Bayshore Marathon – Week 10

30 Mar

Wow! We are more than halfway through this thing…which means the distances are getting daunting, the time spent pounding the pavement is adding up, and the weeks are flying by.

This week was capped off by a very humbling long run. Here’s a look:

Christopher and I planned to do yoga together, but we skipped it in favor of a cozy night in. I hustled through this quick workout, just to get in a little something.

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  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 27:22/9:07 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

It got pretty chilly again this week, so I hit the gym for this run. I wanted this to be somewhat of a speed workout, so I started at 5.8 mph and increased the speed every 0.15 miles, then brought it back down. I was flyin’, especially for a treadmill run.

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 40 min. Two YouTube videos, including this one. Completed after the girls were asleep.

The girls are sick again (runny noses, mostly), so we stayed home instead of going to the gym.

I knew cross-training was in order, so I browsed Zumba videos on YouTube. I got about halfway through a 45-minute class, but I could no longer follow along well enough. I did a 20-minute routine, and I loved it – much more my style and much more similar to the dances from class.

IMG_20150326_150906(My poor pinkie toe has developed its permanent marathon-training blister.)

  • Thursday: 7-mile run – 7.28 miles, 1:12:56, 10:01 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

It was pretty chilly again and very windy, but I was not about to pound the treadmill for a 7-mile run.

I ran the local trails again, west toward the Dillon Home, across the Sinnissippi Dam to Rock Falls, and south along the Hennepin Canal. I got about 6 minutes into my run before I noticed my RunKeeper app was set to stopwatch mode, rather than GPS mode. I switched modes, and I pressed on.

The first few miles proved to be pretty fast, despite the wind and a somewhat upset stomach (Note to self: Do not eat a snack immediately before heading out the door.) with splits of 9:33, 9:20, and 9:47*.

The next few miles were much slower with splits of 10:47, 10:25, and 10:55*. I stopped to walk to catch my breath and to cough and clear my throat. I also slowed a bit on some hills; downhills on the way there turn into uphills on the way back.

*GPS mode tracks splits, so these do not include the 0.65-mile jaunt in stopwatch mode.

  • Friday: Body Pump rest

I again skipped class in favor of not completely ripping apart my muscles ahead of a long run.

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  • Saturday: 15-mile run – 15.07 miles, 2:42:41, 10:48 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 1 p.m.

It’s getting real, y’all. Fifteen miles. It seems so possible: It’s just three 5-mile runs. It’s just 2 miles more than a half marathon. It’s just [insert Jedi-runner mind trick here]. Yet it is so humbling.

Christopher again tackled the full distance with me; I surely would have melted into a puddle of sweat, tears, frustration, anger, and pain if it were not for him.

It was sunny, but cold and windy. We hit a local (in Wisconsin) trail, built on a former railroad corridor, 7.5 miles out and back.

The first 5 miles went well: 9:33, 9:14, 9:21, 9:42, and 9:54. The middle 5 miles were tough, because the wind picked up: 12:03 (fuel break), 10:11, 10:33, 10:46, and 11:55 (fuel/walk break). The next 4 miles were just plain awful: 11:00, 12:37, 11:56, and 12:59 (walk break). The last mile is a point of pride, however: 10:12.

Through the first 5 miles, I felt pretty good – comfortable, capable. But through the middle 5 miles, I was downright cold and uncomfortable, as chills ran down my spine, as my fingers froze through my gloves, and as my legs stiffened up. Around mile 9.5, I was frustrated, and I about hyperventilated.

Then again, around mile 13 or 13.5, I flat out lost it: I was emotional. I psyched myself out. That little (irrational) voice in my head was telling me that if I couldn’t do 13 miles, or 15 miles, then I definitely couldn’t do 26.2 miles. But that other little (rational) voice in my head was saying that I needed to keep going, that I could do it because I had put in the time and the training. I cried. I hugged Christopher. I walked. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth.

