Colfax Training Week 12: Tired

Another week done… Each day it is getting more and more real, and I can feel it. I know that I am almost ready to run the Colfax Marathon, but I’m tired and training is hard. This week really upped it a lot. I had a race pace tempo run, mile repeats, and a 20-mile long run. The rest was easy mileage, but I’m starting to feel like running is anything BUT easy. The training is pushing me to my edge, and so close to past it, I sometimes get super worried about injury. I am still hitting my paces, but I am tired, sore, and feeling ready to just go run this thing. I guess that’s just how marathon training feels, though. I’m almost (3 weeks) to the taper. This is it… this is where it counts.

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A selfie taken during my mile repeats.

Here is my week:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 8 miles at Goal MP (8:55/mi)

Wednesday: 6 miles easy pace

Thursday: 6.2 miles easy pace on trail

Friday: 20 miles Long (9:26/mi)

Saturday: Hiking

Sunday: 8 miles – 4 x 1 mile at 8:00/mi

Total: 48.2

Wow… Over 48 miles was an unfathomable distance before I started this training. I just can’t believe that I am hitting numbers like that. This week was so tough. I started off tired from Questival and had trouble even getting out the door. Once I was running, things would quickly feel better. My goal MP tempo run seemed impossible before I started, but once I got into a grove, it was fine.

The run at Konza Prairie was refreshing… it was nice to be out in nature. But the wind was blowing and making every step a little tougher and with no tree cover, wind can be rough on the prairie.

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This is only 10 minutes out of town, but it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.

I spent the whole week dreading my 20-miler. It was my first time conquering that distance, and it was tough. Going further than 18 seemed like a stretch, and I definitely had a few moments of struggle. I think I took it a little too fast, and boy was I sore the next day. It took a lot out of me, but I got it done. But seriously, I am considering the Hanson’s method for Chicago after that torture-fest.

I ended the week with mile repeats just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful out, and it was really one of those “I’m happy that I’m a runner” moments. Say what you want about Kansas, but sunsets are the best here (and I’m from Florida).

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Beautiful sunset on the Linear Trail while I ran.
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The trail takes me right by the river. So pretty!

There are only two more tough weeks ahead of me. This coming week should top out at the big-50. I have a 16-mile long run in there and a bit of tempo and speed work. The following week is a cutback with a trail half marathon in Lawrence, KS (super excited). The week after the half is my peak week. I’ll have 55 miles of running, a 20-miler, and some tempo running. If I survive that, I think I made it. It’ll be all taper, all the way to the starting line.

So, I’m almost there. I just have to keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time.

How do you feel towards the end of marathon training? How was your week?

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Colfax Marathon Training Week 11: Cutback and Questival

Happy Monday Everyone!!

This week was a bit of a nutty one, although it was a cutback week on my mileage. I gotta say, I wasn’t too sad about not running once I saw a bunch of snow in our forecast. I absolutely hate running in snow. Even though I cut back in mileage this week, I still had a “race” of sorts to do on Friday night/Saturday. I kept the mileage this week low because Frank and I participated in a 24-hour adventure race in Dallas with two of our friends, which included a lot of running. Even though we were out-of-towners (we live in Manhattan, KS which is about 7 hours from Dallas), we still rocked the race. Recap will be coming soon… but trust me, it was pretty weird.

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The Batllama Questival Team – only like 3 hours in and Ben is already asleep.

Monday: 5.5 Miles at Recovery Pace + Yoga

After a long day of work, I did an evening run with a few friends that are training for their first half marathon. We kept it slow and steady, especially since I was recovering from a pretty tough tempo session the day before. My legs felt a little heavy and overused, so I knew that this cutback week was going to serve me well.

Tuesday: 5.1 Miles at Goal Half Marathon Pace + Yoga

I felt good starting on this run, but I started to notice some pretty nasty stomach pain that I was having. I didn’t think too much of it and just kept chugging along. Eventually, it just got too bad and I dipped into the local running store to use their bathroom. Unfortunately, I had my period… Weird for me to be a few days early, but whatevs (sorry for the TMI, but we’re all runners here… and mostly women). I was happy to see that the stomach issues were not actually stomach related. I tried to up the pace and get back to my car ASAP. I did a little yoga in the evening and that made me feel a lot better.

