NYC Marathon Training Week 17

17 weeks of hard work down. 3 weeks of taper to go. I had a lot of thoughts about the training cycle as a whole this week. I was feeling tired physically and mentally. Last week was a step back week, but even though our long run was only 10 miles, running it at race pace made it challenging, and I did not go into this week feeling rested, but I started to realize that maybe that’s the point? If I can run peak week on tired legs, then I can certainly run the marathon on fresh legs, right? I’m guessing that’s why the plans work, but really, what do I know? Basically nothing.

I went to bed last Sunday night thinking about how I had to kill it this week, and make every run perfect because THIS IS IT!! Then I woke up Monday morning totally lacking in motivation. In fact, the only thing that got me to get out of bed for my work outs was knowing that this is the most important week, and after this it will all get easier. Here’s a look at how this week’s training went down.

Monday: 8 mile run. It was a good thing I had plans to run with Nicole, because otherwise it just would not have happened. Something has to be really wrong in order for me to cancel on a friend, but it is so easy to hit the snooze button and roll over when it’s just me. I was NOT feeling it this morning. My legs felt tired from Saturday’s time trial and I was quiet, grumpy, and not a whole lot of fun, but Nicole stayed really positive and pushed me through until the end. I was happy when it was over, but it took me until the moment I was finished to be happy I did it. Ran the first 4 easy, then the next 4 @ 9:46, 9:36, 9:22, 8:30.

Tuesday: Spin. I finally went back to spin! It was a great class, but I just mentally wasn’t 100% in it. I gave it a solid effort and had a good time, but I was just more at like a 90%.

Wednesday: Track–6 x 800. Partner 800s!! YAY!! Stacey and I finally got to complete them together. The way it works is partner #1 (me) runs a lap solo, then partner #2 joins for lap 2. While partner #2 runs their 2nd lap, partner #1 gets a short break. I did a mile-ish warm up over to the track, then completed my 800s @ 8:01, 8:00, 7:42, 7:38, 7:34, 7:22. I was dyyyyying on the last one, but it felt awesome! I did a short cool down jog back and ended up completing 4.4 miles in 37:31 for an average pace of 8:31 including the warm up and cool down! I was stoked!! As soon as I got home, I checked out my paces from the time we did this same work out just one month before: 8:07, 8:08, 8:02, 8:00, 7:58, 7:57. I was so ecstatic to be able to see my improvement!! MAYBE I WON’T BE A SLOW RUNNER FOREVER!!!!

Thursday: Rest. Lots of carbs and compression socks all day long.

Friday: 20.5 mile run. Check it.

Saturday: 15ish mile bike. I literally felt like I had been run over by a truck, but Susan had asked me to bring muffins for the team, so I figured while I was there, I should cheer my friends on. I got my tired legs onto my bike and rode around the canal for almost an hour and a half. It was great to be able to to be there for my friends while they finished the toughest part of the journey as well!

Sunday: Rest. You couldn’t pay me enough to work out today. Rest days are awesome.

Sooooo…..now we taper. Everyone says taper makes you crazy, but I’m sososo excited. My legs are beat. My brain is duuuunnnn. My social life is pathetic. Well, that one probably won’t change. ;) I’m sure after a week or so I will start feeling a little nutty about not running, but for now I can’t wait to tone it way down and give myself a break. My goal is to spend the extra time I would have been running, and focus that energy/time on taking care of myself. Lots of stretching and foam rolling. No skipping PT sessions. Good nutritious food and….no more alcohol (wahhhhh) until after the race. I mean, I’m not a big drinker anyway, and I haven’t been drinking during training except to celebrate long runs, and they’re all over, so there’s really nothing to celebrate until Nov 4. I mean, there’s real life things, but I will celebrate those just fine without. I want to go into the race feeling my very best. Oh and I need to make SLEEP a priority. This 5-6 hours a night business is not cutting it for me.

What do you do differently during taper? How do you prepare for a big race to make sure you go in feeling your best? GIVE ME YOUR AWESOME MARATHON ADVICE!!!!!

NYC Marathon Training Week 12

This week was a cut back week. After 15 miles at South Mountain, and looking ahead at the training that’s coming up, an easier week sounded awesome. However, I think for the first time I started to feel a little bit of the craziness I always hear other runners talk about during cut back and taper weeks. I have to admit, even though I really do love running, I’ve never been one to look at less miles on the training plan and feel disappointed, but I started feeling weird not-so-healthy thoughts of not doing or being good enough this week. I followed the plan almost to a tee, with the exception of a missed recovery run to which Nicole replied “It’s just 3 miles. That means you’re supposed to skip it. In fact, I think she probably meant ‘skip this run'”. This is why I love her.

Anyway, my 3 main runs (long, medium distance, and track) usually leave me feeling like a rockstar. Each one leaves me with a different sense of pride, and accomplishment. This week though, especially after my long run, I just felt a little…inadequate. Let me premise by saying I am well aware of how silly that is. I literally used words like “I only ran 10 miles.” Ummm, how many people out there would be over the moon to be able to run 10 miles??? And since when is double digits only 10.

I feel like part of that comes from the constant use of food (and beer) as a reward for long running. How many times have we all hear “Don’t use food as a reward”. Well, there’s good reason. It’s a tough habit to break, and I find myself continuously falling into it this training cycle. I can’t even tell you how many long runs I’ve gotten through by thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner! I know that’s not the worst  thing, especially if it motivates me enough to keep going (what can I say? I love food), but it becomes bad when I do a 10 mile long run, and feel like I haven’t run enough to “earn” a fun dinner out. Ridiculous. I know. I’m actually kind of a smart lady. And I think that if I wasn’t aware of my silliness, then there would actually be a problem. I’ve learned enough about myself at this point in my life to be able to navigate the craziness, but I wanted to talk about it, because I feel like it’s something a lot of people deal with, and it’s okay. Beating ourselves up for struggling mentally is equivalent to beating ourselves up for  one bad work out. You wouldn’t do it to your friend, so why should you do it to yourself? That’s just how I was feeling last week.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s how last week’s training went down!

