Week 12 Workouts {Green Bay Marathon}

YAY! Week 12 is done, and with it, a huge long run.

Sunday, March 16th: Yoga
Did a nice little 20-minute series at home to get stretched out.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:11/mile) + abs pilates
I finally started to add pilates back into my weekly workouts. I love pilates!

The 4-mile run was fun. I met up with a group of runners after work and busted them out at a pretty good clip, considering it felt pretty “easy.”

Wednesday: 4 miles 2 miles + buns/thighs pilates
My legs were tired and semi-sore from my morning pilates. By the time I got home, I was so not motivated to run on the treadmill, but I made myself hop on to at least do something. I actually thought once I got going I’d be fine, but I just wasn’t into it. Oh well, better than nothing.

Thursday: 7 miles (10:50/mile)
Another post-work run outside. Ran with a couple friends; nice to have company and nice to be outside again.

Running along Lake Michigan

Let’s pretend it’s summer…

We got to run down near the lake, now that the mounds of snow & ice have finally melted. Lake Michigan went from 90% frozen to completely clear in what seemed like a matter of days!

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 16 miles!!! (11:37/mile)
Okay, this is technically part of next week since it’s Sunday, but it was “this week’s” long run. My training partners were busy yesterday so we opted to do our long run this lovely Sunday morning instead. We started at 7am (nicer than our 6am start times as of late) and although it was still chilly and a bit windy, the sun was shining. That always makes us smile, after this long, dreary winter.

We split the run into two parts: an out-and-back 10 mile run, which put us back at the starting point to meet up with a couple more people for the last 6 miles. Splitting the long run up into “two” runs makes it SO much easier mentally! I just focused on taking an easy 10-mile run, then by the time we got to the second part, the 6 mile run, it wasn’t weighing so heavily over our heads. Granted, we were still tired and ready to be done by the end, but mentally I felt on top of my game, and my body feels pretty good, too. I’m going to try to do this with the rest of our long runs going forward, I think.

I had stomach issues the entire run, which were pretty annoying. This has happened to me a couple times over the recent month, so I wonder if I need to start being more careful with what & when I eat leading up to my long run. Perhaps my spicy Mexican brunch yesterday was a bad idea. Of course, having a wild Friday night out with lots of drinks probably didn’t help, either. 😉

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: 16 miles (am) + yoga (pm)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles (yay for step-back week!)

– – –

How were your workouts this week?
Are you able to start getting out in the “spring” weather?
What’s your favorite carb-loading meal before a long run or race? 


Week 7 & 8 Workouts {Phoenix Half & Green Bay Marathon}

Life these days: Work, eat, run, eat, work, sleep. Repeat.

I’ve had lots of long hours at my desk lately {fulfilling, but draining}. In the past, long hours on the job meant I skipped my workouts and spent that free time vegging to rest my brain. This time, I finally managed to break for a run—even when I felt like “I just don’t have time”—because I knew the mental break would be invigorating. And it was. I’ll try to remember that in the future, when stressful projects & precious free time collide again.

Here’s a recap of the past two weeks’ workouts, leading up to my half marathon in Phoenix, Arizona a short week away. (Ohh, so excited!)


– – – – – WEEK 7 – – – – – 

Sunday, February 9th: Stretch + foam roll

Monday: 3.5 miles 3 miles + 10 minutes bike
I got to 3 miles on the treadmill and boredom struck hard, so I bopped to the bike for the rest of my workout.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 3.5 miles
Another easy treadmill run.

Thursday: 6 miles 5.5 miles
First run on my new treadmill! Even though I complain about the ‘mill all the time, when my friend put hers up for sale for $150, Matt sprung to get it for me so I could have a treadmill at home. Woo! What a great fiancé.

It’s so nice to be able to watch my own TV shows, play my music without headphones, and work out at home whenever I want. Even with all those perks, getting to 5.5 miles was still a struggle against boredom; an hour on the treadmill is a long time! It was a good workout, though. I played around with speed and incline to keep my mind busy and test the waters of my new toy treadmill.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 11 miles
What a fantastic run! It was really cold yet again—barely above zero, I think. Meeting up to run with four other ladies (including a new running club member) sure helped make the miles fly by, though. This run was a major win with NO SNOW on the roads. I forgot how much easier it is to run when there aren’t a couple inches of snow mucking up your footing.

