Friday, March 17, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 6

Monday - 4.8 miles @ 9:29 avg in wet snowy mix // This run wasn't nearly as pretty as Sunday's snowy trail run, but in Oregon it's still fun to see snow. I met a friend for 3.5 miles and then slogged it out a bit longer with the snow hitting my face until I just called it a day.

Tuesday - 7.5 mile team workout: warm up, 1.25mi @ race pace, 5 x 400m at threshold, 1.25 mi @ race pace, 5 x 400m at threshold, cool down // I'm trying to do more to focus on what the pace feels like than look at my watch because that's been throwing me off. It's always fun to run with others your pace!

Taste the rainbow.

Above: Not necessarily running related, but I make this soup about every other week these days. I like that it's easy to make, nutritious, filling, and Henry likes it. And I really like when I make something that can last us for several days as leftovers.

Wednesday - 4 mile stroller run @ 8:49 avg + 40 min weights & core // It was a rainy run. As for strength work, I fit it in during nap time. It's not necessarily fun, but I know it will help me be a stronger runner and help to fight fatigue in those last miles of my races.

Thursday - Functional Strength class at ReCharge, 1 hr // Was supposed to run today, but I wanted to try this class (@ 6:15 a.m.) and Henry and I ended up going to Portland to meet my new baby nephew George who was born on Wednesday.

Friday - 4 miles @ 9:52 avg // For some reason, I can't remember anything about this run, but I do know it was just an easy neighborhood slog while listening to The Lively Show podcast.

Saturday - 10 mile course preview run w/ pace work @ 8:51 avg + foam rolling // I met the team and some others who wanted to join the Eugene Marathon preview run for a rainy long run. The goal: 3 miles easy, 5 miles @ race pace (8:35 avg), 2 miles easy. My easy miles were faster than prescribed and my fast miles were slightly slower, but pretty close. Also, this run left me a lot more sore than I would have expected, but fun to run with others. I need to work on running by feel more and caring about my watch less.

A bonus to doing the official preview run? Some of Lane Community College's massage students were there afterward giving out free 15 minute massages! My glutes and hamstrings were oh so thankful. 

Sunday - 30 min gentle recovery yoga/stretching + foam rolling

What else? 
The theme for this week was clearly that I need to start running more by feel and not get so worried about the watch. Working on that...

I'm also trying not to get too worried about the fact that I'm essentially training for two very different races. One more casual by nature (trail running is always more laid back and I haven't done much trail running lately) and one hopefully, more aggressive 26.2 mi on the pavement.

Okay, the little guy is napping, so I better get some work done! Happy St. Patty's Day! Any fun plans for your weekend?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 5

I'm determined to get back on track. So here's week 5 of my training, two weeks ago. 

Monday - 6 miles easy(ish) @ 9:17 avg // I say easy(ish) because Monday runs never feel easy with the residuals of a long run reminding your legs they've recently done hard work. Nevertheless, I got 'er done.

Tuesday - 4.24 miles @ 8:49 avg + 6 x 100m strides on the track // I don't know why, but finishing a run with strides just makes you feel strong. Strides are something I almost never think of to do on my own, but when the coach tells you to do something, you do it!

Wednesday - 5.35 mi stroller run @ 9:35 avg + 30 min strength & core // It was a beautiful day for a run. In fact, I was able to take off my long sleeve and run in a tank top because there was sun out and it was in the high 40's.

Thursday - 7.5 mi speed workout: warm up, 4 x 1200m (alternating speeds every 400m), extended cool down to hit mileage // Pete was home late, so I managed a half mile warm up before hopping into the 1200's a set late. I figured that something was better than nothing/running the entire workout by myself. To hit coach's suggested overall mileage for the day, I had to add a few miles on to my cool down.

Friday - 30 min strength training + 1.7 mile stroller run @ 9:21 avg // Whenever I do strength, it's pretty much always at home before H wakes up or during naptime. I usually follow a few Youtube videos (something from SarahFit, Tone it Up, or Oiselle's dirty dozen) and/or just do some of the things I know I should be doing (glute bridges, donkey kicks to fire hydrant, single leg dumbbell deadlifts) and of course a little core.

