Bayshore Marathon training – Week 12

13 Apr

Twelve weeks down, six weeks to go. How is that even possible?! It’s getting so close.

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  • Monday: 4-mile run – 4.09 miles, 41:29/10:09 pace. Completed mid-morning, about 10 a.m., with Christopher pushing the stroller and me with the dog.

I barely remember this run, except that it felt much harder than it should have…IMG_20150407_204743

  • Tuesday: Yoga – 35 min.

It felt so good to stretch out my body after a 16-mile run Saturday, a 5K walk Sunday, and a 4-mile run Monday. I did the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown routine, and I focused on doing the poses well and with purpose.

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

I missed Zumba! After 2 weeks away, it felt awesome to shake it out and get my sweat on in a group-exercise setting.

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  • Thursday: 8-mile run – 1:16:39, 9:35 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

I hardly remember this run, either, except that, at first, I felt too cold, then later, I felt too hot, and that I struggled a bit with my breathing given the humidity, thanks to on-and-off rain and the threat of thunderstorms.

My splits show a very erratic first few miles: 7:52, 9:03, and 8:34, then a more typical several miles: 10:05, 9:56, 10:27, 10:52, 9:46. My RunKeeper map reminds me also that I stopped at exactly 8 miles and walked the last quarter-mile home.

I do remember, however, feeling totally spent and battling major gastrointestinal unrest the rest of the night.

  • Friday: rest

Rest day, best day!

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  • Saturday: 12-mile run – 12.11 miles, 1:59:18, 9:51 pace. Completed in the morning, about 9:15 a.m.

After an inauspicious start, this run marked another solid long run for this training cycle.

It was more windy than predicted, so I started out chilled in short sleeves. It warmed up as the sun came out from behind the clouds, although the wind never died down, so I felt comfortable.

I struggled a bit with my breathing, but more so with my sinuses, nasal passages, and throat; I just could not manage to clear them, no matter how many times I blew snot rockets or coughed. I felt a little better, more opened up, after about 7 miles.

Christopher pushed the girls in the stroller, while I ran with Dexter for the first 6.5 miles, then I ran alone for the last 5.5 miles. We took zero walk breaks in that first leg, but I took a few to sip on some Gatorade during the second leg.

My splits reveal a very, very consistent run:

Miles 1-4: 9:21, 9:41, 9:48. 9:49

Miles 5-8: 9:54, 10:03, 9:30, 10:11

Miles 9-12: 9:53, 10:04, 10:35, 9:53

Nothing much more to report; just another 12 quality miles.

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  • Sunday: rest

Bonus: 3.12-mile walk, 51:23/16:28 pace. Completed with the girls in the stroller and Dexter on the leash, about 4:30 p.m.

On the docket for this week:

  • Today – yoga rest (under the weather)
  • Tuesday – 4-mile run
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 9-mile run
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – 18-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

Bayshore Marathon – Week 11

7 Apr

I’m a couple days late to the posting game, but I ran a killer 16-miler after another solid week of training. Check it out!

  • Monday: Yoga – 55 min. Completed after the girls were asleep.

I went back to Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior, and I felt really good, really strong, except I almost face-planted during bird of paradise and could not fully push myself into wheel.

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  • Tuesday: 4-mile run – 4.13 miles, 38:46/9:24 pace. Completed before work, about 6 a.m.

This was a pretty speedy, albeit pretty hard run. It was the first early-morning run in a while, so as much as I hated being aboard the strugglebus, I loved seeing the sun come up.

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  • Wednesday: Zumba 3.4-mile walk – 1:15:38, 22:14 pace. Completed late afternoon with the girls in the stroller.

I skipped dancing in favor of some walking through the park in the sunny (although windy), near-80-degree weather. I also broke in my new running shoes.

  • Thursday: 8-mile run – 8.02 miles, 1:19:39, 9:56 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.

I maintained a good pace throughout, although I really struggled with side stitches and labored breathing early on. It had rained in the early-morning hours, so it was mild and humid by the afternoon. I walked briefly several times in the second half of the run to get my breathing under control, and still managed to maintain an under-10:00-per-mile pace – better than last week with the breathing troubles and an additional mile.

  • Friday: rest

Ahh. Sweet, glorious rest day!

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  • Saturday: 16-mile run – 16.21 miles, 2:48:36, 10:24 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:45 p.m.

I’ve only trained for one other marathon, so I’ve only run longer than 13 miles a handful of times, but I’m calling this run one of my best long runs ever.

I felt so dang comfortable for the vast majority of the run. I felt confident, strong, fast even. I felt happy, proud.

I ran almost 11.5 miles by myself, then ran another 4.5 miles with Christopher, who pushed the girls in the stroller.

For the first leg, I ran all of the local trails – south from home to the trail, then east through Sinnissippi Park and Hoover Park and back, then west past the Dillon Home, across the Sinnissippi Dam and along the Hennepin Canal almost to the city limits of Rock Falls. It’s such a challenging route because of the terrain; there are some significant hills in Sinnissippi Park, and there is some rough, uneven pavement along the canal. I really feel like the rugged, varied course is good training for me, even though the Bayshore Marathon is a relatively flat and fast course.

For the second leg, we ran the roads in our neighborhood.

My splits tell an interesting story:

Miles 1-5 – 9:09, 9:08, 9:24, 9:46, 9:59 (Slow down, girl!)

Mile 6-10 – 11:01, 9:40, 10:33, 9:33, 10:53

Miles 11-15 – 11:20, 10:39, 10:26, 11:04, 12:44

Mile 16 – 11:37

Basically, I need to train myself to slowtheheckdown during the first 5 miles of my long runs, so I can run a bit faster later and for longer. Sounds easier said than done…

On the docket for this week:

  • Yesterday – 4-mile run
  • Today – yoga
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday – 8-mile run
  • Friday – Body Pump?
  • Saturday – 12-mile run
  • Sunday – rest

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
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