I have been avoiding writing this post, since I knew it would make this more real. But the thing is… it’s pretty real. So I guess I’ll just let it spill.
I deferred my entry for Chicago until 2016.
Several weeks ago, I was climbing a few 14ers (mountains that are over 14,000 feet) in Colorado, and on the way down from the last one, I twisted my knee a little. I didn’t think too much of it, so the next day, I still ran my prescribed 18 miles. It went horribly. I couldn’t go very fast and I spent a lot of it limping. I finished when I probably shouldn’t have.
I took a bit of time off, and it helped. I got back to running and everything was ok. But as soon as I got back on my feet, I got a terrible upper respiratory infection that included a high fever and lots of coughing. I couldn’t run at all for a full week. So… since I had basically missed out on my peak marathon training, I decided to defer until 2016.
HOWEVER… I am officially running the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa Oklahoma on November 22. I am back to running, and my knee feels good (my lungs feel okay). I realized that Chicago wouldn’t be very fun, but with training and hard work, Route 66 is gonna be awesome. The best part is… I already have a race to PR my marathon time next year!
Route 66 is going to be especially great. I’ll be running it two days before my 29th birthday and as soon as I’m done, Frank and I will be driving out to Utah for some canyoneering and mountain biking. I couldn’t be more excited.
Instead of being sad about this… like I was when I pushed the button to defer, I am using this as an opportunity. This is going to be tons of fun AND Chicago 2016 is gonna be awesome!
Some weeks running is just… hard. This week I felt like I was running with lead shoes, and that’s understandable, since I just PR’ed my half marathon and worked really hard last week. But this week, I just didn’t have it in me to give it my all. Maybe it was just that my all was not very much. Regardless, I took this week as a recovery week.
I practiced yoga at home, did some body weight strength work and got about 28 miles in. I had planned for close to 40 miles and a 16 mile long run, but I was so exhausted and that was just not going to happen.
Monday: 4.7 miles trail running (11:29/mi)
I was sore from all of the mountain climbing and hard running I had done the week before, so I took it easy and ran with the Lawrence Trail Hawks on their Monday night run. I had a great time and they talked the whole way. The first mile felt like I was running through mud, but I eventually warmed up and felt good. Lawrence is about an hour away, but I would really like to make the drive occasionally to run with this group.
Tuesday: 3.2 miles (8:18/mi)
Apparently I was feeling good this day. I ran with the Manhattan Running Company on the Kimble route, which has a pretty good climb up a hill. I started pretty conservatively at 9:16/mi, but then decided to catch up with the guys who usually lead the pack. I ran hard for the next two miles (8:27/mi & 7:17/mi) and did catch up with them at the end. I’m really not sure what got into me that day, but I was going fast!
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Unintentional rest day – I was tired
Friday: 6 miles (10:00/mi)
I felt like I was running through a pool with lead shoes. I don’t even know how I finished the run, but I was beat the whole time. It was so hot out too…
Saturday: 4.5 miles (9:58/mi)
Another pretty chill run. Unfortunately, I still felt tired. I know that I had not fully recovered yet from the half and running at any pace just felt like work. I was going to go 8 miles, but I was tired and really didn’t want to.
Sunday: 10-mile long run (10:00/mi)
I was going to do 16 miles, but I didn’t feel quite right. I went in the PM, so it was getting dark by the time I finished. Honestly, I can’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t really right. I didn’t feel injured, just overworked. So I scaled back and took it easy. If these 6 miles are what stands between me and running a sub-4 marathon, I’m not ready to run that kind of time yet.
Sage Canaday always says that you would rather be undertrained than overtrained, and I really took that to heart this week. Even though I didn’t do the mileage I wanted to do, I’m more than ok with it. I needed a chill-ish week and I took one. Next week features my first 18-miler and I want to be ready to conquer that distance.
How do you recover from half marathons? Do you ever scale back your mileage because you don’t quite feel right?
