Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 16 of Chicago Marathon Training

I have one more week to go until I run my second full marathon and guess what? I’m still FREAKING OUT.

This entry will be a little different from my previous marathon Monday entries in that it will focus on how my overall training season with Hanson’s Marathon Method went, my plans for this week, and my goals for the Chicago marathon.

Weekly Mileage – I logged 36.7 miles this week and although this is a 7.3 mile decrease from last week, I think it was the best decision for my body since the fatigue has been overwhelming lately.

Overall Training – “The hardest part of running a marathon is training for the marathon.” Yup. Absolutely. Although, I might end up disagreeing with this quote when I’m running mile 22 of the marathon. LOL. In this last training cycle, I have:

  • Averaged 6 – 8 hours of running a week
  • Run at least one 10 to 12 miler almost every week
  • Been out the door before 7 am on Saturdays for my long run (I miss sleeping in. HA)
  • Done crazy intervals (Honestly, how is a 3 x 2 mile run an interval? LOL)
  • Had several difficult runs (BOOOOOO!)
  • Run over 200 miles in a month

I tried sticking to Hanson’s plan as closely as I could, but there were multiple weeks where I couldn’t hit the target mileage. There were weeks where my pacing was god awful and there were days where I wish I hadn’t chosen this program. But I’m a week away from running the marathon and despite not feeling super confident about the race, I wouldn’t trade any of the running experiences I’ve had with this program for anything. I knew this plan was going to be tough. I knew that I could fail horribly, but I tried it anyway and I’m so glad I did. I accomplished so many things that I didn’t really think were possible and this has really taught me that you have to aim high to reach your goals.

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Taper Week – Taper, taper, taper! This week will be dedicated to resting as much as I can. That means sleeping early, eating right, doing much shorter runs (think 3 milers), and having more rest days. My legs have also been taking a really long time to loosen up during my runs so I’m thinking that some foam rolling and lots of stretching will be in the agenda for this week as well. 🙂

Revised Goals – I can’t remember if I already mentioned this, but my original goal of a sub 4 hour marathon is no longer on the table. With my more recent runs, I realized that this was too ambitious of a goal. I have since revised my goals to the following:

Goal A – Run a sub 4:15 marathon (Pace: 9:40 min/mile)

Goal B – Run a sub 4:30 marathon (Pace: 10:20 min/mile)

Goal C – FINISH THE MARATHON

Goal A is still pretty ambitious since my one and only marathon time was an 11 min/mile. However, that marathon was the NYC marathon, which has hills. The Chicago marathon does not. Hooray! Also, my training for NYC was mediocre. I skipped a lot of runs and made a lot of excuses and averaged maybe 25-30 miles a week. I also had no finishing time in mind. This time, I ran my butt off during training averaging 40-50 miles a week and I have a specific time in mind. If for any reason, I can’t reach my first goal, there are back up goals and ultimately, I just want to finish another marathon.

6 days and counting guys and gals! If anyone wants to track me, my bib # is 36530. I’ll be starting a little after 8 am CT (That’s 6 am PT for my friends in CA ^_^). Wish me luck!!!

 

 

 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 13 of Chicago Marathon Training

Less than a month until I run the Chicago Marathon. Holy crap. Here’s my recap of how my marathon training went this past week.

(Scheduled Mileage) Actual Mileage

Monday (6 miles)7 miles

Since Mondays are easy miles, I try running more miles than scheduled because I know I’ll be exhausted by Sunday.

Tuesday (2 x 3 miles with 1.25 mile recovery jog and a 1 mile WU and CD)8 easy miles

This was my worst run of the week. I had to run a few errands in the morning so by the time I was ready to run, it was noon in peak heat. I decided to run by the bay because it’d be a little bit cooler. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. With the heat and lack of shade for 4 miles, I got destroyed during the run. My calf muscles were extremely tight and it took 4 miles for them to loosen up. Each mile in, I had to stop and stretch. I was so mentally and physically drained that I ended up doing an easy 8 miles instead of trying to push myself for intervals. I also miscalculated and didn’t realize I was supposed to do a little over 9 miles. Oops.

