December Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s time for the last monthly recap of 2016.


Total running: 292

Workouts: December was one of my strongest months of training this year! I’m happy to end the year on a good note.

2 mi. WU, 8 X 800 (3:02, 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 3:06, 3:09, 3:11, 3:19), 1 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 hill repeats, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 mile (6:19, 6:20, 6:18, 6:20, 6:16, 6:18), 1.5 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 X 1 mile (6:11, 6:11, 6:07, 6:03, 6:00), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 mi. LT tempo (6:22, 6:22, 6:22, 6:22, 6:18), 2 mi. CD

15 mi. moderate pace LR (7:33 avg.)

2 mi. WU, 5 X 600 (2:09, 2:10, 2:09, 2:12, 2:12), 5 X 400 (1:24, 1:27, 1:27, 1:28, 1:28), 1.5 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 mi. wave tempo (6:27, 6:25, 6:27, 6:25, 6:27), 2 mi. CD

Races: Only one race this month … the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.

Favorite Race: By default this goes to the BRB Half. Honestly though, this was not one of my favorite races. I’m sure the fact that it was rainy and windy doesn’t help my evaluation of enjoyment factor. Weather conditions aside, I don’t think I would necessarily do this race again. There are just too many races that I really do like to re-run ones that are just “meh.”

Longest run: My longest run of the month was 15 miles. I think that will pretty much be my max distance LR for half marathon training. However, I did run 26 miles in one day this month, crewing for Rebecca’s 50 miler!

Shortest run: 3 miles.

Favorite run: My favorite run this month was the first run of the month when I was in Birmingham. It was so beautiful up there and I really enjoyed running on a few trails. A little change of scenery can do the mind and body wonders!  


Rest days: … crickets …

Other: One of my goals for the new year is to make strength training a regular part of my weekly routine. I got a jump on that in December. I figured if I went ahead and started creating the “habit,” it might have a better chance of sticking. I went to two Body Pump classes and I really enjoyed them. Rebecca, Jessica and I also started doing group sessions with a trainer (personal training, but much cheaper :)) and we did that twice a week for the last two weeks of the month. Adding strength training into the mix has been a nice change so far. We are all really enjoying the group sessions. Gotta get ‘dem gainz.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about ringing in the New Year! I am hopeful that 2017 will be a good one!

FLM: Week 3

Merry Christmas Eve!

I’m going to go ahead and post my week 3 summary today and I’ll catch Sunday with next week’s summary. This week was a really solid week, training wise! I got in all 3 of my workouts. There are just 2 weeks left until race day! Woo hoo!

Monday: 2 mile warm up, 5 X 1 mile repeats, 2 mile cool down

I started off the week with a mile repeat workout. Before I start a workout, there is always a little bit of self-doubt that creeps in and makes me slightly apprehensive. Does this happen to you? The goal range for my repeats was 6:00 – 6:10 pace, which is definitely moving!

Armed with nothing but the Ragnar Tennessee playlist, I hit the TM and got to work. Monday has not typically been a workout day for me in the past, but I gotta say that I really enjoy starting the week off with a workout. You get those endorphins flowing and nip any potential procrastination in the bud.

As soon as I started the warm up portion of this workout, I felt AMAZING! I don’t ever recall starting a workout and feeling so completely fresh (hot and fresh out tha kitchen :)).

Mile 1: 6:11 (9.7 mph)
Mile 2: 6:11 (9.7 mph)
Mile 3: 6:07 (9.8 mph)
Mile 4: 6:03 (9.9 mph)
Mile 5: 6:00 (10.0 mph)

By the fourth and fifth repeats I wasn’t feeling quite as fresh, but I still felt good and the pace felt manageable. I had some awesome tunes to push me through those last few miles as well, so that totally helped. I had the playlist on random shuffle, so you never know what you are going to get at any given time. The last four songs were:

Queen: “We Are the Champions”
Cake: “The Distance”
Chicago: “You’re the Inspiration”
Will Smith: “Gettin’ Jiggy w/ It”

I will forever be indebted to Young Daniel for creating this killer playlist on Spotify for our relay. It has pulled me through many a workout since then.