I did it, 40 miles in a single week AND a rockin’ 16-mile long run! I spent the entire week anxious and nervous about my long run and it couldn’t have gone better. I had never run more than 14 miles and, well, that run didn’t go too well. Going even longer seemed like a stretch, and I was starting to question if a marathon was even possible. After my long run, I actually felt like I could do it.
I was pretty bad about taking pictures this week, so here’s a photo of my perfect cat!
Monday: The usual rest day after a hard week!
Tuesday: Hill repeats (6 miles) in AM + Social run (3.2 miles) in PM
I got up early and ran out to my usual hill and went up and down 6 times before heading home. It felt great. Is it weird that I like hill repeats? It’s one of my favorite workouts. In the PM, I went on a social run with the Running Company. I took it a little fast, given the extreme heat (8:43/mi).
Wednesday: Yoga – no running
I was going to go running in the morning, but a storm came through. It was Frank’s 31st birthday and we were celebrating with some friends in the evening. I just decided to take the day off and just do some yoga. Frank wanted to try a pizza place in town that had a vegan pizza. We are vegetarian, not vegan, but we try to eat vegan when possible. This pizza, however, was SO BAD! Like… the worst. The cheese tasted like gum. Afterwards, we checked out a new brewery in town
Thursday: 7 miles easy (9:49/mi)
I went out in the afternoon, and it was blazing hot outside. It felt good, despite the heat, because I was well hydrated. On my way back, there was a parade going on outside my house. I live in downtown, so whenever anything is up in town, it’s usually happening on my street.
Friday: Hiking – no running
Frank and I went out for a hike at a state park about an hour away. We camped that night and got up early for some trail running the next morning.
Saturday: 8-mile trail run (11:00/mi)
Wilson State Park is about an hour away from Manhattan and is known for some great mountain bike trails. It’s probably the prettiest place I’ve been in Kansas. I hoped on the mountain bike trails and they were tough, but awesome! I passed a few mountain bikers along the way. There were beautiful cliffs along a lake and I saw tortoise!
Sunday: 16-mile LSD (9:34/mi)
I got up early to beat the heat, but it was still about 85 degrees and overcast. There were a few miles here or there that were a struggle, but for the most part, I felt great. I took the first 12 miles at around 10/mi pace, one minute faster than my intended marathon pace. I decided to just go by feel for the last 4 miles and not hold back. I easily hit marathon pace and for the final mile kept an 8:30/mi pace. I needed this run, and it gave me the confidence I needed heading into some of the peak training for Chicago.
This next week is a big cutback for me. I go from running 40 miles to only about 28. I’m basically treating this as a taper week for my half marathon on Saturday. Look out for a post on my goals for my upcoming race, which I am in the process of writing. I’m just not 100% sure what I am looking to get out of the race.
Do you ever find that your confidence wanes? What do you do to fix it?
My week officially ended at 35.7 miles! What an accomplishment! I’ve never run more than 30, no less over 35 miles in a single week. I really feel like I am training for a marathon. My legs felt great but I think my long run could have gone better.
Monday: Rest Day
Just a regular old rest day.
Tuesday: 6.1 mile trail run in AM (9:52 min/mi) & 3 mile fast finish (8:48 min/mi) in PM
I got up really early and got to Konza Prarie before the sunrise. I hit the trail just as the sun was coming up and it was just perfect. The air was cool and it just felt fresh out there. I saw turkeys, bison, bunnies, and deer! In the PM I ran with the Manhattan Running Company on their social run. It was SOOO crazy hot. The heat index was over 100 and the air was stagnant. Kinda felt like running through a sauna.
Wednesday: 4 mile progression run
I love progression Runs. I went out in the evening as it was starting to cool off and I just felt great. I was planning to make this an easy run, but I was having trouble holding myself back, so I sped up each mile as I went. My splits were 9:00, 8:23, 8:17, 8:00.
