Tag Archives: Marathon Training

CIM 2016 Training Week 2

Week 2 of CIM training was a rough one.  The previous week‘s high mileage took its toll.  So it seems as if Week 2 was just a lot of mehh runs…nothing special.  But technically, that was the plan.  I didn’t have any speed workouts on the schedule anyways and it was just meant to be another week of building mileage.  But in the end, mileage was a bit less than hoped/than Week 1.

Monday – OFF

Tuesday – 6.1 miles

Just my “normal” route, without a watch.  Mainly because it was not charged and my charger was at work.

Wednesday – 9 miles @ 8:00 avg

I got this run in RIGHT before the rain started!

And the watch was charged, which means I get the pleasure of giving you my splits: 8:18, 8:00, 8:01, 8:01, 7:49, 8:16, 7:44, 7:46, 8:04

Thursday – 8.2 miles @ 8:10 avg

This was actually only supposed to be 7 miles today but I was feeling decent so I went a tad further.  It was a run-commute home from work.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately and will give you all the pros and cons at some point here soon.  I listened the majority of the time to a podcast on the power of brands.

Friday – 5.4 miles @ 8:14 avg

This one was a run-commute to work in the morning.  My legs are mucho fatigued…so many miles lately.  As a reference point, I only ran a total of 55 miles in all of July.  So the building of mileage has been hard, but I’ll be used to it and it will be worth it soon enough I’m sure.

Saturday – 3 miles @ 8:13 avg

I was supposed to do my first run with my new training group!! (More on that soon)  But it got rained out due to thunderstorms :(  So I ended up just doing a short run in the afternoon after the rain cleared, but it was hot at that point so the long run wasn’t going to happen and my legs were feeling SHOT.

Splits: 8:36, 8:00, 8:02

Sunday – 9.3 miles @ 8:13 avg

So hot and so tired.  Not like tired like I want to go to sleep, but tired like my legs just couldn’t do it.  Splits were all between 8:10 and 8:20 except for one right at 8:00.  I took a lot of water stops/walk & stretch breaks during this.  And my iPod was not cooperating.  So it was just a bad run all around.

Total – 41 miles

 The “failed” long run was obviously not how I wanted to close out the week, but still above 40 miles and 6 days of running, so those are wins.

Also, I’m still a week behind in my recap as this past week was Week 3 of training, but I do have most of that recap done as well so I should have it posted and be caught up this week.  And it was a good one :)

Best run on the week: The 9 mile run on Wednesday

Alcoholic beverages consumed during the week: Just 1…same as last week.  But now I can’t remember what it was.

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Catching up on my training?  Here are the past weeks of CIM 2016 Training:

Week 1 (8/15 – 8/21)

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What were your big wins for the week?

How long does it take for your legs to not feel fatigued all the time when increasing mileage?

CIM 2016 Training Week 1

Considering I haven’t blogged here in a few months, I haven’t told you all yet that I’m registered for the California International Marathon!  And with that, I obviously feel like I need to start this up again to document my training :)  So training “officially” started 2 weeks ago now, so week 1 was the week of 8/15 – 8/21.  In the next few days I’ll have Week 2 training and recaps of a few summer races, including the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon.  But for now, let’s back track a bit to 2 weeks ago:

Monday – Off

Nailed it.  After running 22 of my 34 miles last week over Friday – Sunday, I decided Monday should be an off day.  So I very easily stuck to my first official day of my training plan.

Tuesday – 6.05 miles in 48:50 (8:04 avg pace)

Pretty typical run up and down the lakefront.  Nice and cool at first, but then got hotter/sunnier as it went on.

Wednesday – 8 miles in 1:04:30 (8:04 avg pace)

I was super nervous for this run since it’s a tad longer than my “normal” runs and it was hot and I have not been in the best mood lately and didn’t want to do this alone.  But I went and I got it done.  The first few miles were really hard and i was unsure I’d be able to finish, but the 2nd half felt way better.  Lately it seems like it takes me a long time to warm up.

