Long May You Run

Hi friends. Happy Monday! It’s *finally* October 16th! WOO to the HOO! Today is the official last day of second tax season and I’m pretty dang pumped about that (if you didn’t pick up on that already). An added bonus is that fall is coming. We’ve been tracking its arrival for quite some time now and it is scheduled to make an appearance early this week!

Here is my training log for the week of 10.09.17 – 10.15.17!

Monday – Easy Run: 5 miles (8:44 pace)

I ran an easy 5 with Daniel Monday morning before work. This week at work was bananas, thanks to the above-referenced tax deadline, and I actually had to be up and out the door earlier than normal. It’s worth mentioning that Daniel actually woke up at 3:50 to run with me (and that is not something he would voluntarily do on his own). Early morning quality run time is my love language. I was oh so appreciative of this gesture.

Tuesday – Tempo: 11 miles (7:48 pace)

DCIM100_VIRB
You can actually *see* the humidity! 

Tuesday’s workout was a tad brutal and not because of the workout specifically, but rather because of the dang weather. A temperature of 75 degrees combined with a dew point of 74 degrees = a misery index of 149. The air was so thick and muggy that it really felt like you could cut it with a knife. See pic above of foggy track … that’s what we were dealing with Tuesday a.m.

The workout was a 2 – 3 mile warm up, followed by 3 X 2 mile repeats w/ a quarter-mile recovery in between and a 2 – 3 mile cool down. The goal pace range was between 6:20 and 6:30, which is probably between my 10K and 10 mile race pace currently.

Actual paces per mile and times per 2 mile repeats were 6:50/6:37 = 13:27, 6:31/6:29 = 13:00, 6:35/6:56 = 13:31. While I didn’t specifically calculate a heat/humidity pace adjustment beforehand, looking back I kind of wish that I had. I think a fair adjustment would’ve put me in a 6:35 to 6:45 range. I was working too hard on the second repeat to hit the target paces and I definitely ran out of steam on the third repeat.

Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (9:15 pace)

All of my typical morning running buddies bailed Wednesday morning and so I ran on the treadmill. I listened to a podcast and the miles flew by. I love it when that happens!

Brookser joined me while I ran on the TM. For some reason this is the face he started making when I try to take his picture? Cheesin.

Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:43 pace)

I was feeling kind of worn down Thursday morning, likely due to some lingering tiredness from Tuesday’s tempo workout and longer than normal days at work (or some combination of the two). I called it a day after 5 miles.

Friday – Easy: 10 miles (8:09 pace)

Friday morning’s run called for 10 X 30 second pickups with one minute recovery between each set. I did the pickups between miles 4 – 5 of the run. I’ve come to really enjoy these little 30 second pickups. Honestly, I used to just skip this entirely when it showed up on my schedule (sorry coach), because I thought to myself, “It’s only 5 minutes. Why even bother?”

It turns out that these quick repeats improve your stride power and train your body to get used to quicker paces and effort levels. The quick pickups make your regular pace seem easier by comparison. I usually end up running a little bit quicker than normal after the pickups, which is definitely what happened Friday morning.

Saturday – Long Run: 18 miles (7:38 pace)

I decided that this run-race combo deserved a post in and of itself and so feel free to check that out here. If you don’t feel like reading all of the details, the TL;DR version is that I made a last-minute decision to hop in a 10K for miles 10 through 16 of my 18 mile long run. I was actually |thisclose| to missing the start. I started chatting with a friend during the warm up miles and completely lost track of where we were and what time it was. We ended up having to basically run race pace for two miles to make it back to the start of the race, which we did (with about one minute to spare)!

My splits for the 10K were 6:49, 6:57, 6:33, 6:32, 6:33 and 6:39. I didn’t have any specific goals as far as the race went, as the main focus was getting the long run done. I was pleasantly surprised that my legs felt decent and I was able to maintain a respectable pace for the race. I finished it up with a two mile cool down and called it a day.