Another rest day.
Friday: Brutal 14 mile long run (10:17 min/mi)
This run sucked… and it was totally my fault. I woke up really early, since I knew the heat index was going to get up to 106 that day. Then, I just kinda sat around and procrastinated. I wasn’t out the door until 9 am, and it was already about 90 F. The first few miles felt good, but I realized that I was going to run out of water, so I ran to the running store in town to fill up. As I got closer, the miles got harder. I took a few walking breaks to cool down, since I had stopped sweating, but really, it wasn’t helping. Unfortunately, Kansas is a prarie, so there are very few trees and nowhere to get out of the sun. At the store, they gave me a test Newton Fuel Belt to hold extra water, and I gotta say, it was a life saver. I had enough water with me to use some to pour over my head to cool down. I was so thankful. Normally, I wouldn’t think a fuel belt is necessary, but around here it gets so hot and there are no water stops. I went ahead and bought one for my long runs this summer. I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth out of it.
Saturday: 3.3 mile recovery run (9:34 min/mi – a little too fast)
I went out in the early morning and just did a nice chill run. I, again, was having trouble holding myself back. I wanted to be closer to 10 min miles, but if I wasn’t watching my watch like a hawk, I would accidentally take it a little faster. I guess that’s a good thing…
Sunday: 5.3 mile Easy (9:57 min/mi)
This was a nice easy run that felt really good. I waited until it started getting dark so I wouldn’t have to endure the blasting sun. Legs felt good, mind felt great, and I just chugged along no problems. Wish all runs were like this.
Things are going up from here! Next week I will run 40 miles, and in there is a 16-mile long run. I’m nervous about the long run, given how poorly the 14-miler went this week, but if I get out earlier, I shouldn’t be in so much trouble. 14 miles is the furthest I’ve ever gone, and 16 miles sure seems like a lot.
I do have a half marathon coming up in less than 2 weeks, so stay tuned for a goals post coming soon!
What is your favorite run (long runs, progression runs, recovery runs, etc)? Do you bring water with you on long runs?
As you know, it’s been crazy hot out around here this summer, so I went ahead and chopped off my hair!!
How do you like it? Unfortunately I can’t really keep it straight in this humidity, but I like it curly too. My hair had been driving me nuts on my runs, so I figured something a little less heavy would be a nice summer change.
I’ve made the transition pretty nicely to becoming a morning runner. This week I woke up at 5:30 am for a 6 mile trail run through Kanza Prairie. I got to see the sunrise along with about 100 turkeys, a deer, and a bison.
With beautiful mornings like these, how could I ever go back to evening running?
Running in the mornings has become essential, but it gets harder as I increase my mileage. I’ve never run more than 32 miles in a single week and this week I will be running 35. Next week I hit two new milestones, 40 miles in a single week along with a 16-mile long run. Marathon training is starting to get intense, but I am certainly noticing that I am getting stronger. Distances that used to seem like a push are suddenly much easier. I’ve also been pretty good about doing hill work, and have noticed a big difference there too.
Two weeks from Saturday I will be running the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon. I wont be there to PR… it’s my Chicago pace practice run. I’m going to run at marathon pace (9:00 min/mi). If I can do it at 7,000 feet with a pretty sizable uphill section, I’m pretty sure Chicago will be a piece of cake!
How is your fall training going? Are you feeling confident about your next race?
I can’t believe I am done with week 5 already! This week was all about ankle recovery, and by the end, I was hardly feeling it at all. I guess I’d have to say that recovery was a success. My total mileage was about 24 miles, although my Garmin was acting kinda weird and I’m not sure what my actual mileage was. Getting back to normal intensity next week should go pretty smoothly.
Monday: Rested Ankle
I basically did no walking or running. I tried to keep the foot elevated and iced it often.
