Fall Racing: Schedule and Goals

Welp, it’s officially Fall.

I’ve lamented the end of Summer, but I am excited for Fall running! It also doesn’t hurt that I just ordered myself some fun new cold-weather gear and am excited to wear it.

With the first race of the season behind me, I’m starting to look at my calendar and get excited about all the awesome races I have coming up in the next couple of months! I’ve never raced so much in a short amount of time. In the past I’ve kept it to a half marathon weeks and then eventually a full marathon, and that’s all I do in a calendar year.

I wanted to do something different this year though. I wanted to race more, race differently, and have a lot of fun doing it!

Coming up I’ve got the following:

  • Soulstice Mountain Trail Race, October 10th. (11 miles with some insane climbs) Another trail race, with some intense elevation change, I don’t have too  much in mind for this other than to enjoy it. Soulstice is a huge event for the trail running community in Flag, and I’m really excited to be a part of it this year!
  • Ragnar McDowell Mountain. (November 6&7, 15ish miles total). I’ve never done a Ragnar and I’m really looking forward to my first and have it be a trail race as well. I’ve heard great things about it from people on my team that have done it before.
  • Girls on the Run 5k. (November 21) This isn’t actually a race, but I’m including it anyway. The AZ Oiselle gals are meeting up to run with a girl from Girls on the Run and help her finish her 5k. I’m really excited to do this. Right before I started working at the gallery, I had been looking into becoming a coach for Girls on the Run, but unfortunately didn’t have the time then. I’m excited to meet the Oiselle ladies and help out at such an awesome event. I’ll probably do a longer training run beforehand to get some marathon-training worthy miles in.
  • Tucson Half Marathon (Tentative. December 6). I haven’t registered for this yet, but I am seriously contemplating it. J and I would make a weekend out of it–my best friend and younger brother are in Tucson, so we could go and spend time with them, and I could run a half and have a solid test of my fitness with 10 weeks to go before the marathon. It’s a net downhill course and I got it in my mind that it would be fun to shoot for my sub-1:40 there.

Since marathon training will officially kickstart in November, I’m trying to figure out how I want to balance my training for a goal race, while also racing quite a bit. The thing I’m really quite excited for, is I’m going to have quite the base already built up before marathon training starts. I want to keep my long runs at about 10-13 miles for the next few weeks. I was considering “tapering” for the Soulstice Mountain run in a few weeks, but since I am taking this week very easy, I’ll treat the next few weeks as training, and include Soulstice as a harder effort long run.

With some of these things in mind, here are my goals for this training season.

  1. Stay Healthy. Run Smart. First and foremost, treat my body with love and care. I’m taking it easy this week after my back really started to hurt on Monday’s run. Since then, I’ve done a barre workout and a vinyasa yoga session. This morning, I put the treadmill at a 10% incline and walked uphill for 2 miles (good practice for Soulstice!) and then did 2 easy miles to test out the back. It felt much better and I’m confident that I’ll be back at it next week. The important thing was, however, that I realized I needed to let it rest, and that’s what I did. It’s no sprained ankle, but it did cost me a few miles, and that’s okay. I have plenty of time to run all the miles. I want to let my body rest when it needs to rest and be okay skipping a workout here and there. Maybe that’ll be an extra easy run one week, or an extra rest day completely. I’m not going to make myself stick to a hard and fast schedule with such a long season ahead of me. Keeping myself healthy and feeling good–avoiding the burnout–will be imperative to reaching my ultimate goal.
  2. Speedwork! I’ve neglected any kind of regimented speedwork for almost 7 months now, and I can tell. I’ve hit a few sub-8’s on runs, but overall an 8 min/mile pace still feels like a lot of effort–and that’s gotta change. Since my endurance is built and I’ve got a solid base to work with, the next few weeks are going to see an introduction to speed workouts. Eventually, I’d like to get one track-like workout in, a fartlek/tempo/progression run, and fast miles during my long run each week. My biggest barrier during a marathon is falling apart once I start to feel fatigued. I’m hoping that by incorporating more speedwork (and sticking to it!), will help me in the last few miles of the marathon.
  3. Stretch/yoga/roll: Again, something I always say I need to do and never do it. I recently signed up for a trial subscription to Jasyoga. It’s only $4.99/month and she’s got several short “reset” yoga videos (I’m talkin 10-15 min). It’s completely doable and will be hard to justify my way out of NOT doing them. If I can incorporate them after a hard run/longer run and give my body more TLC during training, I’m pretty confident I’ll stay more fresh and enjoy myself a whole lot more.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say no. I’m working full time, going to school, and training for a 3:30 marathon. If all I want to do is come home after work, crash on the couch and watch TV, I’m going to. I am not going to be afraid to tell anybody no, if I don’t feel like being social.
  5. Maintain balance. On the other hand of that though, I don’t want to completely become a hermit until February 14th. I do want to ensure that I’m spending time with the people I love, and enjoying myself. It’s all about balance people!
  6. Pay attention to nutrition. It happens every cycle. I get busy, my days get long and crazy and I start to eat like crap. I want to be better about meal planning/prepping on the weekends so Jeff AND myself are still eating well during the next few months.
  7. HAVE FUN! I want to enjoy every second of this. I want to work hard and see the results. I want to enjoy every race. I want to meet new people and maybe find friends to run cold, winter miles with. I want to toe the start line in February, after months of work, and feel excited for the 26.2 ahead of me. I don’t want to feel dread and burnt out from it!

