 3 minute rest. 15 minute tempo 10 sec over goal pace (7:10 for me). 2-3 minute rest.  Hard 800m.

1 mile warm up: 8:11 avg pace
1 mile hard: 6:22 avg pace
2.13 miles, 15:02 (7:04 avg pace).
0.5 miles, 2:56 (5:50 avg pace).
1.07 mi cool down: 7:52 avg pace

I really loved this workout.  My legs felt like jelly starting the tempo portion so it really allowed me to mentally work at sticking it out because as I got into the rhythm, it felt easy.  There wasn't a lot of direction for the 800 so my goal was to ride the pain train.  No backing down, as I am wont to do.  I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it was after the faster mile and tempo.  Perhaps the "go easy on easy days" paid off!  I also was pleased with how this workout went knowing it was my 7th day in a row running.

Thursday:  I was supposed to run this morning but my son ran interference with that plan and I ended up deciding to skip it.  My legs were happy for the off day.  BUT...

Friday:  Because I skipped Thursday, I had to run Friday, which really was no better for me in the sleep department as my son was up at 430 AND I had 2.5 beers on Thursday night with a girlfriend which also caused me to go to bed later than usual (10:30 pm).  Yeah.  SHOULD HAVE RAN THURSDAY.  BUT.  I did it.  I got my quasi-hungover ass out of bed and did 5 miles 38:52 (7:46 avg pace).

Saturday: As I mentioned this was a cut back week so my "long" run was only 7 miles.  I got this in before breakfast on Saturday and as with all my long runs, negative splitting was my goal.

7 miles/50:08 (7:10 avg pace)


It was another slow start for me - felt like a slug.  I need to research half marathon warm ups because although I am inclined to NOT do a warm up prior to the race and use the early race miles for my warm up, my long runs seem to indicate the need for a pretty slow warm up.

Sunday:  My daughter and son asked me to run with them.  We ended up maybe running 3-4 blocks with My Little Ponys in hand.  My daughter had concocted some story about how the ponies gave us powers, yadda yadda.  I really wanted my husband to take a picture of all 3 of us running through our neighborhood with a pony in each hand, but alas - the Packers game was on!  A fun way to spend an "off" day.

Total Week 7 Mileage: 25.85
Race Day Countdown: 19 days!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Links!

First off, have you seen this list of 16 Quirky Runner Types yet?  So funny.  The one I most identify with:

I also read Sarah Mac's blog post How To Go Faux Pro.  Every day I think of how cool it would be to be a professional runner, thinking that is mostly fueled by all of the elite running blogs I read.   I assessed my current state against Mac's list.  Here goes:

Nutrition - This is an area that I am increasing interested in, fueled by completing Whole30. I have really paid more attention to getting more fats in my diet and have had great results.  I eat way less sugar than I used to (but still eat sugar!).     I am adding Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition book to me to-read list! (Let me know if you have any recommendations in this area!)

Massage Therapy - This is an area that I do really nothing in.  OCCASIONALLY (read never) I will drag out the foam roller.  I would LOVE to get a massage on a monthly basis.

Physical Therapy + Body Work - I paid to have an assessment done prior to half marathon training and I have been working on some of the stuff, but not as much as I could be. (Point me back to this the next time I get injured.)  I need to do more yoga.  This is something that I have really struggled with incorporating back into my routine since switching jobs.  (My previous job had Tuesday Power Yoga over the lunch hour.)

Recovery - As I mentioend last week, I am working on running my recovery runs slower.  I have also been eating an RxBar or a Picky Bar immediately upon walking in the door from my runs, which is new to me this training cycle.  Initially I had to force myself to eat it as I didn't feel hungry, but now I have trained my body and the tummy is waiting for it!

Sleep - I would love to get more sleep.  Currently if I am lucky enough to sleep through the night, I get about 7 - 7.5 hours of sleep.  I know I do better with at least 8.

Practice Race Day Fuel - I have not been good about this at all.  My plan was to try out Gen Ucan products during this training cycle and I haven't yet.  There is still time!

Be Your Best You - I feel that this training cycle I am doing this, something I was not doing during Boston training cycle.  The more I self-reflect on those four months, the more I am aware of how freakin' stressed out I was, particularly about pace and getting really down if I didn't hit my goal paces.

Speaking of goals, my other goal is to be Gwen Jorgensen. #lifegoals  Here are HER next life goals. (P.S.  Did you see how she CRUSHED the Twin Cities 10 miler?!

That's all for this week.  Happy Friday and Happy Reading!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 6 Half Marathon Training Recap

I'm having a ton of fun training for this race!  I've decided that half-marathon training is ideal for my regular schedule (provided I wake up at 5 AM).  I feel like I am pushing myself, but not overloading like marathon training.  I don't feel like I am sacrificing a ton of my "regular" life to do this.  NOW - I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have made a total switch of getting my runs done first thing in the morning whereas my Boston marathon training was all done in the evening.

Week 6 was a good training week.  I got all five days in - yay!   I woke up at all my alarms! I did a fairly good job of taking my recovery runs easier (aiming for 8:00 pace).  I had a good long run of ten miles where my only goal was to negative split and I did it.

According to my plan, Friday and Sunday are supposed to be my off days - with long run on Saturday.  I got off this track several weeks ago and the end result is that I have a lot of running days in a row - including both of my hard workouts.  Week 7 will give me a chance to readjust so that I have more rest before and after my long runs.

Monday - off

Tuesday - 4.26 miles 33:34 (7:53 avg pace) + 8 strides

Wednesday - off

Thursday - 1.09 mi warm up 8:44 (7:59 avg pace)

[2 miles continuous with first mile goal of ten seconds over goal pace (7:10 for me) and 2nd mile 10 seconds under goal pace (6:50 for me).  2-3 min rest, repeat.]

