Category Archives: Running

Week #1 Marathon Training

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UPDATE: I decided it was too much to start training this early for a marathon and pushed it off until July.  I didn’t keep up with posting here, but updated everything on Social Media.  Check out my Marathon Recap from December for the full story!

April 17 – So the first day was a scheduled “rest day.” Kinda silly, but I understand why it’s like this since the rest of the weeks I will need the rest come Monday. But those of you that know me well enough, know that “rest day” isn’t necessarily in my vocabulary. I’ll preach to everyone else to make sure to take a full rest day, but it’s difficult for me with the training, practicing for and teaching my fitness classes, and having my social walks with friends. But there are definitely days that I take it easier and don’t push it, which I consider rest compared to regular days. So since this was day one, I did about 80% of a kickboxing workout (got a little lightheaded toward the end so decided to call it quits), then went for a 3.8 walk with a friend. Felt good, ate good. Not enough water, but better than I did on vacation. Did have about 3/4 of a leftover Sahlen’s hot dog that my mom left in my fridge (noms) as an evening snack. Oh well, it was worth it.

April 18 – Back to reality after spring break. Was active most of the day since I started inventory in the library while we’re slow before SOLs. Training schedule called for 1.5 miles which seems ridiculous to me, but it actually feels like I’m retraining myself altogether. A few times I looked down and was doing about 7:45-8 minute mile and I need to get out of that mindset. I think I have figured out that I will aim for 9:45-10 minute mile for marathon pace. That’s my conversational pace so I’m hoping to work that out. I know longer runs will be easier for me to take it easy. Short runs I always just go for as fast as possible, so old habits die hard. I’ll work on it 😛 I like that this schedule has two super easy runs, a bit of a longer run mid-week, then a longer run on the weekend. I think it’ll work out really well, especially once it gets hotter. I can’t wait until summer when I can do all my runs in the morning before it gets too warm and sunny. Did Combat Kickstart after I got back from my run. I think I’ll rotate through many of my kickboxing/MMA programs to work my arms and core since my legs get a lot of work from running, but all the kicks help strengthen and stretch my quads and hamstrings, too. I want to do more weight lifting, too, but was wanting more cardio today. Ate really good, except one chocolate truffle that a co-worker brought back from her trip to England. Considered it a great success since normally I would eat multiple!!

April 19 – 3 miles was on the schedule for today, but I did 3.1 because I can definitely handle the extra. Stayed at about 9:20 average pace which felt pretty good. Was cloudy and 59, which is a temp I can definitely handle. Ended up helping Ricky mow the lawn when I got done with my run – him on the rider and me on the push mower. Shoulders and back were screaming from inventory, punching from the MMA routines, and pushing the mower around. Definitely gonna rest the arms the next couple of days.

April 20 – Super warm today – 79, and barely any breeze. Plus the first time I’ve ran three days in a row in a super long time. Averaged about a 9:30, which is not the worst it could be…but made me feel pretty lame for only 1.5 miles. I hate hate hate hot weather. I would rather run in 40 degrees any day. Thankfully the marathon is in November… Taught my fitness class later that night. Lots of steps today!

April 21 – Friday is another scheduled rest day, but I teach my fitness class at my other location on Fridays. But I only did that, so I definitely rested from running and overexerted cardio. Sleeping isn’t the best that it could be, but working on getting upstairs earlier each night so I can at least try to fall asleep earlier. Definitely don’t want to have to medicate myself in order to fall asleep quicker or stay sleeping, unless completely necessary.

