That injury disappearing act

Oh hey summer plans and summer days? Where did you go? I was all about those lofty goals last time I checked in on this blog. Sub 40 for a 10k and planning on getting in the mid 5s for the mile, but then INJURY.

My ankle had started to feel weird in May, by July it was painful to have a blanket over my foot at night. I knew something was up and that running would not be possible for a while. 8 weeks later, I’m back! What did I do with all my time off? Was I as motivated as part-time mermaid Colleen Quigly who is bouncing back from her injury and won a steeplechase race in Berlin in 9:10 this weekend? or maybe as on top of the bike as much as  Jordan Hasay who will be defending her Chicago title in October? NOPE! While I am so inspired by the pros, I did nothing but PT three times a week. Oh, and I tried out spin class and have 3 classes left to do before October. The motivation to move beyond going through PT just was not there.

When it comes to injuries, I’ve realized I’m lazy AF. Part of me just likes to tell myself that I’m resting off the injury and making it better by staying off of it. But if I’m being honest with myself, if I’m not running, I’m not good at making myself work. I get the sads and would prefer to stay up late and sleep in. It’s a real bummer that this happened over the summer after a dark winter of training, but injuries happen.

The positive side of things is that I’m working towards getting stronger. My hamstrings and glutes have been fired up and I look forward to marathon training to reach a new PR in Houston. I’ll be plugging in the Hanson’s plan and moving forward in a couple of weeks and I’m pretty excited about that.

Where do we go from here? Speed.

It’s been 4 weeks since the Boston Marathon! One of the main questions you can’t help but ask while coming down from marathon training and going through the inevitable post-marathon blues is “What’s next?” Eileen and I had already started discussing this during our taper and we had decided that we’d switch things up and make the Summer of 2018 the summer of speed (and for her, also a 50 miler, because well, she’s amazing). Our plan is to train hard for the 5k and 10k distances and also hit the all-comers meets that happen up in Shoreline to test ourselves on the track. But first, came recovery. I took it pretty darn seriously as you’ll see:

I had always planned on taking three weeks. I didn’t plan on E. coli

I hadn’t read about the tainted lettuce yet and the Friday after the marathon I specifically asked for romaine at a salad shop I normally love. Symptoms started showing up right on predicted time and lasted for a week. It was pretty horrible. I survived coaching Girls on the Run and my ECCF running group, but had to rest all day in order to make it out of the house for those events. I am so lucky that my kids is easily amused at home and that my job is pretty flexible. My mileage totals plummeted in this time and I was okay with that. I was plotting my return to running on May 7th and had started digging into my Jack Daniel’s Running Formula book to get ready to start upping my mileage slightly and getting back into the gym.

So this week was the first week back and damn, recovery, whatever the cause, is a great thing. I was so nervous about how out of shape I’d be. I mean I ran a total of 14 miles in three weeks and didn’t cross train or weightlift at all!! I hit the track on Monday with a small but dedicated morning group who showed up. Right now the group is in partial recovery mode and partial get going mode. Eileen and I had 2 sets of 8×200 on the schedule. For those who know the Jack Daniels methodology, my VDOT number is 51 and Eileen’s is 53 (using our half marathon races), so this had us hitting 41s basically. I couldn’t believe how my legs flowed. I also LOVE the track and love running fast on it, so this is my wheelhouse. The last couple felt tough but doable and I was happy that we also had John with us to help push the pack along.

small but mighty group of trackletes!

I ended up doing a 8×200 with a walking recovery with my ECCF group on Tuesday and ran a bit faster on those intervals because one of my athletes is very fast and needs help pacing the first 100 before blasting into the second 100. It was fun, and I thought I’d really pay for it on my Wednesday workout, but I ended up doing okay. My legs were fatigued for sure, and the 1 min rest in between the miles was incredibly hard to deal with, but I made it through that workout faster than I thought. It shows that when I’m scared I won’t hit a pace I act on that fear with more speed.

Because it was Mother’s Day weekend, and we had plans to head to Victoria on Saturday, I ended up calling FLUR my long run for the week. Sure 6 isn’t much, but when you’re 5K training it will do. We ended up going at a pretty good clip of 7:44 pace. It wasn’t too fast, but it certaintly did not feel slow. I powered up the hill and huffed and puffed about it through out. That is where my fitness can improve.

Saturday was beautiful in Victoria, and I’m already looking up races to do there in the future. I really love Canada.

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Today to cap off my first week back in training I hit the gym. OH EM GEE, it feels so so so good to be back. I had so many things I wanted to do! I ended up programming this for myself.

I’m excited to get back to these types of workouts and work on getting my lifts heavier again.

Overall this was a fantastic first week back. I know that this Jack Daniel’s program will give me some really tough workouts in the future, and I know that I will likely fail at a couple of them as this plan is ambitious. I also know that my goal of getting a solid 5K PR and 10K PR is right on the cusp of happening and I want to really challenge myself while also maintaining my marathon level mileage. It’s exciting to be back in the saddle and I’m keeping a close eye on any signs of burnout and injury.

