Colfax Marathon Week 2: Kickin’ Butt!!

Week two of my Colfax Marathon training cycle is over, and I only have 110 days to get myself ready! I know that sounds like a long time… but it’s not. However, it will be more than enough time if every week goes as well as this week did. Basically, mostly everything went right. I had a few weather snafus that stopped me from hitting my paces, but the effort was there, even if the clock didn’t say so.

Monday: 8 miles LSD – Long run pushed off from week before due to weather

I wrote about this run here. It was a pretty good long run, but was pushed off to this week due to arctic temperatures in Kansas.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

It was still bitterly cold out on Tuesday, and I had kinda lost feeling in my legs by the end of my 8-mile long run, so I decided to take this one inside. I hate the treadmill, and even though it was an easy paced run, mentally, this run was pretty tough. I have such a hard time keeping my mind occupied while running indoors.

Wednesday: 3 miles in snowstorm + Yoga

I went out for a run during a rather nasty snowstorm. I figured that since the temps weren’t too bad, that I could take the snow. I was hoping to hit close to marathon pace, but couldn’t stop my feet from slipping on the snow, so I just did put a medium amount of effort into the run. I was pretty glad to get home and dry off a bit.

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This is what Elly was up to when I got back from my run. It was apparently too cold to be awake.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

Kansas doesn’t believe in plows and salt… so I ended up taking my run inside… again. By the end of it, I was ready to swear off the treadmill forever. I did some yoga after, and that made me feel better about being cooped up indoors.

Friday: 5 miles Marathon Pace… but not really + Yoga

I intended for this run to be at marathon pace. Frank and two of our friends came out for the run (although Frank only did 3 miles). It was icy and cold, which slowed us down a lot. Dodging the ice and snow made for an interesting run that almost felt like trail running. We kept it about 30 seconds per mile slower than MP, although the effort seemed pretty tough.

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The reads and sidewalks were caked in ice… and it really only got worse as we went along.
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Obligatory post-run selfie. Frank had already run inside to get away from the cold.

Saturday: Rest Day – Went to see the largest ball of twine in the world… and yes, that is in Kansas!

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Artsy shot of the twine. Kansas is a strange place…

Sunday: 10 miles LSD + Yoga

I went to a yoga class in the AM and ran in the afternoon. One of Frank’s co-workers expressed interest in training for a half marathon, so I took him along for 7 miles of the run… and he did great! This was the first long run that has actually felt like a long run in a while. It was a real milestone to hit double digits. I actually don’t think I have done that since my Chicago Marathon training back in October. It was a great run, and I even got to explore a new route. Frank joined me for the last three miles and really pushed the pace. I ran a negative split with the last mile well below marathon pace (Thanks Frank). I had intended to keep this run pretty slow, but with the ice gone and fresh legs, I felt too good to slow down.

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Zeb is learning how fun running can really be!!

Total Mileage: 32.4

Overall, this was a great week. I needed it too! With the A1A Half Marathon coming up, I think I needed a few confident long runs under my belt into order to go for a PR in Fort Lauderdale. Also, the higher mileage felt good on my legs, so I’m pretty glad to be back! This week, Frank and I will be heading to Boulder on Thursday night, so I’ll be doing a few runs at altitude!

This week:

M: Rest

T: 3 miles easy

W: 6 miles MP

Th: 3 miles easy

F: 6 miles

S: Hiking in Colorado!

S: 12 miles LSD through Boulder

How was your week? Anyone hit by bad weather? Also, I know Kristina and Ali are doing the A1A Marathon/Half Marathon. Is anyone else gonna be there?

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Colfax Training Week 1: Strong Start

I finished my first week of training for the Colfax Marathon, and things went great, despite the rather frigid temperatures and icy conditions. I took it slow, but getting back to higher mileage feels good. A few of my friends in Manhattan have been training with me and holding me accountable to my mileage as I start to get my fitness back. I began the week kinda feeling like I had lost a lot of fitness by taking time off, but I ended the week with a few solid runs and a bunch more confidence.

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I WISH!

