I'm having trouble. You see, I have a goal for my upcoming marathon. I'd like to PR. And if I do, I will likely be able to qualify for Boston.
My current marathon PR is 3:56:37. My Boston qualifying time is 3:55:00.
All I need is to cut two minutes off my time and I'll qualify. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll get in. To get in, I'm pretty sure I'll need to run a good bit faster than my qualifying time.
So, I have this goal. Yes, to PR. But, also to get in to Boston. I'd like to run under 3:52 for the marathon in October.
To do that, I need to run 8:51 miles. And here we get to my problem.
I can run that pace, easy-peasy. My half-marathon pace is faster than that so I know I can do it. The trick, of course, is holding the pace over 26.2 miles.
So I've been running marathon pace miles in my training. Well, I've been trying to. And I've been failing. I'm running them too fast, which won't do me any good in the marathon.
I need to get comfortable with 8:51 per mile. That's it. I don't need to get comfortable with 8:19 per mile or 8:37 per mile. I just need to glide through my miles at 8:51.
Yesterday was my third marathon pace workout. I warmed up for a mile and then ran 3 miles, targeting 8:51. Instead, I ran:
Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 8:37
Consistent, I guess, so maybe I should be pleased with my fairly even pacing? Or maybe I should go ahead and try again next week!
In other news, yesterday's run put me over 100 miles for July. That's the first time I've broken 100 miles since last September. And while I do not want to jinx myself, I'm feeling really good about how my training is going! My long runs are increasing steadily and well. My easy runs feel good.
If I can just start to nail these marathon pace runs, I'll feel even better!!
Any tips for perfecting marathon pace? I'd love to hear them!!
Have a great week, everyone!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I'm having trouble. You see, I have a goal for my upcoming marathon. I'd like to PR. And if I do, I will likely be able to qualify for Boston.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Yup, that's right. I'm just writing my February recap on March 10th. Slacker, slacker . . .
But, see, that's the way this month has gone. It has been up and down -- just like February. The biggest downer has been that I am still (still!) dealing with my injured left leg. It is my whole hip/butt/upper thigh/hamstring area and it just plain rots. I have been fine for a while but for the past month, it has been flaring up again.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
After all, I have a 4 mile race this Saturday, a half marathon in May and a full marathon in October. I can't have a nagging injury that forces me to not run!
So, I'm dealing with it. Reduced mileage. Rest. Chiropractor. PT. Ice. Rehab exercises. Just about everything.
Fingers crossed that it all works!
As a result of my wonky leg, my February mileage was low. Here's what it looked like:
Running (miles): 51.4
Cross-training (sessions): lots!
One of the highlights of the month was our trip to DC for a family wedding. I ran around and took in the sights:
And then got cleaned up for the fun wedding:
When we got back from DC, the boys had a full week of from school for winter break and we filled our time with lots of play and getting to see some friends and family we don't normally see. After break, it was back to normal and I was back to the chiropractor and trying to keep my running on track!
Slowly and un-surely, I think that might happen.
And now, back to March! Enjoy your week, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!
Friday, June 8, 2012
My next race has totally crept up on me! I've been so busy basking in my post-marathon and new-5K-PR glow that I failed to pay attention to the fact that the Boilermaker 15K is a mere 29 days away.
29 days?!? And I haven't even started to train . . .
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I have been meaning to make this announcement for a few weeks now but I was a bit distracted with the marathon and all of the catch up afterward. Life always seems to get in the way -- even when you have such exciting news!
Yes, exciting news!!
My news? Well, yay for me -- I was chosen to receive a CLIF Ambassador Sponsorship for 2012! Yup, I'm now a CLIF Ambassador. This is the first year of the CLIF Ambassador sponsored athlete program and I'm proud to be a part of it! The CLIF Ambassador sponsorship is for trainers and active enthusiasts who are focused on training others and promoting a healthy lifestyle, and who have a strong passion for their sport.
As part of the program, I'll race and train in CLIF gear. Remember these photos?
That's me sporting my CLIF gear after a run. I'll be out and about in my gear a lot this year. Be on the look-out :-)
I'm also stocked to the gills with CLIF samples.
Right now, I am absolutely in love with the Blueberry Crisp bars. In love! Fortunately, I'm meant to share the bars (CLIF bars and their new protein-rich Builder's Bars) with others. So I'll be spreading the word about CLIF goodness and giving out samples during training runs and at races.
