Guest Post: Ironman Augusta 70.3

Hey friends! 

I’ve got a fun guest post to share with y’all today! I was able to convince Daniel that he would want to be able to look back and remember the details of his first 70.3 and he agreed. YAS! Score one for the blog! I’m in teal (pink clashes with my new color scheme) and Daniel is in navy

We were both able to take off work Friday and Monday, so we had a good long weekend in Augusta. We headed up first thing Friday morning and got in town just in time to hit up the expo and pick up his bib, shirt, etc.

21752249_10105286188782171_1018107239064946540_n

Obligatory car selfie.

Our anniversary was the week before the race and I had decided that it would be fun to let Daniel pick out something at the expo for his gift. Y’all. Triathlon-ing is expensive and requires quite a lot of paraphernalia. Holy moly. 

img_7423

ALL. THE. THINGS.

Saturday was a pretty laid back day. We found a beautiful place to run along the Savannah River. We did a few miles and otherwise Daniel wanted to stay off of his feet as much as possible, which always seems to be tricky when you travel for a race.

img_7325

We dropped his bike off at the race mid-day and then we didn’t really have much else planned … thankfully there was plenty college football to be watched (just a tiny hint of sarcasm)! Daniel stayed with his typical pre-workout, pre-race meal of Marco’s pizza and they even delivered it to our hotel. 

Without further ado, here is Daniel’s recap: 

My original plan was to do an Ironman AFTER I had gotten a BQ (Boston Qualifying) marathon time (which basically means that I need a run under 3 hours). However after a few setbacks and ultimately discovering that I have a significant labral tear in my right hip, I decided that a marathon may not be in the cards right now. My friend talked with me about signing up for Augusta back in April and I decided to go for it. I signed up and bought a bike the following week.

Since I’m new to triathlons, I had no real training plan or set guide that I followed. I really just tried to focus attention on biking, and running after biking. I figured that since biking was my biggest weakness and also happens to take up the majority of the race, that was where I could gain the most ground over the course of my training. An average week during the course of my training consisted of about 30-40 miles of running (usually 4 or 5 days) and 50-100 miles of biking (usually 2 or 3 days) with sporadic swims thrown in here and there (less than 10 times over the course of the entire training). 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the distances, the race is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and then a 13.1 mile run. 

img_7358

Almost GO time! 

SWIM: 29:05 (Goal: 30-35 minutes)

The pro men and women started at 7:30 and then waves proceeded from oldest to youngest. My wave finally got going just after 9:00. This late start will factor in later. We swam in the Savannah River which is known for typically providing fast swims. 

21766366_10105294109733521_8669301839940408957_n

Woo!

I’m no fish in the water but I knew from my training that I could complete the swim. I did several pool swims with each being 2000 meters and my times averaged anywhere from 32-35 minutes. When I was training I also purposely never trained in speed-suits or a swim cap. I usually just wore regular baggy shorts and my goggles. I felt like this would allow me to have a better-than-anticipated time on race day.

img_7372

We took off and I felt great. I was worried that I would be the slowest in my swim group (the 30-34 age group is a fast category in triathlons) and that had me nervous. I ended up being slightly faster than average for my group which made me feel really good and helped me start the race off on a positive note. I had read about “the washing machine effect” where basically you get run over or beaten up during the swim and so I was a bit nervous about that as well. Luckily I never experienced this and only brushed other swimmers a handful of times. I tried to focus on swimming the shortest distance possible and using my upper body as much as I could to save my legs.

Transition 1: 3:20 (Goal: 4-5 minutes)

There was a several hundred meter run out of the water to get to the bike. I figured since running is my strength I would waste no time jogging to my bike and make sure I pushed during the transition. I had a smooth transition onto the bike and was quickly headed out for my ride portion. 

22007522_10105294109294401_7758727764855565813_n

BIKE: 2:41:19 / 20.9 mph (Goal: 2:48-3:00/18.6-20 mph)

Going into the bike my plan was to ride based on heart rate. I wanted to keep my heart rate as low as possible while keeping a decent pace. I originally thought I could keep it around 120, but didn’t take into account the swim before. My heart rate was staying right around 150-155 at the start and I felt comfortable so I decided I would try to just keep it there. I tried not to focus on my speed as much because I thought this may make me push too hard and ruin my run later.