And I need to call out my splits for this one because they were amazingly consistent: 8:22, 7:59, 8:03, 8:03, 8:03, 7:56, 8:00, 8:07

Hit exactly 8:03 for 3 miles in a row.  All 6 miles in the middle within 7 seconds of each other.

Thursday – 7 miles in 57:30 (8:12 avg pace)

I felt super efficient because of this run.  It was storming in the morning when I woke up, so I curled back up to sleep longer.  I had plans to meet Bethany for ice cream at Jeni’s up in Lakeview, so I brought my running backpack to work so I could run straight from work to Jeni’s.  I didn’t map this beforehand, but estimated it at about 6 miles…it ended up being 7 though so I was a little late.

Friday – 6 miles in 49:10 (8:11 avg pace)

Again, just another run up and down the lakefront but at least had some company for part of this one, so that made it go by more quickly than usual!

Saturday –  (AM) 12 miles in 1:39:00 (8:15 avg pace) & (PM) 3 miles without a watch

Ran with Catherine and the Elmhurst Running Club on the Prairie Path!  Cath and I did 10 miles with the group, then 2 on our own.  It was timed perfectly because we made it back to the car RIGHT as it started to downpour.  This run felt hard at the beginning, like I was racing to keep up with the group…but again, after I few miles I felt warmed up and much better.  But of course then the end was hard.  Still need to get used to the double digit runs again.

Later in the afternoon after the storms cleared up,  I was in a bad mood and needed to do something to make myself feel better and had to move my car anyways from where it was parked, so I ran around a bit to get my car.

Sunday – 6 miles without a watch

I really wasn’t sure if I’d run today or not because of how tired I felt after yesterday’s long run…and then figured the bonus 3 miles wouldn’t help that either.

But when you wake up and The Weather Channel app says it’s 60 degrees, you can’t not go for a run.  So I did just that right away when I woke up before I had the chance to talk myself out of it or for it to get any hotter.  I wanted to avoid the lakefront because of the Air & Water Show, so I ran my “normal” route north and then back south on the lakefront because I realized it actually was still early enough since the show wasn’t starting for another hour or so.

Later in the day, I ended up walking down the lakefront path on my way home from lunch with Erin and that was a huge mistake.  The Air and Water Show is a nightmare.

Total – 48 miles

So that was a lot of mileage (for me)…all within the same general pace.  This past week was another week of just “normal” mileage, then I’ll start getting into some speed workouts this week.  I also feel like I need to really slow down my easy runs.  I say that frequently though and then never end up going much slower.  Why is that so hard to do?

 Does it take you awhile to feel “warmed up” for runs?  It seems like it’s taking me a lot longer than usual lately…

How much does your pace vary both within a run and across runs each week?

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?

When An 18 Mile Run Makes You Feel Hungover

In any marathon training plan that I’ve seen there will be at least one 18 mile run, maybe two.  But when I thought about it after my successful 18 mile run yesterday, I think there was only one other time I’ve been able to conquer the 18 miles.  And that was when I actually had a shorter run (still a long run, but a shorter long run) on the schedule, but others in my group pushed me to go longer.

For whatever reason, I’ve determined that 18 mile runs are more difficult than 20 miles.  And, obviously, more difficult than 16 mile runs.  Does anyone else operate in even-number increments when it comes to long runs?  I’ve never even considered doing a 17 mile run or a 19 mile run.

I even just checked back at my running log from Chicago Marathon training in 2013 and found 2 occasions that started with I intended to do 18 today, but…” and those resulted in 16 mile runs.  Found the posts about each here and here.  I should write another poem post again.  Stay tuned for that.