Tuesday AM: 3 mile run, 45 minute strength training, 3 mile run

Tuesday morning I did a new thing! Rebecca, Jessica and I have all been talking about wanting to add strength training to our regular routine and we started this week! We ran to the gym, did 45 minutes of strength training with the trainer and ran home.

At the gym we did a circuit of upper and lower body exercises. We did 4 sets of 15 on each of the following:

  • For upper body we did the chest fly machine, bicep curls with a barbell, tricep pushdowns, seated rows and shoulder presses with free weights.
  • For lower body we did squats with the kettlebell, the leg press, leg extension and leg curl machines and seated calf raises.

It was a great way to incorporate the strength stuff because we still got our run in. Even though I had to wake up at 3:45 a.m., it was totally worth it! Ha.

Tuesday PM: RW Group Run

I hadn’t been to the store on Tuesday evening in (what seems like) quite some time. There aren’t any official training groups going on right now, so it was a smaller crew than normal, but we still had a good time.

Wednesday: 10 miles w/ Jessica & Rebecca (9:01 pace)

I’m so glad that my buddies are back running that I just don’t even know what to do with myself!

Thursday AM: 2 mile warm up, 5 mi. LT tempo (6:22 average), 2 mile cool down

Thursday morning was my second workout of the week. The workout was strategically placed two days after our first strength training session of the week. I didn’t even notice being sore at all on Wednesday, but when I woke up on Thursday morning, I was feeling the burn in my chest and shoulders. My legs weren’t sore at all though, so that worked well. I don’t want the strength training to interfere with my running at all, I just want it to enhance it. I’m sure that is easier said than done, but Rebecca made sure to let our trainer, Greg, know that we were only doing strength training to get faster, and not for any sort of vanity reasons (there are no bikini competitions in our futures … don’t you worry).

My Thursday morning workout was also fueled by the Ragnar TN playlist and it went pretty well. I did a two mile warm up, set the TM to 9.4 mph (6:22 pace) and just went with it. Before I started the workout, I had intentions of increasing the speed a little bit each mile, but after the first mile I decided to just stick with 6:22 (my goal pace range was 6:15 – 6:20). I tried to shift my focus to anything other than running (by praying, singing, thinking, etc.) to distract myself since I wasn’t adjusting the pace at all. I got through 4 miles and still felt good, so I did end up dropping the pace down ever so slightly to 6:18 for the 5th mile. After a two mile cool down, the workout was dunzo.

Thursday PM: 1 hour strength training

Rebecca and I met with Greg Thursday evening (Jessica got stuck at work :/). Y’all. He about killed us. We did 4 sets of 15 of 10 (or more) different exercises. I don’t even know if I could remember everything we did because it was so much, but I’ll try … We did tricep pushdowns and a tricep overhead press, two different types of bicep curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral raises, front raises, kettlebell squats, donkey kicks, ab twists on a decline bench (for internal and external obliques) and ab leg raises. I think there may have been a little bit more too. Whew.

It was mostly upper body with a touch of core and legs. We joked that our arms might be too sore to drive home. It was a really good workout.

Friday: 6.5 miles (7:42 pace)

I was supposed to meet the girls to run Friday morning, but something happened with my alarm. Major bummer. I guess the silver lining was that I got some extra sleep. I was off work Friday, so I went out for a run by myself later in the morning. I did an out and back route and my mom came out and met me on my way back and we walked the rest of the route together. In actuality, we got a little sidetracked and ended up walking through town, doing some Christmas shopping and walking back home on the beach. It wasn’t exactly the simple out and back route that I had planned, but it was a lot of fun!


Saturday: 15 mile “moderate pace” LR (7:33 pace)

After missing my long run last weekend, I was hoping to redeem myself this week and I did! Rebecca met me at 5:30 to get an early start and we came back and met the rest of the guys at 6. I ran 8 miles with the guys and then turned off early so that I could make it to Running Wild for the Jingle Bell Run. There was an amazing turnout for the run! Everyone got a jingle bell for their shoe and we jingled around town. Truth be told, Rebecca, Jessica and I cut the route short. We had all run beforehand and we were just kind of over it.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Talk to you soon!



Now seems like as good a time as any for an updated “current things” post!

