Weeks 11-14 of Ave of the Giants Trainings

Adjustments and flexibility was the name of the game through weeks 11-14.

Week 11

It can be difficult to plan out a good time to run when you’re on vacation and need to pack up and move every two days. I ran into that twice in week 11. I took the first day as a rest day and enjoyed sleeping in, sleep = recovery and I was feeling a need for it. After scouting Napier when we first arrived I knew that it would be easy to fit mile repeats in along the water. IMG_1254.jpg

What I didn’t know was that I would encounter a smell so horrific that I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t stop retching. Of course, this happened in the 3rd mile of my repeats, so I had to turn around. Luckily the wind was working in my favor to keep the smell away from me. I finished with decent times but quite a horrific memory of that putrid stench.
We moved on to Wellington from Napier, and I really wish we could have spent more time in Wellington. It was a great city to run in, the first where I saw multiple people out running early, some in groups, a lot solo. I just felt very at home on this waterfront. While it was extremely windy, I gave a good effort through a 6 mile tempo workout. I went faster than marathon pace through the majority of it, and I felt tough. A train ride to Auckland meant I had a rest day following the tempo, then treadmill miles because navigating Auckland seemed like a nightmare. I looked up a local running group to get my long run in and was so lucky that there was one woman (Katrin) who was willing to run my pace and was a long time member of the group and knew exactly where to go. I ended up with 46 miles this week with two zero days.


Week 12

I had one last run to do in New Zealand and it was my least favorite. Running through Auckland was just not my jam. I started off poorly with trying to get into the gym in my hotel before they opened it, so I was annoyed that I woke up early to have to wait. I wanted to get some miles on the treadmill while I waited for the sun to rise a bit more so I could navigate better. Then the run near the water in downtown Auckland was just kind of blah. There’s a lot of construction and just busy areas. I was excited to get back into the swing of things, even in cold Seattle! I made it to Wake Up Wednesday for an 8-mile tempo with friends the day after I returned. Not working on much sleep I was able to hit 7:02-7:08 pace and it felt tough after 6 miles, but not too terrible. The rest of the week I caught up on sleep and got some easy miles in. Overall it was a nice welcome back with 43 miles total.

Week 13

We started this week off fast. Hitting 6:30s and 6:40s for the two-mile repeats was fun. Back to spin class on Tuesday and a rest day on Wednesday, which was rare for me. It was also not a great decision because we ended up running in the last snowfall of the season in Seattle, where the snow only fell during the duration of our run. This was the run that told me the Nike Flyknits and the VaporFly’s by association would be horrible in slippery conditions.IMG_1591.jpg

One botched workout didn’t matter though so we moved on to the rest of the work for the week, some easy miles and a long run. I ran 50 miles this week, and my first 20 of the season. The 20 felt so smooth, easy, and fun it was a really good sign of more good work to come.

Week 14

This week started off with a fast and hard workout with some solid hills. I walked away confident from Monday, and into the Starbucks Half tempo on Wednesday. This is a notorious part of the training that is both exciting and challenging. It’s a mile and a half warm–up then 10 miles at marathon pace, which we’ve probably never done at actual marathon pace. In week 14 I averaged 7:04 through the tempo miles, 10 seconds faster than my actual MP. It was a confidence booster. The rest of the week was fun stuff. Spin class, a birthday celebration run for Sarah and other easy miles. I ran 48 miles this week.


Weeks 15-18 in the next post, where I somehow continue to get faster?!

Weeks 7-10 of Ave of Giants Training

Let’s go about this in 4-week increments so that the post doesn’t get too long.