Monday—4.2 mile easy run. After Saturday’s challenging long run at South Mountain, I was super relieved to have an easier day. I ran with Nicole and Stacey, and averaged a 10:27 pace. It was good, but shorter and easier and came with no awesome runner’s high. Sad day.

Tuesday—Linda’s Spin. This class kicked my butt this week! Linda called some of us out on our flat road being too easy, so I picked mine back up to 11, and I hung in, but I was definitely working hard!

Wednesday—Track: 3×1 mile. Balloons. Rainbows. Glitter. Confetti. This run was so freaking awesome!! I had the biggest case of runner’s high all.day.long. We warmed up, did all the silly looking running drills and about a million lunges, then set out on the track for our mile repeats (with 400 recovery jogs in between). The first one was supposed to be at 10k pace, then between 5-10k pace, then 5k pace. My goal was 8:40, 8:30, 8:20. My first mile clocked in at 8:38, then my second in 8:27. I was getting nervous at this point. I mean, I’ve done 800s faster than that, but I was worried about my ability to run any faster for an entire mile (so much longer than it seems!) when I was already feeling so tired. The first 3 laps of my last mile, I was doing okay. Not great, but staying on pace. The last lap, I just wanted to give up and lay down on the track. I asked some of my speedier friends that were finished to finish my last lap with me, and they ran the last 300ish with me, pushing me and helping me bring my lap pace from a steady 8:15 to 8:06!!!!! Ummm, that is FAST for me! I felt amazing, like I had really given the workout everything I had. I rushed up to Coach Susan to tell her my splits, and she said that I got a P for Perfect for the day! This was one of the best runs of this entire training process!!

Thursday—14.7 mile bike ride. Since Nicole and I decided to long run on Friday, we took a nice little bike ride on Thursday. 

Friday—10 mile run. 10:21 average pace. Pretty uneventful with the exception of all the wildlife we encountered! In our 10 miles, Nicole and I saw a toad, coyote, jack rabbit, and a giant fish! This was the run that I ended and had my ridiculous, bratty “so what” attitude. I’m over it. 10 miles is 10 miles. It has 2 numbers, therefore it is long. Welcome to the long run logic of Ari’s Brain. Actually, anything over 10 seconds usually feels kind of long….

Saturday—9.7 mile bike. Rode to rehearsal, and for the first time in months, I actually focused on riding, rather than pedaling along having casual conversation. There was a super intense headwind, and I still only averaged 14mi an hour, but it felt good to push a little more on the bike again.

Sunday—8.4 mile bike. Rode to coffee with Steve, and took it mostly easy/moderate with a couple of sprints thrown in for fun. He does this weird strava thing for nerdy boys who ride bikes (or maybe it’s for all people, but since he does it, I just assumed…) and he wanted to race his “segment”. Of course that meant I was going for it too. I was doing really awesome and averaging a 20.8 pace, but then I hit two stop lights, cursed at them (only in my head), and ended up at around 18.5 for both sprint segments. It was fun to change it up a little!

Wow, it’s a good thing I have this little blog. Apparently, I have things to say, or something. Poor Steve would be so annoyed if I just regurgitated the same recaps of my paces and feeling to him 50 times a day. Oh wait, that is his life. Now it’s yours too–HAH! ;)

TIME FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES!!! I want to hear about your training–your accomplishments, frustrations, celebration beers, thoughts that celebration beers should never ever happen. TELL ME EVERYTHING!

NYC Marathon Training Week 11

IMAG0826

Friday night I had big plans. I was, for real–no sarcasm, super excited about said plans. I sat on the couch (between sessions of stretching and foam rolling), ate a big salad with whole wheat gnocchi on top (because I still don’t like eating a whole plate of just pasta–yuck), and watched Fast Women. Fast Women is a documentary about some local Phoenix runners including my super amazing inspiring coach. It definitely inspired me, and made me excited to get out there and run the next morning! Perhaps my big Friday night plans seem super lame to you? That’s okay. I’m perfectly content with my life as it is right now. I’m feeling good about my training, and I’m starting to take it more seriously, and commit myself in all areas of life, not just the training runs.

I had a really great week of training. I was in the right place mentally. I felt focused, and positive all week long. I really pushed myself this week, and ever since last Saturday’s 14 miler, I have been in almost a constant state of runner’s high. After almost every work out, I felt that sense of pride, accomplishment, and “I can do anything”! It was awesome. I made a lot of personal discoveries this week, and though most of them came through in my training, many of them aren’t running related. That is why I love challenging myself. It’s only when we push ourselves beyond our limits that we truly learn about ourselves and grow as human beings. Too much? Sorry, I’m a REALLY sappy person. I mean ask my friends who is the most emotional person they know. I guarantee you, they will all say me. And you know what? I like it. So here’s how the 11th week of training went down in the land of I Feel Deep Personal Crap 24/7:

