Tag Archives: long run

Chicago Marathon Training | Weeks 15-17

3 Oct

The temperature here in Florida has finally shown us just a tad bit of relief and I can tell our Florida “fall” is just around the corner. After training through a brutal summer of relentless heat and humidity, I can’t believe the Chicago Marathon is just over a week away. I’m surprised to see myself type this, but I’m kinda looking forward to running this race. This is mainly because of my desire to run in relatively cool weather.

Weeks 15 through 17 of marathon training included my longest training run ever, hills, and the start of taper. Here’s how it went:

Week 15:

Tuesday / Track (8 x 400 at 5k pace)

I’m a sucker for 400’s. Anyone can run around a trap track once, right?

  • 400 / 1: 02:39.14 / 09:51/mi
  • 400 / 2: 02:29.30 / 09:22/mi
  • 400 / 3: 02:32.20 / 09:38/mi
  • 400 / 4: 02:40.91 / 10:11/mi
  • 400 / 5: 02:34.54 / 09:44/mi
  • 400 / 6: 02:33.17 / 10:15/mi
  • 400 / 7: 02:28.90 / 09:17/mi
  • 400 / 8: 04:47.40 / 18:28/mi — Forgot to hit “lap”

Thursday / Hills (9 mi)

Do you want to know how early one has to wake up to run 9 miles before work? Three AM. Yes. You read that correctly. Sigh.

  • Distance: 8.83 mi
  • Time: 01:53:12
  • Avg Pace: 12:49/mi

Saturday / Long Longest Run (Ever) (22 mi)

This is the run that almost killed me. Because of scheduling conflicts, I never actually ran a 20-mile long run this training season. And my longest training run ever to date has been 20 miles.

My running partner, Beth, kidded that we may as well run all 26 miles. Funny lady.

In true longest run ever form, I hit my wall around mile 20. I spent the last two miles asking myself why I signed up for another marathon. And after the run? I couldn’t eat. I could hardly talk … which naturally worried my running mates. (I’m never silent for long.)

I was able to drink coffee and chocolate milk, which I gladly alternated between until I was able to gather up the strength to drive home.

The highlight of my run? My amazing group leader Em loves us soooooo much that she brought us ginger snaps and ice-cold towels. I’m not sure why, but ginger snaps are magical during long runs. It might be because the ginger soothes your belly. Or just that it’s a cookie, and everyone loves cookie breaks, right? Anyways, Em gets the award for best group leader. 🙂

  • Distance: 22 mi
  • Time: 05:22:48
  • Avg Pace: 14:40/mi

Week 16:

I took taper to a whole new level during week 16 of training. My body seemed to need the rest, so I won’t beat myself up about it.

Tuesday / Track Yoga

My body needed this.

Thursday / Hills Sleep

My body needed this too.

Saturday / Long Run OYO (10 9 mi)

Only three of us ran, so we managed to keep the run moving. But when we realized we still had another mile to tack on, we decided that none of us cared enough to make it an even 10 miles. We stopped short and happy.

  • Distance: 9.12 mi
  • Time: 2:00:02
  • Avg Pace: 13:09/mi

Afterwards I came home and did some yoga. My body rejoiced.

Week 17:

Tuesday / Track Tempo

Who am I go argue with the majority when everyone votes to run mile repeats instead of track?

  • Distance: 3.60 mi
  • Time: 43:52.77
  • Avg Pace: 12:12/mi*

* I started to drive down the street before I realized I had forgotten to shut my Garmin off. It wasn’t far, but this would affect my average pace.

Thursday / Tempo Easy Run (8 5 mi)

It’s clear that I’m now considering my scheduled training mileage as mere suggestions. Eight miles seemed like a lovely suggestion, but the heat and humidity suggested we end up walking our last mile and cut the run short so we can catch up at Starbucks.