Wednesday (Rest)9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD

I was traveling on Thursday so I decided to try for an 9 mile tempo run on Wednesday and rest on Thursday. It was still really warm and I ended up waiting until Wednesday evening to run. It was an okay run and I hit my tempo pace more or less. I did make a few stops along the way because it got dark and I got lost. LOL.

Thursday (9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest

Traveled to Texas for vacation so it was a rest day for me.

Friday (6 miles)8 miles (4.5 outdoors and 3.5 indoors)

If you didn’t know, Texas is very warm right now. I woke up a little late and was only able to run 4.5 miles outdoors before it got too warm. It was also my first time really exploring Bastrop and honestly I thought I’d get eaten by wildlife. The city is very much considered the countryside and my paranoia was getting the best of me. LOL. I finished the rest of the miles on the treadmill later that day.

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Running around Bastrop, Texas

Saturday (10 miles)10 miles (5.5 outdoors and 4.5 indoors) and an hour of rockclimbing

Again, I split the run into two parts – 1/2 outdoors and 1/2 indoors due to heat. I don’t really enjoy running on the treadmill, but this was the only option since I couldn’t get up early enough (I’m not a morning person) and didn’t want to get heatstroke in the sun. I also ended up bouldering for about an hour.

Sunday (8 miles)6 miles and dance classes

The plan was to go to the Greenbelt in Austin to run, but by the time I woke up, the temperature was already mid 70s. It would have taken another 40 minutes to get into Austin and by that time it would have been 80 and I don’t do well in 80 degree weather. Instead, I went into Austin and took some free dance classes (Intro to Hip Hop and Intro to Ballet for Adults) to mix things up a bit. I ended up getting the miles in on the treadmill later that night while catching up on the BibRave Podcast.

Total mileage (49 miles)49.1 miles 

Thoughts of the Week: With less than 4 weeks to go, I’m getting really nervous about the marathon. Because I’ve been struggling with pacing and hitting my target mileage each week (thank goodness I hit it this week), I think I’ll try for a sub 4:15 marathon time instead. A sub 4 might have been too ambitious, but I don’t regret trying for it at all. 27 days to go. YIKES!

Question for you: I will be moving onto Boston for a few days, but I’ve been having a hard time finding safe routes to run while traveling. How do you find routes to run? Any suggestions for routes to run in either Austin or Boston? Thanks in advance!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 12 of Chicago Marathon Training

With an ongoing heatwave in my city, week 12 of marathon training was not pretty. Sigh. I did what I could and this was the result.

(Scheduled mileage) – Actual mileage

Monday (7 miles) – 7.9 miles 

My usual group run only runs up to 6 miles so I ran 2.9 miles earlier in the day and ran 5 miles with them. I was feeling fairly strong so I decided to run an extra mile that day just in case something happened later in the week.

Tuesday (3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD ) – 3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD 

I tried doing these intervals on the track, but since they were so long, I got bored and deviated a bit and just ran around the campus. I also started out a bit too fast, which made me miss one of my split goals and I think made my legs a bit more tired later on in the week.

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Wednesday (Rest) – Rest

I felt pretty exhausted and welcomed the rest.

Thursday (9 mile tempo with 1 mile WU and CD) – 9 mile tempo with 0.7 mile WU and CD

My boyfriend was in town this past week and so I made it an effort to run earlier in the afternoon instead of doing my usual evening runs so this tempo run was attempted at 3 pm. It got way too hot too fast and I made the decision to run the tempo portion on a treadmill while watching Moana. LOL. Running on the treadmill was really tough and I ended up having to stop a few times because I started overheating despite the air conditioning being on. Go figure. The warm up and cool down was basically me running to and away from the gym.

Friday (6 miles) – Zero miles

This was a pretty upsetting day for me. I had a lot of errands to run and it was also my last day in graduate school so I was busily packing away my things. Having spent 9 years in the lab, I had accumulated quite a bit of stuff and it took me a lot longer to finish everything. Result? I ended up missing my Friday run completely. Bleh.

