Vermont City Marathon Training: Weeks 10-12

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hello from RACE WEEK! AHH! The first time I wrote that this morning, in a message to my cousin, I about freaked. I am running a marathon. This weekend. Goodness gracious.

These last 3 weeks of training have had some serious ups and downs. Taper has not gone great for me, in fact, it’s been my worst marathon taper so far. I’m trying not to let it get me down and to control the controllable. Thankfully there have been some high points lately to focus on!

VCM 1012

Week 10 – peak week (4/30-5/6): 4 miles hills @ 9:29 avg, 5.65 miles at November Project @ 9:45 avg, 7.17 mi progression run at 11:02 avg (12:13 –> 10:01), 3.1 miles @ 8:13 avg + 1 mi WU, 20 miles @ 11:13 avg. Also: 2 Peloton rides.

DID YOU CATCH THAT BOLD TYPE? I ran a 25:27 5K at the Frederick Running Festival – a 1:33 PR! The next day I ran 7 easy before running a 2:22 half for my 20 miler. Best. Peak. Week. Ever.

Week 10 miles: 41.23 mi run, 21.52 mi spin

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I kicked it in at a 6:30 pace. Pure joy. That’s an attempt at a smile, I swear.

Week 11 – first taper week (5/7-5/13): Over the last two years of marathon training, I’ve learned that when work is stressful my running takes a hit. That was the story of this week. I was disappointed I didn’t get in my last big weekday run (8 miles with 6 at MGP) but work stress won.

The (fitness) work: 4 miles @ 10:27/mi avg, 12 mile easy long run @ 12:10 avg, 3.1 miles @ 8:15 avg. 2 Peloton rides.

Yep – I ran another 5K and almost PR’d. I ran a 27:29, and I’m convinced I would have broke the PR if it weren’t for someone cutting me off when I started my kick.

Week 11 miles: 19.01 mi run, 25ish mi spin.

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My friends both PR’d and I just missed another PR! Then we wined. It was wonderful.

Week 12 – second taper week (5/14-5/20): This week was rough, again. I’d been feeling some discomfort in my achilles over the past few weeks, but it was nothing terrible, just a nagging pain. Well, this week, it ramped up pretty bad. Was it actually bad or was it just the “taper crazies”? We may never know. But a few rest days had me feeling better!

The work: 5 miles @ 11:36 avg, 3.1 miles easy @ 12:23 avg, 8 mile long run @ 11:26 avg (4 MGP miles @ 10:52, 10:58, 10:36, 10:47). 2 peloton rides. LOTS of rolling and stretching.

Week 12 miles: 16.1 mi run, 21.4 mi spin.

And NOW it’s race week. I have 3 easy runs left – 2 on Coach Lisa’s schedule and I’ll do 1 on Saturday because I always struggle the first run after flying and I need to get that done before the race – before heading to Vermont! I’ve been weather stalking like crazy, hoping for a decent racing day. Whatever the day may be, I know I’m prepared and a few good runs in heat lately have me confident that a warm day won’t completely ruin my chances at a big PR.

What are your racing tips for a rainy day? A hot day? A rainy, hot day? Because those are the three possibilities right now…

 

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Vermont City Marathon Training: April!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’m still slacking on the #bloglife, but that’s okay because the running has still been happening! The last few weeks have had hills and valleys for sure. Here I am, in the “taper zone” and less than three weeks from my fourth marathon. To be honest, I started this post a week ago, and never finished it. I’ve thought about letting my blog subscription just “run out,” but today I got an itch to share again!

April included three races, and I have three more in May before the marathon! It’s felt good to push myself a bit, but I’m trying to save myself for that sub-5:00 on May 27th!

Here’s how weeks 7-9 (most of April) went! However, since there are three weeks in this recap, it’ll be an abbreviated version.

*Disclaimer: Strength and extra stuff isn’t on here because while I’m in a bit of a sharing mood, I’m still lazy.