Tuesday: 3.1 miles with run group
My ankle was feeling pretty good, so I went out with my run group to do our hill route. I decided to do a progression run and had splits of 9:31, 8:43 & 8:21. Pretty good!
Wednesday: Rest Day
I went to a yoga class, but did no running.
Thursday: ~4.5 miles at 9:57 min/mi
I waited way too long to go out for my run, and decided to do it over lunch. It was over 90 degrees out and I was dying. I intended to do 7 miles, but I decided that the suffering was really doing me no good, so I turned back a little over 2 miles to head home.
Friday: Rest Day
I figured that since I had suffered so much on my run the day before, I should probably chill out and not go too hard the next day, so I took a day off.
Saturday: 10 miles at 9:55 min/mi
Frank and I went to Omaha, NE to check out the zoo and I wanted to check out some of the local running areas in the morning. I went out to a really nice lake with a paved trail around it to do my long run. There were tons of people out, despite the high humidity and heat. For the most part, this was a good run, although the last few miles kinda felt like a slog.
Sunday: ~6.5 miles around 9ish pace
My garmin was being a real pain during this run and turned off a few times. It was HOT out…and I was sweating like crazy. I stopped a few times to drink water, but I still managed to stay close to marathon pace. I felt good, and was exhausted at the end.
Next week’s forecast:
The end of the week saw temps of over 100 around here, and next week will only be worse. I’m going to be running in the early mornings and maybe slowing off on paces to stop myself from getting injured from the heat. I have a pretty big mileage increase over the next few weeks, and I am getting to mileages that I have never done before. Things are getting pretty real over here!
How hot is too hot to run? Are you seeing crazy high temps this week?
Last week was a great week of training, but I did have a bit of a hiccup. Frank and I met up with some friends out in Colorado. We did a 28-mile hike with close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain over the course of two days. However, about halfway through, I took a bad step and turned my ankle. Since I was carrying about 30 pounds of weight on my back… it didn’t exactly feel good. I have been chilling out a bit and will be back to my usual intensity next week. Despite the injury, I still managed to get 27 miles in. I was supposed to do 33, but that’s ok.
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 6 miles hill repeats in AM & 3.1 miles easy in PM
This was my first ever double! It was great, too. This is something that I want to do going into the future. Splitting a long-ish day allows me to run a little further and still have time to get work done. It also allowed me to feel a little fresher going into the next day of training.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy at 9:14 pace
I ran a rather hilly route around town, but felt great. On the top of the hill, I saw fireworks off in the distance. It was nice and relaxing.
Thursday: 12 miles at 9:46 pace
This was an awesome long run! I felt wonderful the whole time, but I finished the run at marathon pace for the last two miles (9:00 min/mi). I’m actually looking forward to my longer runs.
Friday: 14 miles hiking at Maroon-Bells
We had a rather long and grueling day fighting the weather and crazy high altitude. I got hailed on like 5 times and spent a lot of time shivering, but it was amazing. I turned my ankle towards the end of the day and basically had to walk it off. I gave some of my pack weight to Frank, popped 4 ibuprofen and sucked it up. 😦
Saturday: 14 miles hiking at Maroon-Bells
We woke up at 5:30 am to get out on the trail by 6 am. My ankle felt a little better, but not great. We made it back to the parking lot around 3 pm, and I finally got to get off my foot for a while.
Sunday: Rested foot
I’ve been icing the ankle and trying to stay off of it. I did go for a run on Tuesday, and it went really well. I only went 3 miles, but I felt really good. Tomorrow I’m going to go for a longer run, but still at an easy pace. Hopefully I continue on the mend.
Have you ever gone on a backpacking trip? Do you ever run twice in a day?