Nutrition wise, I planned to consume the majority of my calories during the bike. The plan was 1 bottle of water mixed with Carbo-Pro (a tasteless carbohydrate supplement with approximately 50 grams of carbs) and one Gu (a gel carbohydrate supplement with approximately 25 grams of carbs) per hour on the bike. I carried two pre-made bottles with me and planned to mix the third while riding to decrease the amount of bottles I had to carry (I knew there were aid stations with water at them and I didn’t want to carry extra weight when I could just fill up on the course). I finished my first gel and bottle around mile 18 with no problems, and the second around mile 40. Here is how the last bottle was supposed to go:

Step 1: Pick up a bottle of water from the aid station.
Step 2: Pour said bottle into my water bottle and discard the empty one.
Step 3: Open a Carbo-Pro packet, pour it into my bottle, shake it up and then pour this into my Aero bottle on the handlebars. Seems easy enough right?

Well, I wasn’t able to ride and unscrew my squirt bottle top while carrying the new water in the other hand. So I thought, I’ll just pour this into my Aero bottle then pour the Carbo-Pro directly into that and it’ll mix over the next 15 miles while I sip it. I successfully filled the Aero bottle with water then discarded the empty one, but when I attempted to pour my Carbo-Pro into the bottle, it was a disaster. Trying to pour a powdery substance while moving at ~15-20 mph proved to be very difficult. Just picture a cloud of flour going all over me, my bike and those around me. Once this powder touches water, it doesn’t dissolve like you would guess, but rather it turns into SUPER glue. I licked as much of it off my hands as I could, hoping this would help somewhat but ultimately I ended up getting less than 25% of the fuel into my bottle. I ended up just sipping the water and taking my third gel towards the end of the bike.

Another funny story, around mile 50 a guy passed me and said something to me. I assumed he was saying good job, or keep it up, so I said the same back to him. After he was ahead, he turned around, looked back and said it again, then gave me a smile like “you have no idea what I’m saying right now” and he was right, I had no idea (and actually didn’t figure it out until the next day). I knew that the last few miles of the bike were supposed to be fast, but I felt like I really had to work hard to keep my same steady pace that I had been doing the whole ride. I assumed this was just due to my legs getting tired and so I didn’t really think anything of it.

Fast forward to the next morning when I actually discovered that my back tire was flat. I was so mad. What kind of jerk goes through the parking lot deflating people’s tires for fun!? Sam later pointed out how ridiculous this line of thinking is. I don’t know why I assume someone is out to get me or pick on me, but I guess that is what my immediate reaction is. Haha. After looking at some race pictures (my back tire is completely flat), and thinking through it more, I’m pretty sure that guy was telling me I had a flat. I think this happened around mile 50, which would help to explain why my I felt like I had to work harder at the end of the ride … because I DID.

22046626_10105294108710571_420892264238470437_n

So very flat. And the advice-giving rider.

Transition 2: 1:55 (Goal: 2-3 minutes)

Anyway, back to the race, I came into the transition area again and got ready for the run. I transitioned seamlessly and made a dash for the exit to run. I saw Sam at this exchange and told her that it was hot and the run may not go as expected.

RUN: 2:03:21 / 9:25 pace (Goal: 1:35-1:40 / 7:15-7:37 pace)

Generally running is my strength and this is where I planned to make up some ground. Remember when I mentioned my start time was after 9? My run started around 12:30 in the afternoon and it was hot. Really hot! The temperature had reached 90 by the time I was running! I am not a strong runner in the heat in general because I sweat a ton and the heat can quickly get to me. I planned to combat the heat by getting cold water every aid station and by using the sponges that they passed out on the course to try to keep my body and core temperature down.

22007623_10105294108411171_2319897236834380062_n

I knew immediately that I needed to adjust my time goal and start around an 8:00-8:30 pace. Well, that failed. It’s hard to tell what pace you are running right after biking and my first mile ended up being under 7:00. Whenever I saw this I thought, man I’m tired but this doesn’t seem that fast. My next mile was 7:19, and after this I quickly realized I was not going to keep this up. The nutrition plan for the run was to carry another bottle of Carbo-Pro and 2 gels with me. I would take the gels at miles 5 and 8 or 9 and refill my bottle with water along the course. By mile 3, my bottle was bone dry. To add to the problem, the water at the aid stations was not cool, but rather lukewarm, so my plan to use this as my cooling mechanism didn’t exactly go as planned.

At this point I changed my goals again and decided in order to be safe, I would walk a quarter of a mile whenever I got to mile 5 to slow my heart rate down some before running again. I tried to just focus on the moment and enjoy the fact that I had been racing well all day. I did not want to be negative about the fact that I had to walk or that my run was not going to be what I had hoped for. I knew the heat would be tough to overcome and it’s something I can’t control (I do wish I could’ve gotten those last bit of carbs in on the bike though).

