Tag Archives: Anchorage Marathon

I Don’t Like Odd Numbers – 19.25 Miles

Everyone has a favorite number.  Some have a stronger affinity towards one number over all others (cough Erin cough).  I have a few favorite numbers I think…but in general I can say that I don’t like odd numbers.  They’re…odd, if you will.  They make me feel awkward.  Probably because I’m always the number these days.  I just like even-numbered dates and even-numbered things.

I’m pretty sure I hit on this in a post recently…but it seems like whenever I see marathon training plans or in the training plans I make for myself, long runs are always even-numbered distances.  I would never put a 17-mile or 19-mile run on my schedule.  Even 7-mile or 9-mile runs are weird.  Why not stick to 6 or 8 or 10?

So, this brings us to my Mother’s Day run.  I planned to do 20 miles since I had done 18 miles (actually 18.25…I’ll give myself credit where credit is due) 2 weeks ago.  We were supposed to be at brunch at my aunt and uncle’s house at 9:30am, so I had the idea to run from my parents’ house and end at brunch.

The route I’ve taken to run to their house before would be exactly 10 miles.  I didn’t map out a route beforehand, but figured I’d wind around a little before setting on that route and then add on what I needed to at the end.

Unfortunately, within the first 30 minutes of the run, I was not feeling so great.  Not bad, but not feeling like I was going to make it 20 miles.  Right about 30 minutes in, I stopped at a light and needed to take off my long-sleeve shirt and took a minute to stretch out and gather my thoughts.  I decided to continue the direction I was headed, but then to loop back home, for a total of about 7 miles.

But then when I got to the corner where I originally planned to make the turn to head on the route to my cousins’ house, I made the turn.  I think I was in one of my “yeah I can totally do 20 miles!” phases that surprisingly did come.  Normally, I make the decision to quit and it’s done.  That phase ended soon after (don’t worry, it came back again…it really is come and go), but by this time, I was at the point of no return.  If I headed back home, I’d risk not making it back in time before Mom had to leave for brunch…at least that was what I was telling myself so that I wouldn’t turn back.

Like the 18.25 mile run a few weeks ago, I was going completely off of time and had no idea on distance.  I told myself I wanted to run for 2 hours and 40 minutes and see how far that got me.  I was soooo close to their house around 2:20 I believe, but I made myself add on a loop.  And I really struggled during that loop.  I was on side streets, but a few cars passed by me and I don’t even want to know what they were thinking I looked like because it probably wasn’t pretty.

I told myself I’d run to 2:35.  That would be 10 minutes longer than the previous long run.  I got to their house in 2:32.  And I talked myself into running around the block.  And I finished in 2:35:30 for 19.25 miles.  OK, it was actually 19.28 in 2:35:33 according to my Garmin…but you know, weird odd/non-rounded numbers don’t fly with me.

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This was right as Grandma & Grandpa were pulling up and getting out of their car.  I went to give them a hug (they wouldn’t accept one #sweaty) and I was pretty wiped out, but I knew I was supposed to say something to Grandma so I said “Happy Birthday!”  I soon realized that the correct greeting was actually “Happy Mother’s Day!” but they got over it after I told them I just finished running 19+ miles.

So that is my story on my most recent long run. I have another coming up this weekend that I’ll give you the deets on next week – hopefully will hit that 20 miles.

Also, my playlist ran out of songs on this run!  I need to remember to make a longer one!  The current one was intended for a half marathon.

Do you go in and out of strong and weak (mental) phases during your long runs? How do to talk yourself out of the “bad” phases?

Color Changes & 3 Weeks of Training

Well, I have a few weeks of training to catch you all up on!  Work has been pretty busy lately, so this dear old blog has taken the back seat.  But now that I’m just 5 weeks (!!) away from the Anchorage Marathon, I’m sure I’ll have tons of fun to write about.