With that, my longest pre-half marathon run is complete!

– – – – – WEEK 8 – – – – – 

Sunday, February 16th: Stretch + foam roll
Hi, major knot in my left IT band. Meet my little friend, the foam roller. Ouch.

Monday: Rest
Switched my usual rest day to Monday, so I could work some extra hours in the evening.

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:52/mile)
AH! It was 44 degrees outside and it felt like heaven. Ha.

I met up with a handful of my running buds for a post-work run (one of those “I don’t think I have time, but I need to do this for me” runs). It felt glorious to actually be a little too warm with all our layers on. My face didn’t feel like it was going to fall off. I could actually feel all of my limbs. It was a nice run.

Wednesday: 4 miles 3 miles (10:33/mile)
Working at home ‘til 11pm Tuesday + getting up at 5:30am to get s* done in the morning = I felt like a zombie when I got home Wednesday evening. Despite that, I craved a little run to clear my mind. It was still 40 degrees out (heat wave!) and I knew if I didn’t go for a run, I’d sprint to a glass of wine instead. Glad I opted for the healthier alternative.

Taking a moment to breathe & enjoy the view on a dusk run.

Taking a moment to breathe & enjoy the view on a dusk run.

Thursday: 6 miles Rest
The late nights, early mornings and stress finally caught up to me, I guess. When I got home, I was kind of exhausted and drained of all motivation. I spent a relaxing, low-key night on the couch with DVDs of “The West Wing,” and Matt, instead.

And maybe some wine.

Friday: Rest
My “real” rest day. I was still pretty tapped out from the week—I seriously wanted to go to bed at 7pm. Yawn.

Saturday: 8 miles 7 miles
My step-back “long” run before the Phoenix Half Marathon. YAY, I can’t wait! Sunny weather, warm temps, and my sisters. I’m already daydreaming about landing there on Friday.

This run was good, because I got to meet yet another new member of our running club, and we enjoyed a relaxed run. On the not-so-good part, my stomach started feeling funky around mile 3, so the last two miles were pretty stop-and-go as I had to walk a lot. I cut the run a mile short because of that, but I’m not worried about a lost mile.

Note to self: Mexican food the night before a long run? Never again.

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: Yoga + foam roll
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 2 miles (shakeout run)
Saturday: 13.1 miles, Phoenix Half Marathon!

– – –

Do you squeeze in workouts, even when life pummels hectic curveballs your way?

Are you looking forward to any races on your schedule? 

Spring 2014 Running Training Plan

Spring 2014 Training Plan Phoenix Half Marathon and Green Bay Marathon

I have an obsession with making training plans. I LOVE to make them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the thought of setting a goal, having a clear road map on how to get there, and knowing you can achieve it? I get excited to see where I’m starting out, and what I’m going to be able to do. It makes me feel strong, motivated and, especially with a marathon on the docket, kind of like a badass.

I made myself a custom training plan for the Phoenix Half Marathon on March 1st, and from there, the Green Bay Marathon on May 18th. I based the plan loosely on Hal Higdon’s training plans. I like that I run only 4 times a week, because it helps keep me from getting burned out later. Plus, I really enjoy bicycling, and it’s fun cross training as part of the week’s workouts {if the weather ever gets nice enough this spring}.

You can check out the full training plan here (PDF format):
Spring 2014 Running Training Plan

My days of the week are broken down like this:
Monday: easy run
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: tempo* run
Thursday: marathon pace run
Friday: rest
Saturday: long run
Sunday: cross train

* I would like to have the tempo runs on Wednesday to help get some speed back, but I also don’t want to push myself too much and get hurt. I’m going to play these runs by ear, so if I feel great I’ll push, and if not, I’ll just run at what feels right.

One thing I really paid attention to with this program was following the “10% rule,” making sure my mileage doesn’t increase by more than 10% each week. I kept it pretty close to a 10% increase each week, and some weeks I have it step back to give a little extra rest to weary legs. Because I did get injured last year, I am trying my best to ward off any setbacks.

Another thing that I’m focusing on more this year, that’s not accounted for on the plan, is more strengthening: Hips, core, arms and legs. I’m trying to get in some basic hip and core work at least every other day to keep everything strong (and pesky ITBS from flaring again).