Wednesday: Rest Day

 Thursday: 12 mile Long Run

I guess when you get to the point where you are doing 18 and 20 mile runs, 12 miles just doesn’t seem that far. This run didn’t even feel like a long run. I kept the pace slow, but was surprised by how short 12 miles felt. Like seriously, 12 miles used to be ridiculously long!! Now, it’s just a normal no big deal run. The pace was a little faster than I would have liked. Around mile 6, the KSU men’s cross country team came up from behind me and took off into the distance. My competitive spirit kicked in a little and I upped the pace to keep up (like yeah right)… after about a half mile I tried to slow it way down. It took me another mile or so to get my pacing right and I kept it slow for the rest of the way home.

Friday: Questival Begins

I have no idea how much running I was doing, but we were running from challenge to challenge. We also slept for maybe two hours. I am going to write a full recap of this soon, but this is a short list of some of the more crazy things that happened:

  1. This picture:
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When dragonflies attack?

2. A cop coming to kick us out of a state park after dark – while we were having a peanut butter explosion in the car

3. I sang Bohemian Rhapsody in the middle of down town Dallas with my headphones in as loud as I could and embarrassed my entire team (this was a liberating experience)

4. I ran 1 mile on a trail in one of my nicest dresses

5. We cheered on a random baseball team with signs and everything at a city park

I’ll give you that much for now… more to come in the recap, but we did like over 50 things.

Saturday: Questival Ends (7 pm), 3.5 mile run at easy pace + 1 mile trail run (in a dress)

After running in a dress, I understand why running clothing companies make their clothes the way they do. After only one mile, I felt sticky and incredibly gross. Frank and I also ran 3.5 miles on the KATY trail through downtown Dallas. This is a beautiful trail and if you are ever in Dallas, you should check it out.

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Team Batllama getting up close and personal with a statue of Mark Twain

Sunday: Hiked and Drove Home

After a long day, we camped in a state park in Oklahoma and went hiking the next morning. Pretty uneventful.

Total Miles: 27 + running around for Questival

Overall, it was a nice and easy week of running. I think I got my sleep schedule back on track, so this week will be back up to high mileage. I have my first 20-miler on Friday. I am a little nervous because this week and the next one are pretty intense on the mileage. If I make it through this… I am basically there. I’ll only have one recovery and one last tough week before starting the taper. Seriously… this whole Marathon thing is getting very real!!

How was your week? Did you race this weekend? How do you usually feel at peak marathon training?

Thinking Out Loud: Random thoughts on running and travel

This is my 100th post!!!!!! Woohoo!

I am going to try something new this week! I’ve never linked up to “thinking out loud” and I figured I’d give it a try. There’s no theme, just random thoughts and ideas about running and whatever else I’m thinking about.

  1. This week has been a recovery week in my training, however, I feel like I am not doing anything at all. I feel like I’ve come so far in these past 10 weeks and I really want to keep going hard and running fast. It’s been really fun to see these big improvements so quickly and all I want is to see more! It’s like addicting. It is taking every bit of my reasoning (and fear of getting injured) to not push this week… to lay low, chill out, and give my body some time to reset. I also only have a few weeks of heavy training left before the taper. Three to be exact. The next two weeks will be 50+ miles, and then I have another recovery before the biggest week of this training cycle.
  1. And to bounce off of the thoughts in number 1… I am pretty proud and impressed that I have remained strong, on top of my training, and injury free. Even thought the injury was not running related, getting hurt heading into Chicago definitely messed with my head. I am just happy that things have been going smooth and that it seems like I am going to make it to this start line ready to go!
  1. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT QUESTIVAL!! I head out to Dallas on Friday before the start of the adventure race. I have no idea what to expect! There will be lots of stuff to do, pictures to take, and very little sleep. This is my kind of trip!!! For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I tend to cram lots of stuff into my weekends, like insanely long hikes and weird little travel stops. I feel like I have been training for this adventure race for my entire relationship with Frank. This is our thing! We have two other friends that are coming with us… and I’ve already warned them that there will be no sleeping and lots of fast paced travel. We probably wont win… but darn it… I am going to try! Also, our team name is “Bat Llama”… long story.
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I still don’t really know what it is…
  1. In other travel news, pending good weather, we are going to be heading out to Colorado in a few weeks to summit Longs Peak. This is a notoriously tough 14er within the bounds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather out there is frequently bad, but if things look good, we’re going to go for it. The only problem is… This is during the peak week of my training. I have not decided if I am going to cut back a few miles to accommodate this tough hike. The thing is, I am usually pretty good at doing stuff like this. I am not bothered by altitude and I’ve been going out to CO for 14er climbing for a while now. I feel like, although it will be challenging, that it wont disrupt my training. The end of the climb will also kick off the beginning of my taper. I am not sure if there is a better way to do that!
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We’re gonna climb that giant mountain!!