Here's some information on CLIF:
CLIF BarsCLIF Bars are 70% organic and come loaded with 23 vitamins and minerals, which makes them the ideal nutrition for athletes. Whether you're riding your bike or exploring a new trail, CLIF bar is crafted to sustain energy for your next adventure.
CLIF Builder's BarsCLIF Builder's bar is the protein bar that works as hard as you do. We only use ingredients that help to build and repair muscle - so you can get the most out of your workout. Builder's is crafted with the best carbohydrates and protein, and no hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols or GMOs.
Big things are happening here in Happy Runner-ville! I'm excited about it all -- especially my new association with CLIF! I hope you'll stick around to enjoy the fun with me!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I have a new favorite workout, my friends. I still love the long run (woo hoo ~ 22 on the schedule for Sunday!) and I'll always be a fan of 400s at 5K pace and 200s at mile pace.
But! This new favorite rocks and I really, really, really hope it sets me up to run well on May 6th.
The workout in question? Two-mile repeats. I love this workout. To paraphrase Ferris, the workout is choice.
Today was the second time I knocked off two-mile repeats. (They've been on the schedule three times but I had to miss one workout when I was sick.) The way that I run them is like this:
1.5 miles warm-up (going from 10:00 pace to 9:00 pace)
2 miles at slightly faster than marathon goal pace (around 8:20)
quarter mile rest
2 miles as above (8:20 pace)
1.25 miles cool-down
7 miles total
It rocks! Because the pace is not killer, I never feel like I'm dying while running the fast portions. But, two miles is a fairly long fast interval, so I definitely feel like I am pushing it and making myself work. Since I run them at a little faster than marathon goal pace, the workout is a good mental one. A confidence booster, for sure.
My one regret with this training cycle is that I haven't run two-mile repeats more often. And I wish I could do three of them, instead of just two. But, I have the time for two so that's what I do.
I'm already looking forward to running them next week!
Thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Long runs can be tough. And yet, if you looking to run a half-marathon, full marathon, or just want to improve your endurance, they are a necessary part of training.
Ideally, as you'd go through a training cycle all of your long runs would be nothing but awesome. You'd cover all your miles, hit your paces, and enjoy the many hours spent running.
This doesn't always happen, does it? No. In order for all of that long run awesomeness to fall into place, you have to prepare and set yourself up for long-run success.
Recently, I took stock about what has worked for me on my long runs and I thought I'd share my tips in case they might help you as well. So, here you go!
Happy Runner Tips For Awesome Long Runs!
1. Grab your pals!
The first time I trained for a marathon, I ran alone. Every. Single. Run. Alone. It was fine and I don't mind running alone. But, man. Running 18 miles with a friend -- or many friends -- is WAY better. Way. Running pals make the miles fly by and help you through the tough spots. They can give you a boost when your energy starts to dip. Running with friends is probably the single most important ingredient for my long run success this time around.
I love my running buddies!
2. Compression rules!
I can't say enough about my CEP compression socks. They are The Best. I love them. I've been wearing them for my long runs for about a year and I truly believe they have helped my legs feel better during the runs and afterward. I usually only wear them for runs and races of 15K or more.
Here I am sporting the green CEPs in my half-marathon last April:
I don't stop once my run is over, though. After all of my long runs (and after I clean up from them), I pull on a lighter pair of compression socks and wear them for the rest of the day to enhance my recovery. I highly recommend wearing compression socks for your long runs and races! (HERE is some information on the benefits of compression socks -- increased blood flow, etc.)
3. Drink up!
I looooooove my smoothies! I pack mine with yogurt, berries, chlorella, flax, chia seeds -- and credit them for giving me extra energy throughout the day.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
. . . means:
- 12 miles in 21 degree weather that feels like 5 degrees, thanks to Mr. Wind Chill.
- Layers: Sock layers. Legging layers. Pant layers. Shirt layers. Jacket layers. Glove layers. Mitten layers. Layers.
- Lots of laundry (see above).
- Frozen water bottles.
- Frozen gels.
- Frozen nose.
- Hot showers. Long hot showers.
- Becoming friends with the treadmill.
- Excitement when the forecast is for "sunny and 30 degrees."
- Outta-hand excitement when the temp is 40+.