Saturday - 25 min walk + 25 min Jasyoga // Our long run day is supposed to be Saturday, but when Pete works on these days I need to switch my long run to Sunday morning, so I try to get a little something in before he heads off to work so I don't loose my mind. <<-- i="">I don't do well hanging inside all day with a toddler if I haven't got some fresh air and steps first. 

Sunday - 13.1 snowy miles (10:58 avg) on the Ridgeline Trail (thanks mom!) // Because I work at noon on Sundays, my mom came down the night before so Pete and I could leave the house around 7:00 a.m. to do our run. It actually started snowing as we were getting ready and then when we got just a bit higher in the hills, it was really coming down.

It made my heart so happy. I know some people just love the sunshine, and I do, but there's not much that beats a snowy run for me. By the last few miles, my right hip flexor was really cranky at me (it's been much tighter than the left for a few years now), so I need to work on that. At the end of the day I had clocked over 30K steps! 

And, done!

What else?
We were asked to submit our A, B and C goals for the race to our coaches. I'm not really sure what I'm capable of since it's been three years since I've run a marathon (I finished that race in 3:38) and I haven't had a chance to run some really long distances (15+ mi) at pace, so I said my goals were:

  • A - Finish in 3:40, manage race well, feel great
  • B - Finish under 3:50, feel strong
  • C - Finish under 4:00 hrs
I'll admit that after just another week or two of training and trying to run some miles at goal pace, my A-C goals feel a bit lofty. An 8:24-8:47 pace (A-B goal) doesn't seem that easy at the moment, but I also know it's doable. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 4

How are we at week four already? I'm not sure, but the weeks seem to be over before I know which one I'm in. After a crap week or two of sleep, last week was finally a good one again. Most nights, I got 7-8 hours of sleep, which was much needed. 

Monday - 6 miles @ 9:14 avg // I ran 3.5 miles with a friend and then added a few more on to hit 6. It's so nice to finally see daylight on these morning runs after being so used to being in the pitch dark for all of my 6:30 a.m. runs.

Tuesday - 6.5 miles, speed workout: 1.5 mile warm up, 2 mile tempo, 3 x 800m intervals, 1 mile cool down // It had been so rainy all day, but we lucked out with a cool, but dry evening. I was able to make it to the group workout, so got to run with others my speed for the tempo and a few of the 800's. We ran a bit fast for our assigned pace, but that was in part because my watch was telling me I was going slower than I actually was.

Wednesday - 5.3 mile stroller run + 30 min strength work (weights at home, body weight work after the run) // This is supposed to be an easy run day, but the day after speed work + pushing 50+ extra pounds makes it feel nothing close to easy.

Thursday - 4.3 miles @ 8:43 avg // At first, I couldn't remember this run. But once I pulled up a few pictures from the week, I remembered this was the morning H woke us up at 5:00 a.m. My run was then delayed until the manfriend was up and caffeinated enough to watch the little guy. I was cranky from being woken up early and having my run pushed back, but 5 minutes from my front door I was feeling exponentially better.

And of course views like this don't hurt either.

Friday - crosstrain, 25 min Jasyoga hamstring recovery, 15 min core & upper body // On Fridays, I naturally want to run a few miles, but I've been holding back and just trying to take it easy so I feel strong and not wasted during my long run.

Saturday - long run, 11.3 miles @ 9:45 avg // My tendency is to want to push harder on these runs, but we're supposed to keep these slower (for now) and our heart rate down, so I really focused on that this time. Pete and I got to run together because my mom was kind enough to come down to watch Henry for us. We ended up running about 2.5 miles of trail in the middle, but the rest was road.  The manfriend and I are not the same pace, but he did wait up for me a few times and we got to run probably ~5 miles of it together.

This guy. Run date. 