Week 7 (April 9-15):

2 Peloton rides: 1 x 45 minutes, 1 x 20 minutes. 24.7 miles total.

4 runs: 2 easy, 1 tempo which I killled! (4 tempo miles at 10: 26, :22, :10, :05), 13.1 mile long run.

The first part of my long run was running a 5K (which was short) with some of my best friends who have gotten into running. It was a great time! It was also the first hot day of the year and my 18 miler turned into 13. Womp.

Total run mileage: 26.15 miles

Week 8 (April 16-22): This week wasn’t the greatest, but I got it done!

3 Peloton rides: 15 min + 30 min, 20 min. I’ve been slacking on this the last few weeks! 18.5 miles total.

4 runs: 2 easy, 1 progression ( 11:47 –> 9:45), 18 mile long run at 11:45 mi/avg.

My long run started good and was really great until the last three miles. 2 days of GI issues left me feeling pretty dehydrated and depleted. Nevertheless, I got it done!

Total run mileage: 31.13 miles.

Week 9 (April 23-29):

2 Peloton rides: 2 x 30 minutes. 16.6 miles total.

5 runs (4 days): 2 easy, 1 at November Project (first Wednesday in forever!), 1 marathon goal pace run (11:07, 10:57, 11:00, 11:00, 10:47 for MGP miles), 1 race!!

I ran 12 miles at the North Face Endurance Challenge DC marathon relay race (2 relay legs of ~6 mi each). I participated with a team during the Oiselle Volee team weekend and I seriously had the best time! A recap may or may not be coming, but I was very proud of my run and ran 12 miles with a 10:40 average pace!

Total run miles: 31.75 miles

All in all, I finished April with just south of 112 miles. When I first saw that I felt really discouraged. I’m used to hitting 120+ during marathon training. However, I’m running 4 days a week instead of 5, and I’m also actually cross training! I also shortened a few runs, especially that 18 miler that turned into 13. However, my bike miles are meaningful too, and I have to keep reminding myself that. That’s getting easier as I’m starting to see more definition in my legs from the spinning, as well as in my arms as well!

Last week was peak week (Week 10) and this is my first week of the taper! To be honest, tonight I flat out skipped a run for the first time all cycle (I think?). I worked an 11 hour day and still had work to do when I got home. I was dead and wanted a good dinner and some wine. If I made it to taper before truly skipping a run, it’s not end of the world right? Anyways, I’m in week 11 now and will post another update as I finish this week up!

What are you training for right now? Yeah, we’re already a week into May, but what was a running/non-running highlight of your April?

 

 

Vermont City Marathon Training: Weeks 5+6

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The last two weeks of training for marathon #4 have gone by so quickly. It’s hard to believe it’s less than two weeks away! The runs in these two weeks were fantastic. I’ll share more about my love with my Peloton soon, but I can really tell the difference the cross training is making in my running, as well as with my confidence. As you’ll see, I’m posting my paces. This isn’t because they’re fast, because they’re not. But they’re getting faster, with lower heart rates. These paces take significantly less energy than ever before and I’m proud of that!

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Week 5 (3/26-4/1): 

Monday: 5 miles with 2 at marathon goal pace (11:00/mi) was the goal. It ended up being 1 right below (slower than) pace and 2 above (faster than) pace! Ran 90:30 intervals at an 11:10/mi avg. + 30 minute spin with a PR + Myrtl routine + foam rolling

Tuesday:  45 minute spin + foam rolling

Wednesday: Rest day – didn’t feel great and my day was just a little to crazy to fit my run (or a ride) in.

Thursday: 6 miles easy of 90:30 intervals at an 11:17/mi avg.

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Friday: 5 miles at home in NH! Ran 90:30 intervals with an average of 10:25. It was a bit harder than an “easy” pace, but it felt natural. This was nice because my runs in NH often are far from great.

Saturday: 12 miles up and down two giant hills (nearly 1,000 feet of gain in 5 miles). I’d been wanting to do this run for years and I finally did it. In all honesty, going up wasn’t as hard as I expected, it was just more mental than anything. However, coming down 2 miles of downhill around 6% grade was pretty painful. Ran 60:30 intervals at an 11:28/mi avg pace.

