Tracking and race outfit!

I spent some time this afternoon organizing for the marathon, laying out my race outfit, gu, throw away clothes, etc.  I still haven’t checked the weather, but I figure tank and shorts (and maybe armwarmers) no matter what the weather is.  I’ll check the weather Friday and modify the outfit then if necessary.

As I was doing it Carter said, “Mom, I thought you said you were never running another marathon again.”

Why, yes, I did say that.  7 other times.  Right after I cross the finish line.

And I’m always back!

If you are interested in tracking, my number is F5392.  Cindi Matt.  The website has online tracking (I think it’s usually pretty accurate) or there is text alerts (I haven’t heard good things about this type of tracking).


Twin Cities Training,Week #13 recap
Miles run: 27.3

Bike: 40 minutes

Pilates: 4 times

  • M: 5.4 miles (8:07 pace) w/ 2x 1.3 mile hill loops fast
  • T: pilates
  • W: 6.1 miles (8:58) w/ 2 miles at MP
  • Th: 5.5 miles w/ 3 x 1 mile intervals (7:33; 7:26; 6:52)
  • F: bike 40 minutes
  • Sa: 10.4 miles (8:26)
  • Su: pilates


I have my race strategy all thought out.  I’m really excited, confident and ready!  Hope this week goes fast!



Bring It! (Twin Cities Marathon 2011 Training Recap)

It’s that time of the training cycle again.  Time for my marathon training recap!

What’s the point of doing a training recap, you ask?  Many marathons ago a running friend suggested that I do it as a way to prove to myself that I’m ready and that I CAN do this thing.  He suggested that I do a recap, looking back over the miles I logged, workouts I did, how my paces have improved, etc.  Sure, this information is in my runningahead log entries.  But there is something about putting it all together in one nice neat little place, not only because I can then reference it during future marathons, but also (and mostly) because the act of putting it together makes me really reflect on how much work I’ve put in and how ready I am.

So here goes.

The details:

  • The training plan:  provided by Coach MB from Lifetime
  • Weeks of training: 14* (including last week of taper next week)
  • Miles run: 588.7
  • Long runs: 14 miles (2 times); 15 miles (2 times); 17.5 miles (1 time); 16 miles (3 times); 20 miles (2 times); 21 miles (1 time)
  • Quality runs: each week had hill/tempo AND intervals
  • Tune up races: 10k (2 times, 1 PR!); HM (1 time)
  • Extra stuff:  weights (1 – 2 times a week); pilates (2 – 4 times a week); cross (1 – 2 times a week); Rest days (1 time a week)
  • Injury:  tweaked right hamstring in early August, set me back for about 2 weeks, but now it’s all good.
  • Weight:  started at 122, ended at 117.

So those are the numbers, but how do I feel about it?

Honestly, I feel like I am in the best physical shape of my life.  I have improved my speed a ton.  It’s hard to compare it from beginning to end because our workouts were all so different (even when we did same distance, like 800’s, they were different each time because sometimes we would try for 10k pace, sometimes HM pace, etc.).  But I think looking at where I was with a workout before Grandma’s in May of this year, versus the same workout a couple weeks ago will show how much I’ve improved my speed:

The workout was 12 x 400m, w/ 1 minute rest in between. With the pre-Grandma’s ones they were all .25 b/c when I trained by myself I would stop right at .25; when i trained with the group the track always measured .26 – .27, so I think looking at the paces, not the time, is more reflective of my improvement!

(pre-Grandma’s May 2011 on left; pre-TCM September 2011 on right in bold):

  • 1:38  (6:35)     1:36 (6:11)
  • 1:36 (6:27)      1:37  (6:15)
  • 1:41 (6:46)      1:37  (6:14)
  • 1:40 (6:40)     1:35  (6:24)
  • 1:37 (6:32)      1:35  (6:07)
  • 1:38 (6:34)      1:32  (5:58)
  • 1:40 (6:41)      1:34  (6:05)
  • 1:38 (6:36)      1:35  (6:21)
  • 1:43 (6:37)      1:33  (5:59)
  • 1:40 (6:44)     1:33  (6:02)
  • 1:37 (6:47)      1:34  (6:04)
  • 1:38 (6:35)     1:36  (6:27)

It’s not just intervals like this that my speed has improved.  It’s with all my workouts.  My easy pace has gotten faster (but feels just as easy).  Same with tempo and marathon pace.  The legs and lungs just feel really really good!  Even though I love me my high mileage plans (I LOVED the 60 and 70 mile weeks I was doing before Grandma’s), I do think that the lower mileage, which enabled rest days and cross training and weights  this time around, has made me a stronger, better runner.