Wednesday (4/27) at lunchtime: 6 miles @ 8:20 avg pace

Wednesday (4/27) night: Orange Theory class

Friday (4/29): 6.3 miles @ 7:56 avg pace

Sunday (5/1): 6.1 miles @ 7:59 avg pace

Total: 18.4 miles + 1 Orange Theory class

I’m gonna throw in a little fun here though and show off my new blonder hair:

And the next week:

Monday (5/2): Orange Theory class

Tuesday (5/3): 7.45 miles in 1:00:45 (8:09 avg pace)

Thursday (5/5): 5.75 miles in 46:40 (8:06 avg pace)

Friday (5/6): Orange Theory class

Sunday (5/8): 19.25 miles in 2:35:20 (8:04 avg pace)

Total: 32.5 miles + 2 Orange Theory classes

And not only did my hair color change…but the walls in the downstairs of my condo have gone lighter for the summer (and beyond) too:

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And last week:

Monday (5/9): Orange Theory class

Tuesday (5/10): 7.25 miles in 58:30 (8:04 avg pace)

Wednesday (5/11): 4.3 miles in 35:10 (8:10 avg pace)

Saturday (5/14): Orange Theory class

Sunday (5/15) morning: 4.15 miles in 33:10 (7:59 avg pace)

Sunday (5/15) afternoon: 6.25 miles in 49:50 (7:58 avg pace)

Total: 22 miles + 2 Orange Theory classes

I’d say the biggest things have been the increase in Orange Theory classes (so an increase in weight training.)  But with that, has come a general decrease in mileage…especially during the week.  I’ve kinda just been doing whatever during the week with how busy I’ve been at work, but have managed to get into 2 great long runs of 18.25 and 19.25 miles.

And just for more fun, here’s another interpretation of the spelling of Colleen:

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Sooo that’s what my last 3 weeks has been – some running, some Orange Theory, putting some more home-y touches on my condo, and lots of coffee & working.  But that’s all OK, because unfortunately the weather still isn’t ready for summer like my hair is.

What have you been up to the past 3 weeks?

How do you get ready for summer?  New hairstyle?  New clothes?  I definitely have gotten a few new outfits too!

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon Training – 9 Weeks Out

Sup, amigos?

I haven’t done one of these weekly training recaps in a few weeks because the past few have been pretty much like this: run easy during the week + race on the weekend.  I guess I can give a quick overview of the past 3 weeks:

3/28 – 4/3: 36.2 miles, including the Shamrock Shuffle 8k

4/4 – 4/10: 26 miles, including the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon

4/11 – 4/18: 28.1 miles, including the Carmel Half Marathon

Which brings us to this week and the fact that as much as I’d like to race some shorter distances because I think I’m in sweet 5k-10k shape, I have a marathon to train for!  And train for it I did this week:

Monday – 7.6 miles in 1:01:20 (8:04 avg pace)

Tuesday – 6.9 miles in 55:30 (8:02 avg pace)

Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – 6.15 miles in 50:00 (8:07 avg pace)

Got a little wet in the rain on this one…nothing terrible, but a rather refreshing mist that actually felt pretty good.

Friday – 6 miles in 47:30 (7:55 avg pace)

Another windy night in the city, so I stayed away from the lakefront.  I considered running into Wicker Park, but that would’ve been just a tad further than I wanted to go, knowing I had a long run on the schedule for the next morning.  And it was nearing dusk anyways, so I stayed in my general hood, just running down neighborhood streets for the most part.  I tend to stick to the busier roads out of habit, but it sure is nice to run down the quieter side streets.  I also did this on Saturday’s long run.

Saturday – 18.25 miles in 2:25:00 (7:56 avg pace)

Looking back on this run (a whopping 4 days removed), I’m still pretty shocked how good I felt on it.  Obviously there were some patches of doubt during it, but nothing nearly as bad as it could have been.  The weather was perfect which helped a ton.  So here’s to hoping I can have a few more quality long runs over the next 8 weeks!

Sunday – Orange Theory class + about 7 miles rollerblading  … and painting a few walls, I’ll call that a workout.

I was holding out on becoming a member at the Orange Theory in the city because of the price.  But it’s clear that I won’t do weight training on my own and I love their classes, so I decided to do the 8x/month membership.  I’ll see how it works out this summer, but I think adding this in 2x/week to my running will help immensely.  Especially with those hills I’ll need to run in Anchorage and my dream of running a sub-20 minute 5k this summer at the 4th of July race.  #goalz

Total – 44.9 miles + 1 OTF class + rollerblading

This was a great week of training coming off a few hard races.  I still don’t feel 100% recovered from that run on Saturday, but mentally I feel pretty great about it.  After the let-down of half marathons recently, I needed a strong confidence booster going into this next training cycle.