I’ll attempt to blog through these next couple of months to track lifting and racing since I’ll be doing so much of it this season. It’s so nice to hit these short races, recover quickly and then move on the next! My first tune-up race is next Saturday, what’s basically a fun run called the Get Up and Go 5K , it benefits the Seattle Children’s Hospital. I’m not planning to go all out, looking to hit 21 or 22 mins. We’ll see how fast I can go without breaking myself!

Boston Marathon 2018 Recap

Grit is a word I’ve heard repeatedly when it comes to marathons. You’ve got to have it to train for them, to line up for them, and definitely to finish them. The nature of the marathon is you train for many weeks doing your best to stay healthy and uninjured and hope for a flawless day. A day where everything clicks into place and you get to demonstrate your training. Boston 2018 was not flawless, far from it. It was a day that everyone who showed up demonstrated what type of people marathoners are, gritty AF.

Every single person out on that course ran in the rain that beat down from the sky in sheets and wind that blew so hard that you had to push your body against it to move half as far as you’d expect that stride on a normal day. If you could tuck behind someone maybe you’d be spared a bit, I tried a couple of times but still felt like it didn’t help much. Lake-like puddles lined the sides of the streets; if you pulled off to toss a layer that became heavy and useless you might find yourself ankle deep in water.

A week before this race, during our last 12-mile long run I turned to my training partner Eileen and joked that the terrible conditions of cold rain we were running through could be what we’d see in Boston. We finished that run with a 6:57 last mile partially because we were cold, partially because we were having fun on our fresh legs. I said, “no matter what, we’ll be prepared!” At the time the forecast was calling for clouds and 50 degrees. I was completely joking in thinking that we’d have monsoon weather but also know that Boston can be unpredictable. As the week revealed 100% chance of rain and then strong winds that would make the temperature feel like 25 degrees, I got a little nervous that I had asked for what we were about to run through.

This was our last rainy run, it hadn’t gotten really bad yet.

Day of Race

The morning of the race I woke up with a headache on the left side of my head, slight period cramps and a bit of nausea. This is actually when I got worried. My friend Karen and I had been discussing the weather the night before and had come to the overall “it affects everyone, at least it’s not a personal struggle” idea… then I got handed a personal struggle. I had a hard time eating my oatmeal without throwing up but managed to get it down and was hopeful that Advil I had taken would help the headache and cramps.

By the time I reached the village my personal issues had pretty much dissipated, and now I was descending upon what to many is a field of dreams but on Monday was a field of sloppy, squishy, shivering cold mud. Thankful for the wise advice from my running group, I had my racing shoes and socks bagged up. My feet felt frozen but hand warmers gave some relief. Thanks to Bruce, I used a type of chafing oil to ward off blisters and huddled in close to my friends to stay warm. Once we were called to our corrals we slopped through the mud, made it to the sidewalk and changed into our fresh shoes and socks if we had them. At this point, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt as my base layer, my Seattle singlet, compression socks, long tights, a pullover, a waterproof jacket and a poncho. I had one pair of gloves stuck in my bra and one on my hands. I had four Huma gels stuck in various pockets in my tights and three hand warmers also in those pockets.

Eileen and I had planned on running this together, we made our last bathroom stop and then started jogging to our corral. The excitement really hit at that point. I was so happy for her to be tackling her first Boston. Weather be damned, we were doing this! We entered our corral, threw off our ponchos and I took off the heavy jacket but kept the pullover for warmth. Suddenly we were moving faster and the timing mats were at our feet and wow, we were at the start! It took me by surprise when we started running.

Miles 1-3

I wanted to go out slow and steady and I wasn’t sure how controlled we could be together. We actually did a pretty great job. I accepted going 10 to 15 seconds faster because it felt restrained and pretty easy. I was hoping we wouldn’t pay for it later. I feel like I was still shocked by the intensity of the weather and while excited a little bit scared which got my heart rate up. While I was working on calming down some more Eileen was reassuring me that we were racing and it’s not supposed to feel like a walk in the park and that we had this in us. I resolved and relaxed. My feet were still frozen and I couldn’t feel footfall which was a very odd sensation. We didn’t weave too much and kept an eye on moving steadily up the early hills.

Miles 4-10

This is a big chunk that went by quickly. Eileen had written out splits on her arm and we were ahead of our projected time just a bit at 5 miles and by over a minute at 10. I was still feeling pretty good so I was happy about that. I know you’re not supposed to bank time at Boston and this wasn’t intentional, it just was. It was also in this stretch of miles that we ran into Kat who joined our party. She was able to talk much more than I was, so while I really wanted to be friendly, I didn’t quite have it in me and this got me worried. I threw off my heavy pull-over somewhere within these miles, thinking that it was hurting more than it was helping. While I searched for my college friend Liz in mile 10 I lost close contact with Eileen and Kat, but was able to keep them in sight. I had taken a gel at mile 6 and was feeling the effects in a positive way.