April 22 – Got up bright and early to get 3.1 miles out of the way before my my bi-annual VRC meeting in Charlottesville. I knew I was going to hang out with a friend after the meeting and then game night when I got home, so it had to get done before I left or it never would. Averaged a little faster than the 3.1 earlier this week, but it was only 55 and raining. Thankfully it didn’t start pouring until the last few tenths of a mile. After my half in Virginia Beach a little over a month ago, I won’t ever skip a run because it’s running unless it’s ridiculously cold or somehow unsafe. I figure if I ran 13.1 in near-monsoon weather, with a sandstorm, I can handle anything haha. Shared a bottle of wine with a friend at a winery, and had more cheese than I think any human should, but totally worth it 😛

April 23 – Taught my last Sunday fitness class then went for a nearly 4 mile walk with a friend. Schedule calls for a 30 minute walk, but we usually do around 60. Didn’t make the best nutrition choices today, but we were out and about with errands. Gotta get packing – Punta Cana is gonna be here before we know it! Adjusting my schedule next week so I’m not expected to run after arriving in the Dominican Republic, because you know that won’t happen! So I’ll run M-T-W instead of T-W-Th. I’ll still do the second long run on Saturday, because that way I can say I ran in the DR 😛

Weekly wrap-up — pretty pleased with how everything started out. I only go up a little on my second longer run next week…the rest of the runs are the same. I definitely think I could increase the mileage quicker, but I’m trusting the schedule and really want to get through the training injury free. Especially with the foot pain from the last half and subsequent runs thereafter, I definitely don’t want to push things too quickly. I think a lot of that came from treadmill running and I’m going to stay away from that unless the weather is really ridiculous. We’ll see how everything progresses! 🙂

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Half Marathon #3 Recap

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I figure since it’s been a month, I can finally do the recap for my third half marathon.  As disappointing as it was, I also learned a lot and it hasn’t scarred me permanently 😛 Thanks for following my journey!

Training:
I had planned on doing the 12 week Hal Higdon plan, like I did for the first two.  The first week of the 12 was the last week of Beachbody’s Health Bet challenge, and there was a week where we had a pre-scheduled trip to Snowshoe Mountain resort so I rested from running those two weeks and only trained 10. The change of routine actually helped me increase pace.

Though I had increased my pace during my last training, it had been over a year.  So this time around I started at roughly a 9:45-10 minute mile.  The last week of my training I was averaging 8:30-9.  I knew I needed about 9 for the race to hit PR.  In retrospect, I should have done more run/walk intervals since I figured I wouldn’t be able to run the whole thing, but pace was where my focus was.  Run/walk intervals based on feel is now the plan for my first marathon and hoping to PR on a half during the training for that.

Time/Results:

  • I finished in 2:03:54 (previous times were 2:01:45 and 2:06:26)
  • 1696 out of 5445 overall (31%)
  • 731 out of 3280 females (22%)
  • 136 out of 559 females 35-39 (24%)
  • Pace was 9:16 min/mi at the 10k split
  • Overall pace was 9:28 min/mi

Gear:
Went against my better judgement with wearing some new gear, but everything worked out! I figured since the conditions were already less than ideal, it couldn’t hurt too much more ha.

  • TreadBands headband – never slipped ONCE and so excited for that!  I ended up buying two after a demo at the expo.  They are guaranteed for life, so I figured what the hell!  I was nothing was happy with them!  Check them out!  http://treadbands.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/TreadBands/.
  • I wore a new Shamrock tank from the expo, but it was a Brooks tech shirt so thought it would be better in the rain than the cotton tanks I brought with me.
  • New running jacket with air vents on the sleeves and upper back.  It stayed put, never chafed, and kept me cool and warm at the same time.  I had owned it for a few months but the weather never gave me the “opportunity” to need it for a training run.
  • I ended up wearing a thinning pair of compression socks rather than my double layer SwiftWicks. I thought those would get heavy once wet.
  • Saucony Guide 8s that I was training on since day one.  I started training with 9s last fall for the half I ended up deferring but I strongly dislike the new EVERUN layer.  The extra cushion is great for walking, but make my feet feel heavy running.  After three weeks of painful running (last fall), I ended up ordering another pair of 8s online, in the same color I had for 2015’s half training.  Love them. I had about 130 miles on them at the start of the race.  Gonna look into other stabilization shoes from Saucony – saw some Hurricane  ISOs at the expo that felt good – whch is also a stabilization shoe. bt I do need to get my gait and form looked at again. I’m starting to think having “corrective” shoes might have turned me into a neutral runner, which is what might be causing part of  the pain in my foot.
  • Nike Epic Run Dri-FIT Crop — Ah – May – ZING.  Love them.  Will never go back.  I have two pairs now.  Mesh air vents  behind the knees keep you cool.  There are three pockets, one with a zipper, and they are a compression pant.  They stay put and they are mid-calf so don’t ride up on my knee like my other capris, too.
  • VS Incredible sports bra – no bounce…very necessary.
  • Body Glide on pretty much everything , and Aquaphor between my toes. Never chafed once, anywhere.