    So there you have it! Bring it on fall! Let’s see what you’ve got!

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Training Log 9.7.15-9.13.15

Happy Monday–and Happy Boston Registration Week! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours was a lot of fun, and per usual, I’m sad to see it end.

It’s race week! It’s hard to believe I’m running a half-marathon this Saturday. It doesn’t feel like I should be ready for it. I’ll talk more about my goals for Saturday later this week, but I’m trying to just take it easy and not overly stress myself out about it.

I ended up “tapering” a lot more than I anticipated, which I guess is a good things. My legs felt pretty rough towards the end of the week, so I’m hoping to do some yoga this week to make sure everything is nice and stretched out before the race.

Monday – off

Driving back from Colorado.

Tuesday – 5 miles

I’ve been having a really tough time getting myself up and out of bed before 6 most mornings. Typically, that doesn’t leave me with much time to run in the mornings. Tuesday, I got up and decided to hell with it, and leashed up Rudy and we went out for two easy miles. After work and before class, I headed out for another three. I tried to run a little fast, and nailed a 7:06 as my last mile!!! That felt really, really good.

Wednesday – 4 miles

After work, I set off for four easy miles. This wasn’t anything spectacular, just some easy miles.

Thursday – 3 miles

I got up and ran early in the morning, but it wasn’t stellar by any means. My legs were feeling pretty tired. Kept it easy and short.

Friday – Strength workout

Alright, I’m just going to say it. I can’t do a strength day the day before a long run. I had a dentist appointment after work, which turned into 2 hours in the chair, and when I got home with a numb face, I just really didn’t want to run. So, I took Rudy for a walk and did a Deck of Cards workout instead.

Saturday – 6.5 miles

My last “long run” turned into “survive for at least six miles”. My legs were SHOT, it was hot out and I mentally didn’t want to be out there. My body was craving sleep after our pretty sleep-deprived weekend in Colorado, so I let myself sleep in on Saturday morning and then lazed around for a few hours. By the time I finally got myself out the door, it was almost noon and 80*.

summer long runI just wasn’t feeling it. My legs were pretty shot from the lunges and squats the day before, and the heat affected me pretty badly. I ran a hilly trail near the house, and it took everything I had to keep climbing up. I was trying to look at it from the perspective that I’ll be doing that a lot next weekend, and the start time isn’t until 9, so it’ll be warm. After getting home, I laid on the floor for a while before I was able to move again. 

Total miles: 18.5

Not at all what I was planning on for this week, but oh well. Sometimes that happens. The best thing to do–especially right before a race–is listen to your body and give it what it needs, and sometimes that’s a lot less milage than you would like!

Training Log 8.31.15-9.6.15

Happy Tuesday everybody!

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day Holiday! Jeff and I had an absolutely ah-maz-ing time in Colorado. I’ll be back this week with a full update on that, but it’s safe to say I’m head over heels in love and hope to get back very, very soon for a longer visit.