Monday–7 mi run. Okay, so about these medium distance runs…Until now, I’ve totally sucked at them. The training plan always reads something like “X miles easy to warm up, then X miles at moderate pace. Moderate pace is slightly harder. You can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping for air.” Problem #1: I can always hear my breathing. Perhaps that’s not normal? I just usually wear headphones to block it out ;) Problem #2: It’s 90* out, and no pace feels easy. Problem #3: PLEASE JUST TELL ME A PACE TO HIT OTHERWISE I NEVER KNOW IF I’M DOING IT RIGHT!!!! Please Coach Susan? Can’t you just tell me exactly what to do at every moment of every run? I thought that was how this worked? And while we’re at it, maybe you could just run the miles 4 me. You’d do it in about half the time. Okay, or maybe that’s not the point. Anyway, after the scheduled 3 mile warm up, I told Nicole that I actually wanted to try to push the next 4 miles. I’ve spent a lot of time being scared I can’t run faster when it’s hot out, and that if I actually picked it up, I wouldn’t be able to get through it. Well it turns out, although running in the heat is still tough, running at a moderate pace is actually not that much harder. I ended up running the last 4 in 9:40, 9:34, 9:25, 8:31. Note to self: Stop sucking it up like a baby, and actually push yourself. You  can do a lot more than you think.

Tuesday–Linda’s Spin. Love.

Wednesday–Track: 6x800s. We were told to find a partner at about our speed, then one partner did a lap alone, then the second lap with their partner, then the second partner did their second lap alone. Sounds more confusing than it is. I partnered up with Bob and was the first to go, so basically I would run the second half of my 800 with him, then rest while he ran his final lap (around 2 min). After Monday, I was all pumped up and ready to really push myself, and I ran my 800s in 8:07, 8:08, 8:02, 8:00, 7:58, 7:57. I wanted to die on the last one, but it was awesome to really push myself, and work harder than I have been. I was still basically the last one on the track, but such is life.

Thursday–Recovery run. 3 miles of shuffling at a snail’s pace. The first run I’ve done by myself in a while. No music (what??? I’ve actually run a lot without music lately, and it really isn’t so bad!) It was nice to just go at my own pace, shake my body out, and let the recovery run do it’s thing.

Friday–18 mi bike ride. Friday mornings are my happy place. I get to hang out with one of my favorite people, move my body, and not worry about pace/time/mileage/anything. Nicole and I just spend the time chatting, and there is always breakfast and coffee. This time it didn’t rain (YAY!!), and Nicole learned to change a flat tire.

while I sat there and looked totally confused.

For some reason we wore our helmets the entire time. We wondered how many food bloggers it takes to change a tire….Steve ended up coming to save the day, but Nicole was doing pretty awesome I have to say! We also saw this awesome sunrise.

My favorite thing about morning workouts.

Saturday–15 mi run. If you live in Phoenix, perhaps you’ve had the pleasure of running on San Juan Rd. No? Lucky. In all seriousness though, this run was I would say 90% great. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t 100% hard. It was one of the most challenging training runs I have ever done, and it was the first where I had to take walk breaks, but you know what? I didn’t care. I didn’t care about my super slow pace, and I didn’t really mind the fact that when I arrived at 5am my phone said it was 92*, and I didn’t hate working hard on the hills. I’ve said it 100 times, but I signed up to do this because I wanted to challenge myself. For some sick and twisted reason, I actually enjoy this crap. Not so much while I’m doing it, but nothing compares to the pride I get when I finish a tough work out. In the end, I ran 15 miles with 986 ft of elevation gain at a 10:48 average pace. I had so much support from my coach and so many members of my team it was incredible! At the turn around point, Susan was up at the top of the hill with a bull horn yelling for us! We also had people on bikes (ummm David you are AWESOME) with water and lots of positive energy to keep us going. When my ipod stopped working, David actually sang to me. Nicest guy ever. Having so many supportive people around during the hardest parts of this run made it so.much.better. The end was the hardest. The road is only 6.3 miles long, so I had to run back past my car, run the opposite direction for a little over a mile, and it turns out the way out was all downhill, so at the very end when I wanted to die, I had to run back alone and uphill. I may have had an F this moment, but I finished it, and within an hour I was riding some serious runner’s high.

I spent my Saturday night like this.

I lead a thrilling life. Don’t be jealous.

Sunday–Super easy recovery ride. I wanted coffee. My legs were stiff and a little angry, and begging to move around, so Steve and I rode to Dutch Bros and back.

 

Next week is a cut back week (hallelujah!), and then the week after that, shit gets real. I’m going to run further than I ever have, and I cannot freaking wait. All this time I’ve been telling everyone “I can’t wait until we do 16 miles! I’ve never done that before!’ Well as some sort of cruel joke, we skip 16 and go straight to 17. Whatever. I’m freaking stoked.

NYC Marathon Training Week 10

Week 10–half way there! This was a huge week. We had our team fundraiser with a big silent auction, and I spent most of the week freaking out over preparing for it. Good thing I had a little lot of help from my friends! The event actually ended up going really well for me , and I am happy to say that once everything is entered in, I should be about half way to my goal! That means there’s still a lot of work to do, but I am starting to feel more confident that I can do this. All of it.

This week was tough for me. I don’t know what it is, but the day after a half marathon I always feel terrible. It doesn’t matter if I’ve done well, or if I’m frustrated with my time, I just feel completely wiped physically and emotionally. The emotional exhaustion just seemed to carry through the week. I honestly can’t be surprised. Most nights I don’t get home until after 9, and then I need time to wind down before I can fall asleep, and then I wake up between 4-5am most days, and it’s just not enough sleep. For the first time, I started to feel like the time commitment of my training was a burden, and I know I don’t *actually* feel that way, but between work, fundraising, training, and trying to not completely suck at being a wife/family member/friend, I just felt like something had to give. I’m hopefully with the stress of the auction behind me, this week will be better. Also, I have an incredibly supportive coach and teammates that are doing everything they can to help me reach my goal.