Was anyone else glued to the internet yesterday checking the Western States Endurance Run results? I totally was. I was so happy to see Kaci Licktieg pull out a second place spot. She was pretty far back there when I went to sleep and she must have dug deep at the end. Magda Boulet won the woman’s race with a crazy impressive time of 19:05:21. Such an awesome race… maybe one day I’ll run it. 😉
I had a pretty great training week, despite all of my traveling. I really focused on broadening my paces by making my fast miles faster, and some of my slowest miles even slower. It worked too! I ran miles at 7:30 min/mi and I ran miles in the high 10’s. Doing this helped make 29 miles this week feel not too bad on my legs.
Monday: 5.2 mile Tempo at Marathon Pace (9:00 min/mi)
This was a pretty straight forward tempo run. I felt really comfortable the entire time, even though it was like 90 degrees out with like 100% humidity (I was in Florida). Overall a good workout.
Tuesday: 4.5 miles – no idea what pace because my Garmin was being crazy
I went out for a run that I was hoping to keep at like a 9:30-9:45 pace. However, my Garmin suddenly started reading numbers like 3:15 min/mi and told me that I ran a sub 6 mile (which I did not). It felt like an easy run, so we’ll just call it that.
Wednesday: Lots of Yoga and rest
Friday: Mile Repeats (6 miles at 9:05 with warm up and cool down)
This was a crazy fun workout. I flew back to Kansas and had a few hours between when I had to go get Frank from the airport. He was flying back from Boston. I decided to go to a park and just get some fast miles in. I warmed up for a mile and kept it very slow and then did mile repeats with a 2-minute rest in between. These were my times: 7:31, 7:58, 8:08, 8:13. I know, I was getting slower and slower, but I was ok with that. I was tired from the flight and I probably took that first mile a little too quick (I was trying to stay close to an 8:00 pace). I cooled down for a mile, but this was a fun workout!
Saturday: 3.3 Miles at 9:46 min/mi
This was a recovery run, and it should have been slower. I felt like I had to hold myself back the entire time. I could have been going way faster and still felt good, but I kept reminding myself that I had a long run in the morning. I would occasionally look at my watch and see the time creeping down and I would immediately back off. I gotta say, I was thrilled to feel like that after my workout the day before.
Sunday: 10 mile LSD 9:59 min/mi
What a great long run! I got myself out pretty early in the morning while it was still pleasant. I tried to keep myself as close to 10 min/mi as I could (about a minute slower than my projected marathon pace). Honestly, it felt pretty easy. The whole time I was thinking about Chicago, and how I could keep this pace up forever. I think it also dawned on me, during this run, that I am actually training for a marathon… which is pretty exciting, and scary. I hope all of my future long runs are like this one. Afterwards, I went hiking with Frank, so I think I have about 20 miles on my legs today and I’m pretty tired.
Total: 29 miles!
Next week is the first 30 mile + week. It will be the furthest I’ve ever ran in a single week, and will also have a 12 mile long run in there! It’s getting pretty real over here!
This week kicked off my training for the Chicago Marathon and it went pretty well! I managed to run 22 miles, and although most of it was at a slow recovery pace, it felt good. My legs are still pretty exhausted from the half marathon last weekend, so I tried to keep things nice and slow. I didn’t want to push myself too hard, since my next weeks are going to be tough.
Monday: 4.0 miles at 9:23/mi
This was my first run since Hospital Hill last Saturday and I took it as a recovery run to alleviate some of the soreness I was feeling from conquering those hills at the race. Massachusetts is pretty hilly, so it certainly wasn’t super easy, but I still felt pretty light. I stopped once or twice to take some pictures and make sure that I wasn’t lost. Overall, good run.
Tuesday: Rest Day + Hiked a bunch
Frank got Tuesday off so we decided to go to Vermont to do some hiking. We did about 10-12 miles total and made it to the top of two mountains.
Wednesday: 6.0 miles at 9:15
I did another day of a pretty chill recovery pace. It was nice to keep it slow and steady and explore some areas I’ve never been. Frank and I have been in Westminster, MA this week, so I got to try out some new running routes. This one was through the small town. There were lots of people out and it was a beautiful day.