Miles 11-15

Once I gave up looking for Liz in mile 11, I refocused and got close to Eileen and Kat again. Mile 12 saw a huge onslaught of driving rain that I wasn’t sure would ever stop pounding us. We made our way up to the Scream Tunnel. It really is an amazing boost of energy, especially in the conditions we were in. Soon after I lost Eileen. She was up on the left in front of me and I had started to lose steam. I wanted to back off to save something for the Newton hills. It was just before mile 15 that my hamstring started to cramp up. I had grabbed the Hylands cramp dissolving pills that were included in our race packet as a last-minute precaution because of what had happened last year with cramping. I was so happy I had that forethought. I had lost Kat at this time and figured it was best for her because I now didn’t know how my race would go on. It was near impossible to open the package and run at the same time so I stopped to take them. While trying to get the package open in a rush, I dropped two of the pills on the ground but managed to slide one under my tongue. I started running again slowly. I was telling myself that I needed to start thinking in survival mode and potentially give up a time goal. When I started to feel my hamstring loosening up I got focused on what else I would need to make this a better experience. This led to a series of dumb decisions.

Miles 16-20

I decided that it was time for music. On a normal day running fast and trying to put in headphones and turn on music via my watch may have been hard. On a day where my hands were frozen and soaking wet and I couldn’t grip anything, this was absurd. I turned the headphones on with my teeth after struggling with my fingers. I attempted to pair them to my watch, time after time I was getting an error message. I slowed to a walk to try to accomplish this. I wanted music to get me from miles 18-20. I finally gave up and tucked the headphones back into my pocket. Overall I probably lost about a minute and a half from futzing with it, but I know I should have given up sooner. I resolved to my reality, no musical support and started making my way closer to pace again. I knew I’d need to make up for whatever I might lose on the hills again.

I told myself I wasn’t allowed to walk. I was more afraid of walking and cramping up than anything. So I kept steady up the hills and tried to get myself to fly on the downhills. I was moderately successful.

When heartbreak finally came around, my legs definitely felt the strain but it wasn’t as bad as I remember from last year. At the top, a woman yelled “yeah Seattle! You made it up Heartbreak hill now get going!” and so I did.

Miles 21-23

6 miles to go and I was motivated but I wasn’t ready to do the math yet. I wanted to see how I continued to feel and just keep moving. Anytime I spotted a photographer and thought they might get a photo, I smiled. But I also smiled anytime anyone shouted, “Go Seattle!” I actually believe that’s what saved this race for me. Some of these cheers were so incredibly heartfelt and these people who were standing in the rain as it pounded down on all of us, it was just unbelievable. I saw kids out there my son’s age and saw them having fun! I thought, “wow, this is amazing. My son would be miserable but these kids are living this up, this city loves this marathon. Who am I not to give my best?” I found however that my best was harder than I would have liked. I started getting hungry. I had taken three of my Huma Gels already (mile 6, 12, 18) and didn’t expect to need my fourth. I should have taken it right at mile 21 but waited until after mile 23 to take it because I felt like I needed it so badly. So this was poor decision number 2. I think had I gotten the burst of energy that I needed sooner I wouldn’t have slowed down so much.

Mile 24-26

The last three miles were very tough. I remember trying really hard and smiling a lot but my legs were not moving the way they should have been. When I finished mile 24 at 3:01 (according to my watch), I said even if I run 10 min miles right now, I’ll still be in good shape at the end. I didn’t plan on doing that, but it was a buffer I gave myself. I never saw sub 8 again, I made my way to the finish line really struggling up Hereford to get to Bolyston. I heard Quynh on the left shout for me and I picked my head up and waved then made my way down the rest of Bolyston kind of laughing to myself that these long straightaway finish lines are always so much longer than you think they’re going to be.

I was so happy to be done, I was laugh-crying to myself and as I walked through the line to get my medal, poncho and snack bag when one of the announcers let us know that Desi Linden had won. I screamed out in joy, startling people around me. Of course, she won in this. Of course. To me, Desi is the definition of grit. Put in the work, ignore the distractions, enjoy the journey and give your all. Or as she said:

What a marathon.

I finished with an official time of 3:21:57

Boston Training Weeks 16-22

The weeks leading up to Boston really flew by and while I kept a pretty good record of all my training in my spreadsheet, I definitely neglected this sweet little blog over here. I’ll try to recap to my best ability, mainly so I have a place to look back on my thoughts on this training cycle.

Week 16- Getting Back on Track

My first full week back after a wonderful Hawaii vacation and a true confidence boosting 8-mile race. The track workout (I like to refer to them as speed workouts since we rarely worked out on the track, but instead on the inner loop of Green Lake) was icy, but I went faster than the prescribed MP -10 pace, which ended up being quite the trend on Mondays.

The tempo this week was inconsistent and my pals dropped off one by one for various reasons, so this was both mentally and physically challenging. I stayed with it and felt accomplished especially after chasing Francis for part of this one.

A strength workout led to my quads being trashed for my 20 miler this week, kind of perfect practice now that I look back on this. The last five miles of this run were really tough, but I think I gave in more mentally then I should have, my body had more to give.

I ran a super fun and easy 10 miles for Sarah Smith’s 40th birthday celebration this week as well which added a decent amount to my weekly mileage, making it the highest week of my entire training cycle at 53.5.

Week 17- Lake Sammamish Half Marathon

I missed a lot of strength training this week and was the start of the end of consistency on that. This is potentially my only worry come race day. That I’m not as muscular as I should be. Regardless this week was very good, I did 3×2 mile at 7:02 pace and I think we dropped into the 6s at some point as well. It was a push but not terribly unreasonable.