- Happy dreams and scary nightmares about what the 26.2 on May 6th might bring.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Or, in my case, can a 41-year-old mom who has never, ever been a morning person begin to embrace the morning run?
It's too early to tell but this weekend I made continued progress toward becoming a morning runner and I'm pretty sure that is going to be a new goal. I'm also pretty sure it is a bit of a forced goal. You see, my one-year-old has taken to waking up at 6:30. All attempts to get him to sleep later have failed. Miserably.
So, he's up. Which means that someone (me? Owen?) needs to be up with him. Rather than fight the early morning riser, my new plan is to see it as an opportunity to finally, after all these year, become a morning runner.
On Saturday, I got up with my bright-eyed toddler at 6:20. Yawn. We had breakfast, hung out, and then, at 7:15 Owen got up, took over, and I met friends for a 9-mile run. On Sunday, it was a similar pattern, only I went for a solo 4-miler at 8, letting Owen sleep-in a little longer.
Today is a rest day but my plan is to get up with the early riser at 6:30 or so and hit the road for a run by 7:15, when Owen gets up.
Think I can do it? I hope so. If I'm going to get my mileage in during the marathon training cycle I'll have to either run early in the morning or in the cold, dark evening. Something tells me I'll enjoy cold and light to cold and dark . . .
Have a great week, everyone. And, remember, today is the last day to enter my half marathon giveaway!
Monday, December 5, 2011
I'm not talking Prefontaine.
Or even preschool.
Right now, I'm all about pre-marathon training.
That's right. Because 18 weeks of training just isn't enough! Heh, heh.
I'm calling December my pre-marathon training month and hoping this period will accomplish two things. First, it will (I hope) stop me from slacking off during this whole holiday season, allowing me to start my training plan with a decent mileage base. Second, it will (I also hope) stop me from running too hard (too fast, too much), so I can begin training refreshed, recovered, and no longer injured.
A fine balance.
The loose plan for the month is to run 2-3 times during the week (4-5 easy miles each run), long on Saturday (8-12 miles), easy on Sunday (4-5 miles). I'll supplement my runs with 2-3 yoga sessions (thank you, exercise tv!) and specific strengthening/rehabbing exercises for my left hamstring/knee/calf.
Five days in to the month, I'm on track. Yoga has been treating me well and showing me where my (very obvious) imbalances of strength and flexibility are. I ran 8 enjoyable miles with my friend Amanda on Saturday morning. Even though it was really cold, and our route was really hilly, we had a good time. I haven't run with her in ages so it was great to catch up!
Sunday was a nice-and-easy 4+ miler and today I have my sights set on an hour of yoga after the kids go to bed. Unlike the (many) other times I've tried to get into yoga, I'm actually looking forward to it!
What about you: Do you enjoy yoga? Do you think it helps with your running?
Thanks for stopping by -- have a great week!
Friday, November 18, 2011
1. I am ready for the weekend. The weather has been weird this week and, as a result, I've been all headache-y so I think I need to kick back. I'm not going to get much of a chance to do that, however, because we're having friends over for dinner on Saturday and then my whole family over on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it!
2. Since I seem to be in complaining mode . . . I've got a BIG one: My left hamstring has gone wonky. I believe that I strained it when running while pushing my (heavy) toddler in the jogging stroller. I think I was pulling back, or braking, when running downhill and that strained the hammie. For a while my hamstring was just a little sore. After my race last Saturday, the medial side of both my hamstring and my knee hurt.
Based on my research (go, Dr. Google!), I am diagnosing myself with a strained hamstring/potential muscle imbalance. I do not think that I have anything worse than that. If it was a true knee problem, I think my pain would be in a different area and would not have started out as hamstring pain.
So, my plan is to not run for a few days, do some strengthening exercises for my hamstring, and then run the Turkey Trot 5K on Thursday and see how I feel (I'm already signed up). After the race, I will probably continue to rest and strengthen and then get fully back to running at the end of December, in time to start marathon training in January.
3. I have a Yoplait yogurt smoothie giveaway going on HERE. Check it out!
4. Now reading:
5. Good luck to all the Philly racers this weekend -- and everyone else who is racing or running, too! Have a great weekend, everyone!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Apparently, I am not.
And, in racing, that's less than ideal. In racing, negative -- as in, negative splits (running the second half of the race faster than the first) -- is a positive. I am rarely a negative splitter. At least not in any distance longer than 5K.