Current book: At the moment, I am reading The Runaway Jury. It’s taking me a while to get through this one (i.e., I fall asleep every time I start reading). Daniel is two books ahead of me now. We have really gotten into the lawyer-y books and TV shows. We are also currently watching Suits on Netflix (I guess technically it’s via Amazon, but whatevs) and we are both really enjoying it. There is some non-PG language, but that’s my only complaint. It’s a complaint in the sense that I don’t find it necessary to use certain language just to make a point … just use all that fancy lawyer vocabulary to build your argument.

Current music: It’s time for the Christmas tunes! I’ve got a few homemade CDs w/ Christmas music (I know that is like so 2002-2003) that I enjoy listening to this time of year. I’m not a Christmas music for months person, but during the actual week of Christmas, it is fun.

Current guilty pleasure: Eating Talenti gelato and then sitting in front of the space heater and cuddling under 5 blankets.

Current drink: Water. So boring and yet, so vital to our existence.

Current food: Salted caramel Noosa yogurt. I am a fan of salted caramel anything really, but that is hands down my favorite yogurt flavor. It’s almost too good.

Current obsession: My 2017 planner! I LOVE getting a new planner each year (*nerd alert*).

Current craving: A sunny day (it’s been rainy and dreary for several days now). Come on Mr. Sunshine, it’s time to play!

Current need: I NEED to watch ELF & Christmas Vacation! Hopefully both of these needs will be met this week. Watching Christmas Vacation is a yearly tradition at my grandmother’s on Christmas Day. We’ve done it every year since I can remember and every year (even now) my dad tries to yell over the “boss rant” scene so that the kids (i.e., me) don’t hear the profanity and it drives my aunt crazy because it’s her favorite scene. LOL. Gotta love those crazy family traditions (or just your crazy family members :)).

Speaking of traditions, I think that we might’ve found a new one this year. Santa visited our neighborhood last Saturday and we had an impromptu photo session.


Current indulgence: Going in to work late. I’m “part-time” right now and I don’t really have a set schedule, so I’ve been taking some liberty with my arrival time. It’s been really nice and I am not ready to give it up come 01/01.

Current bane of my existence: Wrapping presents. Let’s face it, I will likely end up getting gift bags and tissue paper for most of them anyway.

I got a few little presents for my mom, dad and Daniel at RW this weekend (and they wrap for you)! Major score!


Current procrastination: Showering.

Current confession: I keep Q-tips nearby at all times. I dislike being anywhere without them. I could care less if I have showered or not (see above), but by golly I want to have clean ears! I also clean Brooks’ ears out every night before bed. Golden retrievers are very prone to ear infections, so we have to stay on top of that (or perhaps I’m just weird … who knows).

Current quotes: Anything and everything from the movie ELF!

Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.

You sit on a throne of lies!

I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite.

Son of a nutcracker!

He’s an *angry* elf!

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.

Good news! I saw a dog today!


OH! It’s very sucky!

P.S. There are TOO many good quotes from Christmas Vacation to list (also see above rant about non-PG language). The language in Christmas Vacation does not, however, bother me. I know that makes zero sesnse.

Current excitement: Daniel’s birthday (30!) is TODAY and Christmas is THIS WEEK

Current mood: Festive

What is your favorite Christmas movie?!

FLM: Week 2

Happy Sunday friends! Here is a quick (ish) run down of how my runs went down this week.

Monday: 2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 hill repeats, 2 mi. CD (10 miles @ 7:41 average)

I already wrote a whole blog post about this workout, so I won’t rehash it again. Here’s how it went down:


Tuesday: 6 miles on the TM (9:00 pace)

I don’t have much to say about this run specifically, so let me talk about easy runs in general for a minute … I saw a quote recently that said, “There is no such thing as overtraining, only under recovery.” I thought that was an interesting spin on things and it makes a lot of sense. It is pretty easy to overdo it on an easy run, when in actuality, the easy run is there in your schedule for a specific purpose.

Easy recovery runs help with essential things such as muscle and tissue repair, removal of waste products, reduction of inflammation, restoration of energy stores and nutrients necessary for cellular activity and recuperation of the central nervous system. These runs should be done at 65 – 75% of max heart rate. While I don’t specifically train using heart rate data, it is a good tool to use (especially if I want to make the most of my fancy-smanchy running watch that measures my HR) and I try to be at least slightly cognizant of my heart rate and what zone I am running in (especially on the easy days).

