Monthly Archives: September 2012

Test the Limits Week

8 mi, easy pace

Yes, I will be running two marathons on back-to-back weekends. I have heard different opinions on the risk I will be taking, but I know my body and I know I can do it. Of course, I am going to be cautious and put my health first above all other factors. Here is my plan.

I will alter my last two weeks of training for the Toronto Marathon. I am skipping to an 8 miler for this Saturday, followed by short tapering miles during the week. After Chicago, I will rest 2-3 days, and run a few slow miles to shake out my legs mid-week. After Toronto I will do some heavy duty resting and stretching.

1. I will eat a good amount of carbs over the next two weeks. I am focusing on healthy and complex carbohydrates. Today I picked up a few things, and I am going to do a post of meals that meet carb requirements for runners.
2. You will never see me without a water bottle. I will be hydrating and consuming lots of water.

3. If I’m not eating carbs or hydrating then I will be sleeping. The goal is to hit 8 hours every night no matter what and I pretty much do that all the time anyways.

4. Icing, stretching, foam rolling, and compression socks. I am taking my recovery very seriously people.

Sponsors!! I am partnering with my mom for this test the limits week. She has agreed to take $10 off my phone bill. I am also partnering with my dad who will be providing my food over the next few weeks. My husband Kevin is providing lots of love and support via skype. 😉

Let’s do this!

Have you ever done something that people thought you shouldn’t?

This is Crazy

8 mi, 8:51 average pace

Don’t look at me like that….I see your quizzical look. Where is this need for speed coming from? Well, I have been intrigued this running season by PR’s (Personal Record), BQ (Boston Qualifier), and more advanced marathon training. Plus, it is such a reward to challenge myself and improve my speed. Here are the splits for today:

Mile 1-9:51, Mile 2-9:11, Mile 3-8:57, Mile 4-8:46, Mile 5-8:58

Mile 6-8:24, Mile 7-8:26, Mile 8-8:12

Trust me when I say that this was not easy for me. I worked my tail off this morning before work and pushed through every mile. I realized how much easier it is to daydream while running if the pace is comfortable. Today, I couldn’t think of anything except how hard I was working.

I am enjoying playing with speed and crunching the numbers. I don’t know exactly what kind of long distance pace my body and mind are capable of, but as long as I’m enjoying myself I say go for it! I will keep working hard and pushing myself until I no longer want to. Besides, I  wouldn’t run if it were hard ALL the time. I enjoy my speed day, but I also really enjoy a comfortable pace or catching up with a friend on a run.

I spent some time yesterday reading running articles. Here are a few new tips and tricks I learned about. The first one is called Pre-fatigued running, and the concept is to run hard when your body is getting tired to simulate the last part of a marathon. An example would be to run 20 miles with the last 2 or 5 at MP (Marathon Pace), or to run 22 miles with the last 10 at MP (this would be very advanced!). The concept of this makes sense although I have some doubts about whether this type of training would work for me. I guess I will have to try it one day to know!

Another similar strategy is called Running on E and basically you run on an empty stomach and empty carbohydrate stores. The purpose is to begin burning through fat stored in your body, and also to simulate the difficulties of running into high mileage (marathons, or ultras). I am very unlikely to want to try this because it sounds miserable! I considered attempting it this morning, but there was no way. I needed a banana on my empty stomach to power through the miles, especially for speed work. The article suggested beginning with a 30 minute run and increasing the time and only performing this type of run around 1 time per month.

Next up, marathon pace stats!

  • 10:00 average pace = 4 (hours): 22 (minutes)
  • 9:30 average pace = 4:08
  • 9:00 average pace = 3:55
  • 8:30 average pace = 3:42
  • 8:00 average pace = 3:30 (Boston Qualifying time + 5 minutes)

What do you think of running pre-fatigued or on E? Crazy or smart?

Do you enjoy pushing the intensity of your workout once in a while?

Guest Post: Precarious Start, Glorious Finish

5 mi, 9:11 average pace

Here is a 20 mile recap part 2 from my sister-in law Melissa! Enjoy!

From the day I signed up for the Toronto Marathon,  I knew I would have to run 20 miles twice. Once for a training run and once during the actual Marathon. Laura, kept suggesting we squeeze in another 20 miler at some point, but I was pretty set on only running it twice.

