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?

 

 

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Rock N Roll DC 2018: Race Recap

On March 10th I ran my 19th half marathon, which was the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon! I ran this race last year as a training run and had a fun time. This year, I went into this race hoping to see where my fitness was two months post-marathon. I also tend to have mixed results running “repeat” races, and was curious as to how I would do!

Expo day: The Rock N Roll races require you to go to the expo, so I headed in mid-day on Friday. Packet pick-up was a breeze. When I entered the expo floor, I was very underwhelmed. Last year, I had an amazing time and spent 2 hours there. I even fell in love with one of my favorite snacks, Krave Jerkey, there. This year I was very disappointed. I was in and out in about 20 minutes, pretty perturbed at the half-empty floor, no music, and overall lack of energy. The only money I spent was signing up for  next year because you can’t beat a $59 half marathon. After the expo, I went into race day very under-enthused.

Friday night: For dinner I went to one of my favorite restaurants – Nando’s! I had grilled chicken wings and mashed potatoes with tons of yummy sauce and a glass of red wine. I was thankful to spend the night at a friends’ house to cut down on some driving on Saturday morning. After a glass of wine and some game-playing, I was upstairs at about 10:00 to “lay out my flat Sam” and was asleep around 11. I ended up choosing to go with three layers on top (thermal Nike layer, Oiselle flyte long sleeve, and Oiselle Volee singlet) due to the projected start temperature of about 30 degrees with some wind.

Pre-race: I was “up an at’em” around 5:30, out the door at 6, and in the parking lot at the New Carrolton metro station for 6:30. Once on the train, I met two other runners who kept me occupied until just around race start! I almost ran with one of them, Marie, as it was her first half marathon and she asked if she could pace with me. Unfortunately, right before our corral was about to go, I really got the urge to use the restroom so I left the corral and sprinted the two blocks to the porta-john’s. I’m so glad I made the choice to do so, although it meant leaving Marie. The sprint to/from the porta-johns worked as a good warm-up, as it was cold and I didn’t stretch well!

Game plan: As I mentioned, my goal for this race to see where my fitness was at. Following the strategy of Elizabeth at Running for Robert I put tape on my watch so while I could hear each mile ding, I would be just running off of feel. I set my interval timer to 2:00 run/:30 walk intervals and hoped to keep that up for the entire race.

Miles 1-5: The first few miles brought runners past some of DC’s famed monuments over and under a bridge, and into Rock Creek Park. There were some slight ups and downs, but nothing too hard. The worst part was the crowding, especially between miles 2-5. From watching the clocks, I knew I was running around a 10:00 mile pace, and didn’t feel like I was taxing myself too hard. I wanted to make sure not to expend too much energy because I knew the dreaded hill was coming up at mile 6. Splits: 9:55, 10:00, 9:52, 10:01, 9:49.

Miles 6-10: These were some more interesting miles. First, mile six brings a giant hill with about 150 feet of gain in a quarter mile or so. YUCK. I did a little better on this hill than I did last year and wasn’t as dead at the top. While climbing up the hill I caught up with Marie! I was happy to see that she was doing well. I told her she could follow me but I lost her quickly as I was boogying. Once at the top I started to feel super over heated from my physical exertion as well as the sun. I ended up stopping on the side of the road to de-layer. After losing about two minutes, I got about a mile before there was a fire truck ripping down the street – as it was coming behind me I lost about 30 seconds stopping to the side to be cautious. After those two events, mixed with some rolling hills, it took me a while to get back into a groove. By the time I hit mile 10, I was feeling good again but also felt like I had to push harder to keep my speed where it was. Splits: 9:52, 12:23 (de-layer and fire truck), 10:03, 9:50, 9:43.

Miles 11-finish: This is where I made myself proud. My legs felt so tired, I had no clue what time I was running, but mentally I fought through the pain and the doubt to keep going. I had never truly tapped in to my mental power like this in a race before. I kept telling myself that I was strong and I could do it. Passing the Volee’s cowbell corner around mile 11.5/12 or so, someone yelled “You look so strong!” I’m glad they said that because I was afraid I looked like I was riding the pain train – which I totally “thought” I was.

