Bonus Week!

Huh?  I get a bonus week of training for Little Rock.  As I was getting ready this morning I was thinking about it being February tomorrow.  28 days.  Then 6 more days til the Little Rock Marathon.  34 days of training left.  5 weeks.  Then how come when I blogged last night I said 1 more week of heavy training then 3 weeks of taper?  Something’s not right.  Double checked my calendar, my running log and my blog.  Oooops, looks like I started my 12 week marathon training plan a week earlier than I was supposed to!   Must have been really excited for another marathon!v  I’m just glad I figured out my screw up now instead of after I started tapering.  A 4 week taper would have really thrown me off.

So now I’m trying to figure out what to do with this week.   My legs still feel a little beat up this morning from the HM race and/or all that dancing.  Options:

  • I may repeat last week (since I was off of the planned schedule because of screw up with the length of the HM, I didn’t get my full 17 mile long run in; and I didn’t do an 8k-15k race, and instead did the sort-of-HM).
  • I may do this week as scheduled and then do this week again next week (does that make sense?).  I’m supposed to do a 20 miler this week (if I was on the normal schedule).  I like the idea of doing 20 this week and next week, so getting an extra 20 miler in now.
  • I may just do random stuff this week (make up the tempo run a missed a few weeks ago because of the crazy cold weather; maybe jump in a race on Saturday – I think there is a 10 mile one locally) and then jump back into the schedule next week.

Thoughts?  (About my schedule, not about what a dumb blond airhead thing I did with my schedule!)


1:33:52 Securian Half!!

Too bad they screwed up the course turn-around and it was only 11.78 miles long.  So my 1:33:xx half isn’t really legit.  How irritating that they screwed up that bad.  So I finished with a 7:59 pace.  When we realized they mismeasured the course, I pulled back a bit since it wouldn’t be a legitimate half.  Otherwise I think I would have ended up with a PR of around 1:43:xx (current PR 1:44:44).

Highlights from the race:

  • I felt strong.
  • The pace didn’t feel too horrible.  Not easy, but not impossible.  I did feel like I was racing it though (until I started holding back after about 7 miles).
  • The route was fairly hilly.  Nothing drastic (except at the end).  But just gradual inclines/declines throughout.  They changed the route this year to stay in downtown St. Paul for about the first 1.75 miles.  I liked that – it made it more interesting and allowed for more spectators.  But it also made for more hills.
  • I thought it was good practice for Little Rock, since it was a bit hilly.  I really tried to work on my downhill form/pace.

I am sore today.  Not sure if it’s from the race or from celebrating my friend’s 40th last night dancing at Zorbaz Gull Lake for 4+ hours in one inch heeled boots.

This week of training was decent, but not quite as many miles as I wanted.  And I slacked on the pilates/weights.  Might try to get one more pilates session in today still.

Little Rock Marathon Week #8 recap:

Miles Run:  45.6;  Biking:  28 minutes:  Weights: 1 time; Pilates: 1 time.

  • M: biking/weights
  • T: 8 miles (8:47; w/ 5x600m at 6:56 pace)
  • W: 11.1 miles (9:27)
  • Th: 5 miles (8:54)
  • F: pilates (abs, buns & thighs)
  • Sa: 15 miles (w/ 11.8 race at 7:59 pace; rest slow)
  • Su: 6 miles (9:52)

I do feel good about the race though.  It was a good test of my fitness.  I feel like I am in shape to run a 3:40ish marathon (obviously if everything else fell in place perfectly and the weather and hills don’t mess me up).  One more week of hard training and then 3 weeks of taper.

Carb loading!

I decided to go for it tomorrow at the Winter Carnival Half Marathon and race it.  Conditions look ok.  Probably about 20 degrees and a tiny bit of wind.  We’re supposed to get about an inch of snow tonight, but hopefully they will have time to clear/salt/sand the race road, so it won’t be too slippery.  Not sure what to expect for a time because I am in peak marathon training, with lots-o-miles and some tired legs.

Because I ended up swamped at work today, I haven’t gotten a run in, so I’m doing a little mini taper (1 day!).   And I’m carb loading.  🙂  (Actually I would have eaten this anyway, but tomorrow’s race makes me not feel quite so guilty!)  Is it bad that when I tried to save a picture labeled “cake” on my computer it said that “cake” already exists and asked if I wanted to replace it?  This heath bar supreme cake was delicious – chocolately with caramel in it, whipped topping and heath bar crumbles.  YUM!  I got it from the same deli that made the brownie the size of my hand (which I ate in one sitting!)  This time I refrained from eating the whole thing in one sitting.  I’ll bring it home with me and eat the rest tonight!

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The thing I like about getting blasted with sub-zero temps like we did last week is that then 20 degrees feels like heaven!  Seriously.  I ran 11 miles this morning.  The sun was shining.  It was 20 degrees.  There was no wind.  It was incredible!

