Monday, January 28, 2013

Boston Marathon, week #5

First peak week, dominated. Okay maybe not quite dominated, but over with. And I can sigh a big breath of relief.

The goal was to get in about 60 miles total, with an 18-19 mile long run and a 4x2-mile threshold workout. The weather wasn't too cooperative... half my runs were on the treadmill. (Boo.)

Thanks to my buddy MLK Jr., I had last Monday off school, so I tackled a beast of a threshold workout on the treadmill. The wind chill was near 0*F so there was no way I was battling crazy winds and extreme cold with that long of a workout. 

My torture of the day was 4x2-mile @ 6:32 with 1-2 minutes standing recovery. Basically, I set the treadmill to 9.2mph with a 0.5% incline and ran sprinted 2 miles... and then hopped off for a minute while the belt ran on wildly without me. I didn't want to waste time slowing down and then getting back up to speed. After a minute of standing awkwardly on the treadmill rails (trying not to fall and make a fool of myself), I would hop back on and start sprinting again. Repeat X 4. It really wasn't too bad, until the last 1/2 mile or so of each repeat. I hit my splits pretty consistently - 12:57, 12:55, 12:55, 12:55. (It's not too hard to be consistent on a treadmill, just don't give into the temptation to press the 'STOP' button.) 

Due to a miscommunication with a cupcake order pick-up, I did not have time to cool down on the treadmill. Once I got home and straightened that out, I headed out for a 2-mile death march cool-down. In the 0*F weather. Might have been the longest, coldest 2 miles of my life.

Other notable workout - 18.5 mile long run. On the treadmill, yet again. It was snowing and torrential wind-blowing outside and I didn't want to deal with it by myself. For some reason, I can deal with crazy weather as long as I'm running with people, but by myself, I'm a complete pansy. Oh well, I still got it in, and my legs felt good.

Weekly Rundown 1.21.2013-1.27.2013
Mon - 4x2-mile @ 6:32 (12:57, 12:55, 12:55, 12:55); 12.2 miles total
Tues - 8.1 miles easy
Wed - 7.7 miles easy AM; 3.2 miles easy PM
Thurs - Off
Fri - 18.5 miles LONG (7:49 avg)
Sat - 4.3 miles easy
Sun - 8 miles easy
Total - 62 miles

Random exciting tidbit of the week -

I have discovered the joy of COMPRESSION SOCKS! Oh my goodness, why did it take me so long to find these? I've always shied away from the $$ price tag, but they popped up on my new favorite website - Steep and Cheap. (They post outdoorsy-type athletic gear deals throughout the day, and stuff is way marked down. It's kind of a game of chance though, but I love checking the site throughout the day to see if there's anything exciting.)

I got these socks (originally $50) for just $17. And I wish I would have bought 3 pairs. They felt so good on my legs after my long run... and I swear they helped me recover faster. (But it could all be in my head... who knows.) And the pink is so much fun. Perfect for Valentine's Day! 

Happy running!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boston Marathon, week #4

Why is it so much more difficult to find motivation to run during a cut-back week? It's almost like "Oh... I only have to run 45 miles this week, no long run, let's just lolli-gag around and sleep in everyday." That was basically my life last week.

No worries, I still got everything done. ;) It was a pretty easy week - medium long run of just 12 miles and then a 6-mile tempo run.

[Sidenote: Do not attempt a tempo run the morning after giving two little tubes of blood for a life insurance exam. It will be harder than usual and you won't understand why at the moment. At least that's what I'm telling myself to explain why my tempo run was so difficult.]

Since my long run was so short (marathon training definitely screws up your definition of 'long run'), I threw in some steady hill repeats at the end. I found about a quarter mile hill and just ran up & down it several times, keeping a steady pace. The weather was beautiful - 40's and sunny. What a great run.

Weekly Rundown 1.14.2013-1.20.2013
Mon - 7.8 miles easy
Tues - 5.4 miles easy
Wed - 6-mile tempo @ 6:35 avg; 8.8 miles total
Thurs - 8 miles easy
Fri - Off
Sat - 12 miles LONG w/ 4x0.25 mi hill repeats; 7:32 avg
Sun - 4.5 miles easy
Total - 46.5 miles

Other notables of the week: not much.

We went bowling. I bowled a 114.

And I created a Twix cupcake. It was bangin'.

I'm now halfway through a 60-mile week. Tomorrow is an 18 mile run. And the high is 18*F. Yikes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boston Marathon, week #3

Last week was a great week for training - lots of easy runs, a V02-max workout, and my first long run that actually felt 'long'. The goal was to get in 50-55 miles, and I ended up with 56ish, so right on target.

Saturday's long run was glorious! Temps in the 50's in January (!) makes me a very happy runner. I headed out for 16-17 miles and ended up with almost 18. And I remembered to bring fuel! 

I tried out the blueberry-pomegranate Gu chomps, and they weren't my favorite. I ate one every 2 miles once I hit the 8-mile mark and they left a strange aftertaste. Pretty much as soon as the aftertaste went away, it would be time to eat one again. I'm thinking I will try something else next time. 

This was the week of the 8's... what a monotonous bar graph. I'll try better next week to make it a little more exciting.

Weekly Rundown 1.7.2013-1.13.2013
Mon - 8.2 miles easy
Tues - 8.3 miles easy
Wed - 4x1200m @ 4:29 (4:32, 4:31, 4:31, 4:34); 8.3 miles total
Thurs - 8.4 miles easy
Fri - Off
Sat - 17.7 miles LONG
Sun - 5.7 miles easy
Total - 56.6 miles

Feeling pretty good... but definitely looking forward to this next week for a cut-back week. Only 45 miles and a 10-12 mile long run. Perfect for the colder weather, too. 

