Monday, April 30, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 11 Recap (Keep Showing Up)

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

I have an Oiselle coffee mug that says "There is no secret.  Keep going."

Desi Linden now famously has said, "Keep showing up."

This is what I have wrote in my training journal the last several weeks.  Keeping my focus broad has really helped my anxiety with certain workouts (ahem, I'm looking at you tempo runs).

The other thing I will say is that early morning runs are really where it is at, when I can make them happen.  With the exception of last Sunday's run, every single workout was done EARLY in the morning - alarms set between 4:30-5 AM, even Saturday.  Yes, this sucks at that initial alarm, but I have found that I am in a much better mood if I can just get the inertia to get out of bed, get dressed and get out the door.  I am writing this here for myself so I can commit this to memory because of course last week was textbook, but this week (as in yesterday and today) I have already fallen off the early morning train.

Goal A:  Keep showing up in the early morning
Goal B: Keep showing up period

This week might end up being a Goal B week.  :)

I am now finished with 11 of the 18 weeks in the Hanson's Beginner Marathon Plan.  I am tired.  (Duh.  That, or should I say "cumulative fatigue" is the whole point of the plan).  Something I have noticed with this cycle is that my most difficult day, mentally and physically, is Sunday, which is different from last Spring.   My legs feel like lead on Sundays and I am so mentally worn out that it takes a lot more effort to get things going on this day.   Recognizing this is helpful.  I would have a tendency to say "Oh, I'm really that my body telling me to take it easy?!" {cue: anxiety} but now that I have a discernible pattern, I know that "Yes, I am tired - it's a Sunday.  Get out there."

Of course I am not saying this is what everyone should think about themselves. Know thy own self. Something I am still trying to learn about myself is locating my comfort boundary.  I think in the past, I have always erred on the side of comfort when it came to training and didn't really push past that much.  I understand that pushing too far is asking for injury, but I think what I am learning this cycle is that I can push myself more than I have in the past and still be ok in terms of injury.  And, with each passing week, I am more and more confident and excited about what my body and mind can do in this running space.

That's enough self-analyzing for one day.  Here is last week's recap!

Sunday, April 22
Plan Says:  Easy 5 miles

What I did:  5.4 miles, 43:02 (7:58 avg pace)
Oooh my legs were tired at the start of this.  The first and second miles were a little creaky but then it all came together.  It was a beautiful day.  My daughter was at a birthday party and my husband took my son to the park where I ended my run and we went for ice cream.  YUM!

Monday, April 23
Plan Says: 6 x 1 mile, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  The strength workouts begin!  My alarm went off around 5 AM and I was not excited.  My son was up 3 times the night before and I was laying in bed just wanting to go back to sleep so badly.  Then I remembered that my husband had a late work meeting so it was now or never.  I peeled myself out of bed and got dressed.

I was grateful for the mile warmup because I needed it.  My goal pace for strength workouts is my goal marathon pace minus 10 seconds so 6:40.  These miles were not easy but they definitely weren't as difficult as they should have felt, especially since I did them too fast.  This workout was a good confidence builder!

1.00 mile warm up, 8:53

1.  1.01 mile, 6:34 / recovery: 0.28 miles,  2:38.7 (9:35 avg pace)
2.  1.01 mile, 6:35 / recovery: 0.27 miles,  2:31.8 (9:29 avg pace)
3.  1.01 mile, 6:28 / recovery: 0.27 miles,  2:27.9  (9:07 avg pace)
4.  1.01 mile, 6:25 / recovery: 0.27 miles, 2:23.0 (9:00 avg pace)
5.  1.01 mile, 6:25 / recovery: 0.26 miles, 2:22.3 (9:06 avg pace)
6.  1.01 mile, 6:14 (!)

1.25 mile cool down, 10:40 (8:27 avg pace)

A fun fact - When I finished this workout and came into the house and checked my phone, I found out that my nephew was born!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off

Wednesday, April 25
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: 8 mile tempo.  Alarm went off in the 4s.  GROAN

1 mile warm up, 8:21.3
8 miles tempo, 54:02 (6:45 avg) Mile splits: 6:59, 6:45, 6:56, 6:32, 6:47, 6:47, 6:43, 6:33
1.1 mile cool down, 9:08.5 (8:17 avg pace)

This is the last 8 mile tempo.  All three of my 8 mile tempos were fairly consistent: 54:11, 54:14, 54:02.  Next week these get bumped up to 9 mile tempos.