During race:
Conditions – 39 degrees, 20 mph sustained winds, 40 mph gusts – constant rain.

Route – out of the VA Beach resort area, next to First Landing State Park, through Fort Story, then ending on the boardwalk at King Neptune (seeing him once you get on the boardwalk…objects in distance during a half marathon are farther away than they appear at first glance…you still have almost a freaking half mile then). At least there was very little elevation gain.

Food – had some farina with maple syrup before the race and two scoops of Energize.  Had Jelly Belly sports beans for on the course – I think 6 of them.  Will bring more next time, and also train with Gu so I can use that at mile 5.5 (I bought one to train with and forgot).

I was scheduled to start in Corral 4, but was hoping for a sub-2 hr. PR, so I moved to Corral 5 to be with the pacers there.  It was a little confusing at the beginning, too, since he bumped some of us up to Corral 3 and then had to slow his pace to wait for the ones stuck in 5.  I stayed with the 2 hr. pacer until mile 9 or so.  Should’ve just done my own thing, since I knew I’d have to walk eventually.

-The lady between mile 10 and 11 with box of tissues was a GODSEND.  I normally pack tissues into my pockets – one for each mile – so I can blow my nose.  I did that (thanks hotel guy) but they were wet wads in my pocket before I even reached mile one – threw them on the side of the road (sorry cleanup crew).

-Foot pain afterward.  Both feet hurt.  Don’t think I stretched enough after.  Was heavy footed because of the rain and training on mainly treadmill for the last four weeks didn’t help.  I need to make sure to get outside as often as possible during marathon training…

Shout-outs:
Holiday Inn VA Beach – they were super nice and helpful.  They explained about road closures and how to find everything easily, knowing most of the guests were there for the race.  We got an automatic 2 p.m. check-out if in the race block. They offered a carb-loading dinner the night before in the hotel.  There were also free breakfast packs to two people in the room (muffin, banana, water) – available before the regular breakfast time of 6:30 which is helpful since the half started at 7.  The guys at the desk were handing out garbage bags for makeshift ponchos, tissues for snot and crying, and just overall support.  They were awesome.

Back Bay Gourmet – yummy carb loading on Friday night.  Super delicious sweet potato biscuits and amazing food overall – great beer selection!

Green Flash Brewery – really affordable drinking!  Sample cups were like 4 oz. and only $1.25.  Full pours (16 oz I’m guessing) for $5!  Lots of options, but no tours :-/

Repeal Bourbon & Burgers – OMG YUM.  The burgers were perfectly cooked.  Bacon dust – just get it.  The mac and cheese is the bomb, too, and their drinks were yummy.

Home Republic – Gouda cream…on EVERYTHING.  Decent beers, good food. Just don’t expect soup before dinner time haha.

Duck Donuts – they’re just always amazing no matter where you are – but better fresh. Great to have in the car on the way home when snack sensations hit (and calorie burn is at its max).

Future:
Ended up doing my 5th annual Monument Ave 10k less than two weeks later.  Took it easy and ran the whole thing, which was something I wasn’t sure would happen after the foot pain.  I’m signed up for the half in Richmond in November, but planning on upgrading to the full once we get closer (have to decide before 10/31).  Marathon training starts tomorrow (4/18) and we’ll see how I progress up until the final decision time.  We’ve already signed up for the Dolphin Challenge during Shamrock next March which is the 8k on Saturday and Half on Sunday. The route was great – let’s just hope the weather conditions are better!  And I’ve committed to joining my friend on her “race in every state” challenge – with no time limit to complete it.  I already have NY, VA, MD, DC, NC, and NV.  Excited to add to the list!  Stay tuned for another post on that 🙂

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