The tempo this week was fine, as the woman who swore she WOULD NOT do 10 mile tempos, I lied. I’m actually really happy I did them too. This was a 2×5 with a 1/2 mile easy in between. The second 5 miler was tough and my ankle was bothering me a bit but I made it through faster than marathon GP.

Coming into the weekend with just those miles on my body and having raced sort of recently, I was feeling pretty excited and confident for the 1/2. I wanted to be cautious though and not go all out and peak too early in training. I knew I was going to PR, even if I had stuck to my plan of not going under 7 min/mile pace it would have been a PR. I didn’t feel uncomfortable until mile 8 and breathing got tougher towards the end. I averaged a 6:56 to hit a 3:30:33. It didn’t feel like it a 100% effort which is very encouraging. I felt like I ran smart and tough. It wasn’t totally easy though and I need to remember that, this was still a very good effort to get that time, I had to convince myself to get to mile markers in order to not slow down. It got tough and I got tougher.

I did a little running a little strength the following day.

Week 18- A Semi-Sweet Recovery

I was careful in week 18, taking a beautiful down week to prepare for the upcoming hell week after racing. Ran an easy recovery run with friends around the lake for 9.5 miles at 9:33 pace.

A headache stood in my way on Wednesday and I didn’t run again until Friday. I was able to get some strength and erged a bit. The rest of the week was solo. I ran 6 miles by myself on the old Fleet Feet route which has that killer uphill then on Sunday I went for a 16 miler solo on the Burke. While I do listen to music and podcasts on the solo runs, I think that they’re mental builders for running my own run and pushing myself by myself. My pace on that 16 was pretty good, only a couple miles over 8 and a mountain to climb at the end that I kept in the 9s. This is a run I can look back and be thankful for.

Week 19- Hell Week

This was extra hell-ish because John was traveling for work so I had to do some major adjusting to fit the workouts in and rely on my mother-in-law to help with childcare so I could do the really important work with my training partners. Monday was fast and actually on a track and on the roads in my neighborhood. I didn’t do the prescribed workout due to time constrictions. I did 3×1600 at 6:42, 6:46 and 6:55.  I was disappointed with that last interval and stressed out in general so I’m not surprised this went the way it did.

I was able to shake that off and hit a wonderful 2×5 mile tempo on Wednesday. It took me 3 miles to find the groove but then it clicked! The one mile in between the sets of 5 felt fine and it wasn’t too hard to get started again for the next 5. Eileen and I ran a very solid second half of this workout, I’m so happy that we had each other to stay put in our workout. This was the hardest tempo of this training cycle and we crushed it. I did a little bit extra with 2.6 miles at 10:06 pace with the CLers! The pace of the tempo wasn’t perfect, but with some climbs, a particularly hard one through Ravena that we accomplished in 7:22 in there I think it was another big confidence booster.

I ran a bit, rowed a bit and strength trained on Thursday, skipped Friday’s workout because it was too stressful to try to fit it in and it gave me a little extra rest for the last 20+ run of the cycle. That Log Boom run ended up being incredibly solid. Ran sub 8 for the average and felt really good, even in the last 3 miles where we picked it up a bit. I ran an easy 4 on Sunday to even out the week at 50 miles. As I finished out “hell week” on a very high note and came into week 20 with two recovery days and a mini chest-cold I was just so thankful.

Week 20- The Start of the Wind-Down

I took Monday and Tuesday off because I wanted to and it had always been in my plan to do so. I know how much the long runs can run me down and it wasn’t worth pushing my body harder than necessary.

Totally recovered, I had a very solid tempo on Wednesday. 2 mile warmup 10 miles at MP and 2 cool down. Ravena was slower on this go around, but we worked really hard and we’ll be ready for the Boston hills when they come, these workouts were tough.

The rest of the week was just fun. FLUR at 8 min pace, Long run of 16 at 7:56. And a 30 min erg session at home on Sunday It was all very enjoyable.  As the training cycle winds down I’m just loving the easy runs and the company.

Weeks 21 and 22- The last pieces to the puzzle

The focus was to stay happy, healthy and uninjured. This is some of the boring stuff. No more tempos for me, a little bit of speed work to stay tuned up. 12 miles for a long run and easy, easy, easy for the last week before the race. I’m not feeling any phatom pains or extra restlessness during this taper. A bit of anxiety sure. I’m trying to stay calm, I’m reading mental toughness books and posts to stay in the right mindset and I continue to be both at awe in what I’ve accomplished in training leading up to this week and thankful for the folks who have been supporting me all the way through.

Next post will be on the flipside of the Boston Marathon. I feel like I’m ready. Comparing this training cycle to my 3:25 cycle, I have close to 200 additional miles in the bank, less strength training but more targeted and specific race training. We’ll see how it goes, I’m hoping my brain will stay focused in the last six miles to push through the pain and finish with everything I have in me.