Sunday: Rest day

Weekly miles: 28 miles running + 21.7 miles on the Peloton

Week 6 (4/2-4/8):

Monday: 5 miles super easy – 60:30 intervals for an 11:48/mi avg pace. My legs were a bit wonky after my super hilly long run. After a morning of traveling and a day of just sitting at work (more than normal), I opted for a more “recovery paced” run on the treadmilll.

Tuesday: 45 minute spin (PR!) + 5 min cool-down ride + Myrtl routine + rolling

Wednesday: 4.5 miles. 4 miles with 5 strides at the end. Ran 90:30 intervals with an 11:40/mi avg pace. I ran this on a treadmill again, which helped me keep it truly “easy.” + core workout

Thursday:  20 minute tabata spin + strength workout + 10 minute arm workout on the Peloton app

Friday: 45 minute spin

Saturday: 9.4 miles at the Hot Chocolate 15K. Ran 90:30 intervals with a 10:17/mi avg pace + 4 miles at a recovery effort with 12:41 mi/avg (45:30 intervals).

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Sunday: Foam rolling + lots of random toe pain – I think it was a mixture of bad day-time shoes and how I sit at work!

Weekly miles: 22.8 run miles + 32.8 miles on the Peloton.

 

Now I’m one run into week 7, staring down my first 18 miler of the cycle. 18 miles is the distance in training that scares me the most. I know once I pass it, I can finish the marathon. But for now that 18 mile distance is grimly staring me in the face. We’ll see if I’m ready!

Vermont City Marathon Training Update #1 – Weeks 1-4

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s already been a month since I signed up for the Vermont City Marathon (VCM) and it’s just two months away! This weekend I ran my longest long run so far, 16 miles. Before we get there, let’s get into how I’m training for the VCM and what some early goals are!

How I’m training: I had spent the last two months really setting my sights on lots of fun spring races and a half-PR. When I added this marathon to my schedule, I was flustered as to how I was going to fit everything in! I quickly reached out to Lisa at Mile by Mile to coach me on my way to my first sub-5:00 marathon. Working with Lisa has been great so far! I’m running 4 days per week and integrating more strength and mobility than ever before (which wasn’t much). I’m still using my run-walk intervals, using mostly 90(run):30(walk) aside from recovery days and/or fartlek days. I plan to focus on 90:30 and 120:30 intervals for long runs to get that run time up for marathoning!

For the first time ever, I’m also super in to cross-training. Yes, me! That’s because back in February I got a PELOTONThis spin bike is changing the game for me. I absolutely love getting on the bike, whether it’s for a 20-, 30-, or 40- minute class. I feel so fit and faster paces are feeling easier and easier. I try to get on my bike at least 3 times a week for a variety of different classes. I also love the stretching and strength classes that they offer!

Goals: When I started working with Lisa, my goal was a sub-5:00, meaning that I’d be happy with 4:59:59. After my performance/experience in Disney, I know I am very capable of meeting that goal. Then the Rock ‘n Roll DC half marathon happened (recap coming, I swear). I finished with an average pace that was just over 10:00/mi. It was the first time that I mentally fought the entire race and it really boosted my confidence. That, combined with great long runs, has led Coach Lisa and I to aim higher, towards the 4:48-4:50 range (4:48 = 11:00/mi)!

Here’s how it’s going so far!

Week (before the official training plan started): 21.5 miles running, 5 peloton classes, 8 mile hilly long run at 11:36 avg. pace.

Fartlek run during week 1 of training!

Week 2: 21 miles running, 2 peloton classes, 13.3 mile long run (RNR DC) at 10:06 avg. pace.

Mile 11.5ish of RNR DC! Thanks Holly (The Thrifty Runner) for the picture!

Week 3: 25 miles running, 3 peloton classes, 15 mile long run (almost a perfect progression) at 11:41 avg. pace.

Week 4: 27 miles running, 3 peloton classes, 16 mile hilly long run at 11:04 avg. pace.