  • Distance: 5.30 mi
  • Time: 01:15:38
  • Avg Pace: 14:16/mi

Saturday / Long Run (14 mi)

It was still hot and humid Saturday morning and at this point I’m just starting to become an angry runner. I mean, c’mon Florida. Pumpkin is in all of our coffee drinks and baked goods, Christmas decorations are going up for sale in stores, and people are wearing JACKETS in other parts of the country. Why is it still so HOT?? Saturday was officially the day I got over summer running. Unfortunately for me, I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the end of it. 😦

  • Distance: 14.07 mi
  • Time: 03:29:58
  • Avg Pace: 14:55/mi

The countdown is on. Only ten more days to go!

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Chicago Marathon Training | Week Four

4 Jul

Week four of training for the Chicago Marathon coincided with a very busy, stressful week at work. By Friday afternoon I was exhausted and still 16 miles from being able to start my weekend. Just the thought of having to run that far had my stomach turning. If you talked to me Friday, I’m sorry for being so whiny. My immediate future was looking so bleak. 😉

Here’s how week four of training went.

Week 4:

Tuesday / Track Easy Run

We were schedule to run a descending ladder, but my back was still hurting so I decided to go for an easy run instead. Lucky for me, my running partners joined me. This made for a much better run than a slow solo run.

  • Distance: 4.04 mi
  • Time: 45:45.60
  • Avg Pace: 11:20/mi

After the run, I came home and did a stretching yoga workout for 15 minutes. My body felt so good afterwards.

Thursday / Tempo Run (4 mi)

I was practically sleep walking through getting ready for my run Thursday morning when I almost brushed my teeth with IcyHot. Luckily I looked down at the tube in my hand just as I was about to put my toothbrush in my mouth and caught myself just in time.

Thursday’s run wasn’t horrible, but I did have Saturday’s long run looming ahead of me.

  • Distance: 4.72 mi
  • Time: 54:25.20
  • Avg Pace: 11:32/mi

Afterwards I came home and did a 30-minute yoga workout. My body loved every minute of it.

Saturday / Long Run (16 mi)

In preparation of my long run, Friday night I ate my new favorite pre-long run meal: pad se-ew. My friend has been swearing by it for over a year, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. I strongly recommend getting this plate from Siam Garden in Winter Park. If you haven’t tried pad se-ew before, it’s a thick rice noodle stir fried with broccoli in black bean sauce. I add chicken to mine. It seems to do the trick perfectly!

Saturday morning I woke up extra early. Since I was almost left behind last week for being a couple minutes late, I knew I had to make a better attempt at getting there 15 minutes before our 4:45 AM start. Ew.

I gotta do something to laugh in the mornings.

I gotta do something to laugh in the mornings.

I started the morning with an oatmeal pancake, which is super easy to make. I mix one egg, half a cup of oatmeal and a spoonful of greek yogurt and cook on a skillet like I would a pancake.

Oatmeal pancake

Oatmeal pancake

It requires an extra couple of minutes, but since I’m not eating bread anymore I need something that will sustain me for long runs. When I have more time, I toss in some blueberries. Sometimes I overcook the pancake since I’m doing other things, but it still tastes yummy. And it works.

I made it to the run with minutes to spare, which meant I didn’t get left behind. That’s always a good start. You know what wasn’t good? Ninety percent humidity. That’s not fun at all.

humidity

It’s like running through a thick cloud of wet. Ugh.

This long run went a lot better than the previous one. In fact, at one point I remember seeing that we had already run 12 miles and only had four more to go. The difference between a good run and a bad run: thinking “I only have four more miles to go” vs thinking “Damn… four more miles to go.”

Plus, we had this pretty sunrise moment:

16_mile_sunrise

Lake Baldwin

As I mentioned earlier, I had a crazy busy week at work so I ran out of time to go buy some Shock Blocks. I’ve seen my friends use M&Ms and pretzels for energy during workouts so I picked up a bag of peanut M&Ms at the convenience store on my way home Friday night. This did just the trick! Not only did I enjoy my snack breaks, but I wasn’t choking on them like I do the chews when I can’t get them down fast enough. I may never go back to chews again!

