Tag Archives: marathon training

Good Luck to Me!

11 Oct

I can’t believe that on Sunday I am running the Chicago Marathon. Here are some random thoughts as I get ready to leave for Chicago …

Weather

After four months of training during the most brutally hot  months of the year, I stepped out of my house for my last short run before the race to find weather like this:

Finally!

Finally!

To say that I loved the new low temps would be an understatement. I was in heaven.

And then there’s this:

Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 5.59.51 AM

The temp from Thursday’s run will be the HIGH for Sunday’s marathon. And the chance of rain has dropped to only 10%! It’s going to be perfect running weather.

Throwaways

Last night I got a text from my friend (and running partner for the marathon) asking me what size I wore and what color sweatpants I wanted. She was at Wal-Mart picking up throwaways for the morning of the race. She sent me this pic:

sweats

Sweatpants: $5.96 at Wal-Mart

I’m a bore so I picked gray. But I wasn’t thinking about others in my decision… I bet someone would’ve loved some nice purple sweats donated to them. There’s always next time.

Fuel

Earlier this week I received a special “care” package from the team at KIND Healthy Snacks.

IMG_7631

KIND Package … Mmm …

Ever since I started my MBA, I haven’t had time to make my homemade peanut butter protein bites, which are the perfect pre-run snack. So instead, I’ve been grabbing KIND bars at the store, which are the next best thing for me. KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein has been my favorite, but I have a feeling I might find a new favorite in here.

Don’t. Get. Sick.

People seem to be sick all around me. I’ve been taking this daily in hopes that I don’t contract deadly disease.

IMG_7572

And finally there’s this:

good-luck-not-hitting-encouragement-ecard-someecards

Source

Much luck to all of you running a race this weekend! I’ll catch you on the flip side of 26.2.

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Chicago Marathon Training | Week 18

8 Oct

To tell you that life has been busy lately would be quite the understatement. Sometimes I find myself standing there in a daze, trying to remember what’s next in my long days. Thankfully I have a handy iPhone to remind me of my next steps. If only my iPhone could get me some sleep and some much wanted time with my lady friends!

On the bright side, tapering means I’ve been able to sleep in an extra 30 minutes or so on run days … and running less mileage means I’m not as tired afterwards. I’ve even noticed my coffee intake reduce … slightly.

It helps to remind myself to take everything one day at a time. If you happen to see me out in public talking to myself, here’s what I’m likely saying:

You can do this. Just take it one day at a time. One. Day. At. A time.

Marathon day you’ll find me talking to myself saying something very similar:

You can do this. Just take it one mile at a time. One. Mile. At. A time.

With that, here’s how week 18’s taper went:

Tuesday / Track Easy Run (3 mi)

I could not get up for track. I just couldn’t. I tried. On only a few hours of sleep, I dragged myself out of bed and brushed my teeth. Then after some delirious consideration, I texted my running mate and told her I was going back to bed. Those were the best extra two hours of sleep ever. Then I woke up in a panic … surely if I don’t keep up my training schedule something awful will happen. Pains will appear out of nowhere or my muscles will freeze up or my leg will just plain fall off! So I threw on my running clothes and went for an easy run around my ‘hood.

I’m happy to report that aside from just feeling really tired, my legs were fine. Nothing locked up. Nothing fell off. 😉

  • Distance: 3.22 mi
  • Time: 39:45.64
  • Avg Pace: 12:20/mi

I can’t help but notice that I’m getting slower by the day.

Thursday / Pace Run (6 mi)

I have class Monday and Wednesday nights after work and our group meets Wednesday nights after class. Basically, I didn’t get home from my day until almost midnight. I didn’t fall asleep until almost 1 AM. But because I had cancelled Tuesday, I couldn’t bring myself to do it again. So I dragged myself out of bed with only three hours of sleep with the promise that if we ran fast, I would have time to come home and sleep again.

I love making that promise to myself because I know it’s never true. When I get home I almost always opt to have a really nice long stretching session. That’s alright. Lying to myself seems to work.

  • Distance: 5.36 mi*
  • Time: 01:00:49*
  • Avg Pace: 11:20/mi*

* So… I kinda did it again. I forgot to stop my Garmin and drove a quarter mile down the street before I remembered to hit stop. I think we ran just over 5 miles and our average pace was closer to 12:20/mi.

Saturday Sunday / Long Run (9 mi.)

There was no way I could make it to Saturday’s morning run, so my Chicago Marathon training partner, Beth, and I decided to run on Sunday instead.