Here is a snapshot of the different HR training zones from my Garmin Connect:


My average heart rate for this run was 130 bpm, which is close to 65% of my max heart rate.

Wednesday: 8 miles on the TM (9:46 pace)

Not gonna lie, I did some walking during this “run.” If I run outside, I rarely take a walk break, but for whatever reason when I am on the TM, it’s like that little decrease speed button is calling to me, begging me to hit it and take a little breather. Sometimes I can resist the urge and other times, I totally give in.

Thursday: 2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles w/ 0.25 recovery, 1.5 mi. CD (10 miles @ 7:24 average)

Thursday was my second “workout” of the week, LT repeats. The goal range was 6:15 to 6:25. Since the TM has really been calling to me lately (i.e., neither my friends nor my spouse are currently doing specific workouts), I spent more quality time with Mr. Tready again on Thursday.

After a 2 mile warm up, I started the repeats and I kept the speed pretty consistent during the workout portion of this run. Sometimes I try to do a negative split, but after the first set I knew that I would be doing good to just hold on where I started. Splits were 12:39 (6:19, 6:20), 12:38 (6:18, 6:20), 12:34 (6:16, 6:18). I got in a quick mile and a half cool down and got on with my day. Overall, I was very happy with how I felt and how the workout went.

Friday: 8 miles w/ Rebecca and Jessica! (9:01 pace)

I can’t believe that this was my first run outside all week. I was supposed to meet Rebecca and Jessica Wednesday morning as well, but I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Thankfully I was able to redeem myself and get up w/ the 4:00 a.m. alarm on Friday. Ha. I am so glad that I did because we had a great run. It was nice and chilly out and the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. We had some good life chats and got in 8 miles. There isn’t a better way to start the day (IMO)!

Saturday: 8 miles w/ the Daniels, Kenny, Ali and Cody (8:02 pace)

My schedule called for 16 miles at a moderate pace, but that didn’t exactly happen. I usually run with Daniel’s group when I have moderate pace runs planned, as my moderate pace is basically their easy, everyday pace. Usually this works out well. Unfortunately, this week I was just not feeling the long run Saturday morning. For one, I don’t think that my legs had fully recovered from my Thursday workout and secondly, the temperatures spiked overnight and it was mid-70s and muggy Saturday morning, making for some less than ideal running conditions.

After considering my schedule for next week and the goals of this training cycle, I basically decided that missing one long run was going to be less detrimental than trying to push back the long run and attempt it on Sunday, which would’ve interfered with my speed workouts next week. I know that my endurance is solid. Speedwork is more important at this point. All that is really just to say that I happily called it a day at 8 on Saturday (both Daniels ran 8 as well) and (contrary to what including this paragraph may imply) I am not worried about missing the LR.

Sunday: 8 miles w/ the girls! (9:00 pace)

Rebecca, Jessica, Lizzie, Jill and I got in an easy 8 miles and some quality friend time (aka running + coffee conversations) Sunday morning before the rain set in.

With that, week two of half marathon specific training is done. I’ve got mile repeats, a tempo run and a moderate pace long run are on tap next week, workout wise. I’ve also got some runs w/ friends, 2 strength training sessions & a Christmas Eve Jingle Bell Jog planned. Yay for Christmas holidays!

How “easy” do you run your easy runs?

Guest Post: Daytona 50

Hello! Happy Friday!

Lots of you out there might be officially on Christmas break at this point too, so double the happiness for that! As an extra special treat today, I’ve got a guest post, written by Rebecca, with her 50 MILE RACE REPORT! She also included a little bit of background info about her running and her training.

This girl works harder than anyone I know (she also sleeps less than anyone I know) and she does an amazing job of balancing being a mom, wife, teacher, coach and runner (she probably has even more roles that I am fogetting). I honestly don’t know how she does it, but she does it well and gives her all to everything that she does. We’ve run TONS of miles together over the years and I am so thankful for her friendship.