Tuesday: Yoga + 3.1 miles at easy pace

I went out with the local running group in the afternoon for an easy paced run. I was definitely suffering more than I should at the pace we went, but that may have been the cold. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to do well in cold temperatures. I did some gentle yoga on my own but added a little core work at the end with inversions.

Wednesday: Yoga + 4.0 miles with fast finish

I started the day with a pretty basic vinyasa practice on my own before going out to teach at Meadowlark Hills where I teach yoga and fitness to people with Parkinson’s Disease. It’s pretty much the most fun job! In an afternoon class, one of my favorite students walked for the first time in 3 years (Go Jo!). We were both crazy excited, and we’ll be trying that out again this week. In the afternoon, I went for a run and finished with the last mile at half marathon pace. It felt good to go a little faster.

Thursday: Yoga + 5.0 miles at marathon pace

I took a morning yoga class and in the evening a few friends came over to go running. We kept it just under 9:00/mi, which I think is close to my marathon pace. This run went perfect! We ran each mile a little faster than the one before and finished with lots more gas in the tank. It’s great to have runs like these to bring up my confidence.

Friday: Yoga + 4.1 at easy pace

I took another morning yoga class that left me feeling a little sore for the rest of the day. Since I had been running for 4 days in a row, and doing tons of yoga, I figured an easy run was in order. Frank came out with me on his bike and we went around looking at houses that are up for rent (we are looking for a new place).

Saturday: Hiked 15 miles at Tallgrass Prairie

A group of us went out for a long hike at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It’s a beautiful place with about 40 miles of trails. We wanted to make sure we hit some of the harder to get to spots of the park, so we embarked on a 15 mile hike in 6 degree weather (at least the sun came out). I got a blister on my foot, but besides that it was crazy awesome!

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The grass and hills go on forever!

Sunday: Long run got pushed back until next day due to ice and below 0 temps (do you blame me?). Kansas doesn’t salt the sidewalks or roads, so the conditions were rather treacherous. I did go to Ikea, though!

Monday: 8.1 LSD with last mile at MP

This run went as every long run should. I started slow and finished strong. Frank and Zeb came out to do 5 miles with me and I finished 3 more. It was cold out, but I stayed steady and strong. Let’s hope all of my long runs this cycle go this well! After my run, Elly was being super affectionate, so I snapped this little gem:

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Elly is perfect.

This was a solid week, and I needed it to kick off my training for Colfax. I do have A1A coming up in a few weeks, and I feel a lot more prepared for that than I thought I was. I’m super excited to up my mileage this week and keep on with this momentum.

This week:

T: 3 miles easy

W: 5 miles with hill work

Th: 3 miles easy

F: 5 miles @ MP

S: Rest

S: 10 miles LSD

How has your training been? Have the temps been cold by you? If they are, hopefully your state is better at salting and plowing than Kansas.

Happy Wednesday! I am signed up for Colfax!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!! This is what Elly was doing on this fine morning:

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Isn’t she a lazy bum? I love her so much!

Well… Today it is official… I am signed up to run the Colfax Marathon on May 15.

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I am a ways away from the day, BUT I am already starting to get into training shape. I was pretty bad about running over the holidays, but now that I am back home, I am doing some easy chill runs to remind my legs how to run (and pathetically, they are sore EVERY DAY). Luckily, my friends have been coming on a few runs with me to help get my body back into gear!

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It was so cold! Jordie (the puppy) was there to pace us. 

I am still deciding on what training plan to use, but I have a few in mind (I’ll write a post once I decide). My “official” training begins in about 2 weeks, and honestly I can’t believe it’s already here. After not being able to run Chicago, I’ve been having a bit of run-anxiety, which prevented me from signing up for Colfax until now. I am constantly worried about getting hurt and not being able to run it. I have decided that time really doesn’t matter for this race. I only need to finish it and get a time to beat at Chicago in October. It’s just hard to keep that state of mind, especially when I have good days. Needless to say, there will be no mountain biking until after the race.

 

I hope everyone is having a great week! What training plan is your favorite? Any advice for a first time marathoner?