We switched things up and decided to run around downtown Orlando (usually we run in Winter Park). It was fun to run my old running routes. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed running by Lake Eola and seeing the fountain, which Beth compared to a giant bidet. I will always now imagine a giant stopping his destruction of downtown Orlando to wash his bottom.

After hitting up Lake Eola, we headed towards Lake Highland Prep and hopped on the Orlando Urban Trail for a couple of miles. It’s been ages since I first ran the trail, so it was nice to run it again.

Before we knew it, our run was over and I was off to shower and start a crazy busy day.

I didn’t have my Garmin on me and I’m too lazy to text my friend and ask her how long it took us to run.

This week will be my final (19th) week of training. This morning I ran a hot, sticky three miles with Beth and Thursday we’ll do the same. And then before we know it, we’ll be standing at the start line of the Chicago Marathon.

What a crazy ride this has been. I can’t believe I’ve survived the summer marathon training without self-combusting. I really, really, really hope that our race day weather gives us some relief from hot and muggy.

Here’s the current forecast:

Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 8.19.44 AMHere’s to hoping the rain holds off too!

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!

When I realized that there’s no way I can run this weekend’s long run …

31 Jul

happy-dance-

Source

Between school this weekend and my little Sister’s wedding, I have no spare time to run 20 miles. Sometimes you just have to skip a run. I’ll consider a reward for all of my hard work. 😉

Chicago Marathon Training | Week Three

24 Jun

Usually when I start training for a race, the first two weeks are spent getting my body adjusted to the training and the third week is about the time my body starts to complain to me about it. This week was no exception and my body certainly got the message across to me.

Week 3:

Tuesday / Track

Tuesday morning I woke up on my couch disoriented and in a little bit of pain. I hate falling asleep on the couch because of what it does to my back. Alas, my husband was out of town so he couldn’t wake me up and drag me to bed like he normally does. Yes, I’m like a child. Anyhow, I’m going to add “sleep in bed” to my list of how to train for a marathon properly.

In my bewildered state I seriously considered texting my training partners and letting them know I was a failure skipping track,but I somehow decided against it. I rolled out of bed off the couch, brushed my teeth, washed my face, threw on my running clothes and was out of my front door before I could talk myself out of it. I arrived to the track just in time to hear our workout.

Our workout was to run two or three sets of 1200, 800, 400. In other words, run three laps at 10k pace, jog/walk half a lap for recovery, run two laps at 10k pace, jog/walk half a lap for recovery, run one lap at 5k pace, rest for a few minutes, shoot yourself repeat. Since we’re only three weeks into our training, I chose to do just two sets.

  • 1200/1: 07:24.52 / 09:29/mi
  • 800/1: 05:00.97 / 09:37/mi
  • 400/1: 02:20.52 / 08:56/mi
  • 1200/2: 07:20.80 / 09:26/mi
  • 800/2: 04:55.07 / 09:22/mi
  • 400/2: 02:22.80 / 09:09/mi

While running laps I don’t tend to check my watch much; I just listen to my body. I tell myself that at 10k pace I should be able to talk but with a little difficulty, and at 5k pace I should only be able to get a few curse words out here and there. It’s interesting to see how that lines up. Since I just recently ran a trial 5k at a 10:13/mi pace, it looks like I’m running these laps a little fast. Oops!

Thursday / Hills (3 mi)

Since my week had been so busy, I didn’t have time to properly roll my lower back or stretch it out. By Thursday morning my back pain had grown, but was still bearable. I went ahead with our hill workout.

Anyone that has true hills would likely scoff at our “hill” workouts. Really it’s not a hill … It’s a nearby neighborhood with a killer incline. You may scoff however you like. It still hurt. And, well … I hurt.

  • Distance: 3.03 mi
  • Time: 34:41.74
  • Avg Pace: 11:28/mi

Afterwards I came home to stretch, stretch, stretch.

Saturday / Long Run (14 mi)

I don’t have many good things to say about Saturday’s run. I was late to the start and was lucky to catch my group as they were headed out. It was hot and humid and I was in pain … a lot of it. I had foolishly decided to run despite my back pain.

Essentially, if I ran with perfect form I was fine. But any time I leaned a little bit too far forward or backward, pain would shoot up my back or down my left leg, giving me a slight jerk to the body. Early in the run I was able to maintain good form, but as my body got tired that changed. Before I knew it I was grunting in pain and body jerking every minute. I remember realizing we were only halfway through the run and wanting to cry.

Surprisingly I was able to get through the run, but I gave myself a lecture later. It’s that stubbornness that can cause an injury that can sideline me for weeks and I need to listen to my body, especially this early in my training.