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

Around mile 12.5 I found someone from NP DC that I talked to before the race. That was a nice distraction for a bit as I was curious how she’d picked up a whole box of girl scout cookies! (LOL). I tried to kick it in to keep up with another Bib Rave Pro who I started with, but in the last .25 mile she had a better kick and came in before me (nice job, Vanessa!). While I was bummed I didn’t have the kick I wanted, I was happy with a 2:14:45 finish, my 3rd fastest half marathon ever! (Splits: 9:55, 10:07, 9:49, 3:29 for .36 nubbin).

My finish experience was so much better than last year because I wasn’t stressing about finding someone else who had my warm clothes. I sat for a few minutes with some water and chips before grabbing my bag. I was so impressed with the presence of changing tents – being able to completely change from my wet shirt was a game-changer! While it was a bit chilly, I stayed long enough to enjoy (most of my) post-race beer. I was pretty sore after, but a mile walk to the post-race brunch with the Oiselle Volee helped me loosen up a bit! I loved meeting other Birds (some I’d talked to/followed online for years), the food was delicious, and the mimosa(s?) were wonderful. Another mile walk back to the subway was needed for the legs, and I spent the night relaxing! (Actually, I went on a date? But alas, he “disappeared” shortly after that night).

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?

 

Goofy Challenge Training Week 10: 11/6 – 11/12/2017

Ladies and Gentlemen (okay, probably many more ladies, just sayin), Week 10 is over! In terms of my “training plan” that I loveeee it was supposed to be a “down” week, but it was much more “down” than was planned.

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I started feeling sick on Sunday night. It ended up getting better, than worse. I finally think I’m over the hump and hopefully in a day or two I’ll be nearing 100% again.

Monday: Rest. I wasn’t feeling well and had so much to do at work. I took it as a sign to work extra instead of heading to the gym.

Tuesday: 4 miles on the treadmill. I ended up doing a mini-workout (looking back, I totally should have taken it easier). I did 3 x .9 mi run with .1 mi walking recovery then 1 mile straight run. It was nice to just run instead of doing intervals. I need to do it more often!

Wednesday: 5 miles at 120:30 intervals (what I hope I’ll do marathon #4 at, if not Disney), then 2.5 miles at November Project. Once I got to the workout, I started to feel real crappy, so I ran laps with some girls who were tapering for a race weekend instead of hitting the stairs. 7.5 miles total.

Thursday-Friday: Rest. No typical gym on Thursday and no run on Friday. I ended up leaving work early on Thursday, which I never do. I just felt that crappy.

Saturday: 14.22 milesI originally had plans to run with a new friend, but I cancelled them when I was feeling pretty sick. But after a morning on the couch, I felt up to at least trying once it warmed up a little. I ended up having my best long run of this cycle so far. I ran a nearly 7 minute negative split and had some great reflection time. But it WAS cold and I was absolutely freezing at the end! (I also took many “gotta blow my nose” breaks.)

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Weekly total: 25.77 miles. About 10 miles less than was planned, but everyone gets sick sometimes, right? I’d rather it happen now rather than later.

As I was afraid of, I’ve started to kind of “dread” my double weekends, especially with working extra hours at work. I’ve been working Fridays on and off so I don’t use my PTO days for holidays (my office doesn’t close on Federal Holidays, don’t even get me started….) but thankfully I was smart enough to plan them on weekends opposite my really high mileage weekends.

This week my plan jumps up in miles to 5/8/5 for my weekday runs. Just 5 more weeks until taper time! 8/18 next week, 9/19 two weeks after that, then 10/20 two weeks later. It’s go time!

Are you training for anything right now? Will I see you at Disney?

Goofy Training Week 9 + October 2017 Recap

With week 9 being done, I am now officially halfway though training for the 2018 Goofy Challenge! Today I ordered my park tickets and booked Fast Passes – it is all feeing so real! The 7+17 double this weekend also made it feel real 😛 I definitely spent some time re-thinking this challenge this week, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

goofytraining

Monday: 4 miles on the treadmill, with some arm/leg weights. My orange Hoka One One Arahi’s felt pretty dead, so I was happy that I had already purchased some new ones!

