Posts Tagged With: tempo running

The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

The road to the 2017 Boston Marathon has been covered with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. In 8 short weeks, my family will be heading north to Beantown. This marathon training cycle has been cut short, but because I was a patient patient, I feel good about where I am. I should get a Patient Patient medal, because this is the first time in a string of injuries that I didn’t sabotage myself along the way, and actually let myself heal. I should probably re-gift that medal to my husband for putting up with me in the process. That poor man.

Let me take you back to November. I had just come off the  NC Ironman 70.3 and had signed up for a few local 5k’s. On one of the first cold mornings on November 12th, I ran a 22:15ish 5k, and even got 2nd in the Old Lady division. I mean Masters Female. I felt great about where my training was and where I was planning to take it. Basically, I was going to pulverize speed in November and December, then add endurance in January, making the perfect storm of speed, strength, and endurance in April. My goal was to PR the race and return in 2018. Yeah….right (said like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space). I should have known there was a different path for me. Later that day, I felt my plantar return, and it was bad.

The 5k that shouldn’t have been.


I reacted very calmly  I freaked out. I was so upset. I kept trying to run, just a little, and it made my foot hurt so bad. Evidently, reading about it on the internets doesn’t make it go away, but I sure deserved a medal for that, too, and BONUS, I learned how to pronounce “metatarsalgia”. I tried to do bike intervals, only to realize it made my foot feel just as bad as running. All I could do was to bike easy and go to Orange Theory (using the GLIDER, of all things *shutter*, because dammit! I’m a runner, not a glider.). All right, I tried swimming, but after one day, my chlorine allergy made it almost impossible. I might have used that as more of an excuse than I really should have, but I hate swimming and I hate my reaction to chlorine (skin rash, yay me!). I don’t know why it was so bad when I swam in the same pool all summer, but it was bad. So I “couldn’t” swim, I couldn’t bike hard, and I couldn’t run. I was a peach to live with. I was like Cinderella, singing to all her animals. Yes, that’s what it was like to live with me during that time. (This is when my husband should’ve gotten the Medal of Patience.)

People, it was cold out, and I couldn’t run. I was missing it and I was missing out. The rest of November. And December. Then I decided, probably due to everyone and their “Countdown to Boston” posts, I needed to start running because I was going to run that damn marathon no matter what. I started with a few miles on Christmas Day, something I have never done before. It was my gift to myself, and wow, I felt God that gorgeous morning.

Merry Christmas

Then I came up with a plan to SAFELY build endurance through January. I was running again. My foot was ok. I alternated run days, I took it easy at Orange Theory. No speed. Then in the last week of January, I decided I needed to return to my coach and start speed again. I felt like I was second guessing all my workouts, I wasn’t pushing myself and didn’t know if I could or should, so coaching would benefit me the most. Coach Kristen has done really well for me, so I was so excited to once again, see those Training Peaks emails come through in the morning.

I don’t know how, but within the first week, I was meeting the pace challenges set before me. I was Maria, singing on the mountaintop.  I was back at track practice, my favorite thing in the freaking world when it comes to training. My foot was behaving.

Then. Then the shin splints started. Ugh. I started speed work too fast. It’s derailed my plans twice in the past. What do I do? Well, I knew my race wasn’t going anywhere and I knew ignoring them wasn’t going to work, so I gave myself a day off speed, gave myself some active release therapy, took a day off, and I was careful. Boom. Shin splints are minimal now. Key point: catch them and do something about it IMMEDIATELY and prevent them from occuring in the first place, i.e. STRETCH (and that damn yoga).

Just this week, I ran a 48:18 in a 10k race, again placing 2nd in the Old Lady division. Then Tuesday, I had 3 x 15 minutes at barf pace, and I seriously questioned if I could do it, mostly because I’d had a long run and an Orange Theory workout between that day and my 10k. I borrowed some of the faith my coach had in me, and I pulled it out. When I was done, I felt like a rock star, like I deserved a participation trophy of sorts, for believing I could do it enough to just try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.