Training Update: Well… not the best of weeks…

I know, I know… I still have not posted my race recap from last week. Things have been very stressful and I’ve been going through some ups and downs in my personal life. Actually, my personal life has been all ups. My work life has really been the downs. I think the stress of these last few weeks has really gotten to me and my training. Last week just didn’t feel right. I was hesitant to get out the door to go for my runs and when I did, I was having trouble keeping the paces I was trying to hit. Stress in one aspect of my life has a way of seeping into all of the other parts.

Also, yesterday, this happened:

Uh.... I thought it was spring. Where did this snow come from?
Uh…. I thought it was spring. Where did this snow come from?

Anyways, I am only 4 days out from the Holy Half… last week was peak training, but I don’t think my body got the memo on that.

Monday: Rest + Yoga
Felt pretty good and was excited for some speed work the next day. I was feeling fresh after my race during the weekend and was ready to run.

Tuesday: Speed work… only did 2.25 miles + yoga
I went out to do some intervals and was feeling pretty great. I had my headphones in and after I had finished with my 10 minute warm up, Frank called me to tell me that he had gotten a job with NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). His current job runs out of funding soon (being a scientist sucks… our lives are based on government funding cycles). He had been applying for stuff all over for a while and he had finally gotten one. I tried to continue running, but I had a ton of questions, so I just went home.

Wednesday: 5ish miles
My run group meets on wednesdays to do a 5k, but I decided to get a few extra miles in. I left the house, but my Garmin was acting up. It didn’t connect until I was at least a half mile into the run, and even then, it was telling me I was going 11 minute miles, which I was most certainly not. I think I ran about 5 miles…

Thursday: 0 miles… unintentional rest day
I was just really unmotivated. I was anxious about telling my boss about Frank’s job, since it means relocation for us. I was supposed to do yoga and core work. I did nothing.

Friday: Another unintentional rest day + yoga
This unmotivated day, I was supposed to do a Tempo run. I just didn’t. At least I did some yoga…

Saturday: 4.5 miles Tempo
I did a 10 minute warm up, then ran 20 minutes at tempo, which felt pretty terrible, and then a 10 minute warm down. I kept getting a persistent stomach cramps. I felt pretty discouraged after this run and hoped for a better long run the next day.

I always love my long runs. The city is just so much prettier when you are on foot.
I always love my long runs. The city is just so much prettier when you are on foot.

Sunday: 12 miles long run + Yoga
My long run went much better. I had some trouble getting out the door, but once out, I was good. I listened to podcasts and kinda cleared my mind a bit. I kept a 9:35 pace, which felt really comfortable and good. I was pretty happy that I hadn’t talked myself out of the run once I was out.

Total milage: 23.75 – not really what I was hoping for…

Oh well. I guess bad weeks happen. I just don’t like that it happened the week before a race. I’m hoping that I can refocus and have a good taper week, although things have been pretty stressful around here thus far. 😦

The good news is that Frank got a really awesome permanent job, which means no grant cycles, no feverishly looking for a job because the last one is about to run out. He can keep this one for as long as he wants to. We will be moving to Manhattan, KS (The Little Apple) in May. I’ll be coming back and forth a lot as I finish my PhD, but home base will be there. Kansas wasn’t really where I dreamed of moving, but it’s actually really pretty.

This is the Konza prairie, which is only 10 miles south of town.
This is the Konza prairie, which is only 10 miles south of town.

And it’s only 7 hours from the Rocky Mountains. I can feel some serious trail running in my future!

How do you run when you’re stressed out? Have you ever had a terrible week in the peak of your training? How do you stop stress from taking over?

Training Update: Spring is here!!

This week began with temperatures in the single digits, but ended with highs of 45 degrees. I’m pretty excited about the change, and I’m hoping that the snow leaves for good. I’m definitely feeling a lot better than I was a week ago, and I’m back to my usual training intensity. Also, I jumped on the bandwagon and got a Believe Training Journal. I gotta say, I love it. There are lots of helpful hints on training and also on what you should include in a training journal. The material in it is light hearted, and it helped me keep track of how I felt all week.