Here she is (oh and of course, I couldn’t resist the urge to add in a few comments of my own, so if you see blue words, they are mine :)):

Back in 2008, I had my eyes set on a Sub 3 marathon, with a long-term goal of an Olympic Trials Qualifier. I trained for a lot of years, but never succeeded. I learned a lot in that training and reaching, and I am thankful for it. However, it left me burned. I reached a point where I no longer enjoyed chasing the clock. I needed something new; so in 2013 I began training for a 50 miler. I never made it to the start line, however, because I found out in early January 2014 that we would be having our sweet Savannah in September.

The postpartum comeback was really tough, but with the help of a great coach, Gary Brimmer, I ran Boston in 2015 when Savannah was 6.5 months old. During my pregnancy, I thought and hoped Boston would revive my fire for racing marathons and be the drive in my training to become fast again.

It was at the finish of Boston that I realized how much I’d changed. I had every reason to be ecstatic at the finish of the Boston Marathon. I had run my goal time despite gale winds and driving rains. I had trained and raced exactly how my coach had prepared me to do. And it was BOSTON! Unfortunately, it didn’t bring me the joy I thought it would. And after a difficult talk with my coach after the race, I decided to go on my own to “plow the miles” as he would say. And a side note to explain that this division of the athlete coach relationship was NEVER about him or the training. It was something inside me that I couldn’t explain, causing me to feel dissatisfied with my running.

I flailed around for another year, and in June of this year I decided to train for the 50 mile distance again. 

Training Lowdown: I used a 24 week 100K training plan, outlined by Kristy Moel in her book My First Ultra.  I looked at the 50 mile plan, but didn’t think it was “enough.” (Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.) <– Truth.

*I ran over 2,000 miles in 24 weeks.

*My peak was 101 miles in 7 days.

*I ran 4 marathons in my training, with a peak training run of 36 miles.

*The basic format of the training was 1-2-3-recover-repeat. For example, 70 mile week, 80 mile week, 90 mile week, recovery week (50-60 miles). The next set of weeks would start with 80.

The Good: For the most part, I was able to run the entire plan. In the 6 months, I only had 2 instances where I had to step back and regroup. I stayed injury-free and only got sick once.

The Bad: There were times that I felt completely exhausted. It was sometimes difficult to balance running with teaching, coaching, and parenting. And until my 36 miler, I pretty much doubted that I could even finish 50 miles. 

The Ugly: I did SO many long runs, and most of them were in the South Alabama heat and humidity. A few runs stick out in my mind as UGLY. The first super ugly run was fairly early in the cycle. Sam had done a pace run, but came back to run the final portion with me. I had completely bonked. I remember being less than a mile from the car, walking and crying, and asking her if she thought I could even finish 50 miles. I remember saying, “I need you to be honest with me and tell me I am making a mistake by training for this.” It’s funny to me now. Insert: Of course I told her that she could totally do it. She probably could’ve finshed a 50 mile race even at that stage her training!

The next UGLY came at the end of my “unofficial” 40th marathon. Sam, Jessica, and I ran from the USS Mobile Battleship to Mullet Point Park in Point Clear. Sam had stopped early, and she and Daniel waited at the end for us. Jessica was more than ready to be done, and was trying her best to encourage me. I was not having it, though. I was in my Angry Place. Insert: This is a true state of existance that is sometimes reached during long runs. LOL. Even though I wasn’t wearing a Garmin, I knew as we got closer to the finish that our mileage would be under 26.2. I tried to tell Jessica to turn left and go up the road a little so we wouldn’t have to pass Sam and Daniel. She did NOT want to do that, though, and kept going straight. Imagine me running behind her yelling, “I TOLD YOU IT WOULD BE SHORT!” Hahaha, fun times. 


The next ugly came sometime in August, I think. I know Sam had already done her long run the day before, but she was running one loop of 10-12 miles with me. Well, I bonked the entire 10 miles (my 2nd loop, should’ve been 22 miles). It was ridiculous. 

The Race:

After changing my mind about races twice, I finally decided on the Daytona 50, a point to point race running from Marineland to Daytona Beach. My plan was to drink UCAN 30 minutes prior, and then take in Huma gel, alternated with almond butter pouch, every 45 minutes to an hour.