Before I knew it, our run was over.

The time and average pace is not accurate. Since we run in a group there were a couple of times we were waiting on someone or using the restroom but feel it would be too confusing to stop our watches since we run intervals. We just let it run. 😉

  • Distance: 16 mi
  • Time: 03:59:31
  • Avg Pace: 14:58/mi

Afterwards a few of us went to Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux for breakfast. It was my first time going, but I’ll be back for sure. I was hot, so I settled on lots of liquids for breakfast: an iced black coffee (their coffee is delicious) and a smoothie made with organic peanut butter, yogurt, honey, banana and soy milk. Just writing about the smoothie makes me want to go get one.

16_mile_liquids

Iced coffees and a smoothie from Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux

Week five of marathon training is in full swing… sort of. Today is a holiday so I’m taking the day off. Thank goodness … I needed it!

Running Dinky

12 Nov

Until yesterday, I cannot remember the last time I did a long run by myself. No water support, no friends, no mapped out run. Just me, my little water bottle, and my memory to recall my route.

In training for the quickly approaching Orlando Half Marathon, I was scheduled to run seven miles on Saturday morning, but I woke up late and with a hankering for pumpkin pancakes. Rather than fret, I pushed my long run to Sunday and got started on some deliciousness.

Sunday morning I got a little bit later start than I preferred. I woke up around 8:30 AM, ate half of an apple with some peanut butter and sat down at my computer to map my run. I visited my old friend www.gmap-pedometer.com and stared at my screen. Since we recently moved to a new part of town, all of my old long run routes no longer worked so I had to think, which without coffee doesn’t happen easily.

I recalled a recent conversation I had with a new friend about the new Orlando Urban Trail. When they inaugurated the trail to the community with a free 5k, I was struggling with an injury and not running (or even walking much for that matter). Then with time I forgot about it. Since then, every time I’ve driven down Virginia and saw the crossing, I have said to myself, “Oh yeah… I want to run this trail!” And then I forget again.

This time I remembered to add the Dinky Line portion of the trail to my route. I looked at my route, tried my darndest to remember my turns and headed out the door around 9:30 AM.

I’m happy I remembered to apply sunscreen and grab my sunglasses before I left, because the first thing I noticed were the clear blue skies and the bright sun. I’m so used to running before the sun comes up or as it’s setting that I sometimes forget how frustrating running while looking straight into the sun can be.

On my way to the start of the Orlando Urban Trail, I noticed this:

I silently judge election candidates whose signs still clutter our streets.

Yep, I totally silently judged each of those candidates for leaving their signs up.

A mile later I arrived at the trail:

A map of the Orlando Urban Trail and how to get to nearby trails

I love any excuse to run over a bridge

You know you’re running in FL when you spot a gator on your runs

Crossing Virginia. Made a detour to the left to buy water at the 7-Eleven.

Learning about the Dinky Line

Behind Lake Highland Prep … Check out that Orlando skyline… Ha!

I’m not sure if I missed the other water fountains or what, but it wasn’t until I hit the Lake Highland Prep portion of the train until I noticed the first water fountain. Since I had already bought a bottle of water at the 7-Eleven on Virginia, I kept running.

I jumped off the trail shortly after and started to head back home around Lake Ivanhoe:

Ducks chillin’ on Lake Ivanhoe

A view of the Orlando skyline from Lake Ivanhoe

I used to live in the pink apartments off Lake Ivanhoe and that was my view walking the dogs in the AM. Not too shabby eh?

I had started my run doing 5:1 (run five minutes, walk one minute), but around mile five of my run the sun started to get to me and I started to take a few unplanned 30-second walk breaks when I thought I needed it. By mile six, I was doing more walking then running, but at this point I had to get home. I made a mental note to start my long runs by 6 AM. I’m pretty sure I’ve made this mental note before. Eh, what can I say? Sometimes I need to be reminded of things.