My Believe Training Journal. I think this will help me track potential injuries and things that really work for me in training. I still need to write out my goals.
My Believe Training Journal. I think this will help me track potential injuries and things that really work for me in training. I still need to write out my goals.

Monday: Rest day
I felt pretty terrible, and ended up taking the afternoon off from work to sleep.

Tuesday: More Rest
I was still feeling pretty icky, so I laid low, went into work late and did not run.

Wednesday: 3.1 miles on treadmill + Yoga
I was feeling a lot better and decided to run. I didn’t really want to run in the cold with such a terrible cough, so I went to the gym and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I took it really slow and just focused on my breathing. I had to stop a few times from coughing, but I felt ok and pretty strong, despite the cold.

Thursday: Unintentional 0 miles + Yoga
I had intended to run on Thursday, but I got stuck at work until pretty late. I had to teach yoga at 8 pm and I took the class before mine and did most of my class along with the students. I didn’t really want to run at the gym late at night, so I just went home to rest. I wanted to run, just didn’t work out. Eh….Oh well.

Friday: Hill Repeats x 6 – total of 4.4 miles + yoga
Friday was the first day that I felt totally fine again. It was also 7 degrees. I sucked it up and ran outside with a 10 minute warm up, and then 6 times up and down the only hill in town. It isn’t exactly big, but I tried to keep a pretty good pace on the way up to tire myself out. Worked pretty well, and I had major runner’s high afterwards. I warmed down for about 10 minutes and kept an overall pace of 9:15/mile. Pretty fun workout! Yoga was awesome, as per usual.

This is the only hill in South Bend.
This is the only hill in South Bend.

Saturday: Easy 4.3 miles + Hiked 6 miles
Saturday had a high of 45 degrees (I know, it was 7 the day before. The midwest is nuts!), so Frank and I took the opportunity and went hiking at a state park close by. The trails were covered in snow, but the skies were blue and it was wonderful to finally be able to be outside without a jacket. In the afternoon, Frank biked while I ran along a bike trail about 30 minutes outside South Bend. It was relaxing and fun! I tried to keep it chill and had a pace of 9:30/mile.

Running along the scenic Pumpkinvine Trail.
Running along the scenic Pumpkinvine Trail.

Sunday: 12 mile long run + Yoga
Ah, finally a long run. I missed mine last week from being sick and I was really happy to get out. The day was perfect too, with blue skies and warm (for Indiana) weather. I ran along the river, at my usual long run spot. Miles 10 and 11 were kinda slow, since I was on tired legs from running three days in a row. Besides that, it felt great to be out there. I kept a 9:34/mile pace.

Nice view for my long run! I'm loving the spring weather.
Nice view for my long run! I’m loving the spring weather.

Total Milage: 23.8

I’m pretty excited about this upcoming week. I have the first trail race of the season on saturday, and the temperatures are supposed to make it all the way up to 60 degrees. I can’t wait to be running in comfortable weather and IN SHORTS! The trail race is at Mounds State Park and is through the Do Indiana Outdoors trail series. I’m pretty excited for this one, and hopefully I’ll get to participate in a few more of their events. Next week should look something like this:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Kristina’s Virtual 10K
Wednesday: Recovery Run with Run Group
Thursday: Intervals
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 15K Trail Race
Sunday: Recovery Run

How was your week? Is the weather looking better where you are too? 

It’s cold here in the midwest!

Wow… This week has really been a wonderful experience. I really can’t believe A1A is over AND that I totally crushed my A goal with a time of 1:56:45 for my half marathon debut. On top of all of that… I signed up for the A1A Half Marathon again next year. It was an extremely positive experience and I can’t wait to do it again. But now I’m back in the midwest and hitting the training hard.

Uh... why do people live here?!
Uh… why do people live here?!

I have a few running related things up on my to do list over the next few months. The DINO trail series starts up again in less than a month and I am planning to do a few of their races again this year. The season begins with a 15K at Mounds State Park on March 14, about 2 hours south of town. I never really plan a real time goal for trail races because every race is so different. Depending on how they make the course, there can be sections of bush whacking and river crossings that really slow you down. Trail running is really just a fun experience and pretty scenery. But I gotta say, I love doing it.

My next big goal is the Holy Half Marathon. I have no idea what to expect and I am sure a lot of it depends on weather. I am not very good at running in the cold, which may have been the reason I over-estimated my pace so much before A1A. If the temperatures are reasonable, I’ll probably shoot for getting into the 1:55’s. If the weather is bad, I’ll just aim to finish.

Elly has done a good job of keeping me warm despite the temperatures.
Elly has done a good job of keeping me warm despite the temperatures.

So, how did training go this week? I was tired and it was SO COLD! I had to take a few of my runs inside even though I hate treadmills. My long run was with a few of the professors in my department, so not only was I intimidated by running 10 miles one week after a half, but I was also intimidated by the people. There was certainly some suffering, but less than I would expect given the conditions.

Monday: Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday: 3 very slow miles on treadmill
Wednesday: Yoga
Thursday: 4 very slow miles outside + yoga
Friday: 4 miles + yoga
Saturday: Cross country ski
Sunday: 10 mile long run

Total: 21 miles

I was a little worried about doing 10 miles after my half, but I was so intimidated by running with the professors in my department that I kept it together. Peer pressure I guess.
I was a little worried about doing 10 miles after my half, but I was so intimidated by running with the professors in my department that I kept it together. Peer pressure I guess.

This next week I am switching over to Matt Fitzgerald’s half marathon training plan. His method is to run by time and heart rate, not by milage, which is what I am used to. I’ve heard good things about his plan, but my main reason for making the switch is that he has some pretty good speed word in his plan, which is what I am really looking to add to my training. He also has some pretty strict nutrition plans, but I’ll see if I stick to that.

Next week training:

Monday: Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday: Intervals
Wednesday: 40 minutes easy + yoga
Thursday: Figure out max heart rate (20 min run) + yoga
Friday: Tempo run + yoga
Saturday: Hiking?
Sunday: 12 mile long run

What are your upcoming plans? Have you ever tried to train by time instead of milage?

How about some goals?

Oh man…. The A1A Half is only FOUR DAYS AWAY!!! How did we get here?

It's sold out!!! There are going to be so many people there!
It’s sold out!!! There are going to be so many people there!

I guess it’s time to talk about some goals.

I feel like I’ve been talking about this race forever. I had planned to run a half marathon back in October, but pushed things off due to injury. So… here we are. I am feeling ready, nervous, scared, excited and pretty much every other emotion about this race I could think of. I’ve put a lot of work into it and I’m flying across the country to run it (and to see my parents, of course). But I guess it’s time to think about some goals for the race.

a) Finish in less that 2:00

b) Finish in less than 2:15

c) Finish the race

Honestly, anything could happen out there. I ran my last 10 mile long run at 9:41 pace, which would have had me finishing around 2:07. I felt like I could have gone harder after that run and finished 13 miles around 2:05. In fact, I spent the whole time chatting away with my roommate. Had the race been sunday, I probably could have made an attempt to break 2:00. However, I don’t always feel that way. I’ve really had some mental battles in past races. I don’t fuel well the night before or in the morning. I usually get a little upset to my stomach and I’ve have terrible side stitches.

But, man, I have lucked out with the weather for this race.

It's seriously winter in Florida. Can't wait!!
It’s seriously winter in Florida. Can’t wait!!

I was worried because my training has been in South Bend, Indiana, where the temps run uncomfortably cold and you have to run more than 4 miles to break a serious sweat. But the A1A Half is going to be happening during a cold front in Fort Lauderdale! My parents will sure be miserably cold watching me, but I’m going to be one happy camper while I race.

I ran a nice comfortable 4 miles yesterday and today I’ll be going out with my running group at the local store. Tomorrow is my last run, just 2 miles, and then the next time I lace up is for the half!

Have you ever run a race and had no idea what pace you’d be at? Has weather ever completely changed your race day plans?