YASS treat yo-self (marathon nutrition starts this week??)

And with that, I’m one run (and one peloton class) into week 5 and exactly 2 months out from my 4th marathon! I have high hopes for the next two months of running and racing (or not racing at races?) and hope that this training cycle as a whole will put me in an amazing place for what I have coming up in the fall!

What are some of your spring races and goals? Are you a spinning fan?

 

Vermont City Marathon – a Welcome Change in Plans

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Following the Walt Disney World Marathon I had quite the post-marathon blues. This wasn’t because my dream race weekend was over. It was because I knew I had unfinished business with the marathon. While I wasn’t upset that I didn’t break the 5:00 mark, the idea that I know that I can do it overtook my mind.

I looked around and around for the right marathon – one that fit my race and work schedule, one that wasn’t going to be too hot or to cold, and one that had a favorable course. I knew that my next marathon was going to be the one where I finish with a time starting in 4. The only one that fit 2/3 of my needs was the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont. However, because I was planning to travel to NH the weekend before when my office is closed, I didn’t think it was in the cards. I settled on training for a PR half-marathon attempt. I liked the plan I had chosen to follow, but I couldn’t truly get into training because I really just wanted to train for a marathon.

Fast forward to late-February. I’d just gone through a tough breakup and was looking for something to keep me going. I was with some friends one night and my phone dinged with a Bib Rave update – they needed someone to run the Vermont City Marathon. YES! – ME! PICK ME, PICK ME! I suddenly had a new pep in my step and a renewed reason to run.

If you haven’t guessed it yet – I’m running the Vermont City Marathon on May 27th!

I’m so thrilled to get to run this race and to go full force for my sub-5:00 in Burlington. Guys, this is going to be my sub-5:00. I just know it.  The course is mostly flat, aside from a moderate hill around mile 9 (I’ve run it in two races – not fun, but do-able) and one big hill at mile 15 (it’s a doozie). I also love that it’s almost clover-shaped, which enables your cheer squad to easily see you multiple times (while grabbing some good grub in the Church St. area). While past years have been hot, I can vouch that late-May in New England can also be pretty chilly.

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Course map from vermontcitymarathon.org

Burlington, VT is just amazing. It’s a place full of amazing food, some of the best beer, beautiful lake views, and wonderful people. When I was stuck in upstate NY for grad school, Burlington was an escape for me. I can’t wait to go back and head to Vermont Pub and Brewery, get bagels on Pine St., have some Ben & Jerry’s right where it originated, and have Heady Topper at Manhattan Pizza after I cross the finish line. I’ve run two races put on by RunVermont, who puts on this race – so I know to expect a very well organized event centered on the runners. I also can’t wait to visit my former employer at the expo – Fleet Feet Burlington/Plattsburgh!

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Most of my VT pictures from grad school are lost – but I ran a (former) PR on part of the marathon course!

Need another more information than me vouching for how much I love Burlington? Meb will be present at the expo and will be running the 5-person marathon relay. I also love that the on-course fueling is provided by Untapped – maple syrup used in/as energy gel. Maple syrup is a very natural sugar, and it is simply, quintessential Vermont. While I’ve never tried it myself, it sold like hotcakes when I worked in the running store in NY (I’m going to order some to try!). Oh, and they have food from Moe’s at the finish! I love these touches to the race!

Doesn’t this race sound awesome? Join me! Use the code “BibRave10” for $10 off registration for the Vermont City Marathon. For all of you 50 State-ers, this is a great race to check Vermont off of the list!

Goofy Challenge Training – Taper Time

IT’S RACE WEEK!!!!! EEEEK! I have been waiting for this since last year when the WDW Half was cancelled. AGAIN: RACE WEEK IS HERE!

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Sorry I missed last week’s recap – I didn’t bring my laptop home to NH for Christmas. When I returned, I was sick and my laptop charger was at work along with my iPad. Not much was missed though – my taper weeks were lower in miles than even I like to run in taper, but it is what it is. So instead of bringing you through each day of each week, here is what I did do:

Week 16:

Tuesday: 5 miles easy

Friday: Napped through my run time – oops!