I remembered just how hard it is to train for a marathon. I remembered just how easy it is to let my head out-talk my heart. I remembered how cathartic and emotional it is to just run: Running always has brought out the strongest, opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum emotions for me – anger, frustration, jealousy…happiness, contemplation, pride.

The last mile, I ran with my heart. I knew we had a mile to go, we were close to home, which meant we were almost done, almost to the girls, almost to a hot shower and warm clothes. I just ran. We turned the corner, and we saw the girls in the big bay window, smiling, giggling, and waving. It was the best, most perfect end.

I honestly believe the cold and the wind had everything to do with the reason this run – and my emotions – got away from me. I wouldn’t have – couldn’t have, really – done much differently; we only walked three times over 15 miles, and we averaged sub-11:00 miles.

Next weekend, it is supposed to be near 60 degrees, partly cloudy, and windy. I hate the idea of another windy run, but I love the idea of a feels-like-50-something-degrees run. I plan to run 10 alone, then 6 with Christopher, the girls, and Dexter. I feel, right now, like that is totally manageable – like the thought of that 16 miles doesn’t scare me.

On the docket for this week:

  • Today – yoga
  • Tuesday – 4-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 8-mile run
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – 16-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Bayshore Marathon training – Week 9

23 Mar

The theme of this week? Speed! I somehow managed to flat out kill my runs this week. I pulled off an average pace of less than 10 minutes for a total of 20 miles.

  • Monday: Yoga – 45 min. Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown Level 1. Completed after the girls were asleep.

I went back to the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown video, and I felt really strong. I hardly made any modifications or took any breaks, really only during chaturanga push-ups. I felt especially awesome during the “rolling Ts,” or alternating side planks; I never had to come down onto my knees.

IMG_20150316_162307Bonus: 2.59-mile walk – 43:23/16:45 pace. Completed with the girls in the stroller and Dexter on the leash, about 3:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 3.12 miles, 27:59/8:58 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 1:30 p.m.

I did not intend for this to be a lightning-fast run; in fact, I planned for it to be a just-get-the-miles-in run.

IMG_20150317_140047I felt awful. This cold/sinus bug had me coughing much of the morning and all day the day before, so my throat was raw, my head hurt, and my chest felt heavy and tight.

I crossed the half-mile mark at 4:22, and I felt alright. I hit the mile mark at 8:52, and I still felt alright. I hit the 2-mile mark at 17:43 (8:51 split). I struggled most in the third mile (9:11 split). My chest felt so tight, like it was small and incapable of expanding for a truly deep, cleansing, necessary breath. I never stopped, though; Dexter even lagged alongside/behind me a bit.

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 45 min. Class at the Y.

Nothing special to report here.

  • Thursday: 7-mile run – 7.25 miles, 1:11:56, 9:55 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

As of this writing, now four days removed from this run, it’s but a faint memory. But it’s a good faint memory. Look at that time!

IMG_20150319_141000I took the roads south, hit the trail through Sinnissippi Park and Hoover Park, then the roads through the neighborhood over there. I turned around, walked for maybe 60 seconds, then got after it.

My splits are pretty sweet: 9:39, 9:31, 9:58, 10:21, 10:12, 10:01, and 9:57.

  • Friday: Body Pump – 45 min. Class at the Y.

I decided that, since only 10 miles were on the docket for the next day, I would get my butt to 6 a.m. Body Pump. I know how beneficial it is to incorporate strength training into marathon training, so I was glad to get in another class.

We did the biceps and triceps tracks instead of the chest track, which was a nice change of pace and ensured my “wings” did not ache as badly on my run the next day. We still did the squat and lunge tracks, although they did not burn as badly as they previously have, which meant my legs weren’t as sore for my run the next day, either.

  • Saturday: 10-mile run – 10.15 miles, 1:37:27, 9:36 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 1:15 p.m., then with Christopher, the girls, after they woke up, and Dexter.

Holy moley. I still cannot believe this run actually happened. A 9:36 average pace? Who is running these miles?

IMG_20150321_150644It was a pretty nice afternoon for a run, although it was windy again. I ran the first 6 miles, then Christopher and the girls and Dexter joined me for another 4 miles. I maintained a fabulous pace for the first leg, and Christopher set a pretty swift pace for the second leg.

For the first leg, I again took to the local trails, but this time, I went west toward the Dillon Home, across the Sinnissippi Dam to Rock Falls, and south along the Hennepin Canal before I turned back for home. For the second leg, we did the roads in our neighborhood.

Miles 1-3 were impressively fast at 8:57, 8:43, and 9:14. Miles 4-6 were a bit more of my typical pace at 10:15, 10:19, and 9:54. Miles 7-10 felt incredibly difficult; Christopher was bookin’ it (pushing the stroller), and I was lagging behind (running with the dog), struggling to get my breathing under control and really just fighting to keep up. But miles 7-10 were, again, impressively fast, especially given the point in the long run, at 9:19, 9:42, 9:56, and 10:01.

And for the cherry on top? We finished that last 15 hundredths of a mile at 8:20 pace.

IMG_20150321_161026 The actual cherry on top. #shamrockshake

I am contemplating a half marathon in West Bend on April 26. I would like to run at least one big race before the marathon, and I would love to set a new PR. My current best is 2:26, or 11:10 per mile. If I can maintain a 10-minute-per-mile pace, then I could set an epic PR, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2:11. That would be a 15-minute improvement. I think it is totally possibly, but I think Christopher might have to pace me.

If anything, this 10-miler taught me reminded me that I can do epic things, even on the verge of hyperventilating, even on the verge of tears of frustration and inadequacy; I just have to keep going, one foot in front of the other, breathe in, breathe out. I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What is it they say? Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.

On the docket for this week:

  • Today – yoga
  • Tuesday – 3-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 7-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump
  • Saturday – 10-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Let’s talk about food

18 Mar

It’s been a while since a recipe has graced these pages…

Pinky swear we’re still cooking (and eating) here. We plan our meals weekly from cookbooks and Pinterest. We haven’t done too much original stuff in some time.

But, we have been developing some new food content!

Christopher and I together are working on a new feature for the local newspaper: Foodtorials, in which we give you the knowledge and techniques to tackle some cooking basics. Christopher does all the production, and I do all the on-screen work–and write the accompanying copy.

Our first one was on homemade, from-the-bones chicken stock. Watch the video and read the article here.

Stock on the stoveOur second one was from-scratch pie crust. Watch the video and read the article here.

Pie out of the oven

Christopher also has launched a feature on easy, wholesome recipes for toddlers.

His first one was about pizza monsters–whole-wheat bread slices topped with tomato sauce and cheese and decorated to look like monster faces with black olives. Read the story here.

Elise pizzaHis second one was on PB&J sushi–flattened slices of whole-wheat bread spread with peanut butter and jelly, then rolled and cut to resemble sushi. Read the story here.

Elise feeding Anna sushi

So that’s what we’ve been up to lately! Happy cooking (and eating)!

Bayshore Marathon training – Week 8

15 Mar

Spring has unofficially sprung! The weather was near perfect for running (and bonus walking) this week.

Here’s how it all went down:

  • Monday: Yoga – 45 min. This video. Completed after the girls were asleep.

This 45-minute yoga/strength-building for runners video was a nice change of pace from the Yoga Meltdown and Yoga for the Warrior videos. It was slower, more deliberate, but still very challenging.

I opted for this over the other two yoga flow routines to force myself to stretch and strengthen my overworked running muscles after 12 miles Saturday and in anticipation of 13 miles this coming Saturday. I think it paid off.

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Bonus: 2-mile walk – 34:35/17:19 pace. Completed with the girls in the stroller and Dexter on the leash, about 3:45 p.m.

  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 3.17 miles, 29:38/9:20 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

Hooray for outdoor running weather! It was about 40 degrees, with light wind – perfect for a speedy 5K.

I leashed up the dog and set out to run without a walk break. I clocked in at an average pace of 9:20 per mile, 3 seconds faster than last week on the treadmill; Dexter actually ran a bit behind me for the last half-mile or so. A solid run, no doubt.

Bonus: 1.82-mile walk – 29:47/16:21 pace. Completed with the girls in the stroller, about 4:45 p.m.

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 45 min. Class at the Y.

Whew, the instructor was off her game, so most of us in class were doing the Elaine Benes. I still managed to get a decent workout, though.

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  • Thursday: 6-mile run – 59:58/10:00 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

It was beautiful outside, save for a rather stuff 10 mph wind. The sunshine definitely spurred me on to a pretty swift 6-mile run.

I took a different route, in anticipation of logging more miles outside of our neighborhood as runs get longer over the coming weeks. I headed south to the river, then east on the trail the runs through a couple of parks along the river, and I liked that the trail would present a challenge (read: hills).

I felt great throughout the run except for the first mile or two, when I struggled with a twinge in my chest. I’ve been dealing with some kind of very minor sinus bug this week, so my nose is intermittently runny or congested, and my passages are draining, which makes breathing slightly difficult and uncomfortable; I slogged through it though, the exertion of my run temporarily relieving my symptoms.

The first half of my run was really fast: 9:20, 9:22, and 10:05 were my splits. The second half was a bit slower, on account of the hills and a short walk break: 11:00, 10:31, and 9:38 were my splits.

Bonus: 2.5-ish-mile walk. Completed with the girls in the stroller (and a friend for about half of it), about 4:30 p.m.

  • Friday: Body Pump rest

I skipped class in favor of not completely ripping apart my muscles ahead of a 13-mile run.

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  • Saturday: 12.76-mile run – 2:12:04/10:21 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:45 p.m.

It was another beautiful day for a run, again save for a decently stiff wind. My mom was in town, so she held down the fort, which allowed Christopher to join me for all 13 miles of this run. He set a good pace and silently motivated me to maintain it throughout the run. We stopped only at traffic lights and between legs to drop off the dog, eat a handful of Honey Stingers, and drink some water.

We took to the trail through Sinnissippi Park and Hoover Park for our first leg (7.6 miles), then the roads in our neighborhood for our second leg (5.16 miles).

Miles 1 and 2 were nice and fast at 9:21 and 9:29, respectively. Miles 3-5 were slower, on account of the hills and a stiff headwind, at 10:06, 10:21, and 10:12. Miles 6-8 were about the same, at 10:22, 10:22, and 10:25.

Mile 9 was a bit faster at 10:16, and mile 10 was a bit slower at 10:25. I was starting to feel sore and sluggish, and I was craving a walk break, but I knew we only had 3 miles left, and I knew we had not yet stopped to walk, so I pressed on. I wanted to be able to say I ran all 13 miles without a stop.

Mile 11 was the slowest one at 11:17;  it was around this time that my left knee started hurting. I winced with almost every step, but I pushed through in the event it was just some long-mileage discomfort. I was right, and I felt better within about a mile.

Miles 12 and 13 were faster (11:05 and 10:53), likely because we were close to home and, thus, almost done.

I cannot believe a) I ran 13 miles without a purposeful walk break, and b) I ran 13 miles at 10:21 pace. I really am trying to embrace the notion of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I typically would have taken a walk break every 4 miles or so, or at least when my knee was bothersome, or when my chest hurt…but I just did not give in to temptation. And you know what? I survived. And I have a pretty sweet time to show for it.

(Major props to Christopher for making the jump from short and middle distances to 13 big ol’ miles this weekend. He is paying for it a bit today, but I could never repay him for it; his company and his silent motivation mean the world to me. <3)

On the docket for this week:

  • Tomorrow – yoga
  • Tuesday – 3-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 7-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump
  • Saturday – 10-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Bayshore Marathon training – Week 7

8 Mar

Whew, the miles are really starting to add up!

This week went a little something like this:

  • Monday: Yoga – 60 min. This video. Completed after the girls were asleep.

Mindy mentioned Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior a few times over the years, and I found a bootleg copy on YouTube this week.

This workout is similar in approach to Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown. I felt prepared and relatively confident, although I struggled with downward-dog shoulder presses, chaturanga pushups, and bird of paradise, which never has been a pose in my practice.

Going forward, I probably will alternate between Yoga Meltdown and Yoga for the Warrior.

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  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 28:10/9:23 pace. Completed after a marathon afternoon of work, about 4:30 p.m.

This run just got pushed back all day. I couldn’t do it in the morning, before work, because I failed to set my alarm. I couldn’t do it in the afternoon, while the girls took their nap, because Christopher and I had to shoot a food tutorial video for the paper, which involved making a double-crust, four-berry pie from scratch; and I had to make dinner for that night. I finally got around to it at about 4:30 p.m.

I set out to do a speedy 3 miles. I started at 5.9 mph and just cranked the speed every half-mile or so until I reached 7 mph. I struggled a bit with a side stitch, but I took deep breaths and relaxed my arms and shoulders, otherwise I felt awesome.

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 45 min. Class at the Y.

The instructor was out again, so the substitute instructor did many of the same songs, although she tossed in a few new-to-me routines. She goofed up a few times, thus I goofed up a few many times. I felt out of sync and crowded by the people around me, so I got a less sweaty workout than usual.

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  • Thursday: 6-mile run – 1:01:34, 10:16 pace. Treadmill. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

I found a nice 6.5-ish-mile treadmill interval run on Pinterest, and I modified it to my skill level, bringing the top speed down from 6.9 mph to 6.4 mph.

Here’s what I did:

Distance – Speed (mph)

0-1 – 5.6
1-1.5 – 5.9
1.5-2 – 6.4, 6.3 (0.25 mi each)
2-2.5 – 5.9
2.5-3 – 6.4, 6.3
3-3.1 – 3
3.1-3.5 – 5.9
3.5-4 – 6.4, 6.3
4-4.1 – 4
4.1-4.5 – 5.9
4.5-5 – 6.4, 6.3
5-5.1 – 4
5.1-5.5 – 5.9
5.5-6 – 6.4, 6.5

I really felt strong throughout this run, and I definitely looked the part afterward.

  • Friday: Body Pump – 45 min. Class at the Y.

This was only the second time I’ve done the newest release, so the sequence of the moves and the cadence of the reps still is new to me, and thus, my muscles still fatigue quite easily. The squat/lunge track, and even the chest track, is so tough, and they leave those muscle groups very, very sore; I am contemplating skipping the class in favor of a rest day before my long runs.

  • Saturday: 12-mile run – 2:10:19, 10:52 pace. Outside; 40-ish degrees, sunny and windy. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

Ultimately, this run was quite a treat. That’s not to say it wasn’t challenging, or wasn’t without its struggles, or was easy, by any means.

I ran outside for the first time in weeks. It was mild, sunny, and windy; the snow was melting, and the sidewalks were veritable moats.

I ran the first 7.5 miles with Christopher and Dexter, and we averaged less than 10-minute miles for the first 4 miles, then 10:30-11-minute miles for the last 3.5 miles. We never stopped to walk, only for traffic, but we had to dodge flooded sidewalks and run through melting snow and mud.

I stopped at home to grab a sip of water and a few Honey Stingers and take a hit of my inhaler, then I ran the last 4.5 miles with my dad, who was in town this weekend, and we averaged about 12-minute miles. We talked much of the run, so my breathing got a little off, and we stopped to walk a few times. We also had to dodge flooded sidewalks, as we took the same route as Christopher and I did for the first part of our run.

My biggest struggle, honestly, was maintaining my speed through the messy sidewalk and road conditions. Flooded sidewalks and muddy shoulders means wet shoes and socks, which means rubbing and chafing, which leads to blisters and raw skin. My feet still hurt the worst of anything today.

I really need to master my fueling and hydration over the next few runs. I haven’t carried water on a run yet, and I probably will have to during next weekend’s long run. I also haven’t been super consistent with when I nosh on my Honey Stingers and how many I eat, so I need to get that on lock pretty soon.

I continue to be very grateful for things or people that make my long runs seem not so long. In previous weeks, it was breaking the run up into two or three shorter runs. This week, it was breaking it up into two shorter runs and running with other people (and the dog!). Next week should be similar, although I wish I was running a true half marathon with a finish line and a medal…

On the docket for this week:

  • Tomorrow – yoga
  • Tuesday – 3-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 6-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump
  • Saturday – 13-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Bayshore Marathon training – Week 6

1 Mar

 

  • Monday: yoga – 35 min. Completed after the girls were asleep.

Another Monday-night yoga session with Jillian Michaels, another good workout…although another bout of me thinking, ‘It’s time to find a new yoga workout.’

Any suggestions for anything available online (e.g. YouTube)?

  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 29:25/9:48 pace. Treadmill. Completed before work, about 6 a.m.

I forgot to take my inhaler before my run, so I struggled a bit with shortness of breath. But I warmed up  at 5.7 mph, then did 2 miles of intervals, and then cooled down around 6 mph.

I’ve been doing a variation on this interval pattern the last couple of weeks:

Distance – Speed (mph)

0-0.1 – 6
0.1-0.2 – 6.2
0.2-0.3 – 6.4
0.3-0.4 – 6.2
0.4-0.5 – 6

0.5-0.6 – 6.2
0.6-0.7 – 6.4
0.7-0.8 – 6.6
0.8-0.9 – 6.4
0.9-1 – 6.6

Repeat

I absolutely swear by intervals – at least right now – for challenging me speed-wise, and for making my runs go by so quickly.

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 45 min. Class at the Y.

Another good, sweaty class.

  • Thursday: 5-mile run – 52:20/10:28 pace. Treadmill. Completed before work, about 5:45 a.m.

I don’t remember much about this run, but I assume I warmed up, did some intervals, then cooled down.

  • Friday: Body Pump 7-mile run – 70:33/10:05 pace. Treadmill. Completed while the girls were down for their afternoon nap, about 12:

The weather was cold frigid with a side of windy, and the meal plan called for Mexican at a favorite local restaurant, so I moved my run up from Saturday to Friday, and I did all of it on the treadmill at the gym.

I broke it into two runs – a 5-miler and a 2-miler. I did a variation on my usual interval pattern for the 5-miler, took a bathroom break, then did another round of intervals for the 2-miler.

I did the 5 miles in 50:15 (10:03 pace) and the 2 miles in 20:18 (10:09 pace). I was flying. I felt really good. And I could not wait to reward myself with a margarita.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I could not get Pandora to connect on the wifi at the gym, so I did my entire run without music. Um, yeah.

  • Saturday: 7-mile run rest

 

  • Today: rest Lateral elliptical trainer – 30 min. + 1-mile run – 8:27. Completed while the girls were down for their afternoon nap, about 1 p.m.

Christopher took the dog for a run outside, so I went to the gym for some cross training when he got back home.

I did 30 minutes on the lateral elliptical trainer – you move in a side-to-side ellipse, rather than a front-to-back ellipse – shifting between three workout modes: normal (narrow, low resistance), thigh toner (wide, low resistance), and quad power (wide, medium resistance).

I opted to tack on a quick mile on the treadmill. I was curious how fast I could bust out a mile, so I started at 7 mph and worked my way up to 8 mph.

Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Tomorrow – yoga
  • Tuesday – 3-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 6-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump
  • Saturday – 12-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Temperatures could reach almost 40 by the weekend. I am pumped.

Bayshore Marathon training – Week 5

22 Feb

This was a really good week. I finally felt back to normal after a couple of weeks of what seemed like a carousel of illness in the Heimerman household – flu, cold, repeat. So, I tried to challenge myself more.

  • Monday: yoga Zumba – 45 min. Class at the Y.

After two consecutive rest days, I was ready for a good, sweaty workout, so I headed to the gym for Zumba.

This was another really good class – fast-paced and high-energy. It was a really good way to kick off the week.

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  • Tuesday: 3-mile run – 28:39/9:33 pace. Treadmill. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:15 p.m.

Another  run, another round of intervals. I challenged myself to warm up slightly faster, then kick the intervals up a notch, staying faster than 6 mph and going as fast as 7 mph.

It paid off. Talk about a speedy treadmill run!

  • Wednesday: Zumba – 35 min. Class at the Y.

The usual instructor was out, and the substitute wasn’t going to make it for the 4:15 p.m. start of class, so another fitness instructor led us through 10 minutes of core work.

I was thankful for the extra focus on my abs, since I tend to neglect them, despite their importance to good running form.

I enjoyed class, too, although I felt very out of sync and uncoordinated.

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  • Thursday: 5-mile run – 50:05/10:01 pace. Treadmill. Completed before work, about 5:30 a.m.

Ugh, I really was not feeling this run as I got up, got dressed, and got out the door. I felt sluggish and tired (despite going to bed on time), and I just felt out of it. But, I took the same approach as my Tuesday run – warmed up for a mile, did some intervals for a few miles then “cooled down” for a mile.

I struggled with my breathing and side stitches in miles 3 and 4, but I just took two brief pauses to collect myself and pushed forward to the end.

  • Friday: Body Pump – 45 min. Class at the Y.

This was my first time back at Body Pump since Jan. 30, and this was my first time doing the new release. Oh my, the squat and lunge tracks. Burns so good.

I honestly worried that doing the new release, especially after 3 weeks away, would make me incredibly sore and uncomfortable ahead of a 10-miler the next day. But I knew it likely would be fine. So I just tried to have fun.

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  • Saturday: 10-mile run – 1:45:17/10:30 pace. Outdoors and treadmill. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:45 p.m.

After the relative success of my 9-miler last week, I took same approach to my 10-miler this week, but because the weather was a bit better – 30 degrees, breezy, and overcast with a “feels like” temperature of about 25 degrees – I opted to do more of the run outside than on the ol’ ‘mill. I ran 4 miles to the gym, ran 3.6 miles on the treadmill, then ran 2.4 miles home.

I layered up a bit more than last week, so I could shed some clothes for the indoor portion of my run. I wore tights (with compression calf sleeves and compression shorts underneath), a short-sleeved technical shirt, a long-sleeved, fleece-lined turtleneck technical shirt, and a high-necked fleece.

The run to the gym was altogether awesome. I was much more comfortable thanks to my turtleneck (which I fought to get the security tag off of for approximately 15 minutes too long before I dashed out the door), and I pulled off a 9:46 pace, with just one break to wait for a traffic light to change from red to green.

The run on the treadmill was pretty good, too (10:51 pace). I warmed up at a comfortable pace for eight-tenths of a mile, then did 2 miles of intervals, and then cooled down for the last eight-tenths of a mile. I took one walking break (two-tenths of a mile) halfway through the run to eat some of my Honey Stingers.

The run back home was, just as last week, the most difficult (11:10 pace). It ended in the best way, though: As I came up our street, I saw Dexter in front of the neighbors’ house, and then, as I got closer to our house, I saw Christopher and the peanuts (dressed in their puffy winter coats!), who came outside to cheer me home.

I am really proud of this run. I truly believe breaking these longer runs into three shorter, totally do-able runs makes them seem easier and certainly go by faster.

My only issue so far has been mid-run and post-run fueling and related discomfort – especially the horrible stomach cramps that have come in the hours following this run and my 9-miler last week. I need to get my fuel-to-water ration down for mid-run, then need to figure out the best fuel for post-run.

  • Today: rest

Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Tomorrow – yoga
  • Tuesday – 3-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 5-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump
  • Saturday – 7-mile run
  • Sunday – rest
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