I don’t feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I know there’s any number of injuries lurking around the corner. This morning, after another great track workout, several of my running buddies asked how I was doing, and I was almost afraid of jinxing myself by saying, “GREAT!”. But you know, when you’re out there getting it done, watching the sun rise, it really was GREAT. I told my coach to put “Do your damn yoga” in my plan after track, so I’ve been good about that. It’s funny that I’m responsible for a hundred thousand other things, but if “yoga” isn’t specifically in my plan, the chances of me actually doing it, even though I know I need to, dwindle down to close to zero. Pretty sad, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

So my goal for Boston is a BQ. A 3:44:59. That time won’t get me in for 2018, but that’s ok. At this point, anything is possible (thanks for that, Ironman), and it could be warm, it could be cold, it could be raining, it could be snowing. All I know is that I will do my absolute best with whatever the day gives me. If if one thing is certain, I know I’ll be there, and I’ll be happy.

Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

I Love This Commercial and Update Before Things Get Cra Cra

Watch this and try not to get all verklempt.

Seriously, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this commercial and what it stands for. Sometimes, aren’t we all the guy who comes in last but just never gives up? Does it matter what place we get? Isn’t the most important fact is that we are out there trying and busting our butts to get to where we truly want to go?

I love this commercial. This could be me in a few short weeks as I run my marathon. This could be me when Ironman Florida comes around. But you’ll never find me giving up. Hell no. I’ll never give up on my dreams. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

By the way, I had yet another interaction with Hal Higdon. I took a screen shot of it. Err merr gerrrd, HAL HIGDON AND I ARE ALMOST BFF’s!!!!! 😉 The subject was about fashion and races.

See, Hal is talking to ME!

See, Hal is talking to ME!

The weather has been quite difficult for those of us without gym memberships. Tuesday, school was cancelled because of the threat of ice. I didn’t even know we were supposed to get any bad weather at all until I got word on Monday afternoon that there was no school Tuesday. So much for those 800’s. It was 30 and raining and windy, so I decided to save myself from pneumonia and had a good, hard workout on my bike.

One hour with 4 x 7 min intervals at Z4

One hour with 4 x 7 min intervals at Z4

My friend, Amanda, and I decided to tackle her tempo workout together on Wednesday. Gulp. It was 5 miles at 7:30 pace. I figured that would be just as good or better as my two mile repeats I was planning for Thursday, so we got together Wednesday to get it done.

Man, isn’t running with someone else so much better than on your own? I mean, I love to run on my own, but for difficult speed workouts, it’s so much better to have someone to run with. We ran at Wrightsville Beach, since that’s where she lives and there’s a good straight road where we don’t really have to worry about traffic or making stops.  No one likes to be interrupted during a speed workout.  Right before we started, we both looked at each other with that “well, here we go” face. I have to admit, it didn’t feel terrible. It didn’t feel GREAT either, but it’s really not supposed to.

I forgot to mention that we had a lot of freezing rain on Tuesday and there was ice everywhere but the roads. The power lines and plants and trees were covered.

Ice at the beach.

Ice at the beach.

My kids had a lot of fun eating the icicles and I’m sure ingested tons of dirt along the way.  Nothing new. At least they were hydrating. So anyway, as we were running, a piece of ice fell from the power line and hit Amanda in the head. We didn’t find out til later that it actually cut her and made her bleed. I guess Ralphie’s mom WAS right, those icicles can be dangerous. Thankfully, she was ok and it was not a major cut, but it made us pay more attention to what was above us when we were running.

Two and a quarter miles into the tempo, I wanted to stop and breathe, which I slightly feel guilty about and am justifying with “it was a better tempo run than the two mile repeats” but I really wish I hadn’t stopped. It was maybe a minute or two and we headed back to finish our 5 miles with no more stopping. We ended up at 7:22 overall pace for the 5 miles. Whohoo!!!! And my legs felt it. When I got home, my dog was waiting for me, so I figured a good way to stretch out was to jog a little loop with her. She loved it.