Thursday, April 26
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did: 6 miles, 50:22 (8:23 avg pace).

Friday, April 27
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did:  8 miles, 1:05:12 (8:08 avg pace)

Saturday, April 28
Plan says: long 16 miles

What I did: Another early morning.  We had a busy day planned so I was setting my alarm for 5 AM even on a Saturday.  Not ideal, but you do what you have to do to get the run in.

I wore a new pair of shoes on this run.  I bought a pair of Saucony Kinvara's at my local running store's clearance shoe event over the winter to swap out when the time came.  My Hoka's are over the 400 mile mark so I started transitioning the Kinvara's in.  I felt tired in the early miles of this run but eventually I got into the rhythm.

This is the first of three 16 mile runs that I will do in the remaining weeks.  If you are familiar with Hanson's you know that one does not run longer than 16 miles on their plan.  One down, two to go.

16 miles, 2:07:28 (7:58 avg pace)
Mile splits:  8:33 / 8:26 / 8:18 / 8:06 / 8:05 / 8:10 / 8:19 / 8:02 / 7:55 / 7:45 / 7:45 / 7:37 / 7:44 / 7:37 / 7:37 / 7:27

Weekly Total
Plan says: 54 miles
What I did: 55.21 miles

**Fun Fact:  This mileage is higher than any weekly mileage I have EVER done!  I think I am justified in being tired. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Product Review Update: CTM Band

Product Review Update: CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received a CTM Band to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!"

You may have already watched my YouTube Video from my earlier blog post on the CTM Band.  I wanted to provide an update after several weeks of using the band.

One month later, I am still really pleased with the band.  I primarily am using it on my calves, paired with the JasYoga Calf Reset exercises as indicated in my initial post.

I have also used it on my hamstrings a few times when they felt tired or tight.  When my back was sore, I actually laid on top of the band, aligned with the sore muscles of my back.  (Side note - my husband has actually used it in this way as well).  This is totally an "off-label" use of the band, but it still really was helpful!

"CTM" stands for compression, tension and movement which are three critical components of myofascial release, as backed by research studies.  Myofascial release is the goal of many many tools out there (think foam rollers, etc) and the CTM band is the only tool that allows you to achieve all three of the critical components.  It was designed by a practicing sports chiropractor, Dr. Kyle Bowling.   In my experience, the CTM band definitely provides more relief, in a shorter amount of time, than other tools that are designed to offer myofascial release that I have purchased.

One of my favorite aspects of the band is the website, which has short, very helpful instructional videos showing you how to use the band for targeted areas of the body.  Here is an example:

Additionally, Dr. Bowling is available for questions via email.  I really appreciate good customer service, and supporting the launch of independent products so this was a fun BibRave Pro campaign to be a part of.

My use of the band was preventive in nature, meaning I currently do not have any injuries or problem spots.  My calves definitely have appreciated the extra attention they have gotten with the band and I haven't had as much tightness, soreness or weird middle-of-the-night calf cramps since using it.

Here are some reviews by other BibRave Pros and the body parts they used the CTM Band on:

Lindsey - shins, calves, hamstrings
Mary Jo - hamstrings
Jessica R - hamstrings, quads, calves, IT attachment near the knee
Danielle F - foot, calves
Amanda W - quads, IT band

The CTM Band is $40 but you can use code CTMBIBRAVE for 20% off!  Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 10 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

Last week was kind of a shit show in many ways.  I was happy to end the week only 1.81 miles short of the weekly mileage!

First off, the weather.  I mentioned that my long run done at the end of Week 9 was done in a sleet storm.  We woke up Sunday morning to a TON of snow.  And then got more snow on Wednesday.  This messed with early runs because while I don't mind running in snow, I do mind running on in, I don't do it.   By Friday afternoon, I was running in shorts so it was short-lived.  But still.  No one in the state was pleased about dealing with a lot of snow in mid-April!

Then work.  We have so much going on at work as in leadership changes, re-orgs and big projects.  It has definitely been mentally taxing.