Take a look at Saturday's splits:
7:20 pace for last .2 or so
Not negative at all. But then, for my last 5K, I ran the right way:
6:17 pace for last .1
Started conservatively and then sped up. Just like all the training books, articles, web sites recommend. Granted, I ran a PR with those positive splits and just missed a PR when I ran negative ones.
Hundreds . . . thousands of running experts can't be wrong! Right?
I know running negative splits is the right thing to do and I wish I was better at it. So, as I start looking forward to my marathon training, one of the things I plan to focus on is running negative splits. Most of what I've read recommends shooting for even splits in the marathon -- something that is easier to do if you regularly run negative splits in your shorter races.
I'll be practicing what I read, and here's a small sample of some of what I've read:
Let the Tempo Come to You
Negative Splits Equal Positive Results
The Positive of Negative Splits
Race Pacing Calculator
I've got plenty of time to refine what works for me. Maybe by May I'll be consistently negative.
Then again, I might just end up staying positive. We'll see!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Last week, I made a proclamation. On Facebook, because that's where those things happen these days. I wrote (proclaimed!) that I was going to run the New Jersey Marathon next May.
In response, one of my friends commented, "That's dedication to train in the winter."
Oh, right. Winter.
Yeah, the marathon takes place on May 6th, meaning my training starts January 2nd. The coldest, snowiest months in upstate New York? Those would be January and February. In other words, I will, without a doubt, be running -- far -- in snowy, windy, frigid conditions.
I'm not too worried -- a little worried, sure, but not too worried. Last January, with a 3 month old baby, I started training for an early April half marathon. Yes, I understand that training for a half marathon is not the same as training for a full. It is, after all, 13.1 miles to a marathon's 26.2. However, my point is that I trained through a tough winter while sacrificing my sleep for the 'round-the-clock breastfeeding needs of my son. It was all worth it.
So I know that I can do it. I have a treadmill for days when the weather is just too crummy. I have friends who are training for the marathon with me. I can do it.
And I'm a little excited about it, to tell the truth.
Bring it, winter!
And, watch out, New Jersey Marathon, because I'm coming at you full of dedication!
Monday, June 20, 2011
I hope all the dads out there had a nice Father's Day. We had a good one here. For the second year in a row, we had my family over for a bbq dinner and then went to the ValleyCats (a minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros) baseball game.
They lost, but it was still a good time.
|Owen with the boys!|
|Little tongue guy.|
|My little guy sporting his new summer haircut, sitting with my brother and my dad.|
I should be back to the regularly scheduled training plan this week. Hope so -- the Boilermaker is creeping up on me!
Hope you all had a great weekend and nice start to the week! Don't forget to enter my Chobani giveaway HERE (ends tonight at 11:59 EST) -- and stay tuned for another giveaway this week!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I've put together an 8 week plan that calls for tempo runs, speedwork, long runs of 6 miles, some fast runs and a bunch of easy miles. Here's a look at the plan:
|Click on the image to make it larger.|
Friday, April 8, 2011
My recovery week is just about over. Since the half, I've run a grand total of 4.8 miles. Stand back! That's fine, it's a recovery week and all but now I think I'm ready to get going again. Perfect timing: The weather for this weekend looks to be sunny with temps in the 60s. Bring on the run!
And get training.
I've got two races coming up in the next two months and I would like to run well in both. First up is the Mother's Day 5K on -- you guessed it -- Mother's Day. That's May 8th. (THIS would be awesome, btw. Any mama would love the pink one. Or, heck, even the black.)
After that is the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K on June 4th. I predict that I will blow last year's (preggo) time out of the water. The time to beat? 27:11. Yes, it was my time from 5.5 months pregnant. But, still, it's last year's time and I want to beat it. My best times on the course are: 23:27 (pre kids) and 23:47 (post kids). In blowing my preggo time out of the water, I plan to attempt to beat my best times and shoot for a course PR. So, yeah, I need to get back to training.
Beyond those two upcoming 5Ks I'm thinking about a fall half marathon and maybe, just maybe, a summer one. Just call me an addict. I can take it.
Now, I'll leave you with some of my "official" race photos:
Have a great weekend, everyone! And if you were part of the HRHM Challenge and you haven't left me a link with your race recap, please do so today so I can get them all linked up this weekend. THANKS!!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Welcome to check-in #6!