Even though this new and improved physical me is fabulous, there is even better news this time around.  If you’ve been following my training, you know what I’m talking about.  The new and improved Mental Edge that I found.  Really, this has been SO MUCH more important to me than improving the physical speed and strength.  I now really, truly do believe in myself.  I have a confidence that I didn’t have before.  I know that I can not just cover the distance, but cover it at a pace and  in a manner (race strategy) that makes sense and will get me to the finish line with the goal that I want.  I now know that I need to (and can) push negative thoughts aside and replace them with positive thoughts that will propel me to the finish.  I know I can race well.

So the physical training and mental training have both been better than any training cycle I’ve had so far.  But I think the best thing about this training cycle has been that I’m not alone anymore.  Training with a group and having the guidance of a coach has been SO motivating and inspirational for me.  It’s given me an element of my running that was missing from the previous 7 marathons.  In those training cycles and marathons, it was all about me.  It was me motivating me.  It was me that I was accountable to.  Now, it’s not all about me.  There are a dozen other runners and a kick-ass coach that I am honored to now call my friends.  It is these people that are now motiving me, inspiring me and making me accountable.  And I know that when things get tough during the later miles of the marathon, I’ll think about these new friends and how inspiring each of them are and will channel that into pushing myself even harder to reach my goals.

Bring it!

*But, don’t forget that really, I’ve been in training since January, since this will be marathon #3 for the year 2011.  I’ve done 12 – 14 week training cycles, followed by 2 – 3 week breaks since January.  So coming into this round of training, I had a really strong base.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well, the good news is that I have been SO insanely busy that I haven’t had time for the Taper Crazies to set in.  i.e. NO checking the weather at all, let alone 7000 times a day; no dwelling on every little ache and pain in my body, imagining that each one is a crippling injury that will screw up my race; no obsessing over mile splits and race goals (ok – I did that last week on the plane to DC, but not at all since then).

What have I been busy with?  My law firm (i.e. ME) is hiring another attorney.  And moving into a bigger office space (same building at least!).  And, as you can imagine, there are a million and one things that need to be done to hire a new attorney.  And this Toys For Tots stuff is way more time consuming than I imagined.

It’s all good.  Just insanely busy.

My running is feeling fabulous.  Cut back on the mileage, increase the intensity.  I feel so excited and ready for next weekend!

Here’s another thing I’ve been busy with:  Picture session with me and the new attorney, with casual outdoor photos for our website so we don’t look so lawyerly!

Don’t worry, I’m forcing myself to stop work stuff and rest at 8:00 each night!  Whatever doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done.  It’ll be there for me after the marathon.


Twin Cities Marathon Week #12 recap

Twin Cities Marathon Week #12 Recap

Miles run: 47.6

Pilates: 2 times

Weights:  zero.  Uggg!  Life got busy!

  • M: 6.1 miles (8:16) (w/ some hills)
  • T: 4.1 miles (9:24); pilates
  • W: 7.6 miles w/ 12x400m intervals; pilates
  • Th: 10.1 miles (8:16)
  • F: Rest!
  • Sa: 3.8 miles (9:15)
  • Su: 16 miles (8:31) (w/ last 6 faster 8:13; 8:15; 8:10; 8:03; 7:59; 7:54)

2 weeks from today it’ll be all over!  I love the training so much that it always makes me sad to think about it being over.

Focus this week:  resting and recovering.  Hoping to squeeze in a massage!

Twin Cities Marathon Training, Week #11 recap

Kristy got her BQ today! She was aiming for 3:45 and got 3:43:46!  BQ!  BQ!  BQ!  Congrats!

I am feeling GREAT today.  No residual soreness or tweaks or anything from yesterday’s 20 miles.  I felt like I could run, but I was a good girl and just went on a 35 minute power walk and did pilates.

I really want to get marathon goal nailed down soon so that I can visualize and prepare mentally.  I have a number in mind, just need to talk with coach and figure things out.  I think I’m faster than I think I am, I’m just struggling with going out slower (more in line with my original goal) and kicking it in and maybe arriving close to the faster/new goal, or going out at the faster/new goal pace and maybe not being able to sustain it and then ending up in the same place that I would have if I started out slower.  The difference would likely be in how I feel.  I feel like going out slower then kicking it in and negative splitting would FEEL better.  Ya know?  We’ll see.

Twin Cities Week #11 Recap:

Miles run: 52.2

Cross:  biking 20 minutes; walking 2.5 hours

Weights: 1 time (uggg, wanted to do more but the week slipped away from me!)

Pilates:  4 times (yeah!)

  • M: 10k (7:26 pace; PR baby!); 1.8 miles warm up/cool down
  • T: 5.2 miles (9:19); bike 20 minutes; weights
  • W: 10 miles (8:15); pilates
  • Th: 9 miles (w/ 6x800m and 4x400m); pilates
  • F: pilates
  • Sa: 20 miles (maybe 8:30ish pace?)
  • Su: pilates; power walk

In other exciting news, my daughter told me that you can kind of see a 6 pack on me now.  (And I’m not talking about Bud Light!).  Guess the pilates are paying off.  I’ve also lost about 3 pounds, not necessarily deliberately, just by sort of being back in Operation Spin Dry.

