Marathon Training, part dos

So I can’t remember if I even wrote about marathon training last year, so this could possibly be part uno. Even though I haven’t been using this space much, I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my training, hold me accountable, and possibly help someone else who may be thinking about running a marathon.

A little background … this will be my 2nd full marathon and I am registered for the Richmond marathon this November. I have run 11 half marathons, and numerous other 10K’s and 5K’s.

I’m following one of Hal Higdon’s training plans and hopefully actually incorporating more cross training and speed work this time around. My first marathon time was over 5 hours and I would really like to get under 5 hours and possibly even more like 4:45. We’ll see. My husband keeps mouthing “speed work” to me. Ugh.

Here are my stats for the week so far:

Week One Plan/Actual

Monday – XT (spin class) + 1 mile walk

Tuesday – 4 miles (Ran 3 with Ria)

Wednesday – Strength class AM/ XT PM (Spin class, no strength)

Thursday – 4 miles (moving this run to Friday)

Friday – rest (4 miles TO DO)

Saturday – 8 miles (instead, a rest day)

Sunday – yoga (8 miles/yoga)

So that is it in a nutshell. Waking around 5am several days a week is no fun, but I’m hoping like anything, it will get easier with time.


Fiscal cliff … what fiscal cliff?

Ummm, yeah.

So, last week had some good point and not so good points.

I caved at under $20 cords from Lands End. But they are GREEN and very cute!I also ordered 2 dresses and a cardi from LE. BUT … they were all on sale.I can give you justification for all purchases. Are you ready?

Early birthday money from my Mom, plus my $45 rebate from ebates. This deposit was mainly from Christmas purchases … it really is that easy. CLick on the ebates link to learn more. So, even with all purchases, they were still under what I spent. So … kind of like free money, right? I am sure Dave Ramsey wouldn’t agree.

We did luck out and received a refund from our old mortgage company when we refinanced. I am listening to Dave and using that money to complete baby step #2 and establishing our $1000 rainy day emergency fund and making good use of the rest.

On a sad note, I did not get my Bonanno sandals as I had previously posted. Still not sure what happened, but during the 50% off sale, their website was overloaded, so I emailed in my order as it suggested on the website. I followed up with the 3 different emails I found online, received 2 responses, and then nothing. No confirmation, no money taken, and no sandals for this girl. Insert big sad face. Partly for lack of shoes, but even more so … lack of customer service.

So for now … trying to get back on the cliff and stay on it and start training for a half marathon (yes it’s now in print and official).



No one to blame but myself

So, I ran a marathon 3 months ago.

I ran a half-marathon less than 2 months ago.

I ran 6 miles yesterday and felt like I had never run in my life.


I have hit that point where I’m:

a) not running 30+ miles a week

b) not wanting to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold

c) in hibernation mode

So that means I MAY be averaging 3-6 miles a week and that is a good week. I’ve been pretty consistent making it to 1-2 classes of Bikram yoga a week, and 1 spin class a week.

Needless to say, I feel better when I am exercising consistently and need to get over myself in the mornings and hit the gym. As much as I loathe the treadmill, it’s definitely better than cold and dark morning runs … especially when I don’t have to, but I know for my sanity and overall fitness I level, I have to.

I don’t like being the slow kid huffing and puffing in the back.

So, now what?

The marathon is over, so now what do we do?

In the past, I have definitely felt a little down after my half-marathon training has finished.  You just feel like something is missing, but I definitely needed the time off after the full.

After taking a week off, I met ET and Ria for an easy 5-miler on Sunday morning. We even said out loud, “Does anyone know we are marathoners?” If you looked closely you could tell … 26.2 magnets on all of our cars and new Marine Corp Marathon hats on our heads!

It felt good to see that my legs still worked and nothing was too stiff or sore. I also made it to a yoga class in the afternoon, and on a Target excursion with my girls. $1 princess lipgloss! I told them they could pick out one item from the Dollar Spot and they both picked lipgloss. They may or may not have looked like clowns/over done beauty queens on the ride home, but I loved seeing how excited they were about their new purchases.

Libby asked how much the lipgloss cost and did we have to pay for it. I told her “One dollar & yes, we have to pay.” I  asked if she had any money to pay for it. She thought for a minute, said no, and with eyes wide, asked “But, do you?” After I said yes, then she said, “Well, you can pay for it Mama.” Smart girl.

So, a few fitness goals for the coming months:

  • Run a half-marathon on Dec. 1
  • Try to make it to yoga once a week.
  • I definitely want to keep running and would like to run at least once a week.
  • Check out Bikram yoga again. I bought a Groupon and I thought it would be good to use this winter.

I can’t believe it’s already November and now getting dark at 5pm.

Last 20 miler

The last big training run was yesterday before MCM. All week the forecast was calling for cool temps in the 50’s which was wonderful news.

Fast forward to Saturday and they were now forecasting a 30-40% chance of rain. Eh. By Saturday night, I heard rain coming down hard, but I chose to ignore it and rolled over.