 

Oh hey! I’ve been training! Weeks 10-15

I always start a blog with the best of intentions. I don’t know what made me get really good about the habit of doing it almost daily in the past, but whatever that was, I don’t have that habit anymore, I’m just going to go ahead and blame it on motherhood. Got to live that mom-life and not ignore my child in order to write regularly.

Here I am not ignoring my family!

I do ignore my child in order to run, or rather, I run so early in hopes that he’s still asleep by time I get home and he gets a sweaty-stinky version of me crawling into his bed to come wake him up (actually let’s be honest, he’s usually snuggling my husband after sneaking into my bed after I leave in the morning). And that’s how I balance this whole marathon training thing with momming and being the morning parent. On weekdays I’m out of the house around 5am, usually back around 7:30ish (unless I need that extra coffee time with my runbuds). My husband puts the kiddo to bed and walks the dog most nights while I get into bed by 10ish. Weekends, dad is a long-run widower, especially when I get this deep into training, where 16- 20 mile runs leave me incapable of mothering very much and they have to fend for themselves during and after my run. Thank goodness I met my husband through running and he’s done more marathons than me, he gets it. Also, his mom and dad live less than a mile away and he has back-up support. Life is really really good for me.

Solo long run on a Hawaiian highway.

Regarding actual training from weeks 10-15 (1/15-2/25) I’ve been ON POINT. I don’t think I’ve had such a focused and consistent training cycle since college and it’s showing. I’m stronger, faster and feeling more awesome than ever. Don’t get me wrong, some of the long runs have been strugglefests where I desperately hang on to my training partners for dear life. The long stuff is hard for me, 18ers and 20ers are just not natural for this former 800m runner. But I’ve been doing well on the tempos and the track and hill workouts. This mileage is more than I thought would be possible at this stage in my fitness.

Week 10- 32 miles

Week 11-34 miles

Week 12-40 miles

Week 13-41 miles

Week 14- 47 miles

Week 15- 30 miles

Comparing this to what got me to my 3:25 marathon back in 2016, I was averaging 27 miles a week at much slower paces.

Goes to show that high mileage might not matter as much as a determined spirit. But I feel much more confident with my current mileage…

Add in a stellar race where everything went right and I had a ton of fun, and we have a very good training cycle so-far indeed. (Separate Great Aloha Run race report to come!)

Pulled from a facebook live feed from a Hawaiian news page!

Now to stay on healthy, happy and focused in these last 7 weeks. Post-Hawaii vacation has turned me a bit upside down so hopefully no more travel until the race. Late nights with zero sleep, a toddler with a 24-hour bug, a splitting headache that prevented me from running an 18er with my peeps made for a light week with NO strength training. Everyone has at least one bad week, and I’ll call this last one mine. I’m so excited to get back to my routine and put the final pieces into this training so I can show up in Boston at my strongest.

Week 9- The Trouble with Travel Weeks

Oh Week 9 of training, I knew you would be a challenging one. I mark out anytime I know I’ll be traveling with purple highlights on my plan. I put in hopeful miles and try to do what I can before I leave for whatever adventure I’m planning. This time it was a cross-country trip to NYC to party with my college teammates and celebrate our coach, Matt Centrowitz. I may write a whole post about the team and the specific experience, but for now, here’s what training looked like for Jan 8-14.

Monday- The Track Workout that Didn’t Happen

So this was a disappointing one for me. I was so excited and nervous to head to my first track workout of this training cycle. I woke up on time, but didn’t have much sleep in me through weird nightmares of the workout that lay ahead. I don’t know what made me so anxious about this workout, but I was ready to face it when I realized I needed to write a blog post for work and get it to my boss so that he would have time to review before we sent it over to CreativeLive to be published. So I spent the morning annoyed that I didn’t do the work over the weekend, and also annoyed that I worried about a workout that I couldn’t complete. I ended up doing a Nike Training Club workout that evening to get just a little bit of work in. I use this app when I’m in a bind, and I’m so thankful that it exists!

Tuesday- Random Run

This was a busy day. It started off with some skiing for my kiddo (proud mom note: he’s back on the chairlift!) My father-in-law dropped me off in time to make a dentist appointment and took over watching Grant. I decided to wear my running clothing to the appointment and headed out for a run on the Burke once it was through. It was SO COLD and windy, I started off fast just to warm-up and then had a hard time slowing down. That resulted in averaging 7:26/mile for 8 miles. Woops. I do not condone running every run fast, and this was a dumb thing to do, especially since the turn-around time to my tempo the next morning meant I wouldn’t have much rest. I thought I’d be running slower on Wednesday… however…

Wednesday- WuW Tempo

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The first 1.5 was a warm-up and then we headed on the same flat,fast course I had run on Tuesday for some of the middle miles. I was running the same darn pace for this 6-mile tempo. That 4th mile was mostly downhill, but that 7th mile, ugh. Up through Ravenna in the dark and I was struggling to the max. I’m so thankful that Kathy dropped back to run with me, it was very tough going up the hill to end out that tempo portion before heading into the cool down. Everyone else was good and finished out at 9 miles. I cut out a portion of the cool-down and finished at the Starbucks because I was DONE. I was disappointed but not surprised, basically running back to back tempo runs is not smart training.