Week 7:

This was a fun week. We started off with hill repeats up 50th Ave, a long steep hill that leads up to the zoo in Green Lake. I had a great time practicing some fast downhill strategy even though my marathon doesn’t have that much climb. Wednesday’s tempo (8 miles, averaging around 7:05) was probably one of two that I struggled on during this training cycle. I remember losing distance on Alison and Eileen in Fremont and just not having the next gear to stay with them. It was a good struggle and still felt early enough to not worry too much about. I had a goal of reaching up to 38 miles this week and ended up with 44, not a bad problem to have. I ran an early 16 Rise and Shine with a bunch of sweet friends who were willing to get it done early and we were rewarded with this view. This was one of my favorite long runs on the cycle as well, we were all just chitchatting and having a fun run.IMG_0448.jpg

Week 8:

The most notable thing about week 8 was that I raced the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k. Leading up to the race I stayed on schedule so my legs weren’t fresh going into it. I also was on the fence about racing since I had my New Zealand half on the schedule for the following week, so I kept telling myself I’d run this hard but not all out. I struggled with realizing that I was going all out and it wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be place-wise. I ended up as the 27th female, 8th in my age group (I wanted to be in the top 20). Running an average of 6:39s felt rewarding, it would have been interesting to see if I could have held onto that through a 10k, I think I could have. 48 miles total for the week.viaduct-race-2019.jpg

Week 9:

Seattle snowpocalypse hit in Week 9 of my training, and I was incredibly lucky to have booked our travel for the end of this week. Since the Coatesville Half Marathon was on Sunday, I made it into town just in time to make it work for our travel schedule. The snow actually ended up being kind of fortuitous in this way since I got a mini taper. I had an incredibly frustrating “track” workout on the treadmill on Monday and because we lost a day to travel there was not much I could do about running this week. The race itself was great. The difference in weather was a bit shocking. The course was hard. I should run Mercer Island again to see how it compares to the hills of this particular race. Things that stood out: overlooking farmland from one of the many hills and seeing Auckland in the distance, getting passed almost immediately at the halfway point where the smart women had saved themselves for the run back up the hill we had just come down, the cicadas were deafening at different times through this race, I didn’t expect that to bother me as much as it did. The overall elevation was 955 ft! Most importantly I made a friend in New Zealand from this race! Naomi was so kind to give me a ride from downtown Auckland to the race. We hung out after to find out if we’d win a “spot prize” (kind of like a raffle) and just enjoyed the sun and being done with the race. The atmosphere was really fantastic surrounding the whole event, I’d 100% recommend this race. Total mileage: 28. Bringing my average down, but whatevs.

Coatesville Half NZ 2019 finish 3.jpg

Coatesville New Zealand Half Marathon result.png

Week 10:

While my poor buds at home suffered through the snow, I got to run in the summer of NZ. I did not take that for granted. My biggest issue with running while traveling is how tired some of the runs would make me and how to figure out routes on my own. Most places we were staying had something scenic and easy to find/ not get lost in navigating out and backs, so I took advantage of that. I wish I had more confidence and had run two days in Rotorua, the trails there were really beautiful and I got to run in some redwoods, perfect early preparation for my marathon! The lake in Hamilton was perfect, even if I got a little lost getting there, and my tempo on the very flat beach road near Mount Maunganui was tough mentally but easy on my body, I ended up running sub 7s for most of this tempo. My long run was lonely, but again, I was running next to a beach with a rising sunset, boohoo for me. Total miles 49, back on track and feeling proud of that post half marathon.

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Traveling, momming and running can happen only if you have a partner who is willing to sleep in and do the morning routine with the kiddo. I was lucky that I would usually come back and they’d still be asleep. Timing is everything. Another week of New Zealand training and then back home to the cold in the next blog post.

When you think you’ll blog…

And then you totally give up at week 6! Geez. Did not make it that far this year. I guess with Strava, Instagram and my own spreadsheet I feel like I have both put enough out there and tracked everything I need for myself. When you blog only for yourself it’s kind of not necessary to keep talking and thinking the training through to a blog-worthy discussion with yourself.

I’ve had some things I’ve wanted to write about regarding running like gear, IAAF and the Olympics, new Boston rules, and roundups of where to find the best content in running these days. There’s a lot to write about! But I do also kind of want to give more details about my training in a week by week format. So I’ll return to this space later this weekend to breakdown the weeks that have gone by and maybe I’ll dedicate myself to writing up the last 4 weeks leading up to Ave of the Giants.