This week felt like the transition into real marathon training, if that makes sense? For the last 10 months, I’ve been perpetually training for multiple half marathons, and now I don’t have anything scheduled until NYC. Our long runs are getting longer (14 miles this week), and the entire commitment of a full marathon is slowly starting to sink in. It’s tough and it’s presenting unexpected challenges, but I like it. I didn’t sign up for a walk in the park. I signed up to challenge myself, and stretch my abilities in ways I never dreamed were possible.

So, all that said, here’s how it went this week:

Monday–12 mi bike ride. Nice and easy recovery ride with Nicole to get my muscles loosened up post AFC.

Tuesday–Linda’s Spin. Perfection, as always.

Wednesday–Speed work: 8 x 1min. Warm up, 1 min intervals @  6:58, 7:12, 7:21, 7:24, 7:25, 7:17, 7:11, 7:00. My legs were definitely still a little tired, but not too bad.

Thursday–6 mi run. Okay, so I kind of suck at the whole do 2 miles slow then the next 4 at moderate effort thing. I’m really good at the slow part, but then I just slowwwwwwlllllyyyy get faster each mile. I don’t really think that’s the point, but with the heat, I’m still trying to base it on effort. I don’t have it totally figured out yet. I ran with Nicole (who is awesome and slows down from her speedy ways to stick with me) and averaged just over a 10 min pace. I feel like I need to work a little harder on these.

Friday–12 mi bike ride. Ugghhh, this day was annoying. I rode in the 10 min of pouring rain, got picked up by Nicole just as it stopped, then we went back out to ride, but everything was muddy and gross. Ended up cutting it shorter than normal, but as always the company and breakfast/coffee parts were awesome :)

Saturday–14 mi run. Okay, so Friday was the team fundraiser, and I didn’t get home til well after 10. I tried to go straight to bed, but I was all wound up from the evening and it took me forever to fall asleep. I ended up getting between 4-5 hours of sleep, waking up at 4am, and almost convincing myself to go back to bed and just skip the run. It felt impossible, and I knew I had 4 hours of teaching to do right after that I wasn’t quite sure how I’d make it through. I’m not gonna lie, the run was tough, and the rest of the morning was too. However, tough is not impossible, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t feel great, and it wasn’t my best, but I also didn’t feel horrible, and it wasn’t my worst. I ran with Stacey the entire time, and we ran with Jo a lot which was super helpful, because when you run with someone you don’t know as well, there is more pressure to keep going, haha. I ended up finishing in about 2:26 with a 10:24 average pace. I got some serious runners high and decided that there was nothing in the world I couldn’t accomplish. Then I was so tired that I missed my exit going to the studio, and then stopped at a green light. I was a little weird all day long, but no one really seemed to mind ;)

Sunday–10 mi bike ride. Snail speed. Rode with my perfect husband. He has been so awesome, I could write an entire post about how I’m the luckiest woman alive.

So there you have it friends. Half way through marathon training. Also, I’m working on convincing my mom to come out to NYC to watch me cross the finish line, because at 27 years old, I still haven’t grown out of needing my parents approval when I accomplish things. Okay, let’s be honest, I still haven’t grown out of needing the entire world’s approval, because I thrive on positive reinforcement. ;)

 

NYC Marathon Training Week 9

Oy. Yesterday was not the best day, but you know what? It finished a whole lot better than it started. It’s amazing–if you just ask for help, usually people are happy to do it! Heather, Nicole and Tara are being rock stars helping me out to get ready for the fundraiser. Emily and Lauran talked me down, and reminded me that I don’t suck at life. I got lots of love from my best friend Bethany, and then my amazing husband….GAHHHH, I LOVE HIM. He cleaned the house. He knows me. He gets it. He knew exactly what I needed from him, and he agreed to help me with my baking for the fundraiser on Friday. Everything will work out. I just have to get through this week of auditions and silent auction planning!

So about this whole marathon training thing…. One day its going to be over and I’m actually gonna have to run the thing. That day used to seem so far away, but its going to be here before I know it. Sometimes I think I prefer the training to the actual race. There’s less pressure, and so many opportunities to hit new paces and mileage. I’m so excited for the week we do 16 miles because it will be my first time really tackling a new distance since February. That was my favorite thing about training for PF Chang’s–every week I was setting new records for myself, and it definitely motivated me to keep at it.

I was a little emotional about my running this week. Pick your jaws up off the floor, people. I know me being emotional is totally shocking and out of character, but please keep it together ;) Here’s a look at how it went down.

Monday: 6 mi run with Nicole. This was supposed to be 2 miles easy, then 4 moderate. It ended up being a start realllllllly slow, then get faster every mile. Close enough, right? It was hot, and by the end I was at my normal moderate pace, but it took me a while to get there. Ended up with an average pace of 10:14–not quite where I’d like to be, but I’m trying to learn to go by effort rather than numbers when it comes to running in the heat. Nicole and I did see a really gorgeous sunrise, though which made everything kinda worth it!


Tuesday: Linda’s spin. 20.5 miles in 55 min. I love spin. Christina even joined me last week, and she’s coming down again today. I love spinning with friends!

Wednesday: Track. 1.2 mi warm up, 4x400s @ 8:17, 8:16, 8:16, 8:10, 1mi @ HMGP @ 8:54. I ended up with 4.36 mi in about 41 min (9:17 average). I felt like my paces were spot on, but then I was the very last person left on the track. I ran 2 entire laps with no one else. It was embarrassing and frustrating. I know it’s because most of my team was not racing, and did their mile time trial, and that’s faster obviously, but it just kinda put me in a bad place mentally about it. I hate feeling like I’m the worst, slowest, etc. Coach Susan gave me a pep talk about not comparing myself to others–something that could still use some work.