Friday night started with a pasta dinner on the couch while watching The Spirit of the Marathon, honestly a great way to get motivated!!!! Laura and I both laid out our clothes for the morning and prayed the rain held off. We were both in bed by 10pm, so far so good! Then of course 5am, wake up, is it time? go back to sleep, 5:20am wake up, is it time? go back to sleep, 5:45am wake up, IT IS TIME!!!!! I enjoyed a banana, peanut butter and toast, while Laura stuck to her oatmeal. We packed our GU and glided our bodies and we were off to the AA 501 Running Fit Group. I love the AA 501 Running Fit Group, however, horrible course for our 20 miler. The temp was decent, shorts and t-shirts, the rain was looking iffy but we set out to check off some miles. A very shaky start that involved, stoplights, a near fall, possible clothing change, rain drops and a bathroom stop. We shook off this bad start and put on our game faces, as we left the run group and headed out on our own adventure.

Miles 7-14, we drank, we gu’d, Laura fell in love with some women with strollers and I emptied my right shoe about 3 times.

Miles 15- 18 we drank, we gu’d, we fell silent. At this time, I started fighting with the urge to slow down. At each water stop, I reminded myself to shake out my arms, enjoy the water and think about the finish.

Miles 18-20, we drank and we kept running. Those last 2 miles seemed to go by quickly, we had 3 stop lights to go through and we did finish going downhill but I never felt so good on a 20 mile run in my life! ( it was my 5th one)

It is hard to explain what it feels like to run 20 miles……………………the physical and emotional pain it causes, yet the drive to do it again remains.

This is my 3rd marathon, but I have never felt this prepared. I do know, my training would not be going so well if it wasn’t for my sister, thanks again Lo!!

+   = HAPPINESS

 

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Brrrrr

Rest!

On our chilly fall Sunday in the mid 50’s I hit the grocery store, chopped veggies, and did homework. I won’t force you to read about my homework, so here is my fun day in the kitchen from yesterday!

Here are a few yummy items that I picked up! New almond butter to try (spoiler: it’s really really good and has flax seeds mixed in), bell peppers, greek yogurt for breakfasts, sweet potato for carbs, a luna bar, and broccoli slaw to top salads. I always have a blast at the grocery store 🙂 food nerd alert.

Chili Ingredients

I decided to make chili in the crock pot for dinner yesterday. I found this recipe from The Fitnessista. It is a sweet potato and black bean chili and smells amazing!

Before Cooking

Also….my lunch on Sunday. First, imagine all of the different ways eggs are used. Savory in omelettes and quiches, baked into sweets, or alone. Then realize how tasty and delicious this cheese and jelly egg sandwich is from the blog Peanut Butter Fingers. Now, it won’t be so weird when I tell you that I had a an almond butter, egg white, and honey sandwich. All of my favorite foods together in a sandwich! I know it sounds strange, but it was very delicious and filling with all of the protein.

What weird food combos do you like?

20 miles to write home about

20 miles, 3:35

We completed the much-anticipated 20 mile run on Saturday morning! I am starting to feel a little sad that our training will now taper off until race day. Our highest mileage week of 40 miles is such a great accomplishment. And hey I don’t feel too bad, just a little tired all over!

Miles 1-6: We began with the running group outside the Running Fit store in Ann Arbor Michigan. At 6:45 it was still dark, a little drizzly, but a good temperature. The course was a 6 mile loop and runners could create their own amount of loops based on their training schedule. There weren’t a lot of other runners doing 20 miles since the Detroit Marathon schedule would put people a week behind us in the Toronto and Chicago schedule.  By the end of the first loop Melissa and I were starting to doubt whether we wanted to continue on with this course. I almost hit the pavement close to mile 6 when I was running onto a sidewalk. It was a close call and left me a little shaky. The near fall, the sprinkle of rain, and the crappy course really had me doubting myself. That is where a great running buddy and sister comes into play! Thanks Mel 🙂

Miles 7-15: We decided to split from the group, and head out on our own course. Melissa lead us to a park nearby where we did 2.5 laps with water every lap and we took a gu at mile 10. This was a peaceful and calm spot and I really relaxed at this point of the run, and got my zen runner on! I saw the cutest mommy fitness group complete with jogging strollers…please ladies, can I be in your group in a few years? 😉

Miles 15-20: At this point we started to make our way back through town to Melissa’s house. We hit 2 more water stops, and then looped back to hit them again, plus one more gu around mile 15 or 16. We were both a little quiet and focused on finishing strong, which we did! Back at the house we had water and an M&M cookie plus a photo shoot.