Thursday: True rest day
I rested. For real.
Friday: 8 miles LSD at 9:52 min/mi
This run was brutal. It was so bad that I wondered if I was even going to finish it. The route was straight up Mt. Wachusett and I gained about 500 feet in the first half of the run. By the turn around point, I was so tired that I had having trouble running even on the downhill. Now, I am sure a lot of this was fatigue from the half marathon, but it was a bit of a demoralizing run. Hopefully my other long runs are not this bad.
Saturday: Hiked at Acadia National Park
Frank and I went hiking around Acadia and climbed a few mountains there. Maine is incredibly beautiful. We probably did about 7 miles total.
Sunday: Climbed Mt. Katahdin
So…Mt Katahdin. This is a 5200 ft beast of a mountain. I’ve certainly climbed mountains that are much bigger, but this one was pretty hard. In total, we hiked about 8-9 miles, but a large part of that was scrambling up and down big boulders. I’ll write more about that later, but it was pretty awesome. I was going to run afterwards, but I was way too exhausted to do it.
I think I did well in my training this week, but that long run really messed with my head. Next week I have a 10-mile run scheduled and I hope that things go a lot better then. I am heading back to Manhattan, KS on Tuesday for a conference at KSU and then on Saturday I’ll be traveling to Florida to see my parents. Despite the busy schedule, I am determined to still get all of my runs in.
The first half of this training cycle is going to focus a lot on hills. I am an avid hiker and I hike up a lot of mountains with relative ease. I never have trouble with altitude, but for some reason running on hills is very hard for me… even little ones. I learned the hard way at my half marathon that struggling on hills can cost you many minutes. In yoga, the postures that we have the most trouble in are usually a good indicator that they are something we need to work on. I am going to take the hint from these hills and make that an important part of my training. I know that Chicago is a pancake (I lived there… it is like a super pancake), but training on hills will make me a better runner in the long term. Getting good at hills will make me better in Chicago and it will make me faster everywhere else. So… from here on out, if I can take a hillier path, I will. Each week will feature some sort of hills training either at Konza or in town.
This week will look something like this:
M: 5 miles Tempo MP T: 3 miles recovery pace with running group W: ~4 miles at Konza Prairie Trail (I consider this hill work) T: Rest F: 10 miles LSD S: Fly to Florida S: 4 miles Total: ~26 miles
So, with fall training cycles beginning, what workouts are you most excited for in the next few weeks? How do you do on hilly terrain?
This week kicks off my training for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve been excited about this for a while, but it’s finally here! Unfortunately, I did not have a break between Hospital Hill and Chicago training, so the first week of training is chill with a lot of recovery runs.
I’ve already gone on my first run of my Chicago training cycle. Even though I am still sore from Hospital Hill, I managed to go out for a 4-mile easy run through the National Forest here in Westminster, MA. It went pretty well and I was jazzed about beginning my training!
I chose a training plan that is a combination between Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 and Matt Fitzgerald’s Intermediate plan. This will take me from my first week of 22 miles, to my peak week at 48 miles and has two 20-mile runs, plus I’ll have some speed work and tempo runs. I am a little nervous about going long in the hot Kansas summer, so I’ll probably be doing my long runs in very early morning.
I am also going to be racing the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon on August 1 at Estes Park. This race is at 5000 feet, so I imagine it will be a challenging one, but it will give me a chance to practice my race day strategies. I am considering going for another PR on this race, but as we get closer to race day, I’ll reassess my plan.
So what are my goals for Chicago? In all honesty, the marathon distance still scares me a lot. My main goal for Chicago is just to finish the race, but I will try to do marathon pace tempo runs with the intention to run a 4:00:00 marathon. It is more than ok if I fall short of that time. All that I want is to finish.
This is just the beginning. I still have over 600 miles to go before I reach that finish line in Chicago, and I’m pretty excited to get there.
What are you training for? What are your goals for the fall?