Thursday: Recovery run. Ran with Nicole again. I love having running friends so close by, and I’m so happy we’ve been able to work out in the mornings so often lately! I came up with this brilliant plan for Nicole to do her mile time trial while I recovery ran. We warmed up together, I met her at the end of her mile after I continued on at my slow recovery pace, and then she was able to cool down while I kept shuffling along my tired legs. I ended up with 3.32 mi in 35 min. Nicole killed her mile. She is Speedy Gonzales.
Friday: 19 mile bike ride. BBFF cross training day! Bike + breakfast + coffee = the reason I love Friday mornings.

Saturday: Rest. 

Sunday: AFC Half Marathon. Full recap coming soon. Spoiler alert: it was hot and I met none of my goals I’m working on being Zen about it. Here’s an other sunrise picture. This was probably the best part about this race.

So this week was kind of a roller coaster. That’s okay. It’s  long training plan, and not every week is going to be perfect. I just keep reminding myself of when I did my 10 mile time trial, and it was the most perfect run ever of life. It reminds me that I’m capable of having kick ass runs that not only meet my goals, but feel great too. Onward.

PS: Yesterday I officially signed up online, then received my travel info from marathon tours. Talk about things getting real!

NYC Marathon Training Week 8

This beez ran in like 26 minutes.

I would like to take this moment to thank the Phoenix Metropolitan Area for this warm welcome. Get it? See what I did there? Because, you know, the record breaking temperatures and all. Okay, it wasn’t funny. Not even a little bit. Sorry. Anyway, I’m back home and I made it through my first week of legit Phoenix summer training and lived to tell the tale! It hasn’t been easy. You see, I started running in October, and it was warm then with highs generally in the 90s, but that means lows in the 70s with not ideal, but not terrible morning running weather. When I left for Oregon, the highs had climbed into the triple digits, but you could still run at 5:30 or 6 and get temps in the high 70s-low 80s most days. I thought that was tough–hah!

Then, I traveled to a land far far away where there are clouds and rain and the most amazing running weather! It was a dream come true. This has been a rude awakening, and my paces have slowed considerably while my effort level feels higher than ever. The good news? I get that it’s normal, and that I will be tougher come November. I don’t mind sucking it up for then next month if I will be stronger because of it. It’s just an adjustment. And so is the schedule.

Today I feel absolutely exhausted. I haven’t woken up later than 5am since last Tuesday. I know a lot of people wake up at 5 every day, and 5 isn’t so bad, but there’s a big difference between 5 and when you see a 3 at the beginning of your alarm. I know I can’t just spend the next month in a constant state of exhaustion. The heat is enough to do that to me, so I need to help myself out. Until my alarm time changes, I’ve decided to just be 80 (or 8–you decide) and change my bed time to 8-9pm. It’s going to mean less going out, and probably a lot less of a social life, but it’s what I need to do in order to achieve everything I want right now, and when I committed to running a whole freaking marathon, I didn’t just mean the end result. The nights I work until 9 or 10 are going to be tough, but every other night I am enforcing a bed time. Yes, I’m 27 and I have a bed time. It’s earlier than your kindergartner’s.

Anyway, here’s a look at how my first week back in Phoenix went down.

Monday–Off. Traveling counts as a work out, right?

Tuesday–Linda’s spin!! 23.4 sweaty spinning miles of AWESOME! While I was away, I missed the following things in this order: Steve/Winston/Clementine, Linda’s spin my family, Linda’s spin. It was like being back in my happy place!

Wednesday–Track with Team Chances! YAY!! It was so great to be back running with my team and to get to run with Stacey again. We did a 1.2 mile warm up, then 1600 @ 1/2 marathon goal pace (8:49), 400 recovery, 1200 @ 10k pace (8:40), 400 recovery, 800 @ 5k pace (8:24), 400 recovery, 400 @ 1mi pace (7:02), followed by about .5 mile cool down for a total of 4.84 miles in 47:19. It was tough, but it went a lot better than I expected. For some reason, I am always one of the very last ones out there on the track, but when we do long runs I’m right in the middle. Weird. I actually think my body prefers long distance to short and speedy.

Thursday–5mi. Monday was supposed to be 4, but I thought it was supposed to be 5, so I did that on Thursday. Stacey and I warmed up for a mile, then did the middle miles slightly faster (not on purpose, just kinda happened that way), and cooled down for the last .5. I was actually feeling pretty good until about mile 4 when the heat started to get me and I just wanted to be done. Good thing I had company, or I probably would have ditched out early, haha.

Friday–25.75 mi bike ride. I MISSED MY BIKE!!! I missed Friday cross training and breakfast with my BBFF!!! I felt a little out of bike shape after my almost 2 month hiatus, but I finished in just under 2 hours with an average pace of 13.2 mph. Not fast by any means, but not too bad for a friendly ride, and my first one back!

Saturday–8mi run with Team Chances. I averaged 10:16 and finished in about 1:22, which I was actually pretty happy with. It’s weird because everyone already kind of knows each other, and I just showed up. Our first team run was the day I left for Ashland, and although Coach Susan had been letting me come to group runs and track sessions before then, our team hadn’t officially started, so I’d hardly met anyone. I decided I didn’t want to run by myself, so I found a group of ladies that looked like they ran about my pace and creepily followed them before just deciding to announce that I was there, and I wanted to join the group. I ended up with a lot of company along the way, and ran very little by myself. I loved getting a chance to get to know some of my awesome team mates, and running with other people definitely pushed me to keep going all the times I wanted to stop and drink a frozen margarita.