Saturday: 3 miles moderate effort on the treadmill

Sunday: 5 miles + 7 miles on the treadmill. There was seriously so much snow when I went home!

Weekly total: 20 miles

Week 17:

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday-Thursday: Sick. Ultimate taper!

Friday: 4 miles on the treadmill with some mini speed-work thrown in to keep my legs moving. It felt great and quad felt the best it has in ages.

Saturday: 4.5 miles. Plan was for 9 outside to make it to 1,250 for the year. With just getting over being sick, I chose the warm (more like sauna-esque) gym at my complex. I was dripping by the end of the first mile! I did 3 easy then tried to bring it up to marathon effort and my body was just not.having.it. Then I slowed and it was still not.having.it. So I took it as a bad run and just went home.

Weekly miles: 12.5.

Now the training is almost 100% complete! I was bummed about Saturday’s run, but it is what it is. The hay is in the barn anyways, as they say. My body is feeling good going into the marathon. While I’m still a little stuffy after being sick, the extra rest of being at home and literally being in bed all day was great (although inconvenient). I’m packed and ready for my trip, and I am seriously so excited! I’ll posting more about that sometime this week though.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and has a wonderful, prosperous new year!

 

Goofy Challenge Training Week 15: 12/11-12/17/2017

I’m coming to you all straight from taper town today. With the completion of my 20 miler this weekend, I officially made it through the bulk of training for the Goofy Challenge! I’m ready to enjoy the next few weeks of less running, more sleep, and eating well. That won’t be hard with the holidays! I indulged in cookies yesterday. I don’t deny myself sweets, I’m just not a huge fan of them (give me doritos or cheese and crackers any day). However, I ate 8 cookies last night and I’m totally okay with it.

Let’s look back at how week 15 was.

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Monday: Rest. I was planning to run, but my quad was bothering me so I played it cool.

Tuesday: 5 miles during my afternoon break. I used 90:30 intervals for the first time since my period of “burn out” and ran pretty fast for me (10:47 average pace) and felt good!

Wednesday: Rest – I was planning to go to NP, but it was a windchill of 9 degrees when I woke up. NoThankYou.

Thursday: 5 miles during my break again. I made a conscious effort to run easy. I didn’t fuel well in the morning, and I felt really bad when I finished.

Friday: 8.13 miles. My plan was for 10, but it started snowing as soon as I got to the trail. By the time I was done, I was running on two inches of snow. I didn’t have my trail shoes, so I was slipping everywhere and kept having to de-clog my treads. Man, I forgot how much harder it was to run on snow. I was beat.

Saturday: 20.01 miles at 11:17 avg pace! GUYS, I RAN  20 MILES AT FASTER THAN GOAL MARATHON PACE!! That wasn’t even a goal or on my mind. I just wanted to finish. This long run was weird, though. I ran 6.2 miles to a race, ran a 4.9 mile race, then ran just over 8.8 to finish it out. Running to the race was almost all uphill, and the conditions were pretty icy. The race was full of hills. I ran some miles fast (like a 9:40ish first mile) and some slower (11:30). I kinda did my intervals, but ran the downhills straight. I didn’t want to screw myself up for the rest of run, but wanted to push a little. Then I ran 8.8 miles back down towards Jake’s house and finished around the harbor. I was tired when I finished, but could have kept going. My body felt great, aside from my tight quad.

When I got to Jake’s I saw his roommate outside, and he said “I’d invite you skiing, but you look thrashed.” Yes, Andrew. I felt pretty thrashed, but also pretty stoked that I was officially in taper town.

Sunday: REST. My legs were a little sore in the morning, but felt better as the day goes on. As I write this (about 7 pm) I feel fine. I’ve been ravenous all day, but I normally am after that long of a run!

Weekly total: 38.x miles. Not the 40 I had planned, but with plenty of miles atop snow and ice, I’m cool with it!

How was your week of running? Have you had any snowy runs yet?