Week Two Marathon Training Recap

I think I read somewhere that the first two weeks of any training is the toughest and when most people quit. Well, I’m two weeks in and pumped!

Monday I was on the treadmill ready to tackle some “hills”. I’ve never done hill intervals on the treadmill and really didn’t know what I was doing but decided I’d just click on the hill interval button and go at it. I started at cool 9:40 pace and was feeling good. Then I felt the treadmill move. At first it wasn’t too bad of a change but then I started to see the incline percentage climb and I was shocked at how different it felt to be running up for what to me seemed like a long time. Since it was new to me, and I get excited about new things, I went for it and stayed at my 9:40 pace. I could feel sweat dripping from my face and my shirt start to cling to my body. I could feel the girl on the treadmill next to me staring. I could feel my heart pumping away. I. Felt. Awesome.

I love, love, love feeling like I’m getting a good workout it. At the end, I completed 3 miles in 28:46 with a 9:34/mile pace. I had climbed 371 ft.

Wednesday I met up with my run club at a local track. I was looking forward to what was on the agenda. I love the start of the workouts; everyone gathers around and shares their race stories from the previous weekend and show off their medals. Then Jim, the leader of the group, asks about any new sign ups. There were 6 who said they’d signed up for an Ironman! It’s so inspiring to be around talented people but also people who are there simply because they love running.

Jim had us doing a ladder exercise where we’d run 400m, then 800, then 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400. After each set, we’d walk for just a little bit and then get back at it. I made sure to run at a challenging but doable pace and stick to it. I wanted to maintain some sort of consistency. It turns out that I was feeling so good around an 8:25 pace! I couldn’t believe my watch when I’d check on it every now and again that it was showing me eights! I ended the workout at 3.2 miles in 28:02 with an 8:45 min/mile pace. I had run my fastest mile in 8:08!

I didn’t complete the full exercise, leaving after the second 1200m. I had to go pick up pizza  :  )

The next day, Thursday, I had four miles on my schedule. This would be a treadmill run. For some reason, I had a premonition this would not be a good run. I think I felt I had had two really good workouts that there wasn’t a chance it could be three in a row.

Sure enough, as soon as I got on the treadmill I could feel my shins flare up. The first two miles were absolutely awful. I stopped it once I reached the two mile mark and used the rest room and stretched my legs. I talked myself into going back and finishing—the schedule said four miles.

I mustered up whatever energy and motivation I had and finished. It ended up being not as bad as I thought at 38:31, around a 9:35 pace.

Today, Saturday, was long run day. My alarm went off at 5:15 and off I went to meet my run club to start our 6 a.m. run. It was raining this morning and it had been a long time that I had run in the rain. I started the first mile talking to Jim so I had my ear phones tucked away. At mile two we drifted apart and I decided that it was so beautiful out hearing the rain fall and the breeze that I wasn’t going to put my ear phones back on. (I have a lot more to say about this later) I realized I hadn’t looked at my watch the entire time I talked to Jim but I felt great and that’s what mattered. I could feel my shins but it was more soreness than sharp pain.

I kept going.

I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was almost afraid to increase my pace. When I reached mile three, the turnaround point for me, I decided that in the second half of my run I’d go a little a faster. I slowly increased my pace and finished off the run at 59:27 with a 9:54 min/mi pace. I loved that I finished in under an hour and I actually loved my splits:

1

11:09

2

10:09

3

10:05

4

9:25

5

9:29

6

9:05

That first mile talking to Jim allowed me to have enough endurance to finish strong and while it was a lot slower than what I usually do, because of that start I felt I could have kept going at the end.

Overall, this was a great week for me. I still worry about my shins but today’s run raised my spirits and I’m looking forward to next week. I’ve got a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving! : )

–Do you like running hills?

–What is your comfort pace?

–Do you run through pain?

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Week One Marathon Training Recap

So I officially started my marathon training this week J After reviewing a few plans and talking to a close friend who has run a marathon, my husband and I whipped this bad boy up. I had to modify from what the original plan looked like because of the races I have leading up to the marathon but am satisfied with what we went with.

Cropped Running

 

This particular week was modified because of World Run Day which was “supposed” to be a cross training day. But, I’m not going to follow the plan like law. If things come, things come up.

Fifteen miles in the books for the week!

Sunday’s run was a 3 miler. That was my first run since resting my legs from the shin splints—which are still achy but I’m able to run through it. My time was 28:43 with a 9:33/avg pace. I was really pleased with this time considering I had taken 10 days off. I think continuing to work out kept my legs fresh as this is the pace I’d like to keep in the half marathon I have in January.