Tuesday: 4 miles on the treadmill again, because I was lazy AF in the morning. I made myself do a hill setting and got progressively faster. It felt mostly good, except for in my calves. I hate hills on a treadmill because I feel like my legs are always trashed after!

Wednesday: 7 miles fast (for me!). I don’t really have a goal race “pace” for the marathon, but I ran with 120:90 intervals, which is my goal interval setting for the marathon. I ran faster than I probably should have, ending with a 10:12 average pace. But I felt fantastic and had so much fun!

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Thursday: 25 miles on the bike, and leg day in the weights section!

Friday: 7 miles of hills- 2 easy, 3 miles of hill repeats with November Project, then another 2 easy. I loved the hill repeats, especially pushing myself to run without intervals. While still slow compared to a majority of the other tribe members, I ran near a friend most of the time and felt strong.

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Saturday: 17 miles – These were not the best, but looking back on it, 17 miles isn’t ever going to be easy, especially after 7 miles with 625 feet of gain (a lot for me)! I didn’t last as long at 90:30 as I had hoped, but I held a similar pace once I moved down to 60:30. By the end of the run, my legs were feeling pretty rough. Some miles were rough, but 6-13 were pretty smooth!

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Sunday: REST DAYYYY….and started to come down with something, I think. Crossing my fingers that it passes quickly!

Weekly miles: 39.06 miles

Like I mentioned before, I am struggling more during this training cycle than in my first two marathon cycles. I am just so not gelling with this plan, even with the modifications I have made to the “down” weeks. I am also starting to struggle with the idea of putting all of this work in, and not really running for a time on January 8th. I’m so tempted to sign up for a local marathon in less than 3 weeks just to see what I can do even though I would be undertrained. However, I don’t want to screw anything up going into WDW Marathon Weekend!


Also, October is obviously over! It was a really good month of running for me, although not all runs were perfect. I only missed one run, ran a few races, and crushed a goal.

Monthly miles122

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2017 miles to date: 1,009 <– A THOUSAND miles!!! Seriously, this has been a goal since I started running. I was about 30 miles short last year. I hit my 1,000th mile while running with friends at the Towson Homecoming 5K and couldn’t imagine it any other way. Seriously, if my running gets someone moving a little more, that makes my heart happy. I’m now working to meet my second mileage goal of the year, which is 1,200 miles!

Races: 4 miler (short) with my nephew, 2 5Ks, and the Baltimore Half Marathon. None were crazy good or bad, but I was happy I did them all. I don’t have any races coming up between now and Disney. I’m sad about it, but realistically, there aren’t many that fit with my training schedule and I’m trying to save the $$$ for new race experiences.

I’m looking forward to: DISNEY – of course! Also I’m looking forward to races I already have planned for spring 2018 and some potential hard halfs or a full in April/May. I want to keep up this momentum for a PR in 2018! I also just joined the Oiselle Volee, to try to make more running friends, hopefully people to travel to races with. I’m looking forward to getting to know other members of the “flock”!

Goofy Challenge Training: Week 8

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is now just 10 weeks away!! I’m excited to really get into the longer runs now and run some serious mileage!

goofytraining

Monday: 4 miles at the gym. I was feeling a little down from the weekend, so I did some random speed work. 1 mi easy, 1 mi without intervals at moderate-hard effort (8:54!), 1 mi easy, then 1 mi w/ 4 x .2 mi at moderate pace with .05 walking recovery. It felt so good and I miss doing speed work! Did arm and ab weights after.

Tuesday: 3.16 miles easy in the morning, 4 miles progression run on the treadmill in the afternoon. I had a long commute this day, so felt nervous time-wise about getting 7 done in the morning but I got the miles done!

Wednesday: 4.75 miles at November Project. I worked hard during the 5:30 workout and set a small PR for PR day, then ran part of 6:30 with a friend. My legs hated me when I went up stairs at work after!