Miles 0-11

The start of the race provided us with a nice tailwind. It was warm, but bearable because of the wind. I ran with a girl named Grayson, a guy named James, and another guy named Wis. We chatted the entire 11 miles, but I couldn’t help but to worry that I had started a bit too fast. At the aid station, I met Danny (a fellow Brooks ID coach), topped off my water, and used the restroom.

Miles 11-20


Danny ran with me until Mile 16, where Sam picked up. Our pack had split up by then. (Read: they left me.) I was okay with this. I was feeling fine, but felt the pace was a bit too quick for me. I knew I had a LONG way to go. I topped off my water again, and drank some ginger ale at the Mile 20 aid station. (For those people who were tracking me, the tracking mat was ACTUALLY at the 20 mile marker, not at the 22.5 as the website reported, which made it appear as we had all gone out blazing fast). 

Miles 20-30

I was really thankful for Sam in this portion of the race. I had some irrational thoughts. I was feeling OK, but not AWESOME, and it really scared me. Sam asked me what my favorite running memory was/is. And I had nothing. HAHA! We both talked about that our favorite memories have nothing to do PRs and more with fun times with friends, like relays. I stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, and we took a selfie to send to Jessica. We redirected my energy to making it to the next aid station. At this aid station, I changed my tank, put on my reflective gear, got fueling from Daniel, and more ginger ale. I hit the marathon point at 3:45. 

Miles 30-38

Sam took a break here, but luckily I had caught up to Wis. It was really nice to run with him. This stretch is where it got dark. Despite our blinking lights, people still didn’t want to get out of the way, and I was in no mood to be polite. We made talked about a lot of stuff, but honestly, I can’t remember any of it. I kept telling him not to let me slow him down, but he insisted he wanted to stay with me. “We’re a team now,” he would say. It helped a LOT. I knew at 38 we would turn onto the beach, but it seemed like we would NEVER get there. I gave up on my fueling products here, too. The thought of one more gel or almond butter pouch made my stomach turn. Also, in the dark things appear to be closer than they really are. 

Miles 38-42

We turned on the beach and met Sam again. It was weird running on the beach. It was packed, but still kind of hard to see because it was so dark. Wis and Sam used their lights, but I didn’t have one. And then… at Mile 41 I fell. It happened in slow motion. I could feel myself going down, but couldn’t stop myself. Thankfully, no harm done. I got up, dusted off, and continued on my way. At the Mile 42 aid station they served … chili. Chili. My mind is still blown about that. I chugged down more ginger ale, and we hit the road. 

Miles 42-48

You would think I would be miserable at this point. While I was moving slowly, I didn’t feel absolutely terrible. Yes, I was ready to be finished, but I wasn’t in the pain cave like one would think. Insert: I had two of Rebecca’s favorite YouTube videos loaded on my phone, just in case she went to her angry place and we needed a distraction, but she never even needed them! Sam called Jessica and put her on speaker. We chatted for a while, and before I knew it, we turned on the beach for the final 2 miles. 

Miles 48-50

We could see the finish for the entire 2 miles, but I just didn’t think that it actually was the finish. Sam even called Daniel who could SEE our blinking lights. Until I was about to run through the finish line, I didn’t believe it was the finish. Crazy how the mind works. We had an interesting conversation as the finish line neared. We talked about if we would cry or not. I had a feeling I wouldn’t. (And I didn’t.) Also weird, I trained for so long for the race, for that finish line moment. You would think ALL THE FEELINGS would be attached to it. 


I ran 8:22 for the 50 miles and placed 2nd female, and 5th overall.


There was a tape for us to break at the finish. I was very confused by this. I even asked if I won, simply because I couldn’t imagine any other reason it being there. Apparently, they put those up in super long races for everyone sometimes. 


I really didn’t feel too bad, but honestly, the details are blurry. There were hugs and congratulations, then talk of dinner. The rest was fairly nonchalant, leftovers at the hotel for dinner, gave S a bath and went to bed. The next morning, we attended the awards ceremony and got on the road home.

What’s next, you ask? I have a few ideas, but for now, I’m focused on recovery. Surprisingly, I think I need more mental than physical recovery. My legs feel pretty darn good, considering… but, I need a break mentally from the pressures and structure of training. And I’m definitely not ready for a 100 miler, nor do I think I want to do one.