Week 6- Almost an Injury

This will be a quick one because I’m almost two weeks behind in these recaps and I want to stay as current as possible.

Monday- What Happened to my Foot?

This was what I was supposed to do: 2 mile WU- 6 x 800 m intervals at MP minus 20 seconds with a 400 m jog in between- 2 mile cool down (technically 3:16/800)

Instead I ran .4 and turned around from terrible pain at the top of my foot where my laces in my Nike’s cross. No Bueno, called the PT immediately to figure this out.


Tuesday- Rest Day and PT appointment

Emergency PT appointment, after looking up everything it could be, I went in and saw Kaylie. She told me, it’s the darn shoes! She thinks they may be too big. hmm, hard to say! I had sized up because my toes were too close, but now I’m worried. I’m going to try to work around it and see what happens. I put the Nike’s on hold and re-laced my Adidas so they wouldn’t irritate the sensitive spot and made plans to make it to the tempo on Wednesday.

Wednesday- Tempo Time

Nervous about my foot and nervous about this tempo. A 2 mile warm up, 6 miles at marathon goal pace, and a 2 mile cool down. Of course marathon goal pace is inching up as we continue to run hard each week. Luckily, my foot felt way better! Definitely was the laces that were the problem on Monday. Phew!! Now I’m sad I missed out on the mileage for something so insignificant but I think it’s okay, this week is supposed to be a down week in training anyway. It was great to push the effort on this run, I was definitely breathing heavy, and my legs wanted to give up during any incline that hit us, but I made up the gaps on the downhills and flats. Felt pretty good about this run.

Thursday- Easy 9…

Didn’t mean to do this many miles but we did keep it at 8:30 pace. I wanted to try something different and go off the lake, but that meant adding more miles than necessary. Whoops. Felt nice to go easy and shake out the tempo.

Friday- Spin!

Going medium hard and working on that cross training to be well rounded. Great class, like usual.

Saturday- Easy Long Run

The magic of down weeks is that the long runs are so easy. We had a lovely 12 miler, chatting and making the time go so quickly. I think we were a pack of about 6 or 8, and it was really delightful to catch up and talk without getting out of breath (except up hills of course), and well, this route was very hilly, but that’s okay, hills make us stronger.



Naughty for skipping a strength workout 🙁 Just hard to fit in when family calls.

I’m so happy that the shoe thing ended up being a fluke, and I’m happy that I ended up taking this Sunday off to just let my ankle calm down a bit after that shoe had made it so angry. I worked on finding a way to retie the shoe so that I can still use them and will tie my VaporFly 4%s in the same way when it comes to the marathon. Super interested in seeing how much better they are to run in than the Fly Flyknits. Shoes are so weird to have such an effect!IMG_0358.jpg

Week 5- What felt like the first serious week

Getting up to 40 miles in week 5 made it feel more serious than last year at this time when I was training for Boston. I didn’t get into the 40s until week 12! I’m feeling strong and while I’m still working on adding in more strength training, my body is in good shape due to seeing my PT every week. I’m not going to pretend that this training cycle is a cheap one. To stay healthy I have a weekly appointment where I work on strength and get adjusted. It’s great but it’s very pricey.

Monday- Getting on Track

Hill workout! 2-mile warm-up, 8x 3 mins of hard hill runs, 2 mile cool down. I was crushing this workout until I wasn’t. On the 6th interval, my hamstring gave me some negative feedback. I slowed down my 7th interval, but it was still angry so I took my 8th to the track and called it good. I’m being careful about cramping and taking Magnesium every day now. I’m hopeful that will help come marathon day. My left hamstring is the one that cramps, but my right one is the one that feels worse in PT.

Tuesday- Rest Day

I’m on the group plan for Tuesday rest days right now. Normally I like to keep the momentum of the week going and I was getting spin classes in on Tuesday, but since I like the spin class on Friday so much I think I’ll stick to that and take Tuesdays off like everyone else.