In the meantime, let’s recap this past week of running. It was my last week of training for this half marathon I have coming up. Oh, that’s right. Had some of you forgotten? I’m running a half marathon in a week and a half. To say I didn’t train like I normally would for a race is an understatement, but honestly, I feel pretty okay going into this race. Okay as in, I’ll definitely finish it. It will by no means be a PR (but on a course that gains 1100ft how could it?), but I am actually excited to see what I’ll end up doing.

Monday – 4 miles, 2 treadmill + 2 w/Rudy

I woke up this particular Monday feeling like I was getting a cold. My stomach hurt, my nose was all clogged and my throat was awful scratchy. I wanted to run though, so I hopped on the treadmill to see how things went, figuring it would be easy to get off and get back into bed. Once I started running, I felt a ton better. So after two miles I got bored, grabbed the dog and headed outside for another couple of miles right as the sun was beginning to rise.

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Tuesday – 4 miles

Honestly. I can’t remember anything about this run. I think it was in the morning, and obviously, pretty uneventful. It was my first day of school, and I was already feeling incredibly crazed that week. So, it’s a miracle I got any miles in!

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Wednesday – 3 miles

I was SO tired. My alarm went off in the morning and I just went, NOPE. I headed home from work with every intention of running the six miles I had planned. When I got home, I sat on the bed for a while and tried to talk myself into running. Rudy was wiggling around asking desperately for a walk, so I figured I’d do that first as a warm up. When I got home, Jeff was home and we ended up talking about our days so when I finally went to go run, my friend was going to be over in an hour to get the low down on watching Rudy while we were gone. So, my six miles turned into three. And that’s okay. At least I got some miles in, rather than skipping them all.

Thursday – 6 miles

I rallied and was up at 5 am for 6 miles before 6 am. It was a great run, I felt strong and happy I got those miles in.

Friday – Rest day as we drove to Boulder

Saturday – 12 miles around Broomfield

This run was magical. I had googled Broomfield when we got in on Friday and found that they had an extensive trail system in the hills! Perfect. I headed out early Friday morning- 6 am – so that it wouldn’t infringe on our other plans for the day. I was nervous about how this run was going to go, since I didn’t do anything over 10 and my last 10 miler was a complete disaster.

I headed out into the beautiful morning as the sun was just beginning to rise.

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After running aimlessly looking for these trails, I finally asked a nice old man out walking his dogs and he pointed me in the direction of the trails. I found the dirt easily and settled in to explore this system for twelve miles. It was beautiful. It climbed in and around the hills in Broomfield giving me amazing views of the Flatirons in the distance.

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The first 7-8 miles of the run were great. I felt strong, I was running well and enjoying the hell out of myself. The fatigue started to set in around 9 and my legs got heavy goin up those hills. Overall, I felt really strong, and finished the run feeling good.

It made me excited about this race coming up. Even if it’s not the best race ever, I know I’ll have a great time running.

Sunday – Miles walking around Boulder and Longmont.

Total miles: 29

And now to “taper”! I’m going to try to keep my mileage kind of on the higher end of things this week–somewhere between 20-25 and then next week I’ll just run a few days before Saturday’s rest. I’m not tapering like I normally would since this isn’t a goal race and I’m just jumping back into training for Soulstice, which is just a few weeks later. Fall racing season is in full force!

Training Log 8.24.15-8.30.15 + Catching Up

Hello hello!

Thank you all so much for your comments and encouragement on my last post! It’s definitely nice knowing I’m not the only one who felt lost and bounced around after graduation. I am VERY excited about starting this new chapter and pursuing this new goal. So much so, that I ended up going to the wrong class yesterday…

Ha! I thought the bio class I was taking was a Monday-Wednesday class, so I showed up yesterday ready to go. Turns out it’s a Tuesday-Thursday…guess I was just overly excited to get back into the swing of things!

I hope to keep blogging, and continue documenting this journey. I’m feeling pretty committed to running the full marathon, as planned in February, and it’ll be interesting how that goes with working and going to school. I’m anticipating a lot of coffee is in my future!