(More information on the Happy Runner Half Marathon Challenge can be found HERE)
Yeah, I know. I'm a posting slacker. I've just had lots on my mind and stuff going on and I haven't had a chance to sit down and write. Or stand, since that's what I do (did you know that? That I stand at my computer? It works. I love it. G'ahead, try it!).
Anyway . . . it's week 6 of half marathon training. Half way there! Here's what I planned to run / what I ran:
Mon: 5 miles easy / Done! 5 nice-n-easy miles
Tues: rest / Done!
Wed: speed: 3 x 1m @ 5k pace / Done to the DONE! (Wrote about them here.)
Thurs: 4 miles easy / Done! 4.25 easy miles
Fri: rest / Done!
Sat: 11 mile long run / So very done!
Sun: rest / Done!
Total miles: 25.25
Yeah! This week just clicked: A solid speed workout and an equally solid long run balanced by two easy runs. My 11-miler was my longest run in YEARS and I'm glad I have that mileage under my feet right now. I'm also glad that I was finally able to slow my overall pace because I haven't been able to do that on my last few long runs. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 10:23
Mile 2: 9:16
Mile 3: 9:25
Mile 4: 9:50
Mile 5: 10:31
Mile 6: 10:17
Mile 7: 9:41
Mile 8: 10:04
Mile 9: 10:27
Mile 10: 9:53
Mile 11: 9:36
last .02: :13
Total: 1:49:34, 9:57 per mile
How about you? How is your training going?
From the feedback I have been getting via comments and email it looks like people are making it through the winter with their training intact. Keep it up!
I don't have a help a reader question this week but feel free to check out the past questions (you can find everything related to the half marathon challenge HERE) and leave an answer if you'd like. Also, if you have a question that you'd like readers to weigh-in on, leave a comment.
PS: WOW on the new Boston qualifying times, huh?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Yesterday, my schedule called for my first speed workout of this training cycle: 3 x 1 mile at 5k pace, with 1 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool-down.
I thought (worried) about this workout all day. Not a good sign . . .
At my son's 4-month check-up (16lbs, 25in -- big boy!), I thought about the run. Driving home . . . the run. Eating lunch . . . the run. All afternoon . . . the run. Obsessed? Maybe a little.
I just couldn't get it out of my head. Could I do it? Could I run full mile repeats? I like speedwork but I normally keep my repeats to 400s -- short and fast. Anyone can hold a fast pace for a quarter mile. But a mile takes a little something extra. Add in the fact that I had to cut two runs short last week because of my hamstring and, I admit it: I was nervous.
So I started to plan. Or, re-plan, I should say. I'll run 5 x 800 instead. I can handle that. I worked it out on paper and thought it looked good. Hmm . . . maybe just 6 x 400. Fast. I worked that one out and then . . .
What in the what?!?! Was I really working out a Plan B AND a Plan C this early in the game? My first speed session and I was throwing in the towel?
I got it together. I laughed at my foolish self and decided to take my own advice and live my Plan A. I have a training plan for a reason. The workout is on it for a reason. There's no way I can reach my A goal for the half marathon if I don't go after it. How many more shots am I going to get? Who knows? I mean, honestly, who knows what tomorrow will bring so why not go after your Plan A today?
So, I ran those mile repeats. All three of them. And afterward I felt wiped but strong. This training cycle isn't supposed to be easy and I can't wimp out.
Seven and a half weeks to go.
Bring it, Plan A.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Congratulations! You are a confirmed registrant for the 13.1 New York City Marathon and 5K on Saturday, April 2, 2011.13.1 start: 9:13AM
That's right, all. I'm running the 13.1 NYC marathon!
Who, after all, can resist a race that boasts a John Travolta-esque silhouette in its logo? Not me, that's for sure! Stayin' alive . . . stayin' alive . . .
This race looks like it will be super fun! The race tagline is "Where the party meets the pavement" and the description sounds pretty good:
Balmy New York weather and a great course provide the perfect spring time race for all runners. With great views in , a disco dance bash at the finish line party, and the Karhu 5K, 13.1® New York is the premier running event for 2011!This could totally be me come April 2nd:
Yeah! Get down, get down . . .
But first, I need to get training! Training starts on Monday. I have a 12 week plan that I put together based on a few different plans that I tweaked and re-tweaked. It factors in my lifestyle as it is right now -- my age, my lack of sleep, all that.
If you're interested, this is what I've come up with: