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?

training update with very little training

The A1A Half Marathon is 33 days away and for the past week, I have not been training. I came down with the flu and was too sick to be awake, no less to run. This certainly causes some hiccups in the training plan, but I am more concerned about getting over the flu than breaking 2 hours on my first half marathon. I am not sure when I’ll be back to my usual intensity, but if all goes well, I’ll try for a (slow) 30 minute run on wednesday to kind of shake it all out. Send me lots of positive and healthy vibes while my immune system finishes up this battle.

Pretty excited for my half marathon line up!
I am committed to the Holy Half in March. Pretty excited for my half marathon line up! Isn’t their logo cute?

In the mean time, I signed up for my next half marathon of the season, the Holy Half at the University of Notre Dame. This is where I go to grad school and many of my friends have ran the race. It is student run, and isn’t particularly fast (there are a lot of turns to keep it on campus), but it is the race that goes through my usual running grounds, so I gotta do it! I am not sure what my goals will be, which will likely be very dependent on how well the A1A half goes. As we get closer, I’ll update you on all of that.

Last summer, I participated in a race series called DINO (Do INdiana Outdoors), which has trail races, triathlons and mountain bike races. This year, I am hoping to do a few more of their races. March 14th kicks off their series with a 15K trail run not too far from my house. They have a few other trail races that I have my eye on. Here is my plan for races over the next few months.

Feb 15 – A1A Half Marathon

March 14 – DINO Mounds State Park Trail 15K

March 28 – Holy Half Marathon

April 25 – DINO Town Trail Run 15K

So, as I try to get better, I am signing up for races. It is a good motivator to eat well and sleep a lot so that I am ready to kick some serious butt. I’ll keep you updated on how my training goes over these next few weeks, but any advice on getting back after you’ve been pretty sick is very much appreciated!

Race Week Training Update!

We are now 68 days away from the A1A Half Marathon and I couldn’t feel better about that! Last week was great! I ran my long run (7 miles) with the Fleet Feet Trail Runners, which was awesome and the rest of my runs went pretty well, too. I did my long run on trail in a local county park to prepare me a little for my trail race next Saturday. This next week brings more snow and a busy schedule as the semester ends, so I’ll be squeezing my runs between tons of work.

The trail running group from this morning. We all had an awesome time!
The trail running group from this morning. We all had an awesome time! Photo was taken by one of the other runners named Erin.

In the past, I have had a considerable amount of trouble with my race day routine. My stomach will start to bother me, I don’t sleep well the night before or I feel compelled to drink way too much water (as if aid stations don’t exist). My goals for this race are to nail down a good morning race routine and to (hopefully) break one hour. My plan is to eat a piece of bread, an Luna energy bar, some coffee and some cliff gummies for breakfast. I’ll have to remind myself not to fill up too much on liquids.

Training this week:

Monday: 4 miles (nice and slow)

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Yoga + 5 miles (3 miles at half marathon pace)

Thursday: Yoga + 4 miles

Friday: Lots and lots of rest!!

Saturday: 6.2 Race!

Sunday: 2-3 mile slow recovery run

Total: 21 miles

So there you have it, another week in the books. Hopefully my training next week goes as well as this past week. Wish me luck on my race saturday, and as always, feel free to give any advice for race day nutrition. I’ll post an update after the race to let you know how I did!

Happy Late Thanksgiving!!!

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was AWESOME! For the first time in my life, I did a rather untraditional Thanksgiving Day. Instead of eating tons of Turkey (I’m vegetarian, so tofurkey in my case), I spent my day hiking through the backcountry of Great Smokey Mountains National Park with my husband and favorite hiking partner. In total for the holiday weekend, we hiked over 50 miles through rolling hills and difficult terrain. I’m pretty sure my legs were ready to fall off, but you know, that comes with the territory. Our animal count was a live turkey (on Thanksgiving Day), a bobcat, a wolf (we also heard them too while we were hiking back to our car) and an armadillo. Pretty good for late fall.

My view on Thanksgiving Day. Jealous much? :)
My view on Thanksgiving Day. Jealous much? 🙂

So now that I’m back to town, it is back to my training. I am 76 days from the A1A Half Marathon! It sounds like a lot, but that time is going to fly by. I also have a 10k trail run in 2 weeks and I am looking for a 5k in Florida to run when I am home for Christmas.

Training for the week:

Monday: 5 miles slow and easy – yoga afterwards

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: 4 miles with running group + yoga

Thursday: 4 miles + yoga

Friday: REST!

Saturday: 7 mile long run pace (try strawberry cliff energy gel + race day breakfast)

Sunday: yoga

Total: 20 miles

These next few weeks I am going to be trying out my race nutrition strategies. I have a rather sensitive stomach, so I am a little worried about what will happen during my half marathon. I usually have to be careful about what I eat before I run and I am new to energy gels. Honestly, I haven’t really decided if I want to use them for my race. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear what works for you.

Muddy Monk Trail Run! Woohoo!

I just signed up for one more trail race in 2014 and I am super excited! A group of people from the South Bend Adventure Club will be heading out to run either the 5k or the 10k in about two weeks (I’ll be doing the 10k). Although trail races tend to be quite a bit slower than road, they are still tons of fun, if not more fun. However, it is important to adjust expectations to the race you are running. If you know there will be hills and lots of turns, you will run a substantially slower race. A few months ago I ran the crazy hilly Knobstone Trail 10k in 1:07, which is close to 15 minutes slower than my PR on road. So what are my goals for this race? I’m not sure yet, but I think I’ll just go for breaking 1 hour. Here’s to hoping for no snow on the trails! 🙂

Another trail race on the books! Super excited!
Another trail race on the books! Super excited!