Wednesday- Solo Tempo

OH boy. This tempo had me worried. I had a full day of work I had to get through before I could run, and I had to do our first 6 mile tempo by myself. I decided to do it right after being in the studio, while Vince had Grant (so thankful that he picked him up from school and hung out with him so I could get this work in) I did a warm-up from the studio down to the Freemont Bridge and then I got to work around the lake. Music was blaring and while I knew I was breathing heavy, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I thought to myself, this pace has me flying close to the sun, but it’s worth it right now to experiment. I ended up averaging 7:03 min/mile on this. Pretty happy with that, it should pay off in a half marathon.

Thursday- Easy Run

So excited to be working out my easy run schedule with Eileen! After a bit of confusion, we found each other and got some very nice easy miles in around the lake. I could not be more grateful for my amazing training partner. I just hope I can keep slaying times right beside her as she continues to improve.

Friday- Spin class

My favorite form of cross training right now! I love this 5am class. I also went to PT on Friday, it’s always good to get some work done before a long run.

Saturday- Rise and Shine

All the lake laps. I needed to do early miles because I needed to get back home to get ready for a school tour. Luckily Eileen and Beth were willing to join me for those early miles and we did two lake laps and one extra mile to make it 7 before 7. Once we reached the regular group we had another lake lap to do with them since that’s how that route started this week. Oh well, it was flat and relatively easy, I can’t complain too much about that.  What I could complain about was that the top of foot hurt a bit after the long run. I thought I had just tied my laces too tight and let it go as a fluke.

Sunday- Gym Time

I’ve been trying to get on board with more strength workouts! Sundays are the days I can usually fit them in so I rowed a bit and then lifted weights.


Overall this week of big mileage felt pretty great. Week 6 is planned to be a down week, which I think will be well appreciated.

Weeks 4 – Holiday Week 2, Electric Boogaloo

January is such an exciting time to be running. Most people are starting their spring training, a lot of new runners are trying this thing out, and there are so many fun challenges that companies like Lululemon and Nike put on. I think this time last year I wasn’t feeling as confident and fast. Now I’m talking almost the whole time on long runs and enjoying the early mornings. It goes to show that every training cycle gives you something, no matter the result of the race at the end of each cycle. I modified from the plan for this week and didn’t feel guilty about it, it happens sometimes and I don’t feel a need to “make-up” the mileage lost.

Monday- Travel Day- Dec 31

I had considered XC skiing this day while Grant was at his ski lesson but I didn’t end up feeling like rushing to get it done and being sweaty all the way home. Instead, I had a pancake breakfast. When we got home I convinced the whole family to go for a 2 mile run, John and I took turns pushing the stroller.short run on Capitol Hill.jpg

Tuesday- Unexpected Miles- Jan 1

We didn’t know that Grant would be invited to sleep over his grandparent’s house on New Year’s Eve but when the offer was made we took it up and got a second run in together. SGLRG was having a first run of the year around Green Lake, I did a lap with John and Sarah and then a lap on my own giving me 5.8 for the run. I took it pretty easy knowing that a hard tempo would be coming the next day.

Wednesday- WuW for the Win- Jan 2

The workout was 2 mile warmup, 3×2 miles at marathon pace then 2 mile cool down. The warm-ups on Wednesdays can be deceiving, my legs felt really heavy in the first mile and my breathing was off, but I decided to buck up and go for it in the 3×2 portion and it went really well. The second interval felt like it was straight uphill. We just pushed and made it through. This one felt really solid, I wasn’t tired from Monday like the rest of my gang who had done a hill workout so I was fresh and feeling it. Had a lot of fun on this run.

Thursday- Gotta Love Those Rest Days- Jan 3

What’s training without rest? Dumb. That’s what. Keeping up my full recovery days where I do next to nothing.