There’s a drugstore store near my house so I stopped in and grabbed one of these:

Chocolate milk is perfect for your post-run fuel.

The cashier asked me how far I had run and I told him seven miles, but the last mile had been more walking then running. He laughed and said that even six miles was six miles more than he ran. We chatted briefly about his days of running with the Army and how he had hated the bland food but it had been perfect for all that running. I laughed again, knowing how true that statement is. When he said he wanted to get back into running I told him that I had started by just running light post to light post and wished him luck. I left that drugstore feeling a little bit better about my run.

I came home and had myself a nice, long stretch while drinking my chocolate milk and trying to avoid Rex’s kisses. I tell you what, that pug has no respect for personal space. 🙂

I stretched. Rex tried to lick my face.

Overall, I loved running on the Orlando Urban Trail. It was nice to only have to keep your eyes peeled for oncoming cyclists, which I much prefer to oncoming cars. There were some nice views along the way (lakes, and gators and skylines, oh my) and my legs appreciated a break from either running slanted on the side of the street or running down a brick road. I will gladly run on this trail during daylight hours. However, I would not recommend running by yourself while the sun is down… too many nooks and crannies to disappear into.

Have you run on the Orlando Urban Trail? What did you think?

Getting Old and Being Busy (Not Necessarily in that Order)

19 Mar

“As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two…” – Sir Norman Wisdom

My delish birthday brownie made by two lovely Kennedy's

The past eight days have been busy. Crazy busy. I remember most of it, except for Monday:

Sunday, March 11: Sleep through my run and enjoy coffee and rain instead. Birthday brunch at Dexter’s for my loveliest lady friend. Volunteer serving dinner at a local center. Eat dinner while watching Magic game with friends at Wildside in Thornton Park. Sleep like a baby.

Monday, March 12: Work. I have no clue what else I did Monday. It scares me that I can’t remember this day at all. While this is likely just due to the ridiculously busy, but amazing, weekend I had, it still makes me nervous. Crap, this is the first sign of getting old.

Tuesday, March 13: Run 4 miles in the AM. Work. Yoga at night. Sleep like a baby.

Wednesday, March 14: Wake up and run 5 miles in the AM. Work. Get my hair did at Alchemy. (See my pretty hair on their Facebook page here. I love it! And look how tired I look. Photo proof.) Sleep like a baby.

Thursday, March 15: Work. Go to my little sister’s house for some much needed sister time. Drink wine. Sleep like a baby.

Friday, March 16: Work. Have one drink with friends for Happy Hour. Eat my favorite pre-long run meal: Black Bean Deli chicken entree with plantains and salad and rice and black beans while watching Grey’s Anatomy. Get in bed by 10:30 PM. Sleep like a baby.

Saturday, March 17: Wake up at 3:15 and tear apart my jewelry box looking for green earrings to wear so I don’t get pinched during our run. This is particularly important since I’m the one that warned everyone via email days earlier. Start 18-mile run at 4:30 AM. Finish 18-mile run sometime before 10 AM. Eat breakfast. Ice bath. Curse (a lot). Defrost. Shower. Walk an additional mile or 2 at Winter Park Art Festival. Go to Scruffy Murphy’s in College Park, drink 2 Guinness draughts, jam out to country band (apparently that’s how we do in Orlando), eat corn beef and cabbage and shepard’s pie and fall asleep by 7:30 PM. Sleep like a baby (and for over 12 hours).

Yesterday, March 18: Wake up one year older. Instantly my body feels older, but quite possible that’s 18+ miles speaking. Pack up and head to Cocoa for the most beautiful beach day ever. Spend six hours on the beach. Fishlips for dinner. Come home and eat the delish surprise tiramisu Donnie somehow managed to hide from me. Shower. Sleep. Like. A. Burnt. Baby.