At mile 5 I took my first gel and drank some warm water. UGH. Finally at mile 8 there was a trash can full of ice. I scooped as much up as I could, poured it into my shirt, under my hat, down my back, and then into my bottle. Within half a mile this was all melted and gone. I ended up doing a combination of running and walking to the finish over the next few miles and was able to see Sam at several spots throughout the run portion, which definitely was a huge boost.

FINISH TIME: 5:18:58 (Goal: 5:00-5:22)

I’m fully recovered now, other than normal soreness from a race, and already looking ahead to another 70.3. I am really pleased with how this one went and I think there are a few places I can still shave some time off.

img_7425

I guess I’ll go ahead and tell you a little bit about the post-race as well. Sam may elaborate. After the race we had to walk a couple of miles back to the car. At this point, I started to feel BAD. Did I mention the heat really wipes me out? I made it to the car and Sam went and got my bike and other stuff out of the transition area. Once we got back to the hotel I laid in the tub for a bit and tried to sip water and eat crackers. Each time I tried this, a few minutes later a wave of nausea would come over me and I was unable to keep anything down.

After a few hours of this, I told Sam I wanted to go to Urgent Care to get some IV fluids. I didn’t want to be miserable all night and also, we were planning to get on the road early the next morning. There was an Urgent Care half a mile away from our hotel and they did a great job. I was evaluated and started on IV fluids quickly. In addition they gave me some nausea medicine though my IV. I felt so much better after this and was even able to eat dinner and successfully keep it down. 

img_7424

Bless it.

I know this was a long post but, it was a LONG race so … Haha. Thanks for reading along. Let me know any thoughts, tips or questions in the comments below! 

Okay, Sam again. Whew! It was definitely a long race and I am so proud of Daniel. It was really cool to watch and I have a whole new level of respect for triathletes. I kind of used to think that triathlons were for the athletes who were just confused about what their niche was, but no … these guys are the real deal. 

I hope you guys are having a good weekend! We’ll talk to you soon! 

Try Tri Again

Hey guys! I hope your week is off to a good start! We had a wonderful time in Augusta last weekend and Daniel did amazingly well at his first Ironman 70.3! I *think* there may be a recap in the works!

I am in week 4 of the fundamental phase of my training for First Light. I’ve got 5 more weeks of this phase and then we will move on to the marathon specific phase, which will be 10 weeks long. Here is what my last week of workouts looked like …

Monday: 5 miles (8:46 pace)

I ran a loop with the Daniels Monday morning. We are pretty predictable at this point.

Tuesday: 10 miles (2 mile WU, 12 X 600, 2 mile CD)

Track Tuesday is back in my life! Tuesday morning’s session was a bit of a bear though. It was 79 degrees (feels like 85) w/ a dew point of 74 for our 4:45 a.m. start. This was so incredibly miserable. I hate to sound whiny, but there is really no other way to describe it. My goal range for the 600s was 2:09 to 2:12 (5:44 to 5:52 pace). After my 5K last week, my coach mentioned that the dew point lowers your V02 max potential, which definitely makes sense. With that in mind, I figured that I would need to adjust my expectations for this workout as well and focus on completion rather than hitting exact times.

My splits were 2:17, 2:17, 2:18, 2:16, 2:16, 2:18, 2:21, 2:17, 2:21, 2:20, 2:23 and 2:18. Not a single one in the goal range and yet, this workout still felt like a victory. It was miserable and I am just proud of myself for gutting it out and completing all 12 reps.

Wednesday: 8 miles (8:22 pace)

I hit the treadmill Wednesday morning for some easy miles. I listened to Tina Muir’s Running for Real podcast episode with Nancy Clark, RD who was a pioneer of sports nutrition in the running world. I’ve read her book, Food Guide for Marathoners, which I found to be extremely informative, so I was interested to hear this interview. I really enjoyed this episode and the miles flew by.

Thursday AM: 10 miles (8:04 pace) 

Thursday morning I had a mini-workout of sorts. My plan called for a 10 mile run with 8 miles easy and 2 miles brisk. I did 5 miles with the Daniels and headed out to do the second 5 miles on my own. I decided to pick the overall pace up during the second 5 miles in general and not just for the last 2 brisk miles. This gave me something to focus on and ended up feeling fairly comfortable. We averaged 8:35 for the first 5 miles and I averaged 7:30 for the second 5, which included my two brisk miles at 6:56 and 6:58.

Thursday PM: 8 miles (9:24 pace)

There is a Thursday evening group run that I try to attend every now and then (it’s been a bit of a rarity here lately). I ran 3 miles with the group and then went back to the park and met Jessica for 5 miles. I only did one double this week, so I figured I might as well make it count.

Friday: 5 miles (8:56 pace)

Young Daniel and I did a loop Friday morning before Daniel and I left for Augusta.