Sunday – Easy: 7 miles (9:52 pace)

After Saturday’s shenanigans, I wanted to take it easy and get in a true recovery effort. I was able to run with Jessica and we did the usual post-run breakfast + coffee thing, which was wonderful!

I hope everyone has a great week! Talk to you soon! 

Always on the Run

Hey guys! Here is my training log for the week of 10.02.17 to 10.18.17!

Monday – Easy Run: 5.5 miles (9:02 pace)

I started the week off with a short recovery run with Daniel. This is pretty typical, as the weekends are usually filled with higher mileage and/or races and I need a day (or sometimes two) to recover. Last weekend was filled with lots of running shenanigans and I definitely needed a couple of easy days this week.

Tuesday – Easy Run: 8 miles (8:40 pace)

My legs were starting to feel better by Tuesday and I did 8 miles with the Daniels that morning.

Wednesday – Speed: 10 miles (7:30 pace) + Easy Run: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

Young Daniel and I hit track bright and early (well … actually very dark and early) for some 1200 meter repeats Wednesday morning. The workout was a 2 mile warm up, 6 X 1200 w/ 400 recoveries and a 2 mile cool down. There was a gorgeous harvest moon over the track for the majority of the workout.

My goal pace range for the 1200s was 6:10 to 6:20, which is probably somewhere between 5K and 10K pace currently. It took us a couple of repeats to ease into the pace, but once we got there, the pace felt manageable. My splits for the 1200s were 6:35, 6:27, 6:13, 6:14, 6:04 and 6:00. This workout was a great reminder that easing into the pace and nailing the last few repeats (or miles of a race) is definitely the way to go.

I did a double Wednesday and my legs were toast by the end of the day.

Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (9:47 pace)

I stuck to the treadmill Thursday morning and my legs were definitely feeling the effects from Wednesday’s runs. I had a hard time settling into a comfortable rhythm and overall this run was just kind of blah.

Friday – Easy: 7 miles (9:22 pace)

I ran 5 miles with Daniel and 2 miles with Brooks Friday morning.

Saturday – Endurance: 15 miles (7:48 pace)

I had a fast finish long run on tap this week. I was planning to jump into a local 5K Saturday morning for the fast finish portion, but the race was cancelled courtesy of Hurricane Nate. I like using races in my training, especially for something like a fast finish long run, as I find that having a race makes me exponentially more motivated to actually pick it up at the end of the run. That didn’t exactly workout for me this time around, but I did manage to complete the run sans race.

My goal pace range for the last four miles of the run was 6:45 to 7:00, which is goal marathon pace range (eek … I try not to think about that too much). The first 10 to 11 miles of this run felt so long. The anticipation of knowing that you have a workout to do, but not being able to just get it over with is really tough. Our splits for the last four miles were 6:59, 7:21 (big hill (i.e., 100+ ft. of elevation gain)), 7:02 and 6:45. Having a buddy gut it out with you at the end is really nice … thanks Sasser! I was just outside of the goal pace range on those miles, but I’m still really happy with it. I think some workouts count as mental victories and this was one of those for me.

Sunday – Easy: 9.5 miles (8:39 pace)

Sunday morning was a bit of a wash out due to Hurricane Nate, but thankfully it never got too bad here. I got to run with Rebecca and Jessica Sunday afternoon, which was so nice! We’ve not been able to run together as much recently, but I guess that makes us even more thankful for the times when it does workout.

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

09/25/17 – 10/01/17

Hey again! Two days in a row. I’m on a roll!

Here is what went down last week, training wise:

Monday: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

We got home from Augusta around 3 p.m. or so Monday afternoon. I was able to meet up with some of the usual suspects for an impromptu group run after every one else got off work. We did a loop and it felt good to stretch my legs a little bit after driving all day.