Sunday–Arizona Road Racers 5k @ South Mountain. About that. I made a last minute decision to run a 5k this morning, and it basically sucked. Okay, maybe that’s too harsh, but it wasn’t great. It started at 6:30 when the sun is already all the way up, and it is HILLY. I ran sssslllloooowwww. And by that, I mean I walked way too much of it. I “ran” it 30 seconds slower per mile than the last time I ran the same course, and slower than almost any other race I’ve done. That’s okay. I’m not upset. It was just a reality check about the heat, and how much it can affect my pace, and how I feel. I’m sure eventually I will get used to it, but this was definitely the hardest so far. Anyway, here’s a picture of my friend Nacho kicking the race and the sun right in the face!

This beez ran in like 26 minutes.

And here I am trying to pretend I don’t want to lay down on the side of the road.

This love/hate thing is totally missing the love right now.

How was your training last week??? Tell me awesome things you did!

Work It Out 6/11-6/17

Pedal, pedal, pedal. As I’ve mentioned probably 700 times, I still can’t run. I’m also a little leery of lifting, or doing pretty much anything that involved core muscles at all. Biking, however, feels great, so I just stuck with what I knew was working this week to try to get back to my normal level of fitness. Here’s how I worked it out last week.

Monday: Off. I tried to jump immediately back into my life last Sunday, and I ended the night feeling sick, exhausted, and even emotionally spent, so I listened to my body, and took a step back.

Tuesday: 10.73 mile bike ride, 14 mph pace. YES!!!! This was the first time since surgery that I actually was able to push a little bit, and felt like I got closer to a real workout. It felt AMAZING, and I knew things were on the up swing.

Wednesday: 20 mile bike ride, 14.7 mph pace. Steve wanted to do 20 miles in less than 90 minutes. We finished in 1:22. Felt awesome, happy, and even got a little bit of biking high. Sweeeeet!

Thursday: Off. Smart, or lazy? You decide. I planned to go to spin, but I didn’t. At the time I thought it was laziness, but looking back, I really think it was for the best.

Friday: 28 mile bike ride, easy pace (12.4 mph). Nicole and I revisited our Friday cross train and breakfast/coffee tradition. We chatted the whole time, and I am so glad we were able to go, because now I have to go almost 2 months without my BBFF, and I’m so sad! I miss you already, Niole, and I LOVED our ride on Friday!

Saturday: Off. I had to bake birthday brownies. Also, I thought I would be climbing up a bunch of stairs at the water park all day. That plan was squashed when I felt pain on the kiddie slide. That’s ok. I would have loved to get a short workout in that morning, but sometimes there just isn’t time, and it’s not worth beating yourself up over.

Sunday: SPIN!!! I would love to say that class was perfect, and I enjoyed every minute, and it felt just like normal, but that’s not the case. Everything in the sitting position was great, but all the bounciness and jolting of the standing position hurt, and I found myself so frustrated that I couldn’t do everything we were instructed. I understand that I did the best I can, and that is all I can ask of my body, but I just have trouble with that being enough for me. I wanted to leave about 15 minutes in, but I made myself get out of my head, and enjoy the work out, and eventually, I did! We even did a 1 mile “race”, and I came in second! The first “race” was in the standing position, and that’s when I got so upset at the beginning (competitive much?), so when the sitting one came, I kicked my ass into gear, and was just a split second behind the guy that finished first (he also “won” the first time, but admitted to cheating, so I’m just going to pretend he cheated the second time too, and that I am the winner ;) ).

 

Other people’s work out news:

  • Stacey officially starts marathon training today too! Show her some love!
  • My best friend Jason just registered for his first half marathon!! He will be running AFC with me in August! I’m ridiculously proud of him!!

How did you work it out last week? Any exciting fitness goals happening in your life at the moment?? Tell me exciting things!!

Work It Out 5/14-5/20

Well, after a pretty mellow week with 3 full rest days, I definitely kicked it into gear last week! By Sunday afternoon my weekly mileage on daily mile reached 100! No, I did not ride extra miles on my bike just because I wanted to see a 3 digit mileage number. Who does things like that? Crazy, number obsessed people. I just happened to ride exactly 17 miles when my daily mile was at 83. Obviously. ;)

Monday: 3 miles with Jason. Remember when this guy ran like 12 minute miles? Umm, our average pace was 10:06. He’s amazing, and I’m starting to really get a lot out of our weekly runs together!

Tuesday: Spin, Strength & Swimming. I kind of felt awesome after completing 3 workouts in one day. I mean, sure, my strength training was all of 15 minutes, but I was still sore the next day from it! I am working on getting up to a 5 minute plank like this girl, and Tuesday I got to 2:20. Obviously, I have a ways to go. Spin class was awesome as usual, then I had my first swimming work out with my fav triathlete! I swam 400 yards, and it was hard and awesome.

Wednesday: Tempo run. This run was not fun. I had 6 miles on the schedule with 4 tempo miles @ 9:03. Well, my last tempo run was the same thing with the tempo miles at 9:07, and it was hard, but I killed it, and even had my last mile below 8:50. This run felt entirely different. I was struggling .5 miles in, it was 80 degrees out, and I left my ipod at home, so I could literally hear myself grasping for air. I stayed on pace,  but had to stop after the second and third tempo mile to catch my breath. As frustrated as I was by this run, I feel like I learned a lot from it. I had a great talk with my coach about it, and realized that I’m really not hydrating well enough, and that as it gets hotter, I need to be okay with slowing down. It won’t be this hot in Seattle or in NYC, so I need to focus on how I feel rather than what my garmin says. This is especially hard for me since my focus on running numbers has been such a huge aid in taking my focus away from scale numbers. I am number focused. It’s how I measure my progress, and when the numbers don’t reflect my effort, I get frustrated, discouraged, and whiney. That’s okay. I don’t think I will feel that way forever. I’m not going to beat myself up about the way I feel or react to things. I am simply going to note it, try to be more aware, and do my best to not let it get me down.

Thursday: Spin. Sweaty, hilly love.

Friday: 20 mile bike ride with Nicole. We had a great time, and chatted the whole 20 miles. Perfect way to start the day!

Saturday: Long run. Our team training runs for Chances for Children don’t officially start until I leave for Portland, but Susan invited us to come run with her, and the group she coaches, so I jumped on the opportunity! My alarm went off at 3:55am (yikes!), and I headed out to meet the group. Unfortunately, the park bathrooms were locked, and so when Stacey arrived, we went in search of a restroom and ended up starting closer to 5:30 than the 5:00 start time. We started off running with Susan’s husband bill who was so nice and went slow with us to show us the path. Around mile 2.5, we separated from Bill because my stomach is still a mess, and I had to stop at this resort to use the bathroom. Even considering that, I was feeling the best I have on a long run in weeks! We were maintaining around a 10:25 pace, which is right on target for my plan, it wasn’t too warm out yet, and I just felt really into the run. By the end, though, I started fading a bit, and Stacey was pushing me through, then at the last mile, we saw Susan who had waiting for us long after everyone who had started on time was already gone, and came up to run the last mile with us! Having a coach is freaking amazing, let me tell you. That was the push I needed, because I finished the last mile in 9:26, and ended 13.06 miles with an average pace of 10:16, which, for me, is pretty awesome! I had serious runners high all day long!

Sunday: 17 mile bike ride with Steve and Jason. I wanted to go on a bike ride, and I wanted to hit 100 miles, so that’s what I did ;)

What a great week! Even with a crappy run, I still feel like it’s one of the best training weeks I’ve had in a long time!

How did you work it out last week? How do you stay motivated and track your progress when the numbers start to kind of suck??

Work It Out 5/7-5/13

Well…kind of. It was actually less coming off of a big race that made last week hard, and more just the fact that my life was crazy. I had a rough tech week, and then we were in shows all weekend. I don’t necessarily feel great about the fact that I only worked out 4 days last week, but I’m not going to waste time beating myself up about it. Sometimes other things come first, and that just has to be okay. My body probably needed the break as much as my brain did, and I’m definitely one of those “The universe knows better than me, and everything happens for a reason” types, so it happened, and this week it won’t. Tada.

Here’s how I worked it out last week

Monday: 3 miles with Jason. My legs were still pretty sore, but an easy paced run was actually nice and felt really good! We picked up the pace in the last mile, then after our 3, we walked for a while as our cool down.

Tuesday: Off. I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Monday evening. I was stressed out, frustrated, and in general in pretty bad spirits. I’d like to say that was just Tuesday, but it continued throughout most of the week. Oh well, I’m better now! Anyway, I skipped the gym and went shopping.

Wednesday: 22 mi bike ride with Steve. I felt good by Wednesday, and I really enjoyed the long ride. I would have loved to go faster, but poor Steve is stuck with his single speed until he buys his rode bike, so it’s kind of limiting. We still averaged about a 14 mph pace.

Thursday: Linda’s Spin. Awesome as always. I talked myself out of going no less than 11 times before finally getting to the gym, and compromised with myself that instead of doing strength training before like I usually do, I could take some time to stretch and foam roll which felt really good, and by the time class was over, I was like a whole new person!

Friday: 12 mile long run. Oy, This run was tough. Ridiculously tough. The only thing that got my through was having Stacey out there with me! We were both coming off of big races, and by the time we were finishing up, it was already 86 degrees out with no shade in sight! My pace was much slower than usual, but I really felt proud of myself for just getting it done. 6 days after a half marathon. In the heat. I’ll take it.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: Off.

Sometimes, there are just other things that need to be done. And you know what? It left me motivated and ready to make this week count! Sometimes you just need a little break. Also, long runs now need to start at ridiculous hours if they are going to happen. I’m fine with that. 4am here I come!

How did you work it out last week?

Work It Out 4/30-5/06

Ummm, it’s Thursday. Whoops. You guys, I have been in the worst mood this week. Seriously, like I feel bad for everyone around me. The other night, I got a text message that annoyed me, and I literally threw my phone on the floor of the car and started screaming obscenities while Nikki drove us home. It was really awesome, and I’m sure she loved the fact that she realized she is working with a grade A nut job.

This morning I was reminded how much working out keeps me sane, and I figured it was finally time to get my act together and recap last week. So, this is how I worked it out last week…

Monday: 6 miles with Jason. Super easy pace, fun, chatty best friend running time. New PDR for Jas!

Tuesday: Bike rid with Steve. I had to miss spin on Tuesday, and no I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve already cried, gone through withdrawals, and I’m dealing with it, okay??? Okay, I’ll stop being so dramatic. For the moment. Steve and I did just under 8 miles to Dutch Bros and back with an average speed of 15.7 average speed.

Wednesday: 4 miles with speedy Ashley. We took it easy for taper week, and covered 4 miles with an average pace of about 9:30. I realized how hard that pace used to feel, and just how far I’ve come!

Thursday: Linda’s Spin.  This was my favorite workout of the week!! We’ve been doing this thing where the class is divided into groups and we compete for the most miles. First I asked for my mileage not to count because I was planning to take it easy, and I didn’t want to bring my team down. Linda told me to just use lower resistance. So I lowered my flat road from 10 to 9, then I got super competitive and not only did my group win, but I won for the most miles in the entire class with 22.8 in 49 minutes. Sure, I “forgot” to take it easy, but it was so worth it. I love to win, and I was on a super spinning high all day long!