Saturday: 6 miles (8:28 pace)

We found a beautiful place to run in Augusta Saturday morning. As long as we are near the water, I am happy!

img_7325

Sunday: 6 miles (7:12 average) + 11 miles (spectator pace)

I did a few quick miles before Daniel’s race started. He had to check in around 5:30 a.m. and his wave of the swim start wasn’t until 9 a.m., so we had plenty of time to just hang out before the race started. I decided to go ahead and do a few miles since I wasn’t really sure what the rest of the day would hold. I was able to run 6 miles on the run portion of the triathlon course. The course was closed to traffic and there were plenty of volunteers out getting things set up for the race, so I felt fairly safe. I wouldn’t typically run alone in a city that I am unfamiliar with, but this seemed okay. I didn’t feel completely safe (not that I ever really do if I am running alone), but I had my phone with me and all was well. I ran a little quicker than I normally would do, so we are counting this as a mini workout!

I got back and still had plenty of time to sit with Daniel before his race started, which was perfect!

img_7358
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but he finished in 5:18 and did SO WELL! I ran all over the dang place cheering for him and seeing him as many places as I possibly could. We were both sufficiently pooped at the end of the day.

That’s all I’ve got for now! I gotta run! Talk to you soon!

Everyday I’m Hustlin’

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend. Week #3 of training for the First Light Marathon is in the books and here’s how it went down …

Monday: 7.25 miles (8:36 pace)

Started the week off by doing a loop with the Daniels and adding on a little extra at the end. Irma was making her way into Florida and we had a little wind, but nothing too bad. The bay was crazy low (a lot of water was sucked out into the Gulf).

Tuesday AM: 2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:24, 6:18, 6:20, 6:23, 6:22, 6:21), 2 mi. CD 

My schedule called for 6 mile repeats at LT (lactate threshold) tempo pace Tuesday morning. I was oddly excited for this workout. I guess that’s a good example of how taking a little time off from training can rejuvenate your desire to train. I’ve done these repeats at tempo pace before, as opposed to at V02 max pace (which is what likely typically think of when you think about mile repeats), and so I knew that the workout would be tough but doable.

The cooler weather was still hanging around Tuesday morning and while we did have a little bit of wind (remnants from Irma), the conditions were pretty much ideal. We (the Daniels and I) did the workout on the track. While it would’ve definitely been possible to do this one on the road, I’ve gotten to where I would just prefer being on the track. You don’t have to worry about silly things like dodging cars and cracks in the sidewalk.

Our goal range for the repeats was 6:20 to 6:30 (so probably a little slower than 10K pace and a little faster than half marathon pace). We pretty much stuck together for the first 4 repeats. My Daniel led the workout (mainly just because he doesn’t like running directly behind anyone) and Young Daniel and I just hung on behind him. The Daniels stopped after 4 repeats (my Daniel is entering the TAPER phase of his training and Young Daniel had to get to leave to get to work). I did the last two on my own, which was a mental feat in and of itself and the paces stayed pretty consistent. Woo!

Tuesday PM: 3 miles (8:34 pace)

I did an easy 3 mile shakeout run Tuesday evening after work before attending a child protection certification class for Girls on the Run.

Wednesday: 6.5 miles (8:45 pace)

Thursday morning I did a loop with the Daniels and Cody. I followed that up with a 1.5 mile trot with Mr. Brookser.


Thursday: 8 miles (8:37 pace)

Thursday morning I hit up the treadmill, listened to some podcasts and got the miles done. Thursday is typically another workout day, but since I was doing a race Saturday, I only had one major workout this week. I went to my first Girls on the Run practice Thursday afternoon and it was a blast! We have 12 precious girls (3rd, 4th & 5th graders) and they are hilarious. I think the coaches are having just as much fun as the girls.

Friday AM: 8 miles (8:57 pace)

I ran easy with the Daniels Friday morning and followed that up with another 1.5 mile jaunt with Brooks. He’s become quite the little runner dog.

Friday PM: 5 miles (10:19 pace)

I got to run with Jessica again this week on Friday afternoon! Woo! We did 5 miles and it poured rain on us for about 4 of the 5 miles. We looked like drowned rats when we got back to the house, but we had a blast. Running in the rain is actually really enjoyable IMO (that is, of course, as long as it isn’t lightening). For a few moments, all of your cares are washed away and in general, you just feel super hard core!

Saturday: Jubilee Race for Life 5K

Feel free to check out the race recap linked above if you’d like and if not, no hard feelings.