Thanks everyone for reading my long and rambling thoughts. Thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting the linkup!

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What are your random thoughts?

Colfax Marathon Training Week 10: Things are going great!

Woohoo! Another week in the books for marathon training and it was another great one. Surprisingly, higher mileage is feeling really good on my legs. I’m rarely sore (only after speed workouts or hard tempo runs). I’m starting to get better at varying my pace AND I am getting faster. Like a lot faster. It’s amazing what more running does for your speed.

Although I still feel like running a marathon is like a ridiculous joke, it’s starting to feel more possible. My goal has been to go for a sub-4:00 time, but to be totally cool with abandoning that goal on race day if I am just not feeling it. I think that if things keep going the way they have been… a sub-4:00 is well within my reach. Of course, I will reassess as we get closer, but lately I am feeling strong and fast, which are two good things.

This is what Elly was up to this week:

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I woke her up… she was not amused.

Monday: 6 miles easy pace + yoga

I took it easy and just went out for a little loop around town. It was a nice day out, I got to wear shorts AND I was breaking in my new shoes. I love the first few runs in a new pair of running shoes. Everything always feels so wonderful and bouncy.

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Working on some inversions.

Tuesday: 7 miles – Tempo Run at “goal MP”

I’ve been trying to get a better feel for my paces so I really wanted to practice without look at my watch this week. This was the first run that I really commited to it. I wanted to stick to a pace where I felt I could hold it for a super long time, but was still faster than my long run pace (usually between 9:30-9:40/mi). I looked down at my watch only when I finished a mile and I was shocked! The miles were ticking by in the mid-8:00’s and faster. I just kept moving, not pushing hard. My last mile was a sub-8 (7:31)… which has never been an easy pace for me. I figured this was a fluke and figured that the higher mileage is making me more comfortable with my tempo runs.

Wednesday: 5 mile Recovery Run + Yoga

Very chill recovery. I hovered around a 10:00/mi pace. I felt good, but certainly tired, so it was nice to have a slow day.

Thursday: Yoga, no running

 Friday: 18 miles LSD

18 miles is a hard distance for me. I feel like it’s unfathomably far and honestly, farther than I generally like to drive, no less run. I tried to compartmentalize it in my head as a 10 mile run and a separate 8 mile run. I did a long loop around town and made it to my house at mile 13 for a fast drink of water before setting out for the last 5 miles. Normally, I would just drink at the water fountains around town, but they are still off (I decided to harass Manhattan Parks and Rec on twitter to get the fountains turned back on. It worked!!). I kept the last 4 miles at race pace without too much effort, which gave me a ton of confidence!

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Harassing my city on twitter.

Saturday: No Running, just yoga!

Sunday: 9 miles – Tempo Run

No idea what happened here… I went out at a very chill warm up pace and then just kicked it up a few notches at a nice comfortable pace. I figured I was hitting close to goal MP pace (so… 9/mi), but the miles kept getting faster. By mile 5 I was hitting sub-8:00/mi and felt like I could hold this pace forever. I briefly considered running a half marathon to PR, but decided to stick to my original plan and save the PR for a race. Including the warm up, this was at 8:12/mi. I guess it’s runs like these that give you the confidence and mental strength to finish a marathon.

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Crazy splits!!

Total: 45 Miles

 

I ended the week on a huge high point. However, I am very much looking forward to this week’s recovery. I will be hitting between 32-36 miles, which is going to feel amazing after two tough weeks. This weekend I am participating in an adventure race called Questival in Dallas, TX. I think it’s a scavenger hunt or something like that, but all I do know is that it is 24 hours and it’s supposed to be crazy fun. I’ll write a recap after.

Well, there it is. I had a great week. Here’s to hoping this momentum keeps up!!

I recently got a twitter account. Follow me @thisyogiruns or just check out the tweets on the side bar!

How was your weekend? Did anyone race?

Colfax Marathon Week 9: Halfway There

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

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I have reached the halfway point of my training plan. That means the Colfax Marathon is less than 9 weeks away and while I’m certainly not ready to go out and run it tomorrow, I do feel like running it is possible… eventually. I had a great week of training with the highest mileage I’ve ever run. I hit my paces, kept things feeling strong, and ate like everything ever in my house. Seriously, marathon training is bad for my food bill.