Even though we weren’t meeting until 8am, I was up a little before 6 to enjoy some coffee in silence. I poked my head out and it was drizzling and windy and cold. By the time I was getting ready to leave, it was raining pretty hard. I was wearing a hat, a water resistant vest, long sleeve tech tee, skirt, and compression sleeves. I packed extra clothes, socks, and shoes.  I just told myself that we could always run some on the treadmill, I’ve run in the rain before, and at least we would have dry clothes/shoes if we needed to change.

As I was getting in my car, I saw a flash of lightning. Not cool. I called ET and she confirmed it was also lightning/thundering  at her house. Ugh. I may take some risks, but running 20 miles during a thunderstorm wasn’t going to be one of them.

ET, M, and I were meeting up with 2 other runners who had been out since 6am. They came through and were soaking wet, looked hot from the running, but cold from the conditions. They told us the lightning wasn’t hitting the ground and they were just going to stay close to the cars.

Yeah. Running 20 miles back and forth on the same mile long path and worrying about lightning doesn’t sound like a fun time. We finally told them to go on as we were figuring out our options. Luckily, we noticed that the sky was clearing, the radar showed the storm was moving quickly, so we opted to wait it out and by 9am, it was clear. Hallelujah!

Finally … we were running.

We changed up our route and it was nice to change the routine. I felt like the first 7 or so miles really went quickly. Sidewalks and acorns tend to cause me a lot of problems, so we all tried to stay on asphalt as much as we could and it was nice to have some drivers who moved way over.

We all commented that we weren’t nearly as sore at Mile 10 as we had been on the previous 20-miler. We did seem to take a few breaks ~ potty, leaky water bottle, M’s hubby and kids who delivered salt bagel pieces to us, photo opps, refueling, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to get going after the little breaks, but since we weren’t trying to break any records, none of us minded.

All in all, it took 3:35 for 20.01 miles. A wee little bit quicker than last time, but nothing to brag about. I felt good the entire way, and even though I felt tired the last few miles, tried to push it as much as I could. Again, nothing record-breaking, but I was determined (and did) stay under an 11 minute mile. I would like to ban any 11 minute miles from race day, but we’ll see what happens.

What I ate:

Pre: coffee, water, oatmeal with almonds, craisins, and a little granola on top.

During: water in my fuel belt. 3 Shok Bloks around mile 4 and again at Mile 9. Banana and a little Gatorade at Mile 13. Small bite of salt bagel. Mile 16, I had a piece of a Luna bar. Refilled water during the race and drank a lot of water afterward. Chocolate milk when we finished.

Post: let’s just say that my treats included pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and a glass of vino. Yum.

Like so many others who are training for a fall marathon, bring on the taper!

rambling, re-committing, running

So, I am at the point with this marathon training that I am d.o.n.e. I no longer want to get up at 4:30 and go run in the dark, or go run circles quickly on a track. Heck, this morning I really didn’t want to get up, but I did and knocked out 5 miles on the treadmill because of the rain.

Well, almost 5 miles because the treadmill crapped out at 4.8 miles and I hadn’t looked at my time in a while. So frustrating. What was even more frustrating is that I was at a good pace and finally not feeling the strange hamstring pain that I had on Sunday.

However, I only have just over 3 (!) weeks to go before crossing that finish line and I understand how important training is to a good race. So, I had to have a little talk with myself and said, “self.. you better suck it up.” Ok, so I really didn’t call myself “self”, but I did tell myself on Sunday that I needed to be focused and committed to the rest of the training runs.

We have one last 20-miler to go and then we are tapering and 4-mile mid week runs and 8-mile long runs will feel wonderful.

From the beginning, I have been saying that I just want to finish and I don’t want the bridge to beat me. Now that we are getting a little closer, have a better idea of what our pace has been like on long runs, my competitive side is starting to come out. Just a little.

With the help of one of my running buddies. we have started a list of Suckas we would like to beat on race day.

Oprah ~ 4:29 Did they have chip timing in 1994? Who doesn’t have Oprah on their list?

Jared of Subway ~ 5:13

Al Gore ~ 4:54

Jill Biden ~ 4:30 Dang. and she was 47 when she did it.

I have to say, this article made me laugh.

Wish I could beat P.Diddy, but at 4:14, I think I would need a miracle or roller skates.

I know we have a few others that are a little more personal, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Who is on your “to beat” list?


So, yesterday was the longest distance that I’ve ever run and I guess what a lot of people would call the “make it or break it” distance in marathon training.

Due to crazy schedules, we ran on Wednesday. Kind of nice to break up our week, but a little crazy making sure vacation was taken and kids were shuttled.

I met three other runners and we got started around 8AM. We were running on a fairly busy road for the first few miles, made busier by school drop off traffic. It was a little unnerving and we finally had a chance to cross over so at least we were looking at the cars zooming towards us and not just hearing them zoom past us.

The first 4-5 miles went by pretty quickly and then we were on the greenway that always feels like home.

We made it to mile 10 and where we had dropped off our cooler. When we stopped, I noticed that my legs were definitely more sore than usual, but it was great to stop for a few minutes, refill water bottles, eat bananas, swig Gatorade, and try to stretch.