Thursday-Treadmill Mistake

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Another facepalm moment here. So after a long day of travel (we had taken the red-eye and arrived at JFK at 6am) and emotional bullshit dealing with my parents, I knew I needed a run. I hopped on the hotel gym treadmill which didn’t have a reading of what mph meant for mins/mile. I figured setting it to 7.9 might not be bad, probably around 8 min mile pace. Come to find out that I was running 7:36s for 3 miles. I wondered why the third mile was feeling tougher than normal and when I got back to my room to tell my husband he knew the math right away. Sigh. Three days of fast running. I just deem this the fast week without the long run.

Friday-Mini-Fancy Hotel Workout

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After a wonderful time visiting one of my best friends from middle school we made it back into the city. I wanted to give myself a rest day, so I ran 1 mile on the treadmill and used some of the machines in our fancy New York Hotel. I did 3x 10 one armed rows (each arm). 2x 10 plank rows (on my knees for most of them)  and a bunch of hamstring curls with a ball. It was an unstructured strength day, and I was a-okay with that.

Saturday- The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had on a Treadmill

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I’ve been wanting to try out a treadmill gym since I found out about them. I love the concept as a person who enjoy group fitness classes and doesn’t terribly mind the treadmill. Mile High Club did not disappoint. While I was sad that my teammate Leah couldn’t make it due to flight delays, I was psyched that my other teammate Catie was able to join me for it. I liked the structure even though it took me a little bit to understand exactly what was going on. Once I realized the order of the intervals I was all in and found myself sprinting at a sub 7 pace. The atmosphere was amazing, the music, the lighting. It was so much fun. I want to open one in Seattle. I just need a business partner and a lot of money.

Sunday- Just Like Old Times

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After the party on Saturday night, I knew I wanted to do a run on Sunday. A small group of us met in my hotel lobby and headed out for Central Park. It was almost exactly like our college Sunday runs, gathering together, gossiping about the night before, and catching up on anything we missed. Catie and I did the full 6 miles, she and I ran the same event in college (the 800) so we had always trained closely together.  It was almost like no time had passed the way we were able to go on about everything and enjoy the miles together. I wish we lived closer so that we could relive these Sunday runs more often. While it was very cold (hovering around 17-20 degrees!) and I was incredibly thankful for being able to go home to Seattle and our wonderful 40-degree weather, I wouldn’t give up running through Central Park for anything. I’m hopeful that I get into the NYC Marathon via the lottery for 2018, the city has so much magic.

While the week did not include a long run, all the fast stuff pretty much made up for that. I think it was kind of stupid training, too much speed done all in one week, with minimal rest. I know better, and also know to give myself some credit for getting so much done while traveling. Balancing and consistency will get me to the finish line. And I know this because my Coach taught me it long ago. I’m so incredibly lucky that I had such a positive college running experience and that I’m still friends with my teammates. I wouldn’t have missed Coach’s event for the world, and despite having a weird training week, it was still good work put in that built some confidence in what my body can do under stress.

 

Week 8- New Year, New Me? Naw…

Kicking off a new year and continuing into my 8th week of training felt both refreshing and deliberate. I’ve never been big on resolutions, I’m a goal-oriented person, and since my goal for Boston has been set for over 2 months, nothing really feels like it’s changed. I pretty much forget to wish people a happy new year because I’m so set in my routine! For now, consistency is reigning supreme.

Monday

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A solo run seemed like the right way to start off the year. Running brought me a lot of joy in 2017, especially as the world seemed to turn upside down, and while the majority of my runs are with friends, it felt good to explore the new arboretum path on my own. I went for an easy 4 miles with the added challenge of making it up the Madison St hill from the arboretum. I almost made it all the way up without stopping!

Tuesday

Adobe Spark (7).jpgThis workout ended up thrashing my hamstrings, which isn’t a bad thing normally, but I had a tempo scheduled for the next day. You may see where this is going.

Wednesday

Wake up Wednesday, came around, and I was still hurting. No one else was doing the tempo, soo… I skipped it. Ack. Yes. Went off the plan. I knew I wanted to get the mileage in at least so I ran 3 miles early with Morgan and Eddie, then ran 6 with a new running buddy and Steve. We were leading the pack in 8:15s. I know I need to run faster on this mid-week run, but my sore legs were happy with this effort.

Thursday

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This was a pretty short and sweet workout. Presses are hard but I’m happy that I’m working on them.

Friday
I love my bootcamp Fridays! It’s such a fun time to get in some strength work and try new movements. This particular Friday the coach had us do a Chipper, we could do any of the exercises in any order, just had to get all the reps done. Afterwards, she had us do an 8min ab routine that nearly broke my abs apart. It was awesome.

Saturday
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Decided between 12 and 14, Kathy was going 14 so many of us decided to do the same. Great group to run with, we got a little lost but it didn’t matter at all, we were having fun getting these tough up-hill miles in.

Sunday
I did two little recovery runs. One with my old SRC group as part of our bRUNch, in celebration of all the “goat” (aka Capricorn) birthdays and a 1 miler from the gym after a this little workout.

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So there’s not too much “new me”to start off the year. Just consistent me. Doing my thing, getting the work in, hoping that I can stay ontop of it for the rest of the season!