This past weekend was my birthday and a dear friend gifted Lauren Fleshman’s “Believe” journal to me, and I LOVE it. It’s got so many amazing tidbits, and it’s been really fun to handwrite all my runs and workouts again. I’ve only done it for a week (obviously, since I just got it), but I’m loving the documenting goals for the week and seeing how they’re met. I have a feeling it’ll get more and more handy the crazier things get!

So let’s get to last week’s workouts!

Monday – 3 easy miles w/ Rudy

I had run 10 miles the day before, so I wanted to just do a real easy shake out run. I knew if I took Rudy with me, I wouldn’t been tempted to run too quickly, so we did a nice and easy 3 miles after work. He did a lot of sniffing, I did a lot of stretching.

Tuesday – Cardio Barre Fusion workout- 60 min

I’ve been really lackluster in my strength training lately, so this was my attempt at getting back on the horse. And man! I forgot how great of a workout barre is. My quads were screaming by the end of it.

Wednesday – 6 miles, 4 solo, 2 w/Rudy

This was my first sub-8 min run in a loooooooong time. The first four miles I took by myself, and decided to run at a “comfortably uncomfortable” pace. I averaged 7:57/mile by the time I made it back home, and I was surprised by how well my body did it. I laced Rudy up and we set off for our normal hilly mile route. Our mile up the hill was about an 8:30, and we managed a 7:30 on our way back down. Getting these legs used to running fast again!

  
Thursday – 5 recovery miles

I was surprised by how springy my legs felt after my run on Wednesday. I purposely took it pretty slow, about 8:45’s and enjoyed the amazing weather.

  
Friday – 4 miles w/ Rudy

I’ve been loving taking Rudy with me on my runs lately. We did 4 easy miles together on Friday. A storm was rolling in, so I took him right when I got off work at around 2. By the end of it, the cloud cover we had was rolling out, and it got a little too warm out for him. But, he did great and came home and collapsed happily for the evening.

Saturday – 10 miles

I wanted to do 12 miles on Saturday, but I knew really quickly that wasn’t going to happen. Before I even left the house, I could tell my calves were sore and tired and this was going to be a struggle. By the time I made it to the trail head, it was 8:30 and HOT. This was not a good run. I bargained with myself the entire time. I tried to justify running 9 miles, then 8 miles and even 6 miles. I finally told myself to hit 10, make it to the double digits and save the 12 miler for next week in Colorado.

This was mostly a 10 mile hike with some running spurts thrown in there–I’m not going to lie. The trail was rough and much more technical than I was expecting and I’m just glad I managed to push myself through the 10 miles.

When I got home, Jeff suggested going to see the Man From U. N. C. L. E. And it was fantastic! I highly recommend it!

Sunday – 1.25 mile walk with the boys. Lots of wine. 

Sunday was my birthday, so after breakfast we went for a birthday walk and then headed down to Cottonwood for some wine tasting. If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest hitting up Alcantara Vineyards. It’s beautiful and they have great wine. 

   
 
It was a great way to end the week and ring in 27! 

Total mileage: 28 

I seem to be stuck right under 30 miles. I’m not sure if that has to do with the fact I haven’t given myself a rest week or what, but it’s been a struggle. I’m hoping to finally nail that 30 mile week this week! 

Training Catch Up

Well hello there!

Sorry for playing quite the disappearing act the last few weeks. Things have been a bit crazy, and it was all I could do to keep running–writing about the running I was doing just kind of fell to the wayside.

I mentioned last week that I’m working on a post about the said craziness–and I am. It’s just not what I want it to be yet, and since this is near and dear to me, I want to make sure it’s great. Sorry for the cliff hanger, I promise to share it soon!

I’m not going to do a traditional training log post for either of these past two weeks. I typically do each post based on random notes, my garmin data and my memory, and I just can’t remember two weeks ago. I ran quite a bit of those runs naked, as well as this week, so my memory on specific runs is a bit foggy.

My mileage has sat nicely at 27.5 miles for the last two weeks. I actually think it’s kind of funny that it was exactly that two weeks in a row…but that’s how it played out. My legs were really tired at the beginning of this week, so I took it pretty easy, but wanted to make sure I hit my 10 mile long run over the weekend. The week before I had a drastic jump in mileage, so it makes sense my legs would be feeling that.