Tall trees.

We ran in the afternoon because I had worked that morning at the store, so my nutrition was sort of off (I had to scarf down a small lunch an hour before our run). And then after, I probably didn't fuel enough, so as we were waiting to be seated for dinner with friends I was getting HANGRY (hungry/angry). Nutrition is a hard balance because I often end up gaining a few pounds during marathon training because I'm always so damn hungry.

My fuel for this run was water with 1/2 a nuun tablet in it and half a package of Honey Stinger chews in the last few miles. The run took about 1hr 50min in total, so it's borderline for me to warrant mid run fuel, but by the end I could tell I should have had something earlier.

Sunday - REST + foam rolling & mobility class // I work on Sundays, so am on my feet, which is good, but I was also happy to be able to make it to the morning mobility class to try and work out some of the kinks from the long run. I wasn't feeling especially sore, but this class is included in our training program, so I want to try and make it to a few of them.  I need to remember to do some of these at home, especially as the mileage ramps up.

Anything noteworthy?
I felt really strong during the Tuesday workout, which was nice. My morning runs leave me feeling sort of slow, sore and tired, so it's good to feel powerful.

My stomach felt blah this week. I think it's my nutrition, so I want to really dial that back in. Eating unnecessary sweets here and there, eating some meat that didn't agree with me, and forgetting to drink much water some days were probably the culprits. Trying not to have body negative thoughts around how it looks too, so I've been journaling about that.

It might just be me, but those tenths of a mile are important. The extra .1 or .3 has to be recorded. I don't care if anyone else cares, but they matter to me. #runnerprobs

Also, I really started getting worried about getting some longer trail runs in, so I'm planning to do a 13 mile trail only run this weekend. We'll see how it goes!

How is your week going? Is anyone else getting hints of spring yet? We had a tiny bit of snow on Sunday, but now it's sunny and in the 40s. It gets me so excited for sunny, warm(ish) days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 3

Hey there! Last week was my third official week of marathon training and a cut back or recovery week for us meaning miles were a little lower overall, including the long run. However, due to the whole sleep issue, it didn't feel like much of a recovery week because most days I was running on ~5 hours of sleep. We've had two nights in a row with no wake ups, so I'm crossing my fingers that Henry is over the hump and we won't have any more of those middle of the night parties. 

Monday - Rest day // All day I kept thinking "Thank goodness I have a rest day on the schedule because my body doesn't want to do anything but that." I didn't get much sleep thanks to the little man. 

Tuesday - 6 mi @ 8:48 avg // Valentine's morning I had a 7:15 a.m. oil change so I could leave Henry at home and be back before Pete needed to leave for work. So, I got there at 6:45, parked and headed out for a 15 min run or so before coming back to check my car in and head out for the rest of my run. 

Lucky for me, I got to run along the river and then Pre's Trail on such a gorgeous morning and got to catch this sunrise. It seriously made my day. Also, I got excited and ran too fast and noticed an elevated heart rate into the afternoon. Note to self: your body needs more sleep. 

Wednesday - 4 mi stroller run + 30 min strength & core work

Thursday - 6.5 mi total, speed workout: 1 mi warm up, 3 x 1.5 mi work (800m 10K pace/800m hm pace/800m 10K pace), 4 x 100m strides, .75 mi cool down. // I wasn't able to make it to the group workout on Tues, so I'm thankful I could make our community speed workout on Thurs that's near my house. It's so nice to run fast with others rather than early a.m. on your own! 

Friday - rest day, 20 min strength training

Saturday - rest day, Jasyoga hamstring recovery (25 min) // I had to switch Sat and Sunday because of sleep, Pete's work schedule and my sister-in-law's baby shower, so opted for some hamstring work, which I can never get enough of. Also, did you know that Jasyoga is only $4.99 per month and is basically yoga stretching for runners where you need it most? I like to work on hamstrings and hips the most because that's what is tightest on me. If you're interested, there's a code on the site for a free month to try it out (WIN2017).

Sunday - 7 mile hilly trail run // As mileage increases, I know it will be hard for me to pick between doing a trail run or road run (I'm training for a marathon and 20 mi trail race), so for now I think every few weeks I'll take my long run to the trails. 

Honestly, the long trail runs hurt more than the road runs (and take more time), but they're also probably what I need more work on. BUT, at the same time, marathons are a beast and on race day I am always thinking "Why did I sign up for this again?" And on trail races, the vibe is much more casual and I find myself distracted with how gorgeous the area is I'm running, but on marathons you feel every step at some point and just start counting down the miles until the finish. 

And because I'm doing this whole training program, I'm going to focus more on the road miles for long runs. 

What else?
This is the week where the hunger monster really kicked in. My body realized "Hey, you're training more than usual. Give me more food!"

I already eat a lot, but when I have to eat more, it starts to get frustrating because I feel like I'm never not eating. You can only eat so much at meal times, so I try to eat healthy balanced snacks in between when I'm hungry like apples & almonds, hard boiled eggs, homemade power muffins, big salads, hummus & crackers/carrots, toast w/ PB, yogurt, etc. But at some point in the day I often feel like I've eaten all the healthy snacks and still am not full. 

We all know this, but sleep is so important. The last few weeks I've frequently had piercing headaches due to exhaustion, so this week I really need to prioritize sleep. 

What are you looking forward to? What's been most challenging for you lately? Seen any good movies lately?  

I rented Sully (about the pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson) on Redbox and while it was good, it was also stressful. I had to read a book to wind down after watching it last night. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sleeping Through the Night, or Not!

I remember thinking as I got into bed one evening "Well, it only took us 18 months, but finally, we are sleeping through the night, knock on wood." Two months later, I'm sort of surprised to say that's no longer the case. My hope is that Henry's going through a developmental leap that is going to wrap up shortly, but I don't really know. 

In the last three weeks, we've seen everything from 5 or 6:00 a.m. wake up calls to wake ups at 1:30, 2:30, or 3:30 that last for hours. One of us usually goes in, changes his diaper if it's really wet and that might be the reason he's not sleeping, gives him his paci and tries to sing to him and settle him back down. But there is no settling really. He wants to be up, turn on the light, read books, etc.

A few nights, I'll admit that I wearily agreed, turned on his lamp, and barely comprehended any of the words on the pages. Sometimes we just flipped pages and I didn't say a word. After a few books, he usually started to seem sleepy and ask for milk. {These days, he nurses about twice a day, but sometimes 3 during these middle of the night shenanigans.}

Pretending to sleep

After putting him back in the crib and falling back into bed myself, he is quiet for maybe 5-10 minutes and then boom! wide awake. Kicking and talking in his crib. On the worst night, I was up from 2:30-6:00 a.m. before falling back asleep for another 90 minutes. Whew.

I don't know when it's going to end or what the solution is, but I'm hoping it's right around the corner because these headaches and this exhaustion are unpleasant.

Anyway, this is just a bit of what's going on here.

On the positive front, when he's awake, Henry is usually super happy. Running, working on his jumping, talking up a storm, obsessed with construction equipment, playing music, singing songs, etc.

We're doing our first round of swim lessons at the YMCA and while he isn't really into the technical aspects (blowing bubbles, reaching his arms, or kicking too much), he really likes jumping off the edge of the pool, doing the songs, going down the slide (when he gets the courage), and sitting in the warm/not-so-hot tub afterward with all the other little kiddos.

He's also starting to tolerate the stroller better on our weekly group stroller runs. For a while, it was frustrating and I get it, he's an active kid who doesn't want to be strapped down. But it's just nice not to have to stop several times on a 4 mile run.

Happy Friday, friends! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

We have a family day today, so are planning to go to the trampoline park and who knows what else. Tonight, I am meeting up with an old friend and then tomorrow is a baby shower for my sister-in-law!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 2

Week two of marathon training was good, and fun! Of all the runs, Monday's 5 miler was a real slog because of my sore quads and hello, Monday.