Please share any thoughts or feedback you have, I’d love to hear it!

– – –

Do you follow a training plan?
How do you keep yourself healthy & strong while training for a race?
Favorite kind of workout? 

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 10 recap

Wow, week 10 is done already?! The weeks have really flown by, so I guess that means my training’s been going well. This week has had its ups and downs, though, as did my long run of 17 miles…and I might be dealing with a slight injury. 😦

Sunday, August 18th: rest

Monday: 4 miles • 9:55/mile
I took some frustrations out on this run, so it was great to push it hard and feel accomplished when I finished. I ran the four miles progressively faster, with splits of 10:46, 10;33, 9:36 and 8:42. That last mile was fast!

Tuesday: cross train – biking
Met up with some lovely ladies for a medium-effort bike ride for an hour along the lake. Good time!

Wednesday: 4 miles • DNR
I wasn’t feeling a run and my legs were tired. I decided I’d run an easy couple miles on Friday to loosen up, but…See Friday’s recap.

Thursday: 8 miles  10:43/mile
This run really pushed me. I met up with a couple people and we ran on trails for all 8 miles, which was fun. Trails are my favorite! Plus, it was great to give the legs a break from pounding pavement. The small hills and different muscles you use for trail running were really challenging, so by the end I was spent and glad to be done. Considering this was on trails, my pace per mile was quite fast; usually, I run around 11:15/mile pace for trails.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have pushed it so hard, because later that night my left knee started to ache a little. Usually my right knee gives me pain due to IT band issues, so it was weird that my left knee was yellin’ at me. I iced my knee, took some ibuprofen and figured it’d be fine, but it came back to haunt me Saturday…

Friday: rest
That trail run kicked my butt, and I was psyching myself out for Saturday’s long run, so I didn’t make up any miles from Wednesday’s missed run. I thought the more rest for my legs, the better!

Saturday: 17 miles • 10:38/mile
Well, I did it! In exactly 3 hours, I ran 17 miles.

I still can’t believe I actually ran that far!!!

My friend Jess ran with me, and thank goodness, because I don’t know if I could have done it without the support of another runner. I felt pretty good starting off, but by mile 6 or so my left knee started to ache again. I’m not sure how to even describe the pain, as it’s not the typical pain I feel from IT band issues in my other knee. This pain was on the side of the knee, on the outside, and sort of felt like what I’d imagine arthritis feels like? Sometimes it just felt achy, but then sometimes (especially after stopping for a minute to stretch) it was really painful. A few times it felt like my knee was going to simply give out. My left lower back was also tight and started to hurt, so I have to figure it’s probably all connected…

By mile 7, I could tell that the pain wasn’t going to go away, despite stopping to stretch, so I hoped for the best and gritted my teeth.

For 10 more miles.

I have to say, I kind of feel like a badass since I could deal with that pain for 10 miles. But, maybe I could also be called a dumbass for continuing to run with the pain, as afterwards my knee hurt so bad I was pretty much hobbling around all day.

I got in a [really wimpy] ice bath for 10 minutes when I got home, which I think helped all of my muscles. Matt thought the whole concept of the ice bath was pretty funny I guess, because he was quite eager to help pour all of the ice in and then take pictures of my reaction…

post-run ice bath


The ice bath must have helped, because today (Sunday) I’m not sore and my knee is barely hurting at all when I walk, go up & down stairs, etc. Nonetheless, I think I’ll just be cross-training for a few days, and doing some detective work on what might be going on and how I can help it.

This week’s schedule:

  • Sunday: rest/PT
  • Monday: 60 minutes cross-train
  • Tuesday: 5 miles/PT – will substitute biking
  • Wednesday: 8 miles – will substitute biking
  • Thursday: 5 miles/PT – will probably run a very easy 3-4 miles to see how my knee feels
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 18 miles

Any ideas on what might be wrong with my knee? How do you deal with injuries during and after your runs? Any advice? 

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 8 Recap

It was an up & down week…  But it ended on a high (long) note. 🙂

Sunday, August 4th: rest
I was sore and tired from Saturday. Took the day off to get work done around the house, and planned to bike Monday instead.

Monday: 60 minutes cross train
I did some bicep curls with a beer bottle…? Don’t worry, I made sure to alternate arms.