Had to take a few minutes to enjoy the view and ocean sounds after our run.

Had to take a few minutes to enjoy the view and ocean sounds after our run.

There’s a reason why you don’t have two hard workouts in a row. My speed schedule is all off because of the dumb weather, but I knew I couldn’t do another speed workout today. I also didn’t really know what to consider the bike workout. I knew it wasn’t easy on my legs, but it wasn’t running. So, ????  I decided to just do the 5 miles on the schedule for yesterday. It didn’t feel bad, but I could tell my hammies and quads were tired. I could see how having back-to-back hard workouts can cause you to get injured or burn out. I did the smart thing and didn’t do it.

I’ve got 10 pace on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. THIS, my friends, will lead into my taper for the race. I think I almost threw up. It’s almost here. My son is turning 9 years old on Saturday and I have a lot to do to get ready for the family stuff we’re doing, the company we’re having, and the awesome Seattle Seahawks cake I’m going to make him.

Anyone else get hit with icicles? Running long this weekend? Want to come over for pizza on Saturday?

Categories: anything is possible, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, hal higdon training plan, interval training, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why It’s Good To Have A Mirror Handy When Eating Smoothies

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Yeah, WEAR SUNSCREEN WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG!!!

Toothbrush, anyone?

Toothbrush, anyone?

I had a good hill workout on Tuesday. Downtown Wilmington is the one place in town where there are any hills at all, and they’re teeny short, steep ones, so you basically have to serpentine your way up and down them several times.  I enjoy down downtown and it was peaceful, well, except for all the second hand smoke – people smoke a LOT in the mornings. When I got home, I knew I needed a good stretch, so I ended up doing my runner’s yoga video for 25 minutes.

Running past the old buildings down town Wilmington.

Running past the old buildings down town Wilmington.

My shins started bothering me, more in the “normal” area, lower than the hot spot I had the major issues with before. I knew I’d put tons of miles on my legs and was a little worried it might be too much, so when they were really sore on my easy run on Wednesday, I was not NOT AT ALL happy. I gave myself some active release therapy (OUCH!), iced, and tried not to panic.

This morning, I had a 45 minute tempo run, and of course I was intimidated, but I got it done and it felt good. I slowly worked paces down from 8:45-8:15 during the 15 minute warm up to 8:15 – 7:00 and slightly under for 20 minutes, followed by a cool down for 10 minutes, and I was pretty happy. I was THRILLED to find that my shins did not hurt. SIGH. Thank goodness. I have two days off and on Sunday, I have a 15k race.

The sun is out and NO PAIN IN MY SHINS!!!!!

The sun is out and NO PAIN IN MY SHINS!!!!! And no blueberries!

So this race. I’m not entirely sure what pace to try to go, but I have a total of 13.1 miles that day. I think I might try and do a few warm up miles at marathon pace (8:15-8:30), run the 15k at 7:45-7:50 pace, try not to fall down or collapse, then warm down at marathon pace. I’m nervous since I’m behind on speed work, and I’m sure you know that because I keep mentioning it, but I was reminded today that I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And use proper sentence structure. Running a marathon isn’t easy, so training for one isn’t going to be either. I’ve been hitting all my paces and goals, so there’s nothing to worry about. My Garmin not working accurately in the trees will be my only issue, since we are running at Brunswick FOREST, but if it goes wonky on me, which I’m sure it will, I’ll just have to go based on feel.