Today, March 19: Wake up. Hit snooze. Fall back asleep. Wake up. Hit snooze. Fall back asleep. Wake up. Hit snooze. Fall back asleep. Eventually wake up for real. Work. Farm Market. Blog for the first time in a week.

I can’t find my borrowed Garmin anywhere, but as soon as I do, I’ll post about the 18-miler. And yes, it worries me that I can’t remember where I placed it.

Fail Run

4 Mar

Yesterday’s long run was scheduled to be 18 miles.

In the end it was 14 or so miles.

I can’t confirm the exact distance or time because my run started with realizing that I hadn’t charged my borrowed Garmin. My run ended with an irritated IT band because I forgot to wear my IT strap. Quite frankly, it would’ve ended sooner, but I forgot my iPhone.

There’s a lot of forgetting when you wake up late and don’t allow yourself enough time to properly think in the morning. I need to start going to bed earlier.

Afterwards, Donnie and I went to the beach where I soaked my left leg in ice cold water. Hands down, that was my favorite “ice bath” to date.

Twelve and Long

26 Feb

Yesterday’s training run for the Flying Pig Marathon was supposed to be an 18-miler. However, one of my running mates had prior engagements so we swapped out our long run this week for next week and only did 12 miles this week. I was totally onboard with this decision since I’m still feeling a little wiped out from last week’s double hill run.

I met my group at 5:30 am for a quick two miles, before we swung back around to get the rest of the ladies for 10 more miles. I thought I started my watch for the first two, but I didn’t (one of the hazards of running before coffee) so I only have stats for the final 10 miles. Here they are:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Time: 02:11:14
  • Avg Pace: 13:07/mile

Afterwards I came home, did my slacker minimalist strength training and then Donnie and I headed out to enjoy a delicious breakfast from Brian’s Restuarant in Ivanhoe Village. I had my usual one egg, bacon and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel:

It was delicious, as always.

Only ten weeks until the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, OH!

Do you have any recommendations on where to visit while in Cinci? 

Forgetting Fourteen

6 Feb

This weekend was one full of celebrations (Donnie’s birthday, Super Bowl, it being such a beautiful weekend, etc… ), but before I could start celebrating, I had to run fourteen miles.

First, we did a four-mile route: two out and two back. My times are slightly off because I didn’t stop my watch immediately after the route.

  • Distance: 4.12 miles
  • Time: 58:11.24
  • Pace: 14:07/mile

We picked up the late starters and ran our (almost) 10-mile route.

  • Distance: 9.91 miles
  • Time: 2:16.53
  • Pace: 13:48/mile

My long runs are with intervals (run five, walk one). For a good while we managed to maintain an average pace of 11:22 miles during the runs, which is faster then we’ve been running.

I’m not sure if it was our pushing the pace, or a combo of the running hills Thursday then the pace and longer distance on Saturday, but I was super sore several hours later. I think it would’ve been a good day for an ice bath, but I typically don’t need one for anything less than 16 miles so the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. I guess my body forgot what running fourteen miles was like.

Saturday night we celebrated Donnie’s birthday with the most yummy dinner at KRES Chophouse and sans ice bath I found it uncomfortable to sit still for so long, especially in a dress. I must’ve looked odd constantly shifting my body to try to get comfy. But the white chocolate bread pudding at the end made me forget all my pains. Ha! Everything we had was incredible: Steak Tartare, Filet Mignon served Oscar style (topped with asparagus, crab cakes and béarnaise sauce), Mushroom Risotto and of course, that bread pudding! And as always, the service was amazing.

Sunday was spent with friends laughing, eating, drinking and playing bocci ball, and watching football. For dessert I served a dessert inspired from one we had at Jam Rum Bar & Bistro in Puerto Rico last year: coconut ice cream topped with mango, blue berries and strawberries and served with cinnamon pita chips. When we went to the store earlier that day we couldn’t find coconut ice cream so I bought some Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream, let it melt a bit, then mixed it with coconut cream in the blender and put it back in the freezer to harden again. It was delish!

What did you do this weekend?