Week 7- Staying on Target

Another week that flew by (Dec 25-Dec 31). It was relatively uneventful even though it was a holiday week. I’m so thankful that my in-laws live a mile from my house, making it very easy to stay in Seattle and celebrate with them.

Monday- Christmas break! 

While Monday marked the 16 weeks until Boston mark, it was also Christmas day. It’s sometimes hard for me to leave my 3-year-old when I want or need to go run, so Christmas was all about him and spending time together as a family. Runs come and go, and I might not be able to have running forever, but family is everything.

Tuesday- Strength work

Week 7 Tuesday Strength workout

I was feeling like all my 1 rep max numbers were way off, I guess I was being pretty conservative with my perceived strength. So I decided to take Week 7 to find my true one rep maxes. I started with the deadlift on Tuesday.

Wednesday- WuW

My first real workout of this training cycle provided by the Seattle Greenlake Running Group Marathon Training folks.  I am so beyond thankful for Kathy and Bruce, who run this group. I appreciate them for all the effort they put in to help keep the marathon group ontop of our training. I only use their tempo workouts (and soon their track workouts!) and have written the rest of my plan myself, but these tempos are important. This particular workout went really well. It was a progressive run, we started off with a mile and half of warm-up, then cut-down to slightly faster than marathon pace. It felt so slow to start but later Stoneway kicked my butt. I was happy I was able to stick to a fast last mile for this progression. I didn’t feel confident enough to run 6×7:26, so this was a happy medium for this day.

Thursday- Strength

Strength Day 1 RM for Back Squat
back squat 1 rep max plus other work

After a tempo, this was tough to wake up for, but I knew I wanted to find my back squat 1 Rep Max. I did some glute and arm work and called it goo.  Sometimes these 1RMax attempts take longer than I anticipate. I’m happy I have a new number to work off of for my back squat, I love accuracy.

Friday- Bootcamp

So good! got some great core and shoulder work in today. I may be on repeat on this, but I’m just loving this bootcamp, I get a good workout that I don’t have to think about programming myself, it’s not too hard, but also not too easy. It’s not competitive at all and everyone in the class is super nice. I also found out that the teacher of the Friday class is from the same hometown of one of my college teammates. Such a small world.

Saturday- Last 26.2 of 2017

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blurry pic while on the run, had just put in the headphones and was enjoying some down hill fun

It was somewhat of a last minute decision to join in on this fun. Because it was a free race put on by my group, and it was replacing the regular long run for the week, I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to jump in if I could find a partner to run the second half of the race for me. People were splitting up the distance in all fun different ways, but I just needed 12 miles for the week, and was willing to add 2 extra miles to make up for where the course would leave me. I had a blast doing this. I started off easy, but then there were all these wonderful downhills to zoom down. I ended up leading the race for a bit, then a couple of guys came through and took the lead, I chased them down some more and we stayed in a pack of about 4. It was fun. I passed off the slap bracelet to my partner so that he could continue the race for us, we ended up placing 4th. I was so happy that John and Grant came to pick me up and take me out to eat near my finish afterwards, I ended up running an average of 7:43 pace for 14 miles, so I was a little beat.

Sunday- Rest

A beautiful rest day after my “race”. I thought this would be good before taking on the Ragnar Relays 31 days of working out challenge that they’re holding. While I will have “rest days” each week during my training, I’m going to be making an effort to do some exercise everyday to qualify for this challenge. A winner gets a free relay entry, so that’s motivating, even though I’m not totally sure I’m ready to captain another relay team again!

 

Week 6- The last “easy” week

Almost done with week 7, so I’ve got to get this post out there! Ack- I forgot how hard it is to stay on top of posting regularly to a blog! Also pictures. Apologies if you follow me on Instagram- you’ll likely see all the same photos because a) I’m usually talking too much during a run to remember to take any while we run and b) it’s too hard to take good pictures while running. I’m super impressed with all the Instagrammers who get good shots of themselves running- I have a pop-socket and everything- this shouldn’t be that hard. Anyway, I digress- onto the recap. (Week 6 was December 18-24)

Monday-Bootcamp!

Oh man- I was really appreciating this kick in the butt workout each Monday, this was my last one before I start heading to the track at 5:30s on Monday. The way boot camp works at Rain City Fit is you show up, they tell you what to do at 4 different stations, and 4 different exercises per station. You pick a station with some partners and then you work for a minute at an exercise. Switch at the timer and go through it twice. Sometimes at the 30 second mark you have to switch arms or legs or whatever, so a timer goes off every 30 seconds. You’ve got to make your movements count! After each round, before moving on to the next station, there’s a short break to grab a sip of water. I enjoy that there’s no counting reps, just getting the work in and moving on.

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This was a deloading week off of a one rep max that I guessed was appropriate. I had a feeling that all my 1 rep maxes were a little light- so I challenged myself in week 7 of training (see that post soon!). I ran a warm-up mile and 2 cool down miles at 8 min pace.

Wednesday- Wake-Up-Wednesday

Just kidding- I slept in and got zero miles. It was not going to happen. Happily, week 6 was my last week of going easy on myself. As I’ve mentioned, I wanted to give myself some relaxed training before heading into the uber-focused, nose to the grindstone type of workouts and weeks leading up to Boston. I gave myself this last out.