Saturday (8 miles) – 13 miles

Since I did my 16 miler last week, this week was actually supposed to only be 10 miles. But, because I missed my Friday run, I tried making up for it by running 13 miles instead. This was so hard because it was extremely warm even at 9 am. I think it hit 80F by the time I finished. It was tough. I cried during my last mile, but I finished it and felt better later in the day.

(Note: I always do my long runs on Saturdays because I run with a group. The scheduled mileage is taken directly from the Hanson’s marathon method beginner’s plan, which has their long run scheduled on Sundays).

Sunday (16 miles) – 5 miles

With the weather still being very humid, I ran 5 miles at a very easy pace. My legs felt like lead for almost 4 miles of it and I contemplated stopping almost every mile in. It also didn’t help that it started sprinkling about a mile in. Bleh.

Total mileage (56 miles) – 45.4 miles

Thoughts of the week: So I haven’t been as good about my training as of late and I am a bit worried about the last few weeks of training. I don’t know if I can keep the mileage up with the next few weeks asking me to hit 49-57 miles a week. I’ll also be traveling the next two weeks to very hot parts of the U.S. so it’ll be very tricky to see if I can do it. I’m also EXTREMELY FATIGUED despite missing my target weekly mileage. Eek! Help, anyone?

Question for you: What kind of training program have you followed? Did it work? I’m hoping to follow Hanson’s Marathon Method as closely as I can to see if it’ll work for me, but I’m curious to see what others ones people have had success with.

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Hello AFC half. We meet again.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

This year really is flying by. In only 5 short days, I will be running half marathon #17 at America’s Finest City half. This will be my second time running the race and I am definitely more prepared relative to when I first ran it two years ago. Yay for consistent running!

Anyway, I have three goals for this race.

  1. Don’t get injured – I just raced this past weekend and am still feeling the muscle fatigue from it. My muscles are sore and I’m having all sorts of aches and pains (rib pain – is that even a thing?, slight muscle calf discomfort, and some stomach pain) when I’m running. Yikes! I’m also still in the midst of training for the Chicago marathon so getting injured is something I absolutely need to avoid. I need to be in tip top shape for the marathon if I’m ever going to break 4 hours. That means taking it easy during this race.
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    AFC 2015 
  2. Beat my course PR – The first time I ran this race, I struggled A LOT. It was very humid and I wasn’t used to it. I was training in an air conditioned gym on a treadmill. LOL. This year, I’ve made sure to train in the same weather I’d be running races in. I don’t plan on beating my overall PR, because honestly I’m pretty sure I’d injure myself if I tried. I do want to try and beat my course PR though. This race holds the record for my slowest half marathon time so I do want to try and redeem myself. 🙂 BUT, if there are any signs of injury, goal #2 will be thrown out the window and and goal #1 will take priority.
  3. Enjoy the scenery and have fun – After running SeaWheeze in Vancouver, I think I have a more new found appreciation for scenic races. After living in San Diego almost my entire life, I think I’ve taken a lot of it for granted. San Diego is a really pretty city so I need to start appreciating that and what better way than by running through it.

Wish me luck!

If you want to run this race with me, you can use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” until Wednesday, 8/16/17 to get $20 off your entry online. You can also still register at the expo, but the code will not work then.

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 6 of Chicago Marathon training

Well, this training method has been an interesting one. Here’s how week 6 went for me.

Scheduled mileageActual mileage

Monday (4 miles)4 miles

After my race the day before, I was in no shape to run anything more than what was expected of me. My quads were pretty sore, but I made it out to Movin’ Shoes for a group run and as soon as I started running, they felt better and 4 easy run miles flew by.

Tuesday (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and CD)6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 2.5 mile WU and 1.5 mile CD

This was my first real interval training. I was so unprepared for it that I brought my Hanson’s marathon method training book with me to work so I could look into the specifics of it before going into it. I think I did a pretty good job at it after looking at my pacing through the workout.