In all honesty, I feel like the time has passed way too fast. When I started training, the race felt forever away, but now it’s coming up. My first 20-miler is in about two weeks and things are getting real. In reality, I only have 4 more runs left that are over 14 miles before the taper. It’s amazing how much my definition of “running really far” has changed during this training cycle.

Monday: 6 miles Goal MP Tempo

This was a pretty uneventful run. I kept it at the right pace and it felt easy and short. I went around town and dragged Frank out with me for 3 miles of it. I was still a little sore from the backpacking trip, but my legs warmed up really fast and the soreness went away right after the run. I did some yoga after to keep myself from feeling too tight. That was it. Easy peasy.

Tuesday: 6.2 Hills + Some intervals

I was planning on doing an easy run, but I woke up feeling great. I decided to go out and do some hills and intervals. I warmed up for about a mile, went up and down a pretty sizeable hill four times and then did some intervals on tired legs. I ran around a park near the hill that is just over a quarter of a mile and used that as the interval. I ran 4 times around at a comfortably fast pace (we’ll call it 5k pace) and in between ran around the park at a very easy pace. I managed a negative split on the intervals with my final interval being the fastest, which was impressive given how tired my legs were feeling from the hills. I ran home to cool down.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy

This was just a chill run at a chill pace. I didn’t feel sore from the day before, so this felt nice and easy. I decided after to go to my friend’s fitness class, where she subsequently kicked my butt using kettle bells. I must say, I was not meant to be a weight lifter! I did some yoga after to stretch out so I wouldn’t be sore the next day.

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Bit of a gloomy day

Thursday: Rest! Did some yoga though

 Friday: 8 miles Goal MP Tempo

I went for a 1 mile warm up and then did 6 miles at goal MP. There were some hickups here or there because I was going over a hilly area of town, but I basically kept the pace controlled and close to pace. In the middle of the run, my mom called, so I talked to her while I ran. I’m pretty sure everyone running by thought I was insane, but whatevs. It’s like having a running partner when you run while talking on the phone!

Saturday: 16 miles LSD

Always the most important and hardest to get out the door run of the week. I went out in the morning despite the gloomy weather to check out some new terrain around town. I went down a few roads I had never seen, which turned out to be kind of hilly. Overall, it was a pretty good run, however, I did have a weird pain in my foot. I decided afterwards to retire the shoes (I have no idea how many miles were on them) and switch them out for the shiny new pair in my closet. So far, everything feels great again!

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Frank came for a few miles on his bike and snapped this pic.
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Check out these shiny new shoes!!!

Sunday: Rest – Went camping Saturday night and hiking Sunday morning!

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Frank and Ben hanging by the campfire

Total Mileage: 42 miles (Holy Cow!!)

So there you have it! I had my biggest week yet and it is followed by another big week… but so far everything is going great. Luckily I do have nice cut back coming up and I am looking forward to it!

How has your St. Pats day been? Do you have plans to celebrate tonight (I will be hanging out with a few friends as their DD, since I am afraid any amount of alcohol is going to completely derail my training)?

Life Update!

Hey everyone!! I have been pretty bad at blogging this week… it’s just cause I’ve been crazy busy. Training is going great though, and I am still marching my way towards the starting line at Denver. The end of this week marks the half way point of this cycle, and although I am feeling like I am getting more fit and ready, anything more than 16 miles still feels daunting and scary.

Last weekend I went backpacking with Frank and our friend, Ben in the Ozarks. It did get in the way of my running a little, but it was amazing to see some of the beautiful sights that the southern Midwest has to offer.

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I did manage to fit in a short run during our trip, but I was just exhausted from the hilliness of the terrain.

We spent two nights in the wilderness in the White Mountain Recreational Area. Since it is winter, I was stuck with a rather huge and heavy backpack to accommodate my 0 degree sleeping bag. Frank and I have been talking about trying fastpacking, where you pack ultralight gear and run/hike to cover higher mileage. Although we’ve had some pretty big mileage days by just hiking, fast packing allows you to get a little deeper into the wilderness and see places that normally take a few days to get to. I think we need to do a few more backpacking trips to train, but we are hoping to try it this summer.

Elly was pretty glad to see me when we got back from the Ozarks. As per usual, she passed out next to me on the couch. I just love this cat so much.