Sunday: 11.75 miles (8:14 pace)

I finished up the week with a medium long run with the Warehouse crew. Since I had raced the day before, I didn’t specifically have a long run this week. I figured I would just show up and run with whoever ran the shortest distance, which turned out to be just shy of 12 miles. Everyone is in the thick of marathon and/or ultra training at the moment!

I ended the week with 70 miles and 75 minutes of strength work. I also got plenty of good rest and a sports chiro adjustment. It was a good week and I’m ready to tackle the next one!

Jubilee Race for Life 5K

This morning I ran the Jubilee Race for Life 5K. The race takes place less than a mile from our house and so I really just couldn’t pass it up. This wasn’t a goal race per say, but more of just a chance to get out there and race (which I love!) and to get a gauge for where I am at this point in the marathon training cycle so that we have a good baseline to work from going forward.

With the race being so close to home, I was [theoretically] able to sleep in. I say theoretically because my internal alarm clock didn’t get the memo. Regular alarm was set for 5:45 a.m., but internal alarm was still set for 4:30 a.m. Toots. I had plenty of time to piddle around the house, have coffee, etc. before I headed up to the race. It’s actually quite nice to have some extra time to just “be” before having to rush off and do things every now and then.

We left the house a little before 7 a.m. (me on foot and Daniel on bike) and headed to the race start so that I could get registered and run the course as a warm up. This is a small, local race that is VERY well organized and VERY well executed. I highly recommend it to anyone local. I registered, got my number and shirt (a fun neon orange tech tee) and headed out to get my warm up in. The volunteers were working on getting all of the water stations set up and getting the roads closed as we were out on the warm up loop. One of the volunteers asked if I was “just out sampling the course,” which we thought was so funny! Yep! Just getting a little sample of what’s to come.

It was incredibly warm and humid! We’ve had some really nice fall temperatures already this season, but apparently it was NOT here to stay. The temperature and dew point were both exactly 76 at the start (i.e., 100% humidity). It was ROUGH! I entered the temperature and dew point into my pace calculator before I left the house (#nerdalert) and knew I was likely going to be looking at a 6 – 8 percent adjustment. I’m so glad that I checked this before the race, because my time definitely reflects the rough conditions and I probably would’ve been a little disappointed if I hadn’t done my research. Knowledge is power I suppose!

I didn’t have any specific time goals going into this one (thank goodness). Based on recent races and workouts, I figured that I should be able to run fairly close to 6:00 pace in good conditions. Seeing as how the conditions were far from ideal, I decided to keep a goal range of 6:15 to 6:20 in the back of mind. I honestly tried not to look at the pace too much mid-race and really focused on running by feel.

img_7219

The race took off precisely at 8 a.m. I found myself in the top 5 or so pretty much immediately. I knew that it was going to be a small race and I was prepared to work by myself. The first half mile had 8 turns, which can be a little tricky. I mean, I don’t think there could possibly be any more turns in a half mile segment. Haha. I got a fun little surprise at one of the early turns … my mom was there! Daniel also rode his bike all over the course and saw me 4 or 5 times. I’m super thankful for my people!

img_7232

The course was an out and back and after we got past the last turn at the half mile mark, the course was straight as an arrow (flat to downhill) until we got to the turnaround. I came through the first mile in 6:14 and had moved into the second overall runner. I was pleased with the split and thought to myself that I might even be able to negative split the course (how cute) since I had run smart for the first mile.

I tried to use the gradual downhill of the first half of the second mile to my advantage and just focused on the guy in front of me. I didn’t think that I would catch him, but having a rabbit to chase is always nice. Once we got to the turnaround, I was expecting things to get a little tough. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually got a big boost from seeing the other runners (I love out and back courses for this exact reason). We were all encouraging each other and before I even realized it, I had made it back up the hill! My split for the second mile was 6:11.

Things got a little dicey during the last mile. I knew that my place was pretty much solidified and I tried to keep the effort consistent, but that didn’t really work out for me. We have to reweave back through the 8 turns from mile 1 and the last three tenths or so of the race was uphill. I didn’t specifically feel like we were running downhill at the very beginning of the race, but apparently we were (gotta love it when that happens). That last little bit of incline got to me and my effort level dropped off. My split for the third mile was 6:36.

I finished in 19:29. Time wise, definitely not my best, but effort wise, I was pleased.

img_7235

One of our precious little Girls on the Run girls was at the race and she did SO WELL. I thought she might need some encouragement at the end of the race so I ran back to find her, but as it turns out, she was just fine. Her finishing kick was amazing and I was really impressed with how she raced! After she finished, Daniel and I headed out for a short cool down. I thought about running the course again, but decided against that. I was really craving a diet coke (it happens), so we ran to the nearest gas station and got a drink before heading back to the race finish to enjoy the carbonation and wait on the awards.