Interval 071817Although I did realize a few days later that my warm up (WU) and cool down (CD) were a bit longer than what was scheduled. Oops. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

I’ve been sleeping so much more ever since starting this program. I need my body to restore itself so if the program says rest, I’m going to rest.

Thursday (5 miles tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD)3 mile tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD

I missed the note at the bottom of my training plan where it said WUs and CDs were supposed to be a mile each. Since I did extra miles on Tuesday’s interval training, I decreased my tempo run mileage for the day. This was probably the worst run of the week. For tempo runs, I’m supposed to run around my marathon pace. Let’s just say I didn’t hit my marathon pace during any of the miles. 😦

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Friday (4 miles)4.3 miles

After Thursday’s terrible run, I took it easy and ran the 4 miles as a much more comfortable pace.

Saturday (6 miles)11 long run miles

I will probably be swapping Saturday and Sunday miles simply because my run group meets on Saturday and I lack motivation when there isn’t a group run. LOL. I ran with someone who’s around my pace and we managed 11 miles at a slightly faster pace. It wasn’t marathon pace, but I did feel very strong during this run. 🙂

Sunday (10 miles)4.7 miles

Because of extra mileage earlier in the week, I only had to run 4.7 easy miles to meet my weekly mileage.

Total mileage: (38 miles)38 milesIMG_1098

Thoughts for the week: Although, I’m super proud of myself for meeting such a high weekly mileage goal, I am worried I’m not performing as well as I’d like in terms of speed. Depending on how my next few tempo runs go, I may have to reassess my marathon goal of 4 hours. The Chicago marathon corral assignments came out this week and I’m already having serious doubts about whether I can actually reach a sub 4 time. I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when I do more tempo runs. 

How do you deal with doubt when training? Any tips for anyone who wants to get faster? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 5 Chicago Marathon training

I am officially done with week 5 of marathon training and boy am I pooped. POOPED I say. This was a crazy week as Hanson’s marathon method had me scheduled to run 39 miles! THIRTY NINE miles. The week before, I was only scheduled to run 24 miles. Why 39 miles? Oh lord. Anyway, here’s how last week went.

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 9 miles 

My boyfriend was visiting for a week and I knew that I would not have enough time to do my scheduled interval training on Tuesday, which was estimated to be about 6 miles plus a 1.5 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down. Also, since I had a race on Sunday, the plan said to forgo interval training for that week. Because of all that, I woke up Monday morning thinking I’d just run 9 miles just like that. LOL. Thinking about it now, I still can’t believe I just decided to run 9 miles like it wasn’t a big deal or anything.  I think I’m running obsessed. Anyway, I broke up the distance up into two runs making the mileage a lot more manageable. I ran 3 miles earlier in the afternoon and after work, I met up with my run group and we ran another 6 miles. Thankfully, a friend who runs at a similar pace was there and she ran with me the entire way. Yay friends!

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After my 6 mile run with Movin’ Shoes

Tuesday (Speed training 12 x 400 m with 400 m recovery jog) – 4 miles 

Despite being exhausted from Monday’s run, I kept waking up in the middle of the night, which made Tuesday’s run tough. I had to pick up my boyfriend from the airport that morning so I squeezed in my run before his arrival. I was a bit late waking up so I ran 4 miles in the hot sun. Luckily, there was a lot of shade and breeze along the bay I ran around and it wasn’t too bad.

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

You bet I rested. Working out/running for 8 days without a break is killer. I wouldn’t recommend it. Do as I say, not as I do. I’m clearly (running) crazy.

Thursday (5 miles)5 miles

Thank goodness for scheduled group runs. It was the second Thursday of the month meaning it was Adventure Run day. I unfortunately ate something bad right before the run and ended up running with a crazy upset stomach. I struggled through those 5 miles, but I finished.