OK, but now for some non-running stuff:

Sunday morning after Orange Theory, my mom and I had some painting to do.  I’m slowly making progress with some of the things in my condo that need to be updated and now there are only a few walls left to paint!  I’ll get some photos up of that once it’s all finished and put together.

After a few hours of painting, we hit up a local fish taco joint, Buzz Bait, for tacos, margs, and chips and salsa.

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I had the shrimp taco (yay!) and the chicken taco (nay…)  Next time, I think I’ll need to just get 2 shrimp tacos because that one was amazing.  I’m just writing this here because I’ll probably go back in a few months and forget what I thought about each.  So now I have documentation that I can go back and reference.  Does that happen to anyone else?

After the tacos, I still wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, so I decided I’d rollerblade.  As I was getting ready to head out, Jocelyn texted and asked what I was up to – they were doing some day drinking over at another friend’s apartment – so I said I would blade up there and say hi for a bit.

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#sunsoutbladesout I wasn’t doing a good job of getting a picture while rollerblading, so that one will have to do.

How do you make sure you get in weight training with your running?

Do you always order the same item at restaurants or switch it up each time?

You Could Say I’m Marathon Training Now

Now that those half marathons are out of the way…it’s time to shift my focus to the marathon.  I wasn’t originally planning on this a few months ago, but now I will be running the Anchorage Marathon on June 18.

I feel ready (to train, obviously not to run a marathon yet.)  But also not ready.  My longest run so far this year (and since the Boston Marathon exactly 1 year ago) is 15 miles.

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I don’t have a specific plan I’m following right now, but I set what I will call “mileage guidelines.”  So what are my mileage guidelines?  Over the next 9 weeks I’d like to hit:

  • Long run distances each week of at least 14 miles.  I’d like to get in at least 2 20-mile runs (probably 2 weeks out and 4 weeks out), as well as 2 18 mile runs (probably 3 weeks out and 6 weeks out.)
  • Weekly mileage of at least 50 miles.
  • A mid-week longish run or tempo run of at least 10 miles.  If it’s a tempo, then it’d be something like 3 miles normal + 6 miles tempo + 1 mile normal or maybe some long tempo intervals.
  • A mid-week shorter speed workout like a fartlek or mile repeats.  I’d kinda like to try the Yasso 800s again too.

I will probably write up a more formal plan (and have my friend Stu help me), but at least for this week after my back-to-back half marathons, I’m going for unstructured.

These week has started off well though: Monday I ran 7.6 miles at 8:04 average pace and then Tuesday I ran 6.9 at 8:02 average pace.  Both runs felt fairly easy, but Tuesday involved some wind.

Actually, I have a few things to discuss with you about Tuesday’s run.  I’m going to try this whole run-commuting thing (I think I mentioned that previously?) to save a few buck$ and a few minutes each day.  The other 2 times I’ve done it so far – I’m waiting on the weather to get a little better – have worked out perfectly.  Besides a little bit of chaffing from my backpack straps, no major issues.

Tuesday, however, I ran into a snag.  The run-commute is all about planning.  I brought my computer to work with my regular backpack and stuffed my running clothes and run-commuting backpack into that larger backpack.  So then the plan was to not bring my computer home that night and just run commute home.  I transferred my wallet, Ventra card, and such into the running backpack and set out for my run/commute home.

Going straight home would only be 1.9 miles, so I headed to the lakefront and ran south for a bit before turning around and heading north to my condo.  The wind was rough along the lake heading north, so I switched back over to the city streets, which were better on the windy-ness front, but not on the crowded-ness front.  As I approached the intersection where my condo is, I realized I forgot my keys.  They were still in the pocket of my other backpack!  #megafail

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(Sweaty Band = Fabulousity Black 1″)

But it was probably a blessing in disguise.  If you’d consider getting an extra 1.9 miles added to your run is a blessing.  I was all set to stop at my condo after exactly 5 miles, so it was like the marathon-ing gods were like “Nope, Colleen, you said you were going to run 7-8 miles today and that’s what you’re gonna do.”  I sure showed them by only running 6.9 miles.  Then I took the bus home.  So I didn’t end up saving my $2.25 that day, but I did add an extra 1.9 miles to my marathon-training bank.

Do you follow structured plans or do you just make “guidelines” to follow?

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