1st switchblade: 13:53 (6:55 average pace) - 7:06 first mile, 6:44 second
2nd switchblade: 13:42 (6:50 average pace) - 7:02 first mile, 6:37 second

1.09 mi cool down 8:15 (7:34 avg pace)

Friday - 5 miles, 39:13 (7:50 avg pace)

Saturday - 10 miles

My goal for this was to negative split while running by feel.  As typical, my first miles were slow as I settled in.

Here are my splits



Goal achieved.  1:12:04 (7:12 avg pace)

Sunday - 5 miles 38:31 (7:42 avg pace)

Week Total: 30.48 miles

<4 weeks until Race Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Links! RUN SLOW


Love it.

Ok - First Link: Five Bad Running Habits and How To Break Them.

I'm trying to work on improving with #4 on this list: Trying to Get Faster Every Day.  I am very tuned into what pace I am running at all times.  If I have a bad mile, I often start to panic, "Oh I am so out of shape." "What is wrong with me" yadda yadda.  Even though I try to run at a recovery pace...sometimes...I don't always follow through with it.  I would see the 8 on the pace at the mile beep and sometimes freak out.

Then I read this: Are You Running Too Many Workouts in Marathon Training

Ok, I am not training for a marathon, but I do regularly read Tina Muir's blog.  The part that stood out to me in this post was her statement,

"I still run 8-9 minute pace on my easy days, and my race pace will hopefully be 5:50-6:00 per mile ish"

WOAH.  I have always thought that 7:30/7:45ish on a recovery day is slow enough for me because it doesn't feel hard (most of the time).  AND I AM NOT RUNNING A 5:50-6:00 PER MILE PACE IN A MARATHON.

Realization:  I NEED TO SLOW the EFF down.

(Her post also linked to an earlier post: 3 Ways to Make Sure You are Running Easy on your Recovery Day)

This honestly was a turning point for me.  I have been really working to be relaxed and slow on my recovery days over the past week.  Which for me means not looking at the pace, except to help me SLOW down.  

I don't know why this message finally hit home.  "Go easy on easy days" is most certainly not a NEW concept.

And because sometimes I think my computer is spying on me, look what my Runner's World Quote of the Day was today:


Monday, October 3, 2016


Had I come across this earlier today, I would have included it with my week 5 training recap!

Week 5 Half Marathon Training Recap + A 5K!

Last week was a good training week - I ended up running 6 of the 7 days!  Things were a little off plan as I had signed up to do a 5K in my husband's hometown to support a fundraiser that friends of his were trying to develop.  It was the second year of the race, and they still are working some things out. Because of that, I did not get ANY warm up in.  (I know - bad.) The course was not chip-timed (in fact, it was timed by someone's cell phone) but still provided an opportunity to race on a new course, which I really enjoyed.  It also was fun to have so many people cheering for me (all of my husband's family).

My goal for the race was to try to run the 3rd mile faster than the previous two.  My first mile passed in 6:12 which felt comfortable, but then they always do!  Mile two was over in 6:22.  My third mile was 6:09!!!!!!  Success!  I ended up running the entire race by myself.  I was in 2nd overall and the man in front of me ended up taking a wrong turn right after mile 1 so I won the whole race.  My Garmin time was 19:19.  I was super happy with this not only for meeting my goal, but also because I feel if I had really pushed it, I MIGHT have been close to breaking 19 again!  Woo-hoo for returned fitness!

My kids each were able to participate in the kids race, even my 2 year old.  Holy cow that was the cutest thing I have seen in a long time - he was so determined and ran the WHOLE way (maybe 1 city block.)  My daughter ended up winning her age group (5-7 year olds)!

Due to the race being Saturday morning, I did not get my long run in that morning per my training plan.  SO, that left Sunday morning.  I woke up at 6 and got dressed.

I went out the door and it was drizzling rain.  UGH.

I went back in the house to check the forecast.  According to my iPhone weather app, it was supposed to rain at 7 briefly.

I went back out.  "Maybe I should do this later in the day."

Went back in the house.

Consulted weather app again and realized that the sun sets at 6:30.  WHAT?!  Ok.  I had to do this right now or it was not going to get done.  Grabbed my Boston 2016 jacket for rain protection and my knuckle lights and headed out.  Third time's a charm.

My plan was to run laps around my neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhood (which is what I always do when it is dark outside) until the sun came up.  First mile was 8:08.  I was TIRED.  Second mile was 7:49.  Mid third mile, I paused my watch and just let out a breath.  This sucked.  I was tired, my legs were not feeling it and it was raining.


One non-time related goal I have for this training cycle is to push through these moments when I can think of pretty good excuses to stop.  This was one such instance.  The sun was up.  I took off my knuckle lights and my extra long sleeve, dropped them off at my house on my run past and exited the neighborhood.

I struggled within each mile but it gave me a chance to practice working my way out of the negative mindset.  With the first three miles done in 8:08, 7:49, 7:49, I wanted to try to stay in the 7:40s for the next 3 miles and push the final 3.

My legs got used to the motion probably halfway through the run. Miles 4, 5, and 6 were 7:41, 7:43, and 7:43.  It was still raining but I started having a "I am awesome" moment as I moved into the final third of the run.  My legs still felt tired but it didn't seem so awful as the first third.  Miles 7, 8, and 9 were 7:26, 7:18, and 7:08.  I had shaved a minute off my starting pace!

This was a FANTASTIC run for me, not so much for the pace but for the mental practice of working through fatigue and negativity.  WOO-HOO!

Week 5 Mileage Total: 30.6 miles

I am excited that today (Monday) is a rest day :)