Friday: Bike ride with Steve. He kept yelling at me to ride slower, and reminding me that I was supposed to be taking it easy. We went suuuuuper slow and covered just under 8 miles to coffee and back, then I met up with Nicole and walked around the duck pond.

Saturday: Whiskey Row 1/2 Marathon. Oh you know, just like any other run up the side of a mountain ;)

Sunday: Bike ride with Steve. My legs and hips were pretty sore, so we went on an easy ride to loosen things up. It started off at little kid training wheel speed, but my legs loosened up pretty quickly, and I actually felt a lot better by the end.

 

YOUR TURN!! How did you work it out last week? Give me some motivation, because I am having a rough time making it happen this week!

Work It Out 4/23-4/29

I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have gone by. This was my last real training week before I brave the Whiskey Row half marathon, and the 1700 foot climb over the first 6.5 miles. Shit. Sorry for cursing, but honestly, shit. Not to mention this course starts at 5300 ft and Phoenix is what like 2 ft? I’m excited, though. Totally nervous, but excited. I’ve been training hard, and this is not my goal race. Not for time, anyway. It’s my goal to take on a new challenge and finish strong. Only race day will be able to show what that will mean.

I’m most looking forward to running with Lisa again. And margaritas, naturally.  So here’s how I worked it out this week.

  • Monday: 5 miles with Jason. We ran. Jason PDR’d. We breakfast’d. It was awesome.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. This class wasridiculous. Linda came in, and told us we were going to do something different. We all did warm up like normal, cleared our bikes then started over together. She split the class into 4 groups based off where we were sitting and told us we were competing to see which team could complete the most miles while maintaining our individual “flat roads” and keeping up with all of the hills. She even walked around to make sure people weren’t cheating. Once the term competition was involved, I spun my little heart out faster than I knew possible. I was a hot mess. Unfortunately, my group came in third, but I had the highest mileage in my group, and was in the top 5 in the class with 19.7 miles in 43 minutes, with a flat road of 10.
  • Wednesday: Tempo run. 6 miles with 4 tempo miles @ 9:07. Ran with speed Ashley and ended up with 1 mile warm up, then 9:05, 9:05, 9:07, 8:49, 1 mile cool down. This run was tough, but good.
  • Thursday: Rest. Welllll, I did walk 2 miles around the duck pond with Kara. Does that count?
  • Friday: “Long” run. Ran just over 6 miles with Stacey. This run felt great, but my legs are definitely happy for the break they’re getting right now.
  • Saturday: Bike ride. Not the most ideal circumstances, but my legs felt great, and honestly I felt like if I had brought food along (I got super hungry at the end!), I could have just kept going. Also, if I hadn’t gotten a flat and had to stop, but you know…
  • Sunday: Rest. That’s two in one week friends. And it was lovely.
Let the taper begin continue!!

How did you work it out this week?

Work It Out 4/16-4/22

First of all, perhaps you notice something different about the way the blog looks today?? For all like 4 of you who read this through google reader, you should head on over to the site and see what the amazing Liz of Sweet Simplicity Designs set up for me! There’s still a few things I need to do, but I have lots of new pages and fun things for you guys to look at. It’s not all ready just yet, but soon…! I’m so excited to have a custom design that is so me!

Anyway, in work out land, lots of great things happened last week!

I set a new record for miles I’ve run in one week. Last week I ran 25 miles, which may not sound like a lot to you marathoners, but as a 3x a week trying not to avoid injury at all costs runner, it was a new milestone, with my previous highest mileage at 22.

I ran the fastest mile I have ever run without stopping. I used to stop a lot to “stretch” during hard miles when I wanted to run faster. I didn’t really get speed work, I just knew that I wanted times like I saw on other blogs. It wasn’t helpful, and I felt like a big cheater. This week I ran a mile in 8:23, and it was the 3rd mile of my speed work session. I feel great about that. My 7:59 is on the horizon.

I got all of my workouts in. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle things like races, and spin class that aren’t exactly a part of my training plan, but I made it work.

Some not so great things happened, but I’ll get to that.

  • Monday: 4 miles with Jason. Fun friend running time. Love.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. Sweaty love.
  • Wednesday: 3x1600s @ 8:35 with 800 recovery jogs. I ran with Speedy Ashley. 1 mile warm up, then I ran the 1600s in 8:32, 8:30, 8:23, then cool down to total 6 miles. I kind of thought I was going to die, but every time I go into speed work, I doubt myself and think I can’t do it, then end up exceeding my expectations. It’s difficult to get used to being that uncomfortable, but it’s helping, and it’s probably my favorite type of training run right now.
  • Thursday: 13 mile bike ride with Steve. Rode to coffee, nice and easy.
  • Friday: Long Run. 11 super not fun miles. If you want the details, you can link back, but really I was just proud of myself for finishing with some pretty crappy circumstances.
  • Saturday: Pat’s Run. Way more unpleasant than Friday. Miserable, stomach flu feeling filled race. But I didn’t give up, and that’s what I need to focus on. This weekend taught me a lot about how persistent I am. Sometimes making it through a bad race is so much harder than setting a PR or having a great race.
  • Sunday: Total rest. Like actual rest. I called in sick. To my own rehearsal. Ummm, I don’t do that. But I was so sick on Saturday, and I knew that if I wanted to actually get better, rest was not only a good idea, but necessary. It’s amazing, if you actually do rest and take care of yourself, that you feel mostly better pretty quickly! Who knew, right? So even though today I still don’t feel 100%, I feel a whole lot better than Friday and Saturday, and I don’t regret taking the time to myself one bit. I came back today feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

How did you work it out last week?? Learn anything life changing? How did you take care of yourself?