Thursday- Strength

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I love a good strength workout. Yeah, this only took eight and a half minutes, but it got my heart rate up and I feel like I’m doing some solid work. I warmed up 1 mile, and cooled down 2 at 8min pace.

Friday-FLUR

I made it to what looks like will be my last FLUR of the season. I had forgotten that I scheduled boot camp in place of FLUR for each week so that I could fit in the track workouts on Monday. I had a delightful 6 miles chatting with Desiree, we moved along at a comfortable 8:12 pace. For some reason I was dreading this run, even on the drive over, but once I got started I felt great and miles smoothly passed by. This is the magic of group running.

Saturday Rise & Shine, plus a little extra for RunChatHunt

This was such an enjoyable run. Loka had set up a snowball run to get us all to the huge tree downtown for a photo by 8:15. I think my group hit the timing perfectly. Overall this morning plan went off without a hitch, 12 miles at 8 min pace. Only the hill up Freemont felt hard, and that’s a mile of running up a steep grade, so like I said when I finished it, when that hill starts to feel easy, I know I’ll be in great shape.

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That evening, I convinced John and Grant to drive and run with me around a community called Olympic Manor so I could get my final RunChatHunt scavenger hunt finds. It was the only place I could find a nativity scene in Seattle!! Not even churches I run past have them! I mean, I know I shouldn’t be shocked by this, it is Seattle. We ended up doing 3 miles at 11:30 pace, John pushed the running stroller while I hunted and stopped to take a bunch of pictures.

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Sunday-Strength

The reason I made my family go for that run with me on Saturday evening was that I had looked into the forecast and saw that it was supposed to snow 3 inches in Seattle on Sunday. Well, the forecast did not lie! I wanted to get my Sunday workout in, so instead of driving to the gym, I threw on my trail running shoes (that have a really great grip!) and ran the .8 to my gym.

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I completed a pretty relaxed workout, (though those chin-ups felt brutal) and ran home the .8 miles.

My total week 6 mileage was 28.6. A solid week of pretty easy going training. Week 7 marks 16 weeks until Boston and the time to start getting serious. Tempos, track workouts, and marathon pace miles are all ahead. I’ll continue to keep my variety in my strength workouts and make some lifting goals to go along with my running ones. Here’s to the last week of 2017!

Week 5- AKA the lazy one

Running well requires consistency and focus. These are arguably the hardest parts of training for a marathon for most people, including me.

There’s also a fine line between being lazy and needing rest. You get to know this as you get to know your mind and your body better through the years. So that’s why I can say with some confidence, that week 5 of my marathon training for Boston fell into the lazy trap.

I scheduled a rest day on Monday following my race. Normally I go to Bootcamp to get a good start to the week, even though it always feels too early to be doing anything other than sleeping at 6am on a Monday. However, the momentum of waking up and getting the work done makes it easier for me to keep it going at least until Wednesday. Week 5, started off with sleeping in.

Tuesday I was able to get up early, run 1 mile on the treadmill (my typical warm-up) stretched a bit and then did this workout:

I slowly made my way through this workout and felt good enough to run my 2 mile cool down miles. I thought that this would get me on track for the week but then holiday parties hit me hard.

Wednesday I was too tired from a movie night to wake up before 5am to get to WuW, I told myself I’d go running during the day, but wasn’t able to make it happen. Thursday I was got up but after a mile and my back squat routine ( 3-3-3+ of 80% (77) 85%(80) 90% (85) 7 reps at 85lbs)  I gave up the rest of my workout to just go home and relax.

After a company holiday party Thursday night, I knew there’d be no way I’d wake up for FLUR.  Then a CrossFit gym holiday party Friday night made me feel like Rise and Shine was just not going to happen Saturday morning. At a runner friend’s party on Saturday night I chatted with one of my running partners and she let me know that she needed to get some Sunday miles in. Phew! This was also a good opportunity for me to go for some #RunChatHunt scavenger finds, so I was very thankful for her pre-planned route and her company.

A #runchathunt item, a flag of any type. We thought this one was unique and funny.

I ran 2.5 miles to her, we ran a little over 8.5 miles together, and I asked her to drop me off at my gym so I could get some of my strength work in to make the best use of my Sunday morning where I was off of parent duty.

I ran one more mile on the treadmill when I was done so that I could get to 12 for the day and push myself to run a sub 8 min mile after all that work. I was pleasantly surprised with this day’s work, though I guess after all that rest, a solid workday should feel good!

While my plan had called for 26 miles total, and I missed out of 10 of those miles, I guess I can’t call this entire week a wash now that I’ve written it all out this way. I was good about getting my strength in all week, even if it wasn’t exactly as I would have liked it. Holiday activities can really throw a wrench into training, but it’s also important to live a regular life, so I don’t regret staying out late and seeing friends. Marathon training is a long process, and each day is a small step towards hitting the next goal. Since I didn’t get too wrapped up in the “shame” of missing workouts, I’m able to move into the next week successfully and knowing what small battles I need to win to get the mileage I want to see.