Friday- Spin Class- Jan 4

Flywheel score Jan 4

I realized that I can show up for spin at 5 and join the FLUR group at 6 if I really want to in the future. I may be ready for that when I really need to get my mileage up towards the peak of my training. Right now I’m working on a balance of how hard I should go in these classes, it’s hard not to get too carried away. If I stay on the conservative side of his cues I’m in good shape.

Saturday-Oh Hill Yeah- Jan 5

This was a good test of fitness. Hills were pretty brutal for me on this one, but I stayed strong and the good news is I was recovering off of them pretty quickly. We averaged 8:02 pace over the course of the 14 miles. Last year at this time I ran a 14 miler at 8:20 pace with a little less elevation, so I think this is a good sign. I didn’t feel totally dead at the end. I drank Tailwind recovery directly after the run, and maybe it’s helping?

Sunday- Short Runs

A Lululemon Event to kick off their annual 40/80 Strava Challenge had me, John and Grant over to U-Village for a 3 miler. It was slow and easy going. I added on another half mile after going to a Jui-Jitsu demonstration and running home. Very casual Sunday.


Week 3- Holiday Week (Dec 24-30)

I think it’s important to keep running in perspective, especially when you have a little kid. I see plenty of people continuing to hit the holiday miles hard, and I’m totally psyched for them to do that, I just know that for me, my running can become a hindrance on my family time and time away from my four-year-old during Christmas and his week off from school just isn’t worth it. So a little extra rest, in order to wake up with my kid on Christmas day and to spend the whole morning together, was what I decided this week.

I also worked to get all my CycleBar classes that I paid for into the schedule which required getting creative. I refuse to lose money! Especially when the classes ended up only be $10 a class if I attended all of them. So this week was light on miles but big on what matters.

Monday- Getting on Track

I can always rely on this run to be a kick off to a great week. The schedule had us in for an easy 8 and it was so enjoyable. I got to chat along the way and run with folks I don’t normally run with, perfect way to start the holiday week. Averaged 9:13/mile.

Christmas Day

Normally I spin on Tuesdays, but there wasn’t anything open and I wanted to spend time with my 4 year old and have a relaxed day. I took a rest day and called it good.

Wake-Up Wednesday

When you read the workout incorrectly and go into it thinking it will be easier than it is. For some reason, I thought this was supposed to be a 4 mile tempo, but it was 6. When I mentioned it out loud everyone was like, uhhh, it’s 6. So I’m proud of myself for reshaping it quickly and saying okay! 4 + 2! Let’s do this. It was actually a very fun workout and great to do with Kathy, Bruce, and Beth. Beth pushed a bit but not too much and while we definitely went faster on some of the miles than we were supposed to, I felt in control. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a real long run in this week so I went for a couple extra cool down miles with Beth to get to 12.

Thursday Double Day

Started off the morning with an ok CycleBar class. The instructor was a sub and I don’t think he’s used to early mornings. His playlist was okay, his energy was meh. I’m happy that this is my second to last CycleBar class, I miss FlyWheel. This workout wasn’t too tough. So deciding to do a double wasn’t a bad decision.

We put Grant into daycare for Thursdays while he’s on school break so I had a little extra time on my hands in the afternoon. After walking Sol and seeing how sunny it was I decided I’d get my 35 min run in during the day versus having to get up early before PT and squeezing it in then. It was a great decision, I averaged 7:47s but they felt very easy. Maybe it’s because I was listening to a podcast while running. I was happy to get this in.


Just a PT day. Totally fine to do that work and get adjusted.


I had originally thought I’d get a couple miles in on the treadmill before going to my last CycleBar class, but then I wanted to sleep and call it good. I had also thought I’d get a chance to skate ski in the afternoon, but the rain in Snoqualmie was more than I was willing to deal with. CycleBar was better than usual, Erwin is my favorite instructor there. He seems to really have a plan on what he wants everyone to do and syncs up well with the music, his inspirational part is a little over the top, but it’s all well-intentioned.