Other highlights of the week...

I've definitely been carb loading like its my job. I forgot about how much I crave carbs when I am running harder and higher mileage. Wouldn't you think I would crave protein?

Case in point:

bbq chicken flatbread, PB BAGEL!, a gift from a student, and garlic cheesy bread. yum.

And I even forgot to snap a pic of the delicious Brown Butter Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies which were definitely the carb of choice over the weekend... will be making those again soon. Very soon.

Other exciting thing of the week? I made an appearance in the Bean Town News

I got to be the 'Weekend Chef', and talk all about my love for cupcakes and my business, Sara's Sweets. So much fun! You can see the article here if you're interested. :)

Adios, and have a great week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Boston Marathon, Week #2

2 weeks down, just 14 to go! Haha... not a good way to think about marathon training. 

This week was super-fab, though the temps have been quite frigid! I only succumbed to the temptation of the treadmill once, so I'm quite proud of myself for that.

Tuesday was January 1 (duh), and I participated in the annual New Year's Chili Run. It's a fun run that is hosted by a member of the run club here in the Bean Town. 10 miles with friends was the perfect way to kick off 2013. Too bad I couldn't convince my Business Man to join me. Not even the lure of warm chili could get him there!

the group

My speedwork of the week was 5x1km @ V02-max with 3:00 jog recovery. The day I ran this, it was super icy out... so I took it to the treadmill. Yup, I had that dreaded machine flying at 10.0-10.2mph; it's no wonder I didn't fly off the back of it! It went well though, and it was better than slipping & sliding and breaking something on the ice.

On Saturday, I ran my first long run/speed session, and it was actually quite fun! (As fun as frolicking about for 2 hours in 18*F weather can be.) I had a 2-mile warm-up followed by 5x1-mile at threshold pace (6:32) with 1-min standing recovery. Then, just run an hour easy. NBD. 

It really wasn't too bad. I hit the pace for the repeats pretty easily (consistent at 6:28-6:29) - it was the looooong cool down that scared me. But I felt great up until the last 10-15 minutes. However I am quite sore today, but that's understandable.

Weekly Rundown 12.31.2012-1.6.2013
Mon - 7.8 miles easy
Tues - 10 miles easy
Wed - 5x1km @ 3:44 (3:45, 3:45, 3:43, 3:41, 3:41); 8 miles total
Thurs - 7.4 miles easy
Fri - Off
Sat - 2 mi + 5x1-mile @ 6:32 (6:28, 6:28, 6:29, 6:28, 6:29) + 1 hour easy; 15.6 miles total LONG

Sun - 6.3 miles easy
Total - 55.2 miles

So, I'm still feeling good. Next week, my long run bumps up to 16 or 17, so that'll be fun. 

Other news of the week:

  • We went back to school on Thursday. It was a little rough. This week should be better... more of a chance to get in the swing of things. And we have semester exams Thursday-Friday, and those days are always really easy. Minus the grading.
  • My mom came to visit this weekend since my dad was out of town on business. We had a lot of fun bumming around. And shopping. And making delicious food. And of course she brought Maggie, so that's always a blast.
puppy cuddles
  • WE FINISHED THE PUZZLE! Haha... last Sunday we started a 1000-piece puzzle. 'For fun.' Well, we finally finished it 6 days later. And then my Business Man proceeded to crumble it up and put it back in the box today... just one day of puzzle enjoyment. 
RIP puzzle
And I will leave you with this article from Runner's World about New Year's resolutions... I agree wholeheartedly -  Resolved.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Boston Marathon, Week #1

Is it really time to start this whole marathon training thing again? It seems like just yesterday I was crossing the finish line to the IL Marathon. Yet that was 8+ months ago. Yikes, will life ever slow down?

As we were driving home to visit our families for Christmas, I sat in the car and wrote up a training plan for Boston. I referenced my trusty training coach, good ole' Jack Daniels, and came up with a 16-week plan. There's a good mix of tempo runs, intervals, and hills, and I'm looking forward to switching it up a bit in the next couple months. It gets a little boring running easy all the time.

I have begun to really enjoy long car rides. It's 6 hours where I don't have to do anything but sit there! And think! And read! And sleep! Love it.

It's a little more aggressive than last year's marathon training plan, but I think I'm ready. About half of the long runs actually have speedwork incorporated into them, so that should be fun! (Or it might just be the worst thing ever... I'll keep ya posted. If worse comes to worse, I'll switch them all to easy-paced long runs.)

Without further adieu... I present to you Week #1!

The plan was to put in about 50 miles, including a fartlek and a 14-mile long run. I added in the shorty tempo run because I was on the treadmill that day and I got bored. 

Weekly Rundown 12.24.2012-12.30.2012
Mon - Fartlek - 4x(3-on,4-off) w/ 'on' segments at 5k effort; 8.4 mi total
Tues - 7.3 miles easy
Wed - 4-mile tempo @ 6:37 avg; 8.1 mi total
Thurs - Off
Fri - 8 miles easy
Sat - 14.2 miles LONG (7:47 avg)
Sun - 6.5 miles easy
Total - 52.5 miles

Other highlights of the week - CHRISTMAS! We had a fabulous visit with our families. Lots  of time was spent catching up and spending some QT with both sets of parents and my Business Man's siblings.

Obligatory Christmas pic. Sadly this is the only one we took... It would have made too much sense to actually ask someone to take one of us so it wouldn't be all pixel-y from using the reverse camera.

Lots of great food, too. I didn't take too many pics but these Cappuccino Cinnamon Rolls were great running fuel.

What I would give to have one of these right now...

And now it is already January 3... and today was our first day back to school after break. No comment except "how many days 'til spring break?!"

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