The overall male and female winners got gift certificates for a pair of shoes from Running Wild. A runner can never have too many shoes. Fact. The age group winners got very unique, homemade awards, which is always a nice touch. There was also music, door prizes and Chick Fil A to be enjoyed after the race. We stayed for a while (because of said door prizes) and chatted with friends, new and old (in terms of how long we’ve known them, not because of their ages :)).

Daniel left the race a little bit before I did (Game Day was on … I can’t compete with that). I came home to find he and Brooksy chillaxin in the hammock watching Game Day. So sweet ❤

img_7228

If you are local, you need to do this race next year! It’s always the third weekend in September. This morning was really fun, despite the sogginess of the air. Side note: I have yet to get a brush through my hair (it’s 5:30 p.m. at this point). I think I’ll just wait and deal with that mess tomorrow.

I hope you’ve had a good Saturday! Talk to you soon!

Run the World (GIRLS)!

Hi! I survived the second week of marathon training. Woo! Here’s how it went down.

Monday (Labor Day): 8 miles (8:23 pace)

Rebecca and I met Monday morning for an easy 8 miles. It was so nice to have a long weekend!

Tuesday: 2.75 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 on/1:00 off, 1 mi. CD 

Tuesday was definitely a Monday. I woke up with a really sore neck. I feel like the frequency of these random neck cricks has gotten much higher recently. I don’t know specifically what causes it other than the typical suspects of sleeping funny, straining to look at a computer all day and general stress. Regardless, it’s kind of debilitating in the moment. I had a workout on tap for Tuesday morning and I definitely thought about postponing it, but that would’ve basically meant rearranging the entire rest of the week of workouts and I decided to just suck it up and go for it.

Daniel took a rest day (he biked 40 miles and ran 5 miles on Monday), but thankfully Young Daniel and Cody came over to run with me. Cody ran the first three miles with us and then headed back so that he could get to work and Young Daniel and I were on our own for the 15 X 1:00 repeats with a 1:00 rest in between each pickup. I programmed the intervals into my watch and so it counted down the minutes on and the minutes off for us, which is nice. The minutes on were supposed to be HARD. Coach gave me a goal range of 5:30 to 5:45 for these.

Our average paces for the minutes on were 6:29, 6:35, 6:20, 5:41, 5:47, 5:55, 5:57, 5:45, 6:12, 5:51, 6:04, 5:57, 6:18, 5:49 and 5:43. We were a little over goal range and not super consistent, but I know without a doubt that we put in sufficient effort to reap the benefits from this workout.

As a semi-random side note: I was legit late to work Tuesday morning because I couldn’t brush my hair out. My hair tends to be a good barometer of the humidity and Tuesday it must’ve been out of control. Even after two rounds of conditioner, I was dealing with a massive, stubborn, tangled web of lies hair. I spent an extra 10 or 15 minutes trying to brush it out before realizing that it just wasn’t going happen. Thank goodness for the top knot!

I was able to get worked in to see my sports chiropractor Tuesday afternoon. He fixed my neck and also stretched out my hips, quads, hamstrings, etc. while I was there. I’ve not had any significant issues (knock on wood), but I am planning to see him fairly regularly during this training cycle to make sure that I stay as healthy as possible (I think the term for this is “prehab” :)). Prehab and 10 minutes of strength work per day … getting that #extrasalt in (the Salty Running coined term to describe all of the little things that we know we *should* do, but rarely make time for).

Wednesday: 5 miles (8:54 pace) 

Phew. My legs felt sore and heavy Wednesday morning. I was definitely feeling the effects from the quicker running on Tuesday and probably also from the chiro adjustment (I’m always the most sore the day after an adjustment). I did a loop with the Daniels and we were all moving a little slower than normal.

Thursday: 10 miles (7:55 pace) + 5 miles (8:23 pace)

Thursday morning the schedule called for 10 miles with 8 miles at an easy pace and 2 miles at a “brisk” pace. This run was similar to one I did last week, except for last week it was 5 easy and 5 brisk, which made this week’s 2 brisk miles seem like nothing more doable. Waking up to temperatures in the SIXTIES also made the run seem more doable as well! Oh my goodness … it was heavenly!

We (the Daniels and I) did the workout on the same 10 mile route from last week and picked it up during miles 8 (6:53) and 9 (6:42), which gave us one mile to cool down a bit at the very end. The two brisk miles felt really smooth and fairly effortless, which I guess is good because eventually I will need to be able to do 24 more miles at that pace (insert wide eye emoji). It sounds a tad intimidating for sure, but that’s the whole point of having a training cycle … we gotta put in the work to chase those big goals!