Tuesday: 8 miles w/ 4 miles @ tempo (6:39 pace)

This week’s schedule called for Tempo Tuesday! Young Daniel did the workout as well and Husband Daniel rode his mountain bike with us. We did a 2.75 mile warm up (basically to get us over the biggest hills) and then it was time to tempo. The goal pace for the tempo miles was 6:20 to 6:30. It took us a good mile and a half or so to settle into the pace. The first two miles were 6:56 and 6:39. The 6:56 was a little disheartening because it definitely felt like we were working hard, but we didn’t let it get to us too much. The temperature and dew point were both in the 70s and so we knew that the goal pace range would actually be slower if we had adjusted it. I don’t always like to adjust it beforehand because I think I tend to use that as a crutch, when I’d rather just gut out the workout knowing that I did my best and check the adjustment after the fact to make myself feel better. Ha. Whatever it takes, right?

After the first two tempo miles we were cruising! I hit the last two in 6:31 and 6:32 and Young Daniel finished ahead of me. My tempo miles averaged out to just under 6:40 pace, which I think is very respectable given the conditions. We were definitely glad to have that one behind us.

img_7404

Wednesday: 8 miles (8:42 pace)

Wednesday’s run was nice and easy to recover from the previous day’s stress workout. I did a loop with Young Daniel and then headed out for 3 more solo miles.

Thursday: 10 miles (8:08 pace) 

The training plan called for 10 miles with 10 X 30 second pickups with a 1:00 recovery jog on Thursday. I typically use the workout feature on my Garmin for timed intervals, but decided not to for this one. I didn’t really have a set pace that I was trying to hit on the pickups and I didn’t specifically need to have the post-workout feedback, so we just ran by feel and used the overall running time to know when to start and stop the pickups and the recoveries.

We did the pickups during miles 5 and 6 of the run. The 30 seconds flew by and I definitely enjoyed this workout. Having the pickups gave us something to focus on and the pace naturally gets a little quicker during the recoveries and after the pickups after your body wakes up and your legs start turning over.

Friday: 6 miles (8:14 pace)

I hit up the treadmill Friday morning for a few easy miles. I listened to The Ali on the Run Show. She interviewed Danielle from The T-Rex Runner, whose blog I have read off and on for years. I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast and the miles flew by!

Side note: I decided to wear these lovely Nike spandex shorts that I want so badly to like. They are so darn cute, but about 10 steps into the run they are not where they are supposed to be and it stresses me out. Oh well, I tried. The treadmill is a really good place to experiment with clothing options (well … maybe not if you are on a public treadmill).

img_7407

Saturday: 17 miles (7:58 pace)

Saturday was long run day! I had 17 miles to tackle. Several of us got started at 5 a.m., which was actually quite nice. We had 7 miles in the books by the time a few others joined in at 6 a.m. and somehow I always seem to almost “forget” about those super early miles. I guess my body is still half asleep or something … I can’t really explain it. Basically it felt like I only ran 10 miles, when I actually did 17, which I guess is a good thing! I didn’t quite get my pace down into the “moderate” range that I was supposed to, but I’m not super concerned with that at this point. The 17th mile was the fastest mile of the day at 7:00 flat, which helped to bring my overall average just under 8:00 pace. Whew!

img_7416

Sunday: 11 miles (8:18 pace) + 3.15 miles (6:17 pace)

Sunday morning I got some much-needed girl time! I was originally planning to meet Rebecca for the second half of her long run. We also got to run some with Lizzie, Jill and Jessica, which was so great! We haven’t all gotten together for a run in several months.

Funny story … as we were finishing up the run, Rebecca came up with the grand idea that we should run a 5K that evening. The inaugural “Bras Across the CAUSEway” event was taking place that evening and of course at the time (i.e., riding those post-run endorphin waves), it seemed like a wonderful idea! I told her that I was in. I texted my coach to keep him in the loop and we planned to meet back up at the race that evening.

img_7439

I’ll recap the race in a separate post, but the short version is that I ran a major negative split (6:40, 6:14, 6:01), which is likely due to the major headwind we were running into during the first half of the race and probably also somehow related to the fact that I didn’t do a pre-race warm up … I wasn’t planning to run this thing all out, so I just kind of went with it. It was a great event all-around and I’m really glad that we did it.

That wraps up last week’s runs. I’ll talk to you guys 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!

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!