Then kids.  My son was having some minor illness in the beginning of the week which of course impacts sleep. should come as no surprise that I did a lot of switching around of workouts this week, and I took an extra rest day which meant a double workout on Friday. I have such a difficult time not catastrophizing (is that a word?!) a bad day.  Instead of taking a big picture look and not letting an off day go, I immediately think, "I am so tired today OMG I am never going to be able to finish the marathon."  I just kept trying to show up and do the work. 

Sunday, April 15
Plan Says:  Easy 7 miles

What I did: 5 miles, 49:11 (9:50 avg pace)
Yeah.  Obviously the long run the day before took it out of me.  Another argument for NOT running the long run faster than prescribed.  After Saturday's long run, I watched a movie with the fam and did some snacking but did NOT eat or drink enough, which was obvious come Sunday.  Even though I was tired, I got on the treadmill Sunday afternoon and made it a mile...and quit.  I was fortunate to grab a cat nap on the couch and then returned to the treadmill on Sunday night after kids were in bed to go another 4.  Painfully slow.  I cut the cord early and went to bed.

Monday, April 16
Plan Says: 5 x 1200 m, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  Slept.  I was in a daze most of Monday.  I was seriously worried about falling asleep with the kids before my husband got home.  Add to it that my son was sick.  I decided to take the rest day and go to bed early.

Tuesday, April 17
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  Monday's missed speed workout.  For some reason, my early morning alarm did not go off so I got even more sleep than planned (97 out of 100 sleep score!).  I felt much better.  I hit the road after kids were in bed.

1200m = 0.75 mile on the roads.  Goal for these was 4:35

1.03 mile warm up, 8:17.0 (8:01 avg pace)

1.   4:23.0 (5:50 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  2:04.4 (8:19 avg pace)
2.   4:13.3 (5:37 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  2:20.4 (9:20 avg pace)
3.   4:18.8 (5:43 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  2:21.3  (9:28 avg pace)
4.   4:19.1 (5:43 avg pace) /

1.51 mile cool down, 13:03 (8:40 avg pace)

So that was a little too fast.  I had to work for those 1200s but I just kept picturing those Boston marathon runners in the downpour.

And with that, I am DONE with the speed workouts on this plan!!  That seems crazy.  Next week, speed workouts are replaced with strength workouts until race week.  Strength workouts are longer intervals (mile, 1.5 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile repeats) done at marathon pace minus 10 seconds so 6:40 pace for me.

Wednesday, April 18
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  I knew better than to attempt an 8 mile tempo workout less than 12 hours after I did a speed workout so I flipped Wednesday and Thursday around.  Early morning workout felt decent - the first few miles were a challenge but that was to be expected.  I wanted to do a bit more than the 5 prescribed miles, since I cut 2 miles off of Sunday's workout.

6.3 miles, 53:17 (8:27 avg pace)

Thursday, April 19
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did: Nothing.  I had to get to work early for a day of meetings and silly me thought that I would be ok doing a tempo workout at night.  Well, I wore heeled boots on a day where I would be presenting (i.e., standing) for 9 hours.  My feet were so sore by the time I got home.  I was just not in the mood to run. So I didn't.

Friday, April 20
Plan Says: easy 8 miles

What I did:   My Friday work calendar was pretty laid back so I took full advantage. 

I got up at 5 to do an early easy-paced run.  5.6 miles, 47:00 (8:24 avg pace). 

I left work early to get the tempo run in.  It wasn't pretty, but it is done.

1 mile warm up, 7:57.8
8 miles tempo, 54:14 (6:47 avg) Mile splits: 6:54, 6:50, 6:47, 6:39, 6:45, 6:47, 6:58, 6:34
1 mile cool down, 9:01.8

Total miles: 15.6

Saturday, April 21
Plan says: long 10 miles

What I did:  I was a little concerned that my crazy Friday would impact my Saturday run, especially since I needed to get the Saturday run in during the morning as we had plans for the afternoon.  I did think it would be good training for Ragnar (which I have coming up in less than a month) to have all of these workouts so close together.

I felt really good for my long run.  It was nice outside and I listened to a podcast and just cruised along. 

11 miles, 1:26:08 (7:50 avg pace)
Mile splits:  7:57 / 7:59 / 8:01 / 7:48 / 7:57 / 7:46 / 7:45 / 7:37 / 7:38 / 7:49 / 7:47

Weekly Total
Plan says: 46 miles
What I did:  44.19 miles

Monday, April 16, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 9 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  


I am now halfway through my training plan.  I have logged 301.06 miles to date.  Last year, I logged 285.06 miles in the first nine weeks with the exact same plan.  While I missed one long run (10 miles) to date, I did put in a few more weekly miles in the early weeks.

Last week was all about just putting my head down and getting it done.  We can do hard things!!

Sunday, April 8
Plan Says:  Easy 5 miles

What I did:  6 miles, 49:20 (8:13 avg pace)
I mistakenly thought I had 6 on the docket so that is why I went the extra mile.  This was not a great run as I was having a lot of back and side pain/discomfort.  I did a lot of side stretching in the therapy pool after this run and also did the JasYoga Side body reset which helped some.

Monday, April 9
Plan Says: 5 x 1 km, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: The workout.  I was a little nervous about this after all of the back/side issues I had over the weekend.  To top that, it was lightly snowing when I got outside at 5:15 AM.  Luckily the road was not slippery.

After a slow start, this actually felt pretty decent.  I was again on the road (1 km = 0.62 miles) and the first loop was not ideal for a recovery loop and so I modified the route for the 2nd - 5th repeats which meant that I had a little bit longer of a recovery (0.3 miles instead of 0.25).  My goal time for these 1 km repeats was 3:48.

1.06 mile warm up, 9:03.8 (8:35 avg pace)

1.   3:54.4 (6:18 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (10:05 avg pace)
2.   3:40.0 (5:53 avg pace) / recovery: 0.31 miles,  (8:16 avg pace)
3.   3:39.6 (5:54 avg pace) / recovery: 0.30 miles,  (8:37 avg pace)
4.   3:41.7 (5:56 avg pace) / recovery: 0.30 miles,  (8:29 avg pace)
5.   3:41.0 (5:54 avg pace)

2.0 mile cool down, 16:42 (8:20 avg pace)

Tuesday, April 10
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  Off.  I had my annual biometric screening for work this morning so that meant a 12 hour fast.  I was not about to run on a 12 hour fast.  Fasting also makes me feel sort of nauseous for the entire day afterwards.

Wednesday, April 11
Plan Says: 8 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did:  I have not had great sleep lately and Tuesday night was exceptionally bad so I turned off my early alarm.  This meant I was going to be running after kids were in bed and by the time that point in the day came, I was not up for an 8 mi tempo so I flipped some workouts around.  My right side still was hurting.

5 miles, 40:57 (8:11 avg pace)

Thursday, April 12
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did: Up and at 'em for the tempo run.  It was a great morning, temperature wise.  I ended up overdressing with a long sleeve, jacket and capris. I stripped off the jacket after my warm up mile and spent a lot of the 8 mile tempo wishing I was in short sleeves.  I was definitely nervous about this run.  The jump from a 5 mile tempo to 8 mile tempo in one week is one of the toughest points of the plan, in my opinion.

All in all, I felt more relaxed during this tempo compared to last week.  I still had a lot of stops to cough up phlegm and many, many snot rockets.  I mean, how much phlegm/snot can a body produce?! A LOT.  My side pain was definitely present, but not too bothersome.

1 mile warm up, 8:30.4
8 miles tempo, 54:11 (6:46 avg) Mile splits: 6:56, 6:43, 6:53, 6:48, 6:32, 6:46, 6:46, 6:43
1.25 mile cool down, 10:16 (8:12 avg)

I was SPENT after this.  It is days like this where I want to be able to take a mid-day nap.

Friday, April 13
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did: easy 5.5 miles in the morning.  46:27 (8:16 avg pace)

Saturday, April 14
Plan says: long 15 miles

What I did:  I ended up DNS for Run from the Taxman.  I didn't feel it was worth the risk of injury on a slippery muddy trail.  I DID log 15 miles in the sleet and snow though.  I decided to do my neighborhood loops, even though I was doing this early afternoon, so that I could bail and go in on the treadmill if it got ridiculous.  Loops also ensured that I was not heading into the wind for too long of a period.  The wind itself was not super strong, but the fact that it would drive the freezing rain into my face was painful!

I felt really good for this run, and ran too fast.  My husband helped me KT tape my side which definitely helped with the discomfort I have been having.  It was only the last two miles where I felt very fatigued.

15 miles, 1:53:33 (7:34 avg pace)

Mile splits: 7:13 / 7:36 / 7:35 / 7:27 / 7:29 / 7:39 / 7:33 / 7:43 / 7:35 / 7:31 / 7:35 / 7:44 / 7:42 / 7:31 / 7:38

Weekly Total
Plan says: 47 miles
What I did: 49.11 miles

Friday, April 13, 2018

Character Building Weather

Today kicks off a weekend of wild weather in the forecast. 

"Character building weather" as proclaimed by a tweet I just saw.

It was supposed to be raining this morning, so although I set out all of my outdoor running gear last night (as I always do), I told myself as I climbed into my bed that I was likely going to be on the treadmill.

So much gratitude to the universe and Mother Nature for the fact that when I woke up at 5 AM this morning, it was not raining.  A quick check of the weather app indicated that it would not rain for several hours.

I headed outside and logged my 5.5 miles.



I inadvertently signed up for a trail half marathon taking place tomorrow morning.  I say inadvertently because I signed up for the race thinking that it would be nice to be able to do 13.1 of the 15 miles I have on my plan for tomorrow with other people.  (The WI Oiselle Milwaukee group monthly meet up is this race.)  It was only after I took a closer look at the race info website that I realized it was a trail race.  I was ok with this as my intention for the day was to use the "race" as a workout and not race.

Then the emails started coming re: the course and the weather forecast.  They had to modify the course because it was so muddy and parts of the intended route were unusable.

Last night we received another email indicating it was not looking good for the event.  More rain had produced more mud and tomorrow it is supposed to be freezing rain ALL. DAY.

This morning they downgraded the route from a half-marathon to a 20K.

All this to say I'm heavily leaning towards tomorrow being my first "DNS" ever.  Even if it means riding the treadmill for *GULP* 15 miles.

And yet...

A tiny part of me is hoping the forecast delays itself, repeating this morning's good fortune.


I've sort of had it with the "character building weather".  This week has really challenged me in getting workouts done.  I'm tired.  I am still ill (although marginally improving every day).  Work has been busy.  Can we just get a nice sunny day to sweat in?!

Keep on keepin' on folks.  I'm saying that for me as much as you.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wisconsin Race Highlight: Eau Claire Marathon!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting the Eau Claire Marathon through the BibRavePro ambassador program.  Learn more about BibRavePro and use for race reviews!

I love Wisconsin and am always looking for races in my home state.  I have made more of a concerted effort to be more in the know of Wisconsin Races and will be featuring a few in the coming months.

First up:  The Eau Claire Marathon
Date:  May 6, 2018
Other Race Distance Opportunities:  5K, Half-Marathon, Marathon-Relay, Kids Run

Where in the world is Eau Claire, WI?  It is in the western part of the state, about 90 miles east of Minneapolis, MN and 245 miles NW of Milwaukee.  Western Wisconsin is known for it's beautiful landscapes.  If you are a music buff, you may have heard of Eau Claire as it is home to the Eaux Claires music festival (started by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame).  (This article has more about the history of the city and the music festival.)

The Eau Claire Marathon turns 10 this year! As one would expect, the medals are highlighting this milestone anniversary!

The course starts and ends in the same location (BONUS!) and also features a nice loop throughout the city, including a lot of running by water!  It is awesome to see the course capitalizes on the city's scenery!

One thing that I think looks cool about this race is that you run over ELEVEN of Eau Claire's bridges including the Dewey St Bridge and the Phoenix Park Bridge pictured below:

Lots of scenic selfie opportunities :)

The course is certified AND a Boston qualifier.  Last year, 52 people BQed on this course!

The event also has lots of cute "merch" available to purchase on this website.  The race website is very well done and it is easy to find lodging resources as well as FAQs.

100 % of the reviews on BibRave recommend this 5-star race.  While I am not running the Eau Claire marathon this year, I am definitely adding it to my marathon list!

If you want to register for any of the races, 'BibRaveRun' gets you 10% off any of the distances.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 8 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

Last week was a little bit of a shit show right off the bat with Easter.  I thought I was all good with making up Sunday's run on Tuesday last week but that was the least of it.

I was done with prednisone on Monday and as the week progressed, I was feeling worse.  I was coughing up green stuff, and my right side and back were increasingly painful with cough, which was constant. I had a fever on Thursday and by Friday at lunch, I was done.  I took PPL for the afternoon, went home and had a glorious hours-long nap.  I went back to the doctor late Friday afternoon and was given some Augmentin to hopefully clear up whatever was growing in my lungs.

Friday night, I was helping my son get his pajamas on when there was a weird crunch sound and I was on my back in pain.  I woke up Saturday and my back was still out of whack so I skipped my run.   I ran yesterday with a lot of discomfort.

Today my back feels better, but my side rib cage is still pretty sore.  My boss (a MD) is thinking that my intercostal muscles along my right side are strained from all of the coughing.  FUN!

Add to all of the above, we had crazy weather last week, which included SNOW and temperatures in the teens!  Ah...the Wisconsin spring :)

Sunday, April 1
Plan Says:  Easy 6 miles

What I did:  0 miles
In all the Easter excitement, my kids were up all night, which meant my husband and I were up all night and then up early to hunt for baskets which meant no early morning run for me.  I knew that if I didn't get it in early, chances were slim that I would get it in at all due to the holiday happenings so I took the rest day and planned to do the easy 6 on my usual rest day (Tuesday).

Monday, April 2
Plan Says: 6 x 800, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: The workout.  My kids were on spring break which meant that they were at my in-laws and thus coming home later than usual.  I took the opportunity to do this in the daylight vs. dark morning hours.  My legs were feeling good due to the unplanned rest day the day before!

My goal time for 800m (0.50 miles) is 3:05, but I wanted to try to do them faster.

1.35 mile warm up, 10:13 (7:33 avg pace)

1.   2:54.9 (5:51 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:08 avg pace)
2.   2:53.7 (5:48 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:27 avg pace)
3.   2:54.7 (5:50 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:28 avg pace)
4.   2:53.0 (5:46 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:39 avg pace)
5.   2:53.9 (5:47 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:51 avg pace)
6.   2:57.8 (5:56 avg pace)

1.75 mile cool down, 14:22 (8:13 avg pace)

Tuesday, April 3
Plan Says: Off

What I did:  6.2 miles, 51:37 (8:19 avg pace)

Wednesday, April 4
Plan Says: 5 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: TEMPO! While I would prefer to get this done in the morning, we had some crazy weather all night Tuesday night which led to icy conditions in the morning.  Thankfully, I could easily push this to the afternoon since my kids were not going to be home until 5 PM.

This run on paper looks good but it sucked.  I was dealing with cough/phlegm/snot the entire time where I would have to periodically stop to hack up a lung.  It seems like my cough gets worse as the day goes on as I don't really have these issues if I do morning runs.  Additionally, I could not find my pace for this and ended up going too fast.  Ah well.  They can't all be winners and this really was the first "bad" workout of the cycle so far.  I'm sure it won't be the last either.

1.02 mile warm up, 7:57.8
5 mile tempo, 32:48 (6:33 avg pace)  Mile splits:  6:36, 6:31, 6:40, 6:24, 6:36
1.01 mile cool down, 8:24.8

Thursday, April 5
Plan Says: easy 5 miles

What I did:  5.3 miles.  43:19 (8:11 avg pace)
I felt totally fine for this.  No cough, no snot, no phlegm.

Friday, April 6
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  6.2 miles, 50:59 (8:13 avg pace)
This run was so difficult.  I felt like crap and more than once thought that I should just stop but I kept going to get the workout done.

Saturday, April 7
Plan says: long 10 miles

What I did:  0.  See above story with my back.  

Weekly Total
Plan says: 41 miles
What I did: 32.08  Such a bummer that I missed the long run, because I was on track for a 42 mile week!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Grandma's Marathon Training: Week 7 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running Grandma's Marathon in June as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!  

I ended up going to see my primary care provider about my cough last Monday evening.  My cough was not getting any better and was hurting my chest.  I felt wheezy during Monday's workout.  She diagnosed me with acute bronchitis and gave me a cough syrup with codeine to help me sleep at night, prednisone and an albueterol inhaler.  I wish I could say that all of this was a magical cure all but the fact of the matter is, I am still hacking away, although mostly without the tight feeling in my chest.  Argh.

Regardless, I had a consistent, good week of training.  At one point during my tempo run, I actually felt giddy because I could just feel my body getting in shape.  I do really like the process of marathon training, even on days when I would rather not get out of bed (ahem, last Friday morning).