Sunday- Alpine Ski Day

We got ski passes for the day and I got in a total of 6 runs on Summit West. After not skiing much last year, I felt a little rusty, but I think all the spinning has helped my quads get stronger so this wasn’t as hard as it has been in the past. It was also great to do it with friends. Thrilled that we made this last minute decision to go up to the mountain. I hope to get more skiing in this season!




Week 2 of Spring Marathon Training

I realized something earlier this week I should address. 21 weeks of training may seem like a lot. It is! I’m coming off of an injury and because I took some time in the summer completely off to mope and not do much beyond PT I have a steep hill to climb to get to where I want my running to be. 21 weeks, in that sense, is not too long. Every runner’s journey is different.

Monday- Track Workout a Tad too Fast

This week called for an 8×800 at marathon pace with 1.5 warm up and cool down. I had done my math the night before, and I was pretty sure that we should have been hitting 3:40ish for these, but then I ended up being convinced that was incorrect so I went with the flow. While we went too fast for a 3:15 marathon goal pace, both Eileen and I felt like we were holding back. We were talking through the majority of it, me a little bit more uncomfortable than Eileen, but we were still able to talk.

I do still love track work


Tuesday: Spin

This was Alison Mitchell’s last class! She was my first spin instructor at FlyWheel and she welcomed me into her 5am class with such an open heart. She’s one of the reasons why I love FlyWheel so much so it’s pretty sad to see her go, but I 100% get it. When I used to coach CrossFit at 6am it was tough to bring that energy to the floor in the morning and that was before I had a kid, and I live steps from my old gym, I couldn’t imagine both having to drive and having to teach that early.

Anyway, I had originally told myself I’d go a bit easier than normal, but Alison’s energy just got me moving and it didn’t feel too hard! I think this running and spinning combo is really paying off on both sides. I got a pretty high power score and had a wonderful workout.

Wednesday: 8 miler at WuW

This was intended to be a no faster that +45 of marathon pace, so that would have taken me to 8:11. There were a fair amount of hills in this course and I struggled through parts of it. I also ended up flaring my ankle during the run and my hip after it. I’m pretty sure it was my shoes (On Cloud X) that are the culprit for this one since it’s the longest I’ve run in them for a while. So they’re retired until I feel 100%. We’ll see if my new Nike’s are any better or if I need to get a secondary pair of Adidas Bostons.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

I had wanted to go to FLUR or get a spin class in but after I had issues with CycleBar’s signup process which didn’t allow me to register and I woke up really tired I decided to sleep in and call it an okay to miss day since my hip still wasn’t feeling great. I had a good PT session and will continue to go to PT basically until I burn through all of our money.

Saturday: Rise and Shine Miracle Snowball run (11.2 miles)

My intention here really worked out. I knew I wanted to do 10-12 and I was happy to start out quickly and ease my way back to the lake after half way. I did exactly that and had a wonderful run with a variety of people. It was one of those perfect early training runs where my speed felt good, and coming off the speed felt great. I need reminders that 9 min pace is not bad and is sometimes required. 8 min pace can feel comfortable sure, but 9 is even more so.

It was such a pretty morning.

Sunday: Rest

I had wanted to get to the gym to lift but just didn’t make it a priority. I know I need to get better about making lifting more important in my schedule. Maybe that will be my resolution or my 30-day goal. Lift at least twice a week! Just give me these last few days of December to slack off 😉


Back to that Marathon Training

Oh hello Week 1. I again like the idea of documenting my training via blog, even though I also document it in a spreadsheet and on Strava. I think taking Sundays to write up a post about the week can be helpful as I look at the week ahead and work towards my goals. So here goes.

Deciding to take on a Spring Marathon

Just a quick explanation, I’ve been sidelined with tendonitis in my ankle and hip impingement in my right hip since July. Weekly PT and rest have gotten me back to about 85-90% recovered, and I’m still working to take it relatively easy when things ache. I’m coming to the conclusion that like my ITBS this tendonitis in my ankle might not ever feel 100% and I’ll be okay with that. So I’m taking a spring marathon training season and slowly growing my mileage in a way that makes sense for me and where I want to be.

The marathon I’m 80% sure I’m doing is Avenue of the Giants Marathon there’s a 20% chance that I’ll do Blooms to Brews because that is what my training partner is likely doing and it would be fun to work with her during a race again. She is also in much better shape than me and it would be super motivating to chase her when it starts getting hard in the race. We’ll see, I want to do Ave, because my long-time internet bud Karen at ariavie.blogspot.com has convinced me that this is a must-do marathon, it also happens to be near her home.

My goal for the marathon is 3:15, which would be a 6 minute PR. I know that’s nothing to sniff at, but I also know in my heart I was in that shape last April. I’m going to better prepare myself this year by adding a bit more mileage and keeping strength training in my schedule for longer.

Week 1-Day 1 It’s good to be back

Meeting up on the track at 5:30am never felt so good as when I saw a bunch of familiar smiling faces. The plan started off with an easy 8 that we took down to the lake. Two laps around Green Lake at 8:11 pace felt solid. I was tired but happy. I went home right away to help get Grant to school and John and I decided to take Solitude into the vet to get what we assume was another urinary tract infection inspected. The only reason I mention that was because I ended up sprinting my ass off in Puma slip on shoes after a fire alarm test went off and someone else’s dog took off sprinting down Broadway. It ran into Cal Anderson Park and I continued to chase it until I lost it at Pike and 13th. I was so upset that I didn’t catch it, it was definitely getting tired and I think had I not run the 8 in the morning I would have been fresh enough to have given chase at that pace for another 5-10 mins. I really hope they found the dog. 🙁

Week 1-Day 2 Spin

While I prefer FlyWheel to kick my butt, I like CycleBar for active recovery. They have a perfect class on Tuesdays and Thursdays called Connect that’s mainly about staying on the rhythm and ignoring the numbers. They’re normally a bit expensive, but I got 5 classes for $50 deal during Black Friday so this is working out for me for now.  Spinning was just fine on Tuesday and I didn’t feel too beaten up for Wednesday.

Week 1 Day 3- WuW for the Win

This is one of my favorite/most dreaded runs of the week. It will turn into a tempo later in the season, but this week it was a 1.5 warm-up, then marathon pace for +50sec, +40sec. +30sec+ 20sec+10sec, then 1.5 cool down. I convinced myself that we had one more after the +10 so when we stopped at 7:40ish pace I was super happy. I enjoyed a coffee with friends after and didn’t rush home to help get Grant to school, but made it home in time to help anyway. Wednesdays are also my PT day, so it was good to get some body work (ACK cupping!!) and some strength work in. Drea said that I need to be doing a warm-up with bands at the beginning of every run from now on, and I’m committing to it. We timed it, only takes 3 mins.

Week 1 Day 4- REST

Literally did nothing, slept. Rest days are the best days, I slept for 9 hours.

Week 1 Day 5- Spin-Performance Class

The idea behind CycleBar’s performance class is that you are motivated by the Stats, the group challenges and rider competitions. So in a way, this would basically be any regular FlyWheel class. However, I did not dig this class. I worked hard and got good stats, better than my previous classes, but I didn’t like the format as much as I like FlyWheel. I’m going to stick to the easy stuff at CycleBar and leave it to FlyWheel to kick my butt.

Week 1- Day 6- Rise and Shine/ Rise and Grind up All the Hills

This one started off rough. I had read the plan incorrectly earlier in the week and thought I only had 8 miles to do, a relief! But then saw that if I wanted to run with my buds and do what I did last year (do all the hard Hanson Plus stuff and cut out most of the easy miles in lieu of rest and crosstraining) I’d be running 12. I was huffing and puffing from the start, the early hills didn’t make it easier. However, somehow at the end, I felt pretty darn good. A big improvement from the week before when I had to nap for a significant amount of time after that run. I napped for about 20 mins after this one and was able to do a lot more with the family.