I've realized that it's a good thing that I'm a) a morning person and b) self motivated, because if I didn't get out at 6:30 a.m. for a run, I likely wouldn't get one in most days unless I resorted to a stroller run, which is doable, but not nearly as therapeutic and requires a lot more hassle.

Also, sleep. Sleep is a good thing. The last few weeks, it was not something I got much of. Henry has been waking up regularly at 4 or 5 a.m. and often not going back to sleep, so... (yawn). Now let's get to the workouts.

Monday - 5 miles easy pace (9:53 avg) on tired legs (from Sunday's trail run)

Tuesday - 5 miles @ team workout, warm up, 2 mile time trial (14:15), cool down. I've never done a 2 mile anything, or a one mile all out for that matter either, so I wasn't totally sure how it would go. But, I've ran 5Ks, so I focused on sticking near my 5K PR pace and that felt hard, but manageable.

Wednesday - 4.25 mile stroller run + strength work

Thursday - 6 miles @ 8:57 avg

Friday - rest/cross train day, 1.5 mile walk, 15 min strength work and 15 min hamstring/hip flexor yoga @ home

Saturday - Long run, 10 miles @ 9:03 avg. I tried to slow down to keep my pace closer to the 9:30s, but there were miles where that was really difficult to do. Pete and I both wanted to get long runs in this day, so I started around 7:15 a.m. and had a clear, peaceful morning out there.

Love these arched branches along Pre's Trail

Hi, this is my awkward running selfie.

Sunday - REST, 2 mile walk

Thoughts so far:
I'll admit that already, I can see that one of the most challenging aspects for me about following a training plan is really taking the proper rest days and not just adding a few easy miles for kicks. Before, I would often throw a 3 miler into a rest day because I just felt like running, so it's taking some restraint to mostly REST on these rest days.

More isn't always better. I repeat, more isn't always better.

Long runs are coming. I mean, really long runs. Sundays 10 miler was just the tip of the iceberg and while it mostly felt good, I know as we get near those 15 mile runs it will really start to take its toll.

In non-running related news...
The manfriend and I are making our way through Friday Night Lights on Netflix from the very beginning. I watched it way back when, but he never did. It's so good. But also reminds me how awful/hard being a high schooler can be. What's your favorite show currently?

Okay, I'm off to bed! I hope your Valentine's Day was a good one, whether you celebrated or not. All day, I wanted to get a donut or something equally delicious, but didn't have the time. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Marathon Training: Week 1

Last week was my first official week of marathon training with our store training group, Team Run Hub. Our team has a total of 46 people on it training for the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon on Tuesdays and Saturdays for speed workouts and long runs.

Because of the manfriend's schedule and having a small kiddo, I'll only be able to make it to Tuesday evening speed workouts every other week and long runs maybe once a week. I'll still be doing the assigned runs and workouts, but from my front door and often solo. But still, I'm excited to have a prescribed training plan and teammates to run with when I can make it.

I'm not going to go on and on here, so let's get to the week's work.

Monday - 3.5 mi easy (i.e. relaxed, slower than maybe my ego would want to run)

Tuesday - 6.5 mi total, warm up, speed work: 10 x 2 min @ 10K pace, 1 min easy in between, cool down (It felt like a treat to get to run in the eve and with others around my pace. Thank you, manfriend for being on bedtime duty!)

Wednesday - 4.25 mi stroller run, weekly stroller run I help lead through the store

Thursday - 15 min yoga flow + 30 min strength & core work (@ home, during H's nap). 

Friday - 6.75 mi, 6.2 mi + 6 x 100m strides

Saturday - REST

Sunday - 8.5 mi Ridgeline Trail run w/ manfriend, hilly and muddy, but fun

Total: ~29 miles

What else?
I had a cold this week, so overall felt pretty meh and even took a few naps when Henry napped, but I managed to do all of my runs as I wasn't feeling horrendous.