Thursday evening Rebecca and I met with one of the local running groups and did an easy 5 miles. We had both done 10 miles with some faster paced stuff that morning, so we just wanted to get in a few easy miles to shake out our legs. An added bonus was that it just so happened to be #tbt and it was the anniversary of our annual photo with Savannah! She will be 3 tomorrow! Time flies.

Friday: 5 miles (8:39 pace) + 5 miles (WITH JESSICA)

I ran an easy 5 miles with Young Daniel Friday morning. I got to work and got the best text message ever! Jessica wanted to run (Baby Olivia is just over a month old). She’s been running a few miles on her treadmill, but was ready to test the waters with an outdoor run. I wasn’t planning to run again, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I was so excited to see her! We got in five miles and lots of laughs. She is a rockstar.

21430116_10105244145881481_3812685765135343219_n

Saturday: 15 miles (7:49 pace)

Saturday’s long run was a little longer and a little faster than last week’s run. The weather was much nicer this week, but still … it’s fun to be able to tangibly see the progress. We eased into the pace over the first two miles and then picked it up a little bit. I averaged 7:40 for the last 13 miles, which I am super happy with.

During the run I found myself getting a tad discouraged that the pace didn’t feel easier (translation: how am I going to run 26 miles at a 50 seconds to a minute PER MILE faster than this). I had to remind myself to run the mile I am in (and don’t worry about how I might be feeling 20 weeks from now), that this run was supposed to be at a “moderate” pace (i.e., not “easy”) and that I still have an entire training cycle to get there. Gotta love giving yourslef a mid-run pep talk! The good news is that I got through to myself (in the short-term at least … I’ll probably have to talk some more sense into my head again at some point in the near future).

Sunday: 5 miles (8:14 pace)

We slept in (until after 8!) and did a loop mid-morning. It was really nice to have at least one day of week to sleep in! I’m headed to a Girl’s on the Run training class this afternoon. Girls on the Run uses running to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.

WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY GIRL
CAN EMBRACE WHO SHE IS,
CAN DEFINE WHO SHE WANTS TO BE,
CAN RISE TO ANY CHALLENGE,
CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
CAN.

I absolutely adore everything that this organization stands for and I’m really excited to get involved as a local coach.

Talk to you soon!

Committed!

Hi. Hey! HELLO!

I guess we’ll go ahead and call a spade a spade. I am training for a marathon and I am really, really excited about it! I was *seriously contemplating* the idea of running the First Light Marathon in January, but I didn’t want to actually commit until after my summer training cycle was done and I had a couple of weeks to truly mull it over (so to speak). My contemplation led me to the fact that I am super excited to train, give it all I’ve got and go for that all-elusive SUB 3!

I’ve got 20 weeks to put in a lot of hard work to get there. From a bigger picture standpoint, the training cycle is going to be broken up into a 10 week fundamental phase and a 10 week specific phase. I’ll still do lots of smaller, shorter races (5Ks & 10Ks) and hopefully I will find a half to do at some point as well. Another thing that I am super excited about is that I am going to be pacing the 3:25 group at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon on December 10th! I love the idea of pacing and hopefully it’ll be a great way to get in one major long run at just about a minute over my goal marathon pace. I think I am equally excited about the marathon that I am pacing and the marathon that I am racing!

Here is what week #1 looked like …

Monday: 7 miles (8:53 pace)

I started the week off with an easy run with the Daniels (husband Daniel & Young Daniel). Things are definitely back to normal! After the run I did 20 minutes of strength work (planks, push ups, etc.) with some light stretching. My consistency with strength and stretching is less than desirable (far, far less). I know that I need to do a better job with this in order to stay strong and fend of any little pre-injury niggles that might arise. My goal is going to be to do 10 to 20 minutes of this per day.

Tuesday: 10 miles (7:44 pace)

Tuesday’s run called for 5 miles easy and 5 miles at brisk pace. The focus of the brisk run is to stay relaxed while running quickly, which helps you to run as efficiently as possible in workouts and races. Staying relaxed helps you to conserve energy, which is obviously a good thing.

I am so thankful that I had some company on this run. The Daniels did the workout with me. We got started at 5 a.m. and got the hills out-of-the-way early (i.e., during the “easy” portion of the run). We were hanging pretty consistently in the 8:45 or so range for the first four miles. I think this is fairly common for our “easy” pace runs this time of the year. We were basically going to need to drop the pace down 2 whole minutes to get to the 6:45 to 7:00 range, which was the goal range for the “brisk” portion. We ended up dropping down to 7:30 ish for the last “easy” mile so that the brisk pace wouldn’t feel like as much of a shock to the system.