Hey Lady (Melissa’s pup)

Shaking our muscles out

Tired!

What fitness activities were you up to this weekend?

Post-Marathon Blues

Yesterday, 10 mi, 9:31 average pace

Today, 5 mi, slow

This blog has been a little bit tricky so far! I have managed to trick you into thinking that the only form of exercise I do is running. Well, you are in for a surprise on October 15th! When I’m not training for a marathon I enjoy more spinning, yoga, kickboxing, weight lifting, and using the elliptical. I have even done a snowshoe race and loved it! What I’m trying to prepare you for is that I will incorporate other exercise into my blog talk soon. I promise not to disappoint!

I have been thinking a lot about what I will do after the marathon to stay fit and healthy. I love schedules and function so well on the training plan that I want to prepare myself for what is to come. I have had thoughts of doing another marathon soon…just because I am already at the point in my training where my mileage is very high. Disney world is sold-out and I can’t seem to find any other marathon in the winter months that appeals to me. And trust me…it is tough to train during Michigan winters. That is the reason that I become treadmill-bound from December-March!

A spring marathon has crossed my mind as well. Lots of choices including Kalamazoo, Flying Pig (Cincinnati), Cleveland, Traverse City . With a race in May, I could attempt to keep a solid base over the winter and then jump back into training at the beginning of February. So many possibilities!

Marathon training is so time-consuming and life-consuming that runners will sometimes feel let down after a race, even when it was a success. Something that was such a huge part of your life is over and you are forced to rest for at least a week and not begin training again for a month or so. I know that I will struggle with this and I need a plan of action so that I don’t bum around on the couch eating cereal from the box.

_________________________________________________

I bought and borrowed some new running goodies today. Both tops were under $13 and I also stocked up on gu for the next few weeks! A coworker let me borrow her dvd “The Spirit of the Marathon” and I’m super pumped to watch it and be inspired. 🙂

I’m smiling my forgive me smile in this picture for you Kevin! Please understand my need to purchase these things 🙂

What was the last fitness item you purchased?

Do you plan your races out way in the future or sign-up last minute?

Why so fast little lady?

5 miles, 8:54 average pace

I know what you are thinking. Why is she running so fast all of a sudden? Well, the reason is that I overslept by 20 minutes today. Somewhere between my alarm, and staying in bed to check the weather on my phone I fell back asleep. Since I was behind schedule, I had to run fast! This leads me to believe that I should be attempting this faster pace at least once a week again…because I am sheepishly capable.

I don’t have any new running pictures because…I don’t think you would like to see how I look when I roll out of bed between 4 and 5 AM. I’m trying to decide how to run my 10 miles tomorrow, and I may end up splitting the mileage up and doing at least a couple of miles in the evening.

Other running related news is that a 20 miler is on the schedule for Saturday morning. I will be running alongside my bud and with a running group. The course will be prepared for us, as well as fluids throughout and treats at the end. I believe the cost is around $5 but is well worth it. The peace of mind that comes with just worrying about my running and not the course or having water is going to be fabulous. This is the only 20 miler we have planned and I think it will leave us feeling very prepared for the big day!

On the eating front, I have been much more balanced in my meals this week. But I did do a crazy amount of snacking the last few days, which resulted in snacking through dinner. Naughty. I am going to make some TJ (Trader Joe’s) pumpkin pancakes for dinner tonight, mmm 🙂 I have also been eating a lot of dried apricots, fruit, greek yogurt, salads, and handfuls of kashi cereal.

Dried Apricots=Great running fuel

I also made some cookies last weekend. My dad loves peanut butter cookies and I am searching for a healthy version of the classic! Here is my latest attempt and they were all kinds of peanut buttery goodness.

What tricks do you use when your snacking is out of control?

Anyone else over-sleep lately? Whoops!