We were off again with “just 10 more” left to go.

We lucked out with cool temps and mostly overcast weather. Fast forward to around mile 16 and I realized that my legs were hurting by this point. Nothing that was too unbearable, but they just felt like one solid cramp from about my knees down. I sped up a little trying to just shake it out, but that didn’t really seem to help, so I just kept going.

We were back to the home stretch and it’s always great when you realize you aren’t going to have to run circles in the parking lot to get to your final distance. 20. Bam. We did it!

Once I stopped, wow. My legs were definitely sore and crampy. We walked around, put on flip-flops, refueled, Facebooked our accomplishments, and all headed our separate ways with talks of ice baths, cheeseburgers, and naps.

I was pretty pleased with my pace. 20.02 miles at 3:36.  I averaged 10:48/mile. I had a few that were low 10 minute miles, a couple of 11’s and one 12. Oops. I blame the big ass hills on that one.

So, I can remember this later or if anyone is interested, here are a few boring details:

What I ate:

Pre-run: 1/2 cup of coffee, bowl of raisin spice oatmeal with craisins and almonds. Water. Woke up early enough to digest everything and no issues on the run. Whoo!

During: I brought a 21 oz. bottle of water in my Fuel Belt, 2 full packs of Shok Bloks, and a Luna bar cut into two pieces.

At mile 4, I ate 2 Bloks. Mile 10, I had 1/2 a banana and Gatorade. Mile 13’ish, I had a piece of Luna bar. Mile 16ish, I had 3 more Bloks and a sip of Ria’s Gatorade. I refilled my water at mile 10 and was pretty close to empty when we finished.

What I wore: All Brooks, all the time.  Seriously. My Brooks EZ tee with run on the front, Brooks Mesh skirt, and my Adrenaline’s.  Feetures socks and one of my Sweaty Bands hair bands.


I kept meaning to buy compression sleeves, but hadn’t done so. After this run, my first stop was our running store to pick out some socks. These things look kind of crazy, but feel amazing. I wore them out of the store and to the dry cleaners where another customer asked what kind of condition I had. I had to tell him it was self-induced.


Those are some ugly, non-pedicured feet, but ones that can run 20 miles.

I wore these home, took a 15-minute ice bath, and put them back on for a couple of hours later in the evening.

Bottom line: I did it, never felt like I couldn’t finish, and if someone would have told me I had to run the full distance yesterday, I could have done it. I’m sure there would have been grumblings and curse words, but I know I could have finished. Ok, Marine Corp Marathon, see you in less than 40 days!


I needed a weekend like this one, and would definitely take more in the future.

In a nutshell, it consisted of “usual” activities, but they all just seemed to be a little more fun, have better weather, included friends, etc. Sadly, I don’t think I have a single picture, but then again … it really was just a regular weekend.

It started on Saturday with an 11 mile run. This was a 5-mile warm up followed by a 10K race. 

We had miles to get in and it was easier to do them prior to the race, and it does give you immediate rock star status when you run to the start of a race with 5 miles already on your Garmin. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt when 2 of you get a new PR and one of you ties your PR. Negative splits, baby.

I will admit, during the week, I am like a giant bear who doesn’t want to come out of hibernation to go run. On Saturday’s, I really look forward to my time to enjoy a cup of coffee so I get up extra early to enjoy it, eat breakfast, pack all of my gear, etc.

That afternoon, I headed to run errands and to the grocery and found a 50 cent pumpkin. At WalMart of all places. Early, but too cute not to buy it. Now I have an idea of a pumpkin tower/topiary in my planter and need to make it happen.

We had friends over for dinner … 4 adults, 4 kiddos, vino, hamburgers, corn on the cob, & chocolate chip cookies. Activities including running, jumping, coloring, swinging, playing & hugging (kiddos) and garmin geeking, cooking, drinking, adult convo, and a little football viewing (parents).

It’s nice to have friends that you can just relax with, let the kids run a little wild … and especially those who share your love for Garmins, red wine, cheese, and analyzing Facebook status updates.

Today included a rainy morning, church and small group (a first!), lunch (leftover sweet potato black bean enchilada pie), short nap, yoga, actually saving money at Verizon (another first!), dinner with the fam, baths for the girls, and an easy goodnight.

Like I said, nothing extraordinary, but definitely what the doctor ordered.

baby steps

Instead of rambling about how I haven’t blogged in two months, I thought I would just start back with baby steps. Literally. Pictures, think lots of pictures.

Training for another half marathon or two. I couldn’t do it without my running girls, especially those that push me through eight hard miles on a Saturday morning, or get me out of bed for a 5:45 AM run to in the darkness.

Even though I don’t have a coolio iPhone, I can use the coolio retro camera app on my Droid that I heart as much as an iPhone.

B double e r u n, beerun!

I’ve only run 18 miles this YEAR, and I’m running in a hilly 5 mile race tomorrow.

Plus, I’m the one who mentioned to Hubby that we should run it.

I think I am officially crazy.

Wish me luck!

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