Our route took us beside a cow pasture and as we ran by the cows took off running as well. Those jokers are much faster than they look and it is a major bummer to get out run by a herd of cows (whilst running briskly nonetheless). We had a good laugh about it at least and before we knew it, we only had 4 more miles to go. The miles steadily clicked off and once we settled into the pace, it didn’t seem too bad. I haven’t done much training in the marathon pace range recently and so, going into the workout, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised.

Side note: Day #2 and I didn’t do any strength work [insert facepalm here]. BUT … I redeemed myself later in the week and I *averaged* 10 minutes a day for the week, which is a huge improvement. Baby steps.

Wednesday AM: 3 miles (8:47 pace)

We woke up to lots of rain Wednesday morning. The sound of the rain on the roof was so soothing that I “accidentally” hit snooze and slept for an entire extra hour. By the time I actually got up, I only had time for 3 miles and 10 minutes of strength work, which was totally fine.

Wednesday PM: 5 miles (8:05 pace)

Wednesday evening after work I did a loop with the Daniels and Cody. My legs felt SO HEAVY. Afternoon runs have not been my jam lately. I added in 10 more minutes of strength work to make up for my laziness Tuesday for good measure.

Thursday: 9 miles (8:01 pace)

It was raining again Thursday morning, so I took my run to the treadmill and knocked out 9 miles like it was nothing. It’s amazing to me how my legs can feel so tired one evening and so fresh the next morning. I guess that just goes to show you how important sleep and adequate rest is to our training (plus, I am just a morning person in general).

Friday: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

Speaking of rest, I slept in Friday morning and decided to try out a lunch run. In theory this seemed like such a good idea, but I guess my execution was a bit flawed. I can get home from work, play with Brooks and change into my running clothes in about 15 minutes, which gives me 30 minutes to run and then 15 more minutes to rinse off and get back to work within my typical 1 hour lunch break.

Friday, I ended up taking an hour and a half for lunch (it’s nice to have that flexibility for sure, but it’s not something that I would want to make a habit of). I got 5 miles done in 40 minutes, but the whole shower off and get back to work within 15 minutes thing definitely did not happen. I could NOT stop sweating (even after a cold shower). It was miserable. If you’ve seen the Friends, just imagine Ross trying to get his leather pants on and that was me with my jeans. Oh. Em. Gee.

9f73e77514571eff081046d9db8f158e

Friday PM: 5 miles (8:26 pace)

Daniel and I did a loop after work, which is always a good chance for us to talk and catch up on how our days have been.

Saturday: 13 miles (7:51 pace) 

Saturday was the first “moderate” pace long run that I’ve done in quite some time. I was actually supposed to do 14 to 15 miles at 7:30 to 7:45 pace, but for whatever reason I had it in my head that morning that it was 13 to 14 miles. I’ve been doing most of my long runs at 8:30 to 9:00 pace and I definitely had to make a mental and physical adjustment to get it under 8:00 pace. I basically didn’t think about the pace until mile 8 and then I realized that I was going to have to step it up a notch. My last 5 miles were 7:42, 7:23, 7:28, 7:32 and 7:22. I am very happy with how that went down!

I came home and ran a mile with Brooks, so I guess I technically got my 14 in for the day. He ran a 9:20 mile, which might be his fastest yet. I could tell once we got started that he wasn’t messing around. He only took one brief pause [paws] … see what I did there … to check his p-mail (the preferred method of doggie communication … they leave each other encrypted messages all over town (mainly in bushes and near fire hydrants)). Of course Brooks decides to really step it up a notch on the day that I’ve already done a tough 13 miles beforehand. Ha.

He played fetch for quite a while after his run and then he even got to go swimming! It was a good day to be a Brookser.

After all of that, we were both sufficiently worn out and so we took a nice little snooze while we waited on Daniel to get home from work. I also managed to sneak in another 20 minutes of strength training later in the day.

Sunday: 10 miles (8:31 pace)

Sunday was a good day! I met Rebecca and Lizzie in Gulf Shores to do the first half of their long run with them. Rebecca is training for another 50 miler (beast-mode) and Lizzie is training for Chicago (coming up soon), so they both needed lots of miles. I ran 10 miles with them and then biked with them for the second 10 miles. We got brunch afterwards, which is always a treat!

Overall, I am definitely pleased with how this week went. I didn’t have anything crazy as far as workouts go, but I felt good on the runs that I did. I managed to get a total of 70 minutes of strength + stretching in, which is approximately 70 minutes more than normal, so I’m definitely counting that as a victory this week.

I hope everyone has a fun, safe Labor Day! Talk to you soon!