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Thank you to my friend Alex who ran with me and kept me company while I struggled with tummy issues

Friday (4 miles)4 miles

My car was having some issues so I had to get it to the repair shop stat. It took 45 min to get my car fixed so I decided to just go for a 4 mile jaunt around the block. LOL. You gotta do what you gotta do to get those miles in. 🙂

Saturday (8 miles) –  3 miles

Because I was running a half marathon on Sunday, I made this day a 3 mile run. I was supposed to log 16 miles over the weekend anyway so I just split the distances over the two days.

Sunday (8 miles)13.1 miles

Having run so many miles earlier in the week, I was a bit worried about running a half marathon and about having to run it at a faster pace than usual. Luckily, I survived the race and finished off the week with 13.1 miles. Woohoo! A re-cap of the race will be coming shortly. Stay tuned!

Total Mileage (39 miles)38.5 miles

Thought of the week: I will have to say that despite missing my target mileage by a half mile, I’m still extremely proud of myself. Prior to this, I had never run anything more than 32 miles a week and that was peak week for my NYC marathon training. It may not seem like much to a high volume runner, but it was all I could manage last year. I feel that this year, I’m much more prepared as a runner. 🙂

How is everyone’s training going? Did you race this past weekend? 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 4 of Chicago marathon training

After 3 weeks of base training, I finally started increasing my weekly mileage. This week, I was scheduled for 24 miles. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Monday (Rest) – Soooooo I wasn’t going to actually rest on Monday. I had plans to go to kickboxing again, but once I got there, they were closed. Womp womp. Turns out that they had closed in preparation for the 4th of July. Oops. I should probably check their schedule in advance next time.

Tuesday (5 miles) – The group I run with at Movin Shoes had an organized 10k fun run up to Mt. Soledad. For those of you who don’t know, the trek up Mt. Soledad is STEEP! There’s a gain of 676 ft in elevation over the course of 3.1 miles. I ran up this hill in May and must have forgotten how steep it was because I ran up it again on Tuesday and boy was it killer. I am proud to say that I ran up that entire hill without stopping though. 🙂 When I ran it in May, I had to walk a portion of it so I think I’m improving. Yay!img_0778

Wednesday (Rest) – Since I didn’t do kickboxing Monday, I caught Wednesday’s kickboxing class instead. I, once again, pulled my butt muscle. LOL. I honestly don’t know how I keep doing this to myself. Sigh.

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Thursday (4 miles) – Ran an easy 4 miles.

Friday (5 miles) – It started heating up a bit so I grabbed my OrangeMud Phone. (hydration) Flask. Vest. and made it through the 5 miles. The run was a little slower than I wanted, but it still fell within the pace range my program suggested.

Saturday (4 miles) – The weekend runs got a little tricky. It was expected to heat up to the 80s and when it gets hot, I don’t want to run. Luckily, I do group runs on Saturday and I’m a bit more motivated to run on Saturdays so I ran a bit more than suggested. Ran 7 miles at an “easy” pace along the beach. 🙂 In reality, it wasn’t easy. It was hot and humid and chafing was definitely a thing during that run.

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The Fall half marathon/full marathon training group

Sunday (6 miles) – HAH! Yeah, right. Six miles was not going to happen. I had anticipated this, which is why I ran more miles on Saturday. Go past me. 🙂 Anyway, I scheduled a free spin class at SparkCycle in the morning courtesy of Yelp (elite). The class was intense, but I survived thanks to Krystin, my instructor for the class. On a scale of 1-10 for energy, Krystin was an 11. LOL. After finishing class, I went to work and ran an easy 3 miles to finish off the week.

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Krystin, the instructor for the class

Weekly mileage – I ran 26 miles. 🙂 Hooray!

Thought for the week – This upcoming week will be kind of crazy. My boyfriend will be visiting for a week and so I will be trying to run most of my miles in the morning. I’m also deviating from the Hanson marathon method quite a bit since I’m racing on Sunday. Eek. Not sure how this will pan out, but I’ll have my fingers crossed. 🙂 How do you deal with deviations in training?