Midweek runs have been feeling okay lately. I definitely feel better in the mornings than I do the afternoon. It’s been hard getting up early lately. It’s dark again when I wake up and it’s getting much cooler. I’ve been opting to sleep and run after work, but my legs always feel dead and heavy after work. On the plus side, I’ve found a perfect 5.5 mile loop that includes a great number of climbs–both of the “oh man this is a climb” and rolling hill variety–that I won’t be able to run for much longer so I’m taking full advantage of it now. The main street the route is on doesn’t have street lamps, and then part of it is on trail, so once the sun stops coming up around the 5:20ish time, this route will probably be a no no.

hilly route

First time running said hilly route.

Speed work? No, not yet. Not formally anyway. I did have a 4 mile run this past Friday that was pretty hilly that I managed to do at a 8:10 pace. My speed is definitely coming back, and I hope to start incorporating some speed work in soon.

Long runs. My 9 miler last week was tough. My legs were heavy and didn’t want to move from the very beginning. And when you feel like crap at the beginning, there’s just no way to salvage that run. It was a mental battle from the get-go and I let it beat me. My brother was in town visiting and he wanted to go hiking after my run, so I didn’t want to do any gnarly trail climbs. I picked a nice, easy, flat run and it was really hard! Afterwards, my brother and I went and hiked part of the trail I’ll be racing in October….let’s just say THAT’LL be a doozy.

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At the top. It’s quite the view up there!

Yesterday, I ran my 10 miler for the week. It was the complete opposite of my 10 miler. It was fun, my legs felt great and I enjoyed some epically great single track. I had some major climbs that made my legs feel like jello, but I’ve got some major climbs in my next two races, so it’s good practice.

The next two weeks I’ll be trying to run 12 milers before tapering before this half marathon. I cannot believe it’s in 3 weeks! Where did the summer go?

Training Log 8.3.15-8.9-15

Hey guys! Sorry this has taken me so long to get up–I know you’re all anxious to read about my running this week 😉 Things have been a little crazy in these parts the last week or so! And it seems like it’s just going to stay that way. In the meantime, I’m trying to get in as many great workouts as possible.

The theme of this week was: hills. I didn’t run as many miles this week, but every time I threw on my running shoes, I aimed to run UP as much as possible. I haven’t been doing too much in terms of speed work, so I’m hoping that the hill training I’m giving myself now, will translate itself when I start to incorporate speed again. With my endurance finally feeling like it’s getting on board, I’m hoping to start running fast again soon!

Monday – 3 miles

It was HOT out there! Major sweatfest. I only managed to hang on for three miles, but I was running up for the majority of it, so I felt like it evened out pretty well.

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Tuesday – 4 morning miles

I love morning miles. When I’m able to get my butt up and out of bed, it really is my favorite time to run.

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Plus, I found a new trail! I was running the same hilly route as I had run the day before, but wanted kept going up the hill, rather than turning off onto another road that is equally as hilly. I was running along and saw a trail going off to the side, so I popped on over and tried it out. I was already at about 1.75, so I didn’t go very far on it, but I made a mental note to try it again later that week.

Wednesday – 3 treadmill miles

Oh man, I was not feeling it Wednesday. Not at all. It was hot and smokey out and I did not want to be running. I got on the treadmill for a few miles and called it a day.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 5 miles

When I got off work on Friday, it had started to rain and a big storm was moving in. I waited a little while to see if it would settle down out there. There was a break in the storm, so I headed straight out. I headed back to that trail I had found on Tuesday and had a blast exploring. By the time I hit about mile 2.5 it had started to rain hard and I was hearing rumblings of thunder in the distance, but not before I climbed a hill and got one heck of a view!

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I turned around and started a mad dash back to the house. When I was about a mile away the lightening was right on top of me and it was POURING. The kind of pouring that the rain drops actually hurt. I called Jeff and was like “Come get meeee!” Which he did. Because he’s the best. I finished my last mile on the treadmill when we got home.