My People

Since this is already a novel, I do want to add a bit about a few people who supported me big in this journey.

 Keith. Obviously, your spouse supports you. This guy, though, takes all my crazy ideas and never thinks twice about them. He was in “daddy mode” many early mornings so I could train, made lots of dinners when I was too exhausted, and drove all over creation with our toddler to support me.


Sam. Sam has been like a sister to me for nearly 6 years. She is another person that never even bats an eye when my crazy ideas come up. She encouraged me on more runs than I can count, believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. 


Lizzie & Jessica. Lots of miles. These gals ran and biked with me in the thick of my high mileage training. No better sisterhood than a running one! Sometimes it’s just about being together that means so much, not having to face obstacles alone makes them easier. Lizzie particularly, got up at dark o’clock to ride 10 miles with me before her own 16 mile run. Then she rode another 10 afterwards just so I wouldn’t have to be alone for 36 miles. That’s friendship, people.


Rhea. I met her at the midnight marathon I did in New Orleans in July. It only took me a few miles to realize I was amid greatness. Then it took me another 20 miles to ask her 1,001 questions about the 50 mile distance. Then that wasn’t enough for me, I asked her 1,001 more questions via messenger. Her knowledge was priceless!

Wasn’t that incredible?! If you have any questions for her or if you just want to tell her that she is AMAZING, feel free to comment and I’ll pass it along!

Treadmill Hill Repeat Workout

I did a fun (in a challenging sort of way) treadmill workout yesterday that I wanted to share with you guys. It was so much fun that I really couldn’t wait until the end of the week to share it. You constantly change the incline and the speed throughout the workout and that really makes the time fly by.

My schedule called for 12 X 400 meter hill repeats. Hill repeats build leg strength and improve your stride power and running economy. Typically I would say that hill repeats are my least favorite of all workouts (because they are so darn tough). I don’t consider myself a strong hill runner at all, but today I had a great hill repeat workout and I already feel stronger. Ha.

I’ve done these outside in the past, but I was more in the mood for a treadmill run yesterday, so treadmill it was. The treadmill is actually a great option for hill repeats!

The goal is to push hard up the hill and to recover down the hill (or flat in the case of the treadmill). I alternated between 6% incline for my hill and 1% for flat. I was supposed to use 5% and 0%, but our treadmill is on a porch that is basically slanting downward already so I always bump it up a notch for good measure. On normal, flat runs I set the incline to 2% (just FYI).

Anyways. Going into the workout, I didn’t have a specific plan as far as the pace goes. I was just planning to push myself and I ended up with what I feel like is a pretty cool workout idea … hence the post about it.

I started out with a two mile warm up. This should just be done at a very easy, conversational pace.

For the first repeat, adjust the incline to 5% (or 6% if you, too, live in a slanted house) add 2 mph to your warm up pace. Run 400 meters (0.25 miles). Adjust the incline back down to 0 (or 1%) and subtract 2 mph (so back to your warm up pace) and recover for 400 meters.

For the second through twelfth repeats, you will basically do the same thing, but add 0.1 mph to your pace each repeat.

I also ended with a two mile cool down. My total workout was 10 miles (obviously you can shorten this).

Hopefully that made sense. You can use the chart below as an example, based on my workout.


Just a few tips …

It takes the treadmill a couple of seconds to adjust to the incline and speed that you set it to, so I always start adjusting the incline and speed when I get to 0.20 of my recovery quarter. By doing this you can ensure that you don’t accidentally “cheat” the hill portion of the workout. That would be quite tragic!

Make sure that you start conservatively. The first few repeats shouldn’t feel extremely difficult, but by the end you will be working (trust me). This is good practice for pacing yourself in a race. Start conservatively so that you can finish strong!

You can easily modify this workout to fit whatever paces and distance that you need. For example, you could cut it in half by doing a one mile warm up, six repeats and a one mile cool down for a total workout of 5 miles.

Hill repeats: love them or hate them? Will you try this workout? If you do, let me know how it goes!

FLM: Week 1

Hello and Happy Monday!

The first week of training for the FLM half is in the books.