Thursday: 20 minutes on the bike, leg weights. I moved up the weights on all the machines, which made me super happy!

Friday: 5 miles easy. This one wasn’t on my training plan, but I really wanted to get in another run. It was cold enough to wear leggings! I was a happy, happy runner.

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Saturday: 6.7 miles solo then 3 miles during a 5K with friends. I should have ran the extra .3 to make it 10 even, but oh well. And in new shoes, my legs felt so great!

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Sunday: Rest dayayayay!

Weekly miles: 30.61 miles

My glutes/hips are starting to feel better, but I definitely need to do better with foam rolling this week to really kill it for good and to keep the discomfort from coming back! I’m also really struggling mentally with a desire to do another half marathon this year, but I can’t find one that fits my schedule and seems worth it. Meanwhile, I’ve picked out some potential marathons for later in spring 2018!

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin  and Holly from HoHoRuns for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Goofy Challenge Training Weeks 6 + 7

Happy Tuesday everyone! Sorry my training post is a week and a day late! Week 6 of training wasn’t a great ,so I decided to combine posts. This weekend was simply busy!! Week 8 is going to be just as busy but I’m happy to be taking some to sit down and reflect!

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Week 6 was a bit of a lackluster.

Monday: 3 miles easy on the treadmill. I’m sure I did some sort of workout at the gym after!

Tuesday: 6.2 miles. I set out for an easy run, and ended up running a perfect progression on a beautiful morning. My right glute and left quad/hip flexor were really bothering me for the last mile or so, and continued to be painful for the rest of the day. I had planned to do cross training at the gym later in the day, but traded it for an epsom salt bath and a good rolling sesh.

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Note of advice: Even for 50% off, don’t buy “lightly used” sneakers…

Wednesday: Forced rest. And a trip to Fleet Feet for new shoes!

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I am surprisingly in love with these Brooks Adrenaline 18’s. 

Thursday: 3 miles easy to test out my legs and my new shoes. My legs felt much better, but not 100%.

Friday-Sunday: NOTHING. I had intended to do my long run on Saturday…However, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling the couple of extra Miller Lights from the night before. With work and family in town, I didn’t have time on Sunday for my 10-12 miles.

Week 6 miles: 12.2 miles. Whooops. I feel like every training cycle has one of these weeks. Maybe it was a blessing with the way my legs were feeling.


Week 7 – A new week! This week my miles through the Hal Higdon Dopey Training Plan (which I’ve slightly modified) increased.

Monday: 4.14 miles downtown, by the water! It was so quiet and peaceful. I followed this with 20 minutes of biking and arm/ab weights at the gym.

Tuesday: 7.1 miles. After last week, I ran the same roads but did more of a “figure 8” to vary the elevation a little more. My legs survived the hills and I felt strong going into the race weekend! In the afternoon, I did another 20 minutes of biking at the gym, and leg weights.

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Wednesday: 3.24 miles at November Project. It was a fun workout, but towards the end I kind of “cheated” to make sure I got to run more to get closer to the goal of 4 miles for the day. No gym in the afternoon – I was simply BEAT from running, early wake-ups, and late nights. I also bought another new pair of shoes!

Thursday: No cardio, but I do remember going to the gym. I don’t remember what exactly for, though…

Friday: 6 miles “easy” around the Harbor. I tried to keep it easy paced, but my heart rate was pretty high. I think this was due to a variety of things: poor nutrition the day/night before, excitement for the next day’s race, and some overall anxiety. I’d say my legs felt good, but I wore my newest pair of Cliftons, which just aren’t working for me…

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Saturday: 13.38 miles total at the Baltimore Running Festival. A recap will come soon! (As well as the second part of that Ragnar recap…)

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Week 7 miles36.8 miles!

I’ll get into more about Saturday soon, but overall, I was happy with the last week of training. Week 8 will require some maneuvering to get in all of the runs that I’m hoping for. This is technically supposed to be a “down” week, but I am not gelling with having a “down” week every.other.week. I’m hoping to add in a few more easy miles, but I’m working an extra day and my “traveling” days have been moved around. Just 11 more weeks of training to go!