Tuesday: 4 miles • 11:31/mile
Ran a solo trail run. Despite the slower pace, I felt like I was cruisin’ most of the time. There’s something about the solitude of trail running, it’s so peaceful and serene. I love taking in the views.

Running on the trails is my favorite!

I seriously felt like a deer prancing around. It was awesome. My legs were certainly a bit sore the next day from the hills and terrain, so it was a great workout.

Wednesday: 4 miles • 10:08/mile
My legs were still a little sore and sluggish for the first mile of this run, but after I loosened up, my splits were fantastic:

Mile 1 – 10:24
Mile 2 – 10:27
Mile 3 – 10:19
Mile 4 – 9:21 (!)

After pushing it, I made sure to foam roll & stretch really well, and got some PT exercises in for the knee.

Thursday: 7 miles • DNR
I was supposed to meet up with some friends to run this, but had to go to the police department instead. Boo.

Friday: rest
This week was rough and very mentally draining. I was sore & tired every day. I meant to run 3 miles just to stay loose, but I took a nap instead. I don’t really even like naps. I guess I needed it?

Saturday: 15 miles • 10:31/mile
Okay, for as much as the week drained me, and how off-track my training seemed…this run was FANTASTIC! Mentally and physically, I felt really good the whole time. And look at that overall pace—it is faster than usual, and this has been my longest run yet. (Yay for new distance PRs!)

My usual running buddy, Liz, couldn’t run, so I was solo for this long one. I think running alone almost helped me, because I was able to settle into “the zone” and slow down when I needed to, or speed up when I felt good. 15 miles was a little boring sometimes, all alone, but it was also relaxing, too. After such a long week, it was good to have some solitude and not have to think or talk for a couple hours.

Good morning, world.

My splits were GREAT:

Long run splits

I ran faster for the last half than I did for the first half. Exactly how you want to complete a good long run. The only reason my pace slowed on mile 12 was my attempting to send a few text messages and run at the same time (probably just as dangerous as texting & driving, FYI).

And uhh that last mile? 10:05 on mile 15, seriously?


This week’s schedule:

  • Sunday: rest/PT
  • Monday: 60 minutes cross train
  • Tuesday: 4 miles
  • Wednesday: 7 miles
  • Thursday: 4 miles/PT
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: half marathon

I’m so glad the week ended on a high note. I’m excited to start over this week and hopefully hit all my workouts and make ‘em count. The work is paying off. 🙂

I have a half marathon on my schedule for next weekend’s long run, but I’m not signed up for one, so I may just run 13 miles all out and see how I do?

How was your training this week? What are you looking forward to in the week to come? 

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 6 Recap

After five weeks of stellar training, I had my first week inadequate training, to say the least. But, I’ll look for a positive: The slight pain in my knee is gone (for now) so I guess the unplanned rest was good for that…

Sunday, July 21st: Rest day

Monday: 3 miles • DNR
I tried really hard to get this run in, but sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan. I was at work at 6:30am to finish an important project that day. I hoped to run over lunch, then ended up having to work through lunch. No problem, I thought, I’ll just leave at 4pm and get in three miles before my evening plans.

…Then I got booked into a meeting until almost 5 o’clock. I had to meet my friends at 5:15 for a trip we planned to a running store about an hour away, so there was no wiggle room there. So, no run, despite all my good intentions. This whole work thing sure gets in the way of running! 😉 I did have an awesome trip to the running store, though, where I was evaluated and fit for new shoes (post to come on that sometime soon!).

Tuesday: 60 minutes cross train • DNR
My fiancé had come down with something a few days earlier and had to go to the doctor for antibiotics. I felt nauseous, had a headache and was so tired all day. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and go to sleep. Obviously no workout was happening that day, and I just crossed my fingers my body was fighting off whatever was attacking it.

Wednesday: 6 miles 3 miles • no pace recorded
Yay—I felt 90% back to normal. I only ran 3 miles because I didn’t want to push it (and my knee felt weird the whole run). My Garmin was dead so I just ran for 30 minutes at what felt like a fairly hard pace. It felt glorious to sweat.

Thursday: 3 miles •  DNR
Again—time was not on my side this day. I was prepping to go to the BlogHer conference, plus had to finish up not one but THREE “first priority” projects before I left work that day…which meant I was in early and stayed as late as possible. When I got home, I only had time to pack and then had to hop on a train to Chicago. I guess at least I walked a few miles once I got into Chicago?