I actually thought about one of this 16 mile run from 2013 a lot on my run yesterday because I was doing a similar route from my parents house.  Here was the data from that run, just for old time’s sake:

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Also with the clunkier Garmin…

I’m thinking maybe the 18 mile run is difficult because it doesn’t have the “prestige” and isn’t built up quite as much as the 20 mile run(s) during a marathon training cycle.  But an 18 mile run is still really far!  So here’s how mine went down:

I decided last minute Friday night to come home to my parents’ house in the suburbs for the weekend because my brother Patrick decided to come in town from St. Louis.  I had in my head that I wanted to do 18 miles, but said I’d also be happy with anything over 16 since my previous longest run this year so far was 15 miles.

Taking the advice of Catherine, I set my Garmin to only show the running time and not even show the mile splits.  I figured this way I could have a good measurement of distance, but not worry about pace the entire time.  I was, however, expecting that I’d be able to see mile splits after the run, but I was not.  I’ll have to figure that out.  This also allowed me to have the freedom of running anywhere I want and not needing to remember where I ran so that I could go map it later.

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Sorry, spoiler alert on the picture, but had to get one in there!

I slept in until 9 and then finally set out for the run around 10:30am.  The weather was sweet and I had no plans the rest of the day, so no need to wake up early to get it in!  Actually, the weather was so sweet that I originally had on capris and a long sleeve, but stepped outside to the driveway and turned right back around to put on a short sleeve shirt.  I kept the capris on, but definitely could’ve gone for shorts, or even a tank top too.

My dad, brothers, and cousin Joe were golfing at a course nearby, so I decided I was going to run up there.  It only took be 31 minutes to run there and I didn’t immediately see them from the road and didn’t want to disturb the others golfers by running on the course.  So instead, I just used the bathroom at the starting house, and continued on my way.  The starter gave me the evil eye for this.

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I continued to run up and down some residential streets, then eventually got back on a busier road to do a route I was pretty familiar with.  I hit an intersection at 1:05 into the run that I thought was about 3 miles away from my house, so I decided I would just plan to be back at that intersection at 2 hours, which would get me home around 2:24.  That should be about 18 miles, assuming I was doing an 8 minute pace.  I made sure to not push the pace, especially at the beginning and tried to just relax and enjoy the beautiful weather.

At about 1:25 into the run, I stopped at a Burger King to get a small cup of water to take my Gu with and ended up using the bathroom again really quickly too.  I expected to start up again feeling crappy, but I actually felt surprisingly great.  I just concentrated on getting back to that intersection and then I’d be homefree.

After the Burger King stop, I even thought maybe I’d try to pick up the pace for the last 3 miles.  But when I got to that intersection, I wasn’t quite ready to do so.  I kept trucking along and as I passed the YMCA, I saw mom’s car there (she was at Zumba) and figured I’d see her driving home as I was running the final stretch, but apparently she went a different way home to make another stop.  Once I hit the point that I knew it was 2 miles from home, I picked up the pace.  That didn’t end up lasting too long – maybe about half mile.  Then I just needed to hold on until I got back home.

Stopped my watch at exactly 2:25 and was super pumped to see 18.27 miles!

And then, I collapsed onto the driveway…after calling into my mom, who had just gotten home from the Y, to bring me a water bottle and towel.

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Ouch.  The real pain came about an hour or so later though, when we went to Home Depot and I was fairly confident I was going to die right there in the store.  I had to sit down in the aisle for a minute and then found a pile of mulch I could sit on.

After a Gatorade, a bowl of ice cream (I couldn’t stand the thought of real food…), and a few hours of sitting around, I was finally ready to eat and socialize.  Joe, Kathleen, and Kelly were planning to cook burgers & mac ‘n cheese and watch the Hawks game, so I happily joined them.

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I only had 2 beers during the game, so I obviously wasn’t drunk, but the way I felt Sunday was kind of equivalent to how I feel when I am hungover – very dehydrated and not at all on my top game.  That run took a lot out of me.  Nevertheless, I got a lot done Sunday, including working out!  More on the rest of the weekend to come though :)

What is your favorite long run distance?  The 20-miler or some other distance?  Do you also only think of long runs in even numbered increments??

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