After the run we got ice pops. That was the best damn ice pop ever.

  • Distance: 14.00 mi
  • Time: 03:04:12
  • Avg Pace: 13:09/mi

Cross Training

The back pain threw me off this week. I did do some squats after Tuesday and Thursday’s run and did some strength training for my hips. On Sunday I took a short bicycle ride to get lunch and I took the dogs on some extra long walks this week. Otherwise, I spent most of my time stretching and rolling and getting Icy Hot rub downs. Mmmm… I love smelling like Icy Hot. 😉

My back is feeling a little better today, but I’m going to swap tomorrow’s track workout for an easy run. My goal is to have my back back to normal before Saturday’s long run.

Have you ever trained through your injury? Was it worth it? 

Chicago Marathon Training | Two Weeks In

17 Jun

In February I posted that I had lost my mind (aka signed up for another marathon). I suppose the decision to run another marathon must be very similar to deciding you want to have another child; eventually enough time passes where you forget how much you suffered and only remember the highlights of the experience and you decide to do it again. So here I am, in the midst of a very steamy and sticky Florida summer, two weeks into my training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon. Here’s how training has gone thus far …

Week 1:

Tuesday / Track

Tuesday morning I stepped back onto the track for the first time in quite a while. In the spirit of properly training for this race, I agreed to step back onto this round circle of death, but did so very tentatively. To welcome me back, the weather made sure it was extra hot and muggy for the special occasion. Our workout was 1200’s at race pace. In normal people terms: run three times around the track without burning out before you finish and do so without falling, tripping, and becoming a speed bump to other runners.

Against my better judgement, I agreed to run four sets with my running buddies and we took off. I can proudly say that none of us became human speed bumps. And our pace was pretty much on point. I think there was a point during our third set where I got tired and started to curse a lot in my head, but somehow I managed to clean up my language and get back on pace:

  • 1200/1: 07:46.59/09:53/mi
  • 1200/2: 07:45.05/09:51/mi
  • 1200/3: 08:04.75/10:21/mi
  • 1200/4: 07:47.94/09:54/mi

Afterwards I stretched the hell out of our legs. I will not have IT issues … I will not have IT issues … I will not have IT issues.

On a side note, running track caught up to me at work. I had to have a cup of black coffee in the afternoon to pep me up.

Thursday / Tempo Sleep 

There was torrential downpour when I woke up for my run. So naturally I went back to bed.

Sunday / Long Run (10 mi)

I couldn’t make Saturday’s first long run of the summer/fall session with my training group, so one of my running buddies offered to run with me on Sunday instead. It had been a while since either of us last ran 10 miles so we were both nervous that we wouldn’t be able to make it the full distance. However, I think our brains were so happy to not be running circles around the track, that we actually enjoyed the run! As usual for our long runs, we ran intervals (run five minutes/walk one minute).

Here’s how we did:

  • Distance: 10.01 mi
  • Time: 02:09.03
  • Avg Pace: 12:53/mi

I didn’t get any cross-training or yoga in, but I did ride my bicycle to a nearby bar and had to drag my dogs through the rain a lot. That counts, right?

Week 2:

Tuesday / Track

I seriously considered bailing on Tuesday track, but decided it was way too early in my training to start such shenanigans. Instead I dragged myself out of bed.

The workout was almost as bad as the prior week’s track workout. We had to run 2 to 4 sets of 1200 at 10k pace followed by 400 at 5k pace. In other words, run around the track three times, walk half the track, then run around once a little faster.

Again, against my better judgement, I agreed to do three sets with my running buddies. Realistically I thought I should start with just two sets since I was still rusty to the track. You can see me getting tired on the third set:

  • 1200/1: 07:38.42/09:42/mi
  • 400/1: 02:13.25/08:34/mi
  • 1200/2: 07:33.12/09:38/mi
  • 400/2: 02:18.91/08:52/mi
  • 1200/3: 07:38.03/09:45/mi
  • 400/3: 02:27.20/09:29/mi

The only reason the pace for the last 400 was any faster than the 1200 was because I sprinted at the end. As my friend Beth refers to it, I wanted to get off that hell train.

Thursday / 5k Time Trial

Thursday was hot. And muggy. And hot. It was like running a 5k in a sauna. But knowing your 5k pace is a good start to figuring out your marathon pace so I did it.

There was a brief moment at the start where I suddenly couldn’t remember if I had restarted my watch or just continued it from an old run so I had to try to figure that out. Since it was so dark, I had to run over to a light and it probably took about 10 seconds to see that I had in fact started my run fresh and could carry on with my 5k. Argh.

Since it was so hot, and we were running without intervals, there wasn’t much talking between myself and my running bud. There were, however, occasional grunts and curses that allowed us to know that the other was still alive and equally hating this as much as we were.

  • Distance: 3.14 mi
  • Time: 32:07.90
  • Avg Pace: 10:13/mi

Our time put us right in range for a 5:30 marathon, which is our goal so that made us both super happy. What would make me happier is less humidity.

Saturday / Long Run (12 mi)

Saturday I had to take my boo to the airport before my long run so lucky me got an extra early 3:45 AM wake-up call. An hour and half, one egg-and-oatmeal pancake and a coffee later, I was happy to be taking off with the old crew for twelve miles.

Our run went much better than expected. It was hot, but in comparison to the workouts earlier in the week, running intervals seemed so much easier. We played a fun game of “we need to find a bathroom” mid-run and encountered peacocks on the roof of a house.

  • Distance: 12 mi
  • Time: 02:43:07
  • Avg Pace: 13:35/mi

After the run a fellow runner kindly offered us some ice-cold chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is the best recovery drink and at first it sounded and tasted like a good idea. But for a girl that hasn’t had a glass of milk in quite some time, it turned into a bad idea. Oh well… it was a nice reminder that dairy is the devil. Or at least that’s what I will tell myself the next time someone offers me some delicious ice-cold chocolate milk.

Again, I got in no cross-training. But I did go to the mall with my mom and my sister to look for a special dress for my Sis. Again… that has to count for something, right?

So far I’m feeling pretty good and I’m looking forward to week three of Chicago Marathon training. This week is a another super busy week for me, but I’m going to make an extra effort to fit in two yoga sessions. And I’m going to try to curse less during the track workout. Wish me luck on that one. 😉

Shiny New Running Outfit

2 May

There are only four days until the Flying Pig Marathon and my emotions are everywhere. One minute I’m excited, and the other I’m so nervous because of this IT band issue. Excited is currently winning out and I think it’s because of this:

My new Lululemon marathon top

Yuppers, I got myself the Lululemon no limits tank in hot, hot pink for marathon day. I ran my first marathon in a no limits tank (in a different color) and had absolutely zero issues with chafing or the shirt riding up so I think I’m safe running in the same top without having actually taken it for a long test run. I will, however, wash the shirt so I don’t bleed hot pink (though that may be cool). I think the color is perfect for Flying Pig, don’t you think?

A couple of weeks ago I got the crops in the photo. They are the run: a marathon crop, also from Lululemon. I’ve done a couple of runs in them (one long run and one short) and they were great: the bottoms of the legs didn’t ride up and the top is higher wasted and didn’t ride down. And they passed the very-important-for-all-tights-bend-over test (when I bend over the pant does NOT get transparent). Perfect!

On a side note, it will be toasty on Sunday:

Expected weather for 2012 Flying Pig Marathon

However, I can’t run in shorts. My lovely Spanish thighs engulf shorts and I end up chafing and pulling my shorts down all run. So that’s why I’m usually in tights (unless it’s my Lululemon running skirt that I can use for anything shorter than 10 miles). It’s a good thing that my shirt opens up on the sides for some fresh air. 🙂

Yesterday I read this post by Meghann of Meals and Miles and it made me chuckle. I am in complete agreement with her when she wrote “I’m a big believer that a big race deserves a new outfit, sorta like a big date requires a new dress – am I wrong?” Nope, not wrong at all.

If you’re running your first half or full marathon, I would recommend you buy your new outfit a month before your race and wear it during a shorter long run. If it passes the test (no chafing, riding up, etc.) then wear it for your longest run. It’s amazing how a few miles can alter the wear of your running outfit. For example, I have a singlet that I wore in different colors for all three of my half marathons without any problems. However, when I wore one of them for an 18-mile run, I was surprised to see severe chafing on the inside of my arms. It was so bad I was bleeding! Needless to say, those are now restricted to runs 13 miles or shorter.

I consider this running outfit quite the splurge, but I’ve worked hard the last four months (and seven months before that training for Disney) and I like that I’m at a place where I can reward my hard work with a splurge like this. In my future I’ll have kids and a home to worry about and these days will be long gone. I’ll enjoy it while I can!

What do you do for your race-day running attire? 


Yesterday morning I went for a 3-mile walk with Emily, one of my group leaders. She’s running Flying Pig with me so it was nice to catch up and do some race day strategizing. Afterwards I rushed home to start my day with some yoga. I took it easy with this Yoga Vibes class, focusing on the outer hip and IT band.

Four days until the Flying Pig Marathon!