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This is the most perfect animal in the world. 🙂

I am officially signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October. If you remember, I deferred last year after an ankle injury that left me unable to walk. I feel more determined than ever to get to that starting line. Although it isn’t the race that I wanted it to be last year, I am excited to have Chicago be my 2nd marathon and be the first time that I am chasing a marathon PR!!

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This time I am determined to make it!

I was a little worried about burning out after Colfax and not being able to train for Chicago, but I am going to be taking 2 weeks completely off of running and heading to Europe with my mom. I imagine that will help me clear my mind and reset before marathon training begins again.

 Well, that’s basically it for my week. I’ll post next week to let you know how my training has been. I have a 16-miler on Saturday to tackle, so hopefully that goes well.

How was your week? Any fun or exciting plans this weekend?

Colfax MarathonWeek 7: Feeling better and crushing some miles!

After a short hiatus from running and spending a few days sleeping more, I am feeling better. I still have a little sinus pressure and I am queen of the snot rocket, but I am back to training! Woohoo! Although the week did have a bit of a rough start with two rest days on Monday and Tuesday, I managed to pick it up and have a great week of training and high mileage as we start to get into my peak weeks for Colfax. I was unable to do much yoga because of the sinus infection (yoga made my face feel like it was going to explode). The nice thing about a few days off is that my legs felt so fresh and light. Without the cumulative mileage, I really felt strong and easily hit paces (even though I was sick). This certainly gave me a lot of hope for Colfax. I imagine that although training is hard right now, after the taper, Colfax might actually feel pretty good.

Monday and Tuesday: Rest days where I stayed in bed as much as I could and tried not to snot all over everything.

 Wednesday: 6.1 miles on trail

I went out to the Konza Prairie, a preserve about 10 minutes from my house. It was a beautiful, but slightly cold day. I was still not feeling quite well, but I wanted to get back to training. The trail takes you 6 miles through rolling prairie with some pretty awesome views of town. The run was tough. I struggled to make it up the hills, and I had to stop every 2 miles or so to blow my nose and breath a little deeper. By the time I was done, I was crazy tired, but I really think it helped get me back on track, so it was worth it!

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Enjoying some time out on the trails, even if I don’t look like it.

Thursday: 5 miles easy

This was supposed to be an easy run. I went out, hoping to hit paces close to 9:45-10:00/mile range. Well, my legs felt light and easy so I was hitting paces around 9:00/mi, which is my goal marathon pace. It felt so natural and chill to be out there and although my sinus infection was still giving me trouble, I just felt like I could go forever. I attribute this feeling to having very fresh legs from a few days off.

Friday: 8 miles Tempo HMP

I went out for a fast 8 miles with one of my friends in town. He tends to push the pace a little, so I do like to go on tempo runs with him. I was still having some trouble from my sinus infection, but it didn’t seem to make running my difficult… it just made me a little gross with lots of snot.

Saturday: Lots of hiking, no running though!

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Frank and I enjoying a hike at a Kansas state park. It was really windy and my hair was being unruly.

Sunday: 16 miles LSD

I was a little nervous about this run. The 16-mile distance is the first one where I really start to feel like I am training for a marathon. It’s long, slow, and at times, brutal. I started the run feeling a little icky, but as it went on, I started to feel stronger. Frank came along on his bike and we just went around exploring Lawrence, KS. The wind was incredible with gusts of up to 35 mph, but I still managed to hit goal pace. After the run, I basically went on an eating rampage and then hiked for a bit with a few friends. It was a great day!!

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Yeah, I ran up that hill on mile 11!
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Nothing better than a Kentucky Ale8 Ginger Ale after a 16-mile long run!
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Frank and I finished the day with a sunset hike!

Total Mileage: 35.1

 

Despite the tough start, I had a great week with some quality runs. I was honestly a little concerned that getting sick would derail my training, but it really hasn’t. If anything, a few days off kind of gave my legs a nice rest. This next week will be a tough one. I will be hitting my highest mileage ever and I am taking a backpacking trip out to the Ozark Mountains. This means that my long run (18 miles) will be on Thursday and not on the weekend.

This week:

M: 4 miles recovery

T: 8 miles goal MP

W: Rest

T: 18 miles LSD

F: 4 miles recovery

S: Rest

S: 8 miles Trail

I know that I missed out on so much last week. How was your week? Any fun or exciting stories?