Saturday – 6.5 miles

I had planned on running part of the Soulstice Trail Run course, but I got lost and couldn’t find the trailhead. Rather than spend the entire morning looking for it, I found a different trail head, parked the car and headed out. It wasn’t nearly as scary elevation-wise as my original plan, but I figured I’d continue to take it easy and maintain my same mileage plan. The storm the night before had made everything SO GREEN and clouds were lingering over the mountains.

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It was absolutely gorgeous and a ton of fun!

Total miles: 21.5 miles

It was a good week. My mileage wasn’t terribly lower than it has been, but I took it easier and focused more on the type of runs I wanted to do. They weren’t fast, but they got my legs used to running up and up. That’s kind of my game plan for the next few weeks, except for adding in more mileage!

Work It Out Wednesday: Strength Training Edition

I’m not quite sure if Work It Out Wednesday is going to become a thing, but today it is! So get ready, because today I’m talking all about my favorite strength training workouts that are quick and able to be done at home!

As I started chasing bigger dreams in the marathon than just finishing, I have come to accept that strength training plays a major role in my success. While training for my second marathon, I was running six days a week, pushing myself harder than I ever had, and didn’t do a single strength exercise. Not a one. Guess what happened? I overtrained and crashed and burned on race day. By mile 8 I was struggling and contemplating dropping to the half. I stuck it out and finished and while I technically PRed (by about 4 min), I felt like I ran a lot better during my first marathon and was unhappy with the result of my second.

For marathon number 3, I cut my running down to 4 days a week and had two days a week dedicated to strength training. I cut 18 min off my PR and was 7 min away from a BQ. Marathon #4, I cut another 4 min from my PR and nabbed my BQ.

Bottom line: Strength training is a key component of running strong.

I’m following a lot of bloggers that are training for fall marathons, and some of them are training for their very first ones! Additionally, I’m currently building my base to get ready for Marathon #5 this winter. My current plan is to run 5 times a week, 1 dedicated strength day and 1 dedicated rest day. In the past, I haven’t been the best about adding on workouts after my runs–especially as my mileage increases and I’m running 11 miles in the mornings before work. This time around, my goal is to tack on quick and effective strength exercises on days that I’m recovering with easy runs.

In honor of that, and all my fellow marathon-running bloggers out there, here are my favorite quick and effective strength exercises for your enjoyment!

First and foremost, I’m going to praise the glory that is the Nike Training Club App. If you haven’t heard of it, or tried it, I highly suggest you download it and give it a shot. It’s got a variety of different types of workouts, most that only require your body weight, and vary from 15-45 min in length. For days dedicated to strength training I love their 45 min workouts. For quick, additional exercises, I’m a believer in their “Get Focused” 15 min workouts. My favorites are:

  • Beach Legs
  • Core Power
  • Alpha Abs
  • Sculpted Arms
  • Better Butt
  • Arm Definer

They’re also great to do back to back to create a full body workout.

Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers has a bunch of great, great boot camp style workouts that can be done at home. My favorite of hers, however, is this Burnin’ Leg and Ab workout. It even throws in some push-ups so it’s a full-body workout. It takes me about 20 min to get through.

I am not a Crossfit person and don’t believe I ever will be, BUT, this Crossfit inspired workout from Tina at Carrots N Cake is a great, quick and tough workout. As she has it listed, it is TOUGH, but I’ve changed it around a few times to meet my needs. The At-Home Chipper, is great for a quick workout that will make you feel absolutely exhausted and like you’ve WORKED. It takes anywhere from 10-20 min to complete, depending on the exercises I’m incorporating (as listed, it takes about 15 min for me to complete).

This 10 Min Arm Sculpting Workout from PopSugar. I complete it with 5lb and 2.5lb weights and it leaves me tired every time!

The Deck of Cards Workout. My love for this one is going strong right now. Customize it for whatever you want (all abs, all arms, all legs, or a combo of exercises) and for how many reps you want (make face cards worth more than 11, 12, or 13 if you want something more challenging).

These Post-Run Power Exercises, shared by Janae of Hungry Runner Girl fame, are great for a quick addition to any run. Change the amount of reps as needed!

And those are my favorites for a quick and dirty strength workout! Hope you find some of these helpful and add them into your rotation!

Tell me. Any quick and effective strength exercises you love? I’m always on the hunt for other options!