I also wore my heartrate monitor for the first time since before Illinois marathon last spring.  I used to wear it religiously and record and analyze my heartrate.  After Illinois it seemed like too much work and too much analyzing.   I just wanted to run and not be a slave to the HRM.  Today I wanted to see where I was at with it.  So many factors affect it – the cold, the terrain, my lack of sleep (I was up all night with daughter, who was puking).  But considering everything, it was decent.  9:27 avg pace, 147 avg HR.  Not bad, for me.  When I look back at what it was last January, it’s better.  Of course this was just one run, so hard to say.  I’ll probably start wearing it more often, just to see where I’m at.

Trying to decide what to do for the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this weekend.  Pftiz’ schedule calls for an 8k-15k tune up race Saturday and a 17 mile long run Sunday.  I have out-of-town plans, starting about noon on Saturday, so can’t do exactly what his schedule says.  SO – my options/thoughts are:

  1. do a 5 mile “race”/tempo type run of my own on Friday, and then just run the Winter Carnival HM Saturday as  pure training run (i.e. not race/not fast) plus tack on 4 miles.
  2. do an easy run in place of the 8k-15k race on Friday, and then “race” the HM (with w/u and c/d miles to get to 17 for the day);
  3. do an easy run in place of the 8k-15k race on Friday, and then do the HM at Marathon Pace (with w/u and c/d miles to get to 17 for the day);
  4. something else??

What say you?  (I’m leaning towards racing the HM, to see where I’m at fitness-wise; Followed closely by doing the HM at MP).

Intervals for marathon training?

Is it just me or do intervals make others dehydrated and headachy too?  In a good way.   They make me feel like I am getting a different kind of workout.  A hard one.  A good one.

My thinking about intervals for marathon training has changed.  When I first started training for marathons (3 years ago) I didn’t think there was a place for them.  It seemed crazy to me that running a few 600m intervals could help in a 26.2 MILE race.  They seemed to take too much out of me and not be of much benefit, IMO.  So I didn’t do them.  Now I feel differently.  I know they are supposed to help with the whole VO2 max thing, but my rationale for why I think they are helpful is much simpler than that.  They help me because they are crazy fast.  So then when I’m running my marathon pace, it (MP) seems slow and easy.  So back in the schedule they go.  And I love them.  They are fun!

8 miles done today, with 5 x 600m (6:56 pace) with 2 minute recovery jog between sets.  Also included a couple of downhill miles.  Fun stuff!

Big week!

Whew!  I did it.  This was the highest mileage week of the plan (although 2 weeks from now will be same).  Wasn’t sure I’d be able to get everything in because it was also the coldest (as in crazy, insanely cold) week of the winter so far, with temps of -25 below at one point.  With a little advance planning (cramming in the med-long runs earlier in the week when the weather wasn’t quite as horrible), creativity (doing random workouts on the treadmill) and determination (getting out for my 20 miler today, even though temps/windchill was -15), I did it.  AND I even managed to get in all the cross-training, weights and pilates that I wanted to.  Banner week!

My long run today started off fabulous.  I picked a hilly route because I want to get myself prepared for Little Rock.  It was cold (-2; wc -11) when I started, but I was going away from the wind and the sun was out and I had enough layers on.  I was actually too warm at first.  I was really surprised at how easy the hills felt.  Going up and going down.  I was pushing myself, but wasn’t over-exerting myself.  First 13 miles were 8:54 avg pace.  Mile 14 I started to get tired (9:16).  Mile 15 – 20 were hell.  They were up hill.  Into the wind.  And the sun went behind the clouds.  I wanted to quit.  I wanted to cry.  I whined.  And dropped F-bombs.  I was out of fluid/gels at mile 14.  My paces for my last six miles were in the 10:00’s and even one mile was 11:17.  Grrrrr.  If I had been near my car I would have quit.  But I finished.  Whew!  Now it’s time to lay my butt on the couch for the rest of the day!

Little Rock Marathon  Training, week #7

Miles Run: 61.6 miles; Biking: 60 minutes; Weights: 2 times; Pilates 3 times

  • M: 12.1 miles (9:40); biking 20 minutes; weights
  • T: 6.4 miles (9:32; hills on TM); pilates (abs, buns & thighs)
  • W: 12.1 miles (9:14; a bit hilly); pilates (advanced)
  • Th: biking 40 minutes; weights
  • F:  7 miles (8:38; on TM with random speed, hills and 3 miles of downhills)
  • Sa: 4 miles (9:54)
  • Su: pilates (abs); 20 hilly miles (9:26, with 1st 14 at 8:54)


I have a confession to make.  I have sort of been liking the treadmill lately.*  Seriously.  It’s actually been a nice escape from the cold/dark/ice.  And it has been allowing me to get some quality workouts in, which have been impossible with our Minnesota conditions.  Hills.  Random speed.  And today, downhills, thanks to Jen’s suggestion on my hill help post. Don’t get me wrong, as soon as the weather improves, I’ll be on the streets for virtually all my runs.  But for now, I think the treadmill is actually helping me.  And I’m not hating it.  This is shaping up to be a kick-a$$ fitness week for me!

* Except for my Epic Fail MP attempt, which was stupid.

54 days!

54 days til our family vacation.  And boy does vacation sound good on a day like today, with a waking temperature of -24 degrees.  Just for fun I checked the weather in Ft. Lauderdale, which is where our cruise will leave from.  It was 94 degrees warmer than it was in Minnesota today!  Let the countdown begin!

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