The beginning of the week was pretty boring, running wise. Daniel is taking a (yet to be determined) amount of time off from running. My other usual running buddies were tapering or taking time off as well, which meant I was left alone with the treadmill for most of my runs.

Things picked up at the end of the week though, so hopefully this post won’t be a total snooze fest.

Monday: AM – 8 miles on the TM (8:41 pace)

Tuesday: PM – 6 miles on the TM (9:45 pace)

Wednesday: AM – 8 miles on the TM (8:38 pace)
Wednesday: PM – 4 miles on the TM (7:31 pace) + Body Pump Express

So … I haven’t been to a strength training class in approximately 7 years. I also have done very little in the way of strength training during those years. I do core fairly consistently, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. Before Daniel and I met, I worked out and went to classes at the gym, but after we met, we’ve just been running our little hearts out. There’s not too much time for strength training. More accurately, I haven’t made time for strength training and I want to change that. Body Pump Express was a baby step.

Thursday: 2 mi. WU, 8 X 800 w/ 400 recovery, 1 mi. CD

I mentioned in my last post that I bombed my first workout of this training cycle …

The goal range was 2:54 to 2:57 per 800. Actual paces were 3:02, 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 3:06, 3:09, 3:11, 3:19.

Can we say YIKES?! Obviously going to Body Pump the evening before a 5 a.m. track workout is not the brightest of ideas. I will not be doing that again! I also ran a half marathon last Saturday, so it’s possible that my legs were still somewhat fatigued from that. I think it had more to do with the lunges. I’m blaming the lunges.

Regardless as to the “why,” I do know for sure that my legs were absolute toast. I absolutely couldn’t make them move any faster. I thought after the first few, I would loosen up and be able to at least maybe get 1 or 2 under 3:00, but no, not even close. The only glimmer of a victory here is that I actually completed all 8 repeats and didn’t throw in the towel.

From now on, strength training will be done the day following a hard workout (and not the evening before).

Friday: 4 miles w/ Rebecca (7:58 pace) + Body Pump

Despite my griping above, I actually really enjoyed the Body Pump class [I can’t believe that I just admitted that … I don’t even know who I am anymore], so of course I had to go back for more.

There were more lunges and much more soreness was acquired.

This is totally unrelated to running, but we had our first fire of the year Friday evening! We were under a burn ban for quite some time anyway, but the temperatures plummeted Friday (in the 30s) and it was the perfect evening for a nice, cozy fire.


Saturday: 15 miles + 11 miles crewing for Rebecca

Here’s the fun part of the week!

We left early Saturday morning and drove to Daytona to support Rebecca at her 50 mile race. Yes. You read that correctly. 50 freaking miles. And y’all, she rocked it! I’m trying to convince her to write a guest blog post about it, so I’m not gonna share all of the details. It’s her story to tell.

To summarize: she ran 50 miles in 8:22 and was the 2nd place female finisher! She finished so strong (both mentally and physically). I ran with her from miles 16-31 and miles 39-50.

I had Ragnar flashbacks the entire time! Course maps, check in points, car paint, reflection vests, blinky lights, and multiple runs with short recovery. It was basically the exact same, except for that Rebecca ran the whole darn thing! She is amazing!


Sunday: 6 miles on the BEACH (9:20 pace)

Beach running is my happy place! I think I really just love being near the water. The beaches on the Atlantic Ocean were so different from the beaches on the Gulf Coast. They were much more hard packed and much more conducive to running.


Part of the race ran on the beach and so I decided to just re-run that part Sunday morning. When we were out there Saturday night it was dark, so we didn’t get to really take in all of the sights. I’m glad that I went back out and got to soak in more of the waves, sand and salty air.

Side note: There was a 50 and a 100 mile race. While I was running Sunday morning, there were still 100 mile runners out on the beach. They started at 6 a.m. Saturday morning and had been running for over 24 hours at that point. My mind was totally blown. That takes some serious determination (and a certain amount of crazy). It was pretty incredible to see.

That’s a wrap on week 1 of half marathon training. I’ve got hill repeats, a tempo run and a moderate pace long run on tap this week. I hope you all have a great week!


Do you do strength training? If so, what all do you do and when do you do it (to not interfere with your running workouts)?

Do you want Rebecca to write a race recap? I know the answer is “Yes!”