Week 7 is the first week that a "long" run appears on a Saturday vs. an "easy" run.  These are slightly different in the Hanson's method as the chart below shows:

An "easy" run should be between 8:22 and 9:22 and a "long" run is 30-60 seconds faster than that at 7:22 - 8:52.  I generally fall in the "long" run range for my "easy" runs so I am not worried about this.  Doing my easy runs at an "easy" pace is something I am always working on!

I also decided that I am just going to train at my #dreambig goal pace (6:52/mile) for as long as I am feeling good.  My current speed workout pace of 6:12 is in the middle of the range above so that is fine.  I have been doing my tempo at 6:47/6:48.  I recognize that of course this is easy when my tempo run is 5 miles but I also think that I would be disappointed with myself if I don't try to train to this level and see what happens, of course being attuned to injury risk and overtraining signs.

I ended the month of March with 147.74 miles, which is the highest monthly mileage I have had since September 2017!

Sunday, March 25
Plan Says:  Easy 4 miles

What I did:  Easy 4.1 miles. 34:25 (8:21 avg pace)

Monday, March 26
Plan Says: 8 x 600, with 400 meter recovery in between and 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: The workout.  I overslept so had to leave work a bit early to get this in before my daughter's bus arrived home.  This was challenging for me because I was really having a lot of coughing attacks and felt like I couldn't breathe clearly.  I also picked a route with a slight hill, which meant that one way, I was running slightly downhill with the wind at my back and on the other way, I was running slightly uphill into the wind.  You can see in my splits below that there was about a 8-12 second difference between these two routes.  Generally, all of the downhill splits were in line and all of the uphill splits were in line with each other.

My goal time for 600m (0.37 miles) is 2:18.

1.0 mile warm up, 8:11.8 (8:10 avg pace)

1.   Downhill, with wind:  2:09.4 (5:44 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:26 avg pace)
2.   Uphill, against wind:  2:17.7 (6:12 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (9:12 avg pace)

3.   Downhill, with wind: 2:12.2 (5:50 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (9:13 avg pace)
4.   Uphill, against wind:  2:18.8 (6:15 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:49 avg pace)

5.   Downhill, with wind: 2:08.2 (5:45 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:44 avg pace)
6.   Uphill, against wind:  2:16.5 (6:06 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (9:17 avg pace)

7.   Downhill, with wind: 2:04.1 (5:35 avg pace) / recovery: 0.25 miles,  (8:49 avg pace)
8.   Uphill, against wind:  2:16.7 (6:09 avg pace)

1.65 mile cool down, 14:11 (8:36 avg pace)

Tuesday, March 27
Plan Says: Off

What I did: Off

Wednesday, March 28
Plan Says: 5 mile tempo, 1 mile warm up and cool down

What I did: TEMPO! I felt really good this morning.  I chalked it up to the drugs and getting a day off.  I felt good during the tempo, not as jittery as last week and my splits were a little more even.

1.15 mile warm up, 9:28.1 (8:14 avg pace)
5 mile tempo, 34:04 (6:48 avg pace)  Mile splits:  6:51, 6:45, 6:50, 6:49, 6:46
1.5 mile cool down, 12:22 (8:15 avg pace)

Thursday, March 29
Plan Says: easy 4 miles

What I did:  easy 4.7 miles.  38:16 (8:09 avg pace)

Friday, March 30
Plan Says: easy 6 miles

What I did:  6.2 miles, 51:11 (8:15 avg pace)
It was difficult to get out of bed.  I had book club the night before which meant I had two glasses of wine which, as always, meant my sleep was not great.  One of these days, I will just give up drinking wine.  Today is not that day.  I was proud of myself for showing up to this run anyways!

Saturday, March 31
Plan says: long 10 miles

What I did:  10 miles, 1:21:10 (8:07 avg pace)
The forecast for Saturday was not looking good.  Rain rain all day starting EARLY.  I usually allow myself to sleep in on the weekends (read: wake up at 6 AM instead of 4:30-5 window) but I REALLY did not want to run in rain so I kept my early alarm and got.this.DONE!  No rain for me!  I felt good for all but the last mile of this - I definitely felt tired for that.

Mile splits:
8:14 / 8:12 / 8:19 / 8:08 / 8:17 / 7:51 / 7:59 / 8:03 / 8:02 / 8:02

Weekly Total
Plan says: 38 miles
What I did: 40.04!