Remember in my last post when I asked for ideas for a team name for the Beach 2 Battleship 140.6 that my husband and I might do as a relay team? Tell me what you think about these:

She Made Me Do It

Team Epic

Epicurus – Thanks so much to you Kecia, for this thoughtful idea!!! It means “peace and freedom from fear” and the “absence of pain”

4 Short of a 6-Pack

Who’s Watching The Kids

Couple o’ Crazies

Camel Toe and Moose Knuckle (I just learned what a moose knuckle was this week-had no idea there was a name for it)

So, anyone racing this weekend? Any ideas for a team name?

Categories: marathon, running, training for marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

If I Could Sell Endorphins, I’d Be $%^# Rich!

I was supposed to go to our group run on New Year’s Eve Day Morning, but the night before, I was EXHAUSTED. I made the difficult decision (I do really hate to miss speed workouts) that I needed to sleep in and if I had time that day, I would go on a run myself. I ended up sleeping until 8:30 that morning, which is about the time I would have been getting home from workout and drinking my coffee.  The sleep felt great and I had a zip in my step.  I filled the day with buying stuff for our appetizer-filled New Year’s Eve and Day football watching, making some of the appetizers, and then going out for New Year’s, so I didn’t get a run in.  My scheduled day off was New Year’s Day, so I was relatively conflicted as to taking two whole entire days off working out.  Eh, oh well. I realized that I hadn’t taken two days off in a row since the B2B in late October, so I thought I was due. After two whole minutes, the conflict was over.  I also knew I wouldn’t have the luxury of taking those two days off until April, so I took them when I could!

Fast forward to yesterday, the day I had another group workout scheduled, the day it rained the entire day. The workout was cancelled at a late hour, so as soon as my husband crossed the threshold of the door from work, I took off for my run in the cool rain.  I COULD NOT take three entire days off running, so I re-created a tempo/speed workout from a few weeks past.

Me looking like a goober before the run. Where's my smile?!?

Me looking like a goober before the run. Where’s my smile?!?

Over the holiday, I’ve been careful not to overeat too much, but I’ve had plenty of liquid carbs.  On my first mile, I felt a little like I had a “dun-lap”…. you know, “your belly done lap over your belt”?  I’d been careful not to overeat too much over the holiday, but yeah, it was time to get in a good run and get back to normal eating and drinking!  Anyway, my Garmin ran out of battery after the warm-up mile, so I irritatingly ran back home and got my other Garmin.  I was ready to go.

I did 10 minutes of about a 7:10-7:15 pace, followed by a two minute rest, TWICE, then did 5 minutes of a pace just a little faster than that.  After the first few minutes of the first set, I felt like I was floating.  It was great and the “dun-lap” feeling went away.  The workout wasn’t easy, per se, but it felt very powerful, and I wasn’t out of breath like I thought I might be.  I made sure to pick my feet up, watch for the UPS truck that almost hit me, and I kept at a steady pace. The endorphin rush in the middle of the workout came on very strong, and I could have kept going.  What is it with those endorphins anyway? Some days I get them, some days I beg and plead for them and never ever get them, and then there’s those workouts that fill you with a sense of power that you could accomplish anything.  “Let’s run ALL THE MILES!!”  (It’s similar to that post-race euphoria where you want to sign up for all the races, which is why, having learned the hard way, I imposed the one week moratorium on signing up for anything after a race.) If there was only a way to capture that feeling and then take a little supplement of it when we most need it, say, mile 21 of a marathon, I would certainly create it, invest in it, or just buy it!

Needless to say, I made a good decision to run yesterday.  I did yoga today, which always makes me feel like I’m a 4×4 piece of inflexible wood – seriously, I DO NOT get how some people can bend that way.  I still have some of that good feeling left over from yesterday, which is always nice.  Since it’s their last day of actual winter break, I’m taking my kids to the roller skating rink for a while this afternoon, and I will vow to not try and do any skating tricks and use up my left over endorphins and possibly meet my medical deductible early in the year. 🙂

I’ve got some miles to cover this weekend, but I plan to run where I can feel the ocean breeze and I look forward to my next endorphin rush.

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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