Friday: Rest
I was up at 5am to get ready & leave for the BlogHer conference, and didn’t get home until about 10pm that night. Yawn.

Saturday: 9 miles  
The conference went all day, so there was no time to get in my long run. Planning to get the 9 miles in on Sunday (today) to make up for it!

This week’s schedule takes it up a notch:

  • Sunday: 9 miles easy
  • Monday: 4 miles
  • Tuesday: 60 minutes cross train
  • Wednesday: 7 miles
  • Thursday: 4 miles
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 14 miles

FYI: 14 miles will be my longest run…EVER! Wish me luck!

Let me know:
How do you deal with crappy training weeks? Do they get to you mentally, or do you just move on and not let them drag you down? 

I’m usually pretty good at moving forward & focusing on what I can do better this week, but there’s a small nagging in the back of my mind that says, I wish I could have at least gotten in a few more miles somewhere in there… But, I’ll just make sure this is a kick-ass week!

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 5 Recap

Week 5 of training is in the books. Despite a hot & humid week, I felt like I did a good job on all of my runs. I’m starting to feel stronger overall everyday. The only downside: I feel a small twinge of pain in my left knee. I have had IT band problems plague me for the last year or so, and I’ve been dreading this happening. I do foam roll after every run, but I don’t think I do enough core & hip strengthening, so that’s on my list this week to work on improving.

Sunday, July 14th: Rest day

Monday: 3 miles • 9:44/mile
This was the first day of heat for the long inferno of a week ahead. It was over 85 degrees when I went for my run, so I was glad it was a short and sweet 3 miles. My legs felt great, even after Saturday’s long run, and the heat must not have been bothering me too much, because I ran much faster than my typical paces. I guess I just wanted to get it over with & hop back into the sweet, sweet air conditioning at home!

Tuesday: 70 minutes cross training • bike ride
I joined up with a group of women who bike Tuesday nights for about 2 hours. This is a little excessive for my cross-training day as I only need 60 minutes, so I met up with them along the route partway through the ride. I ended up going about 70 minutes total, and it was a fun ride.

Wednesday: 3 miles • no pace recorded
I had one of those days where I got home late, so I was tired, hungry, and did not want to run in the 90+ degree temps. But then I thought, what else am I going to do with myself all night?! I ate a snack and then drove to a shaded path to run, so it was much more bearable & felt about 10 degrees cooler there.

run on a shaded trail if it is hot and humid out, it will feel so much better!

In the end I was very glad I ran, and besides, I couldn’t bear to tell you all I had skipped out. Accountability sure helps! For some reason my Garmin randomly didn’t record the run (?!) so I have no pace for ya.

Thursday: 6 miles • 10:46/mile
I had been trying to get up in the mornings to run all week, to no avail. But, Thursday evening was supposed to hit mid-90s again and I knew there was no way I’d get a 6-miler done in that without passing out, so I made plans with a neighbor runner to meet at 5:30am to get the run in. It was still very warm and humid when we started (I think about 75 degrees & 90% humidity), and I was definitely ready to be done by mile four, but we got ‘em in.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 12 miles • 10:50/mile
12 miles! It has been so long since I’ve done such a long run. It went by quickly, with the pretty lakefront scenery distracting me for a while. I may or may not have daydreamed about one of these boats being my own…

boats along my running route

Dreaming aside, I was smart and carried a water bottle with me the entire way. I made sure to keep filling it up and drink from it as we powered through the miles. I think this had a huge impact, because even though it was in the upper 60’s when we began (positively cool compared to the rest of the week) I did sweat a whole lot…but I felt great the entire time. I also popped some shot blox fuel starting around mile 6, 1 block at each mile (or as I remembered). This works for these runs, but now that the runs will get longer, I’ll need to find some alternative fuel choices.

This week’s schedule:
• Sunday: rest
• Monday: 60 minutes cross train
• Tuesday: 3 miles
• Wednesday: 6 miles
• Thursday: 3 miles
• Friday: rest
• Saturday: 9 miles (step back week!)

Let me know:
How were your runs or workouts this week?
How do you like to fuel during long runs—what do you eat & drink, and how often?
What are your favorite core & hip exercises?