Week 1- Day 7- Recovery and Lifting

10.5 hours of sleep. I have a four-year-old, I feel like superwoman with this type of sleep. I did have to give up a party I wanted to go to on Saturday night, so I was bummed about that, but I think the sleep made up for it. We played in the house all morning long and after a short trip to a rainy park, my husband and son dropped me off at my gym so I could get some lifting in. Here’s what I programmed for myself:

Row 1600m (I always forget to stop my watch!)
Stretch and PT warm-ups
Presses 1×10 @20 for warm-up, 2×10 @30
DL warm-up 1x 10 empty bar, 2x 10@ 93, 2×5 @113 (women’s bar!)
Stability ball leg crunches
Russian twists
2 x15 Dead bugs with ball
2x 1 min regular Plank

Super psyched that I found the women’s bar, that will make pressing much easier and I like it for deadlifts so I can hookgrip more easily (not that I realllly need to hookgrip 115lbs but it’s better to practice at lower weights for when you need it at heavier weight)

So this was week one. Overall it was pretty tough to start. But compared to last year, I’m starting off a little faster and with more mileage. I’m coming off of a significant rest period but I have been building mileage since the first week of September. I’m working on not jumping in too quickly. I was planning to do a FlyWheel spin class this morning and canceled it because that was the smart thing to do. I promise to do the paces as prescribed tomorrow (which will feel molasses slow) and on Wednesday. It’s all about patience and not going too fast too soon. Stick to the plan and the plan will work for you.

Til next Sunday. Hopefully, I’ll actually work on this during the week and have pictures in future posts!


Base Building is Everything

Making a decision to step away from a marathon that you signed up for is never easy. As the beginning of October neared and my google sheets training plan had “HOUSTON 2019” labeled as my next tab, I looked over my previous weeks of running and saw averages below 10 miles per week.  Hmm. Decision time.

I could start building and push the hard training stuff back. The race is January 20th. For a 16 week build-up I’d have to start October 1st. Could I build enough base in three weeks and then go for a 13 week build up? Could I do enough work in 13 weeks to get my 3:15? Is three weeks enough time to go from 8 miles a week to 30?

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The answers were, no, definitely not. So then do I step away from the race? I couldn’t see myself spending the money to travel to this flat course, run a marathon with an unknown plan under shady amounts of miles just to walk away with the experience of running Houston. I’m sure it’s a fantastic marathon, but in my opinion there are certain courses out there that are “give your all” courses, Houston is one of them. I won’t be ready to run Houston until I am 100% healthy.  And I know from many years of training that real racing shouldn’t happen unless you’re 100%.

At this point I’m monitoring my volume and building slowly. I’m not allowed to run back to back days yet and I still see my PT once a week.  Building base is everything because it tells you where you are in your recovery after injury.

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Yeah. I see that I doubled my mileage in a week. Not the smartest, but I also know my body well enough and the effort in the 10 mile week was harder.

If done properly and slowly it will make you stronger in the long run. If it’s ignored and you jump into big mileage telling yourself that you’re relying on previous marathon cycles to carry you into the new cycle, you are likely going to get injured or stay injured. Consistency and patience is what I need right now, so I’m giving myself that by dropping out of Houston.

I’ve got a fire building, but for what, I’m not quite sure. I’m planning on running The Avenue of the Giants marathon in May, to get to proper mileage by the second week of January doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as big of a stretch. When I’m not running, I’m either in the weight room or spin class. (I’ll write about my tour of spin studios in my next post!)

My glutes and hammies are firing and while my breathing and heart rate is still taking time to come back, that’s to be expected. I am going to suffer so hard in the first tempos I take on. I look forward to it. Until then, I’ll be adding miles every other day until I can be back to the 35 miles per week average that I thrive from so that I can up it to 40-45 for the next training cycle.

My mileage base as well as my strength training will help me build, build, build, and we’ll see how tough I can get before training can start for Ave of the Giants. Here’s hoping for consistent gains and no set-backs.