3 more weeks til race day!


20 Miles Done, Now Taper Time!

First, some shout outs:

Good luck to my running twin Kristy (at Run The Long Road) who is running the Lehigh Valley Marathon tomorrow.  Kristy is hoping to get a BQ tomorrow, which will be 3:45 for her.  She is SO trained for this, having run her last 22 miler 4 seconds BELOW her goal pace.  She will do it!  Go Kristy Go!

If you are looking for running tips, inspiration and wisdom, check out the new blog of Coach MB, the coach who has helped me get speed and, more importantly, a kick-ass mental game over the past couple of months.  In addition to the in-person coaching that he provides to me and a group of others, he sends inspirational emails and texts.  You’ve heard me write about the inspiration and motivation that he gives me.  Well, I’ve been encouraging him to share his wisdom with others and start blogging about all things running (and more – he does triathlons).  So, check out his blog when you have a minute!

And finally, I’d like to say What Up to my new BFF’s Adam and Tim.  Remember them from my Running the Edge book review?  Please note the comments to this post!  What sweet BFF’s.  I’m sure Adam and Kara will be inviting me over for dinner sometime soon.  I’ll keep you all posted.


So, today was our last 20 miler before Twin Cities.  It was the Capitol Run, sponsored by Life Time Fitness.  There were about 400 people, running from the Capitol 10 miles out on the Twin Cities Marathon Course and then back.  So the last 10 miles of the run were miles 16 – 26 of the TCM race course, which is the hardest part of Twin Cities, with essentially the 3 mile hill from mile 20 – 23 (today miles 14 – 17).

It was, by far, my best feeling (and fastest) 20 miler ever.  I finished it in 2:53:15 (8:39 pace), with probably a good 3 – 4 minutes of stops built in, so the actual running pace was faster.  The stops were quick water stops, where I was able to pick the pace back up and still have a decent avg mile, but then not-so-quick stops at stoplights on Summit on the way back, where I wasn’t able to make up all the time that we stopped.  Frustrating, because I wanted to have all my miles LOOK like a good pace, but when we have to stop for 20 – 60 seconds, it’s hard to tell what pace I was even really at.

Things that were good about the run:

  • It was the quickest training run that I’ve done and it didn’t feel like I was killing myself or going all out.  Depending on what my goal ends up being (still up in the air; I need to decide this week so that I can mentally prepare), a good chunk of the miles were at or below MP.
  • I tackled the hills and did a decent job at them.  Mentally and physically hung in there and didn’t give up.  (Though when you look at my splits, it doesn’t reflect it because of stopping once for start of GI issues and on the other 2 miles for stop lights).  I am SO glad we ran these hills on tired legs – this was definitely needed as a confidence boost before the marathon.
  • I was able to do this well without taper, in heat (it was 70+ and sunny for the second 1/2 of the run) and after a big quality week (with a 10k race on Monday, 10 miles at marathon pace on wednesday and 9 miles with intervals on Thursday).
  • I didn’t let the start of GI issues at mile 15 derail me.  I stopped for 10 seconds to walk when I felt the sick-GI-distress urge coming on (it happened during the middle of the 1st mile of the 3 mile long hill).  But there was no bathroom in site (and I knew there pretty much wouldn’t be), so I told myself to calm down, take it easy and not worry.  I did back off the pace a tiny bit for the balance of the run, because of the GI issues too.  For some reason they seem to happen when I’m really pushing myself.
  • I still had energy in me during the last mile and kicked it in.

So I should be really happy about this run, huh?  And I am, for the reasons above, but I’m also a little disappointed in myself because I didn’t do what I (and the coach mostly) had set out to do.  My plan was 8:20 – 8:25ish miles for first 3, then pick up the pace to around 8:10 – 8:12, then finish stronger.  Fail on all accounts on this.  I didn’t even try to do this.  I was too scared of blowing up, of it feeling too hard, of injuring the hamstring again so close to race day, of not being able to do it, blah blah blah.  So from the start I just switched into a mode/pace that felt good for me and that I knew I’d be able to do today.  So, even though really there was SO MUCH positive out of this run, I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t push it and didn’t even attempt to do what I was “supposed” to do.

21 days until Race Day!  So I guess taper starts, at least in terms of cutting back the long runs.  Still looks like the schedule calls for decent mileage and lots of quality this week.  And I get to run in DC this week (Virginia actually) because I’m going for a 4 day training for being the local Toys For Tots coordinator.  Who knew there was so much involved in that???

When will Boston registration close??

Boston (registration) excitement is in the air in blog land and facebook land.  The consensus (based upon my informal viewing of comments, etc.) seems to be that it will close before during the 10 minute under BQ time registration window.    I’m still holding out hope that those of us that are 16 seconds under our BQ time will get in for 2012.  Coach did just talk to us about dreaming big!  🙂

Any of you readers have thoughts on when registration will close?