Tuesday I switched the days to make this one the 4 miler on the treadmill. I started off at a warm-up speed and then transitioned to 9:20/mile. I wanted it to be slightly faster than what I’d like to average at my half marathon but not a pace I couldn’t maintain. This was perfect. My end time was 38:11, 9:32/avg.

Wednesday was speed day. I met up with my gym’s run club for the first time! This was especially exciting because I had been lurking their Facebook page throughout both of pregnancies and loved everything they would post. It is a really close knit group and that intimidated me at first; but, they kept encouraging new people to come out and after a few weeks of debating, I finally did it. Best decision ever. There’s something about being around people who love doing what you love. You feed off of their energy.

The plan that day was speed work. We did 200m surges around the track for 3 miles. This was so perfect for me as I never really concentrated on speed work specifically since high school. I was never a fan of track or running in circles jaja!

I timed myself but wasn’t expecting anything spectacular: 3.14 miles, 29:39, 9:26 avg. Yay!! On the easy 200m, I tried to stick to a 10:30 pace and then speed up to 8:30 in the 200m surge. I felt great and actually enjoyed circling the track.

Today, Saturday, was long run day, 5 miles. I met up with my gym run club again J at 6 a.m. and got started. The agenda was an up and back loop. So basically I’d run 2.5 miles and then turn around and come back. We were running along a canal near where I live and as I reached the 2.15 mile mark I noticed a bridge that would take me to the other side and then I could just run back. I figured this was a good place—even though in retrospect, I could have just turned around where I was when I reached 2.5. I wanted to maintain my 9:30 pace and was doing great until I got back to my car and I was only at 4.4 miles. Ugh! I proceeded to run to the stoplight and then into the parking lot again and then resorted to running a few laps of the parking lot. I was mad at myself that I hadn’t thought ahead.  50:13, 10:03/avg. I was a little bummed. Not the way I wanted to end the week but I’m thinking positive and am excited to have completed week one of marathon training. I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this!!

–How do you plan for races?

The Great, Big Question

You know you’ve been asked the age-old question, “What do you think about when you run?” When people have asked me, I usually always say my family, my work, books I’ve read, or that I think about the song lyrics I’m listening to.

But I’m lying.

I think about clothes.

Yes, clothes. But until recently, I’ve been embarrassed to admit that I think about my closet when I run. And since having my daughter, her closet too.

I feel like people expect for you to say something meaningful and profound when they ask this question. Like you’re supposed to be solving the world’s problems when you run.

But really I’m thinking about what different outfits I can come up with.

I don’t know what it is about clothes that I love so much. Okay, I do know. I love how creative you can be with clothes, how much it says or can say about you. I love the variety of fabrics that are out there, the colors, the gazillion ways you can wear different pieces. I love the stories behind a particular outfit—where you were, who you were with. I love how a great dress and high heels can make you feel powerful, how dainty flats and a cardigan over a sundress can make you feel delicate.

When I’m running, I think about these things. I also think about what I can wear with a specific pair of jeans I own. What tops will go with them, what shoes I can wear them with. Do I need to buy something new to spice them up?

That burnt orange dress I haven’t worn in a while—what’s coming up that I can wear it? Is it too dressy for Thanksgiving with family?

I recently just ordered a new pair of boots so yesterday’s run was spent thinking of what I could pair them with.

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Along with the boots, I ordered these Cole Haan sandals.

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I am obsessed with this style of Cole Haans. They have the Nike Air soles which make them SO comfortable. Seriously, I could run a 5k in them. I have probably 7 pairs of this type of style and two flats with the Nike Air sole. I also invested in black Cole Haan riding boots two years ago that have that sole.

Four miles last night were dedicated to these two new additions. As I ran, my mind went through my entire closet thinking of what I could wear with them and when. Before I knew it, my run was over and I felt I could’ve kept on going—running and thinking about clothes.

I’m finally owning up to it. I don’t know when the turnaround happened but one day I was asked the big question and I answered honestly and without hesitation. I got the look I expected—crinkled eyebrows and what looked like the beginning of an eyeroll but I didn’t flinch. I don’t know if they were expecting an, “I’m just kidding,” but I didn’t give it to them. What I got in return was, “Oh, that’s different.”

Clearly, this person didn’t know me personally because if they did, while it’s not a typical answer, they wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve worked in retail for many, many years and have since probably birth read countless fashion magazines. I can’t help that fashion inspires me. And that it helps me run.

Since having my daughter, I’ve become obsessed with clothes for her. The high light of my SAHM day is getting her dressed. And then taking a billion pictures of her.

One day, when we were playing in her closet, I noticed her running her fingers through the clothes that were hanging. She’d stop at a particular dress and stroke it and then move on. Stop at a next piece, study it, and then keep going.

All mommy did was smile. And take a picture.

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