Also, the little guy came down with a fever Friday night, forcing us to miss a baby shower and visiting friends in Portland. It had me in a pretty grumpy mood Saturday morning (you know, when the anticipation of a fun day gets squashed) before the manfriend left for work. So, I laced up and headed out for a 20 min walk in the rain with a podcast. It's amazing what some fresh air will do.

I'm looking forward to this week's speed work, a 2 mile time trial, which will tell Brett (our coach) what pace we should be running our various runs/workouts at.

I hope your week is off to a great start! I'm thinking that these weekly training recaps may get me back into blogging more frequently...

I've been doing a lot more reading (than I have in a long time) and writing (on paper) lately, which has been good. I want to find ways to spark more creativity and hopefully find some things that I find exciting to write about. Anyway, it's nothing earth shattering, but yes, in order to do that, I have to put down my phone and pick up a book or pen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Marathon Training, Ready or Not

Happy 2017! I hope the new year is off to a good start for you and your family. 

The last time I ran a marathon was October of 2013, the Chicago Marathon. I had to check my records to confirm that. The last big race I trained for was the McKenzie River Trail 50K in September of 2014.

Talk about sweet race views!

Between pregnancy and having/raising Henry (who's now 19 months old), that's a long period of time I've been out of the long distance training game. I don't feel I have something to prove, but I've also felt like I'm not quite done with the marathon.

So, I've joined Run Hub's training program for this spring's Eugene Marathon. It's a flat course, it will be easy logistically to run (because it's in my home town) and takes place in early May, so will hopefully be decent running weather. And, the manfriend and I are signed up to run the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler together in April, so I'll be doubly inspired to fit in the mileage.

We've had some wacky weather around here, so just getting out for a run has been more challenging than usual...

Have Stabilicers. Will run. 

I'll admit that the biggest reason I've signed up to train for the race is that the coach is four-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Brett Ely. I figure it's a cool opportunity to have a personalized training plan (a first for me!) and the extra motivation a coach and team offer. While I don't currently have goals to PR, I'm simply hoping to train hard and enjoy the process of getting stronger.

Weekly stroller run from the store with a few friends. Not easy. 

Fitting in runs is one thing, but fitting in hard workouts and long runs is another ball game when you have a little one. Last night was the Thursday speed workout, which happens to take place at the track right near our house. In order to make the workout, I had dinner ready and on the counter waiting for the manfriend. Then I bundled up H and put him in the jogging stroller for the warm up mile. As soon as Pete came home, he met me at the track and I handed over the stroller to hop in just as the workout started.

Last night's workout: 3-4, 4x400m (5K-mile pace), 1 min between 400's and 3 min between each set.

I joined a group that was a bit faster than me, so I lagged behind a few seconds, but they definitely pushed me to give it my all. I don't think there was a 400m where I actually ran my 5K pace. Most were quite a bit faster.

It was all I could do to hang on for 3 sets and then decided to cool down for 1.5 miles. Typically, I'll hang in for the longer version of the workout, but last night was cold (25F or so) and I haven't been doing much speed work, so I'm trying to be smart about it.

Speaking of being smart, this morning I went out for a 20 minute eeeeasy recovery run (~60-90 sec/mile slower than goal race pace). I don't know, but I have a hunch I'm going to need to start paying attention more to my pace on the easy days when the training plan gets underway on January 31!

And in New Years chatter, is anyone else still trying to recover from the holidays food bonanza? I still have a happy little belly thanks to those Christmas cookies and chocolate I was given or baked on my own free will. :)

Random things that boggle my mind:

  • How do people keep track of, save, back up, organize all of their photos? Same thing for music.
  • Why does the bone on the top of my left foot always hurt after a long run or hard workout? It doesn't hurt the majority of the time, but it does hurt regularly. 
  • How do people with full time jobs have time to go shopping, cook meals, take care of their kids and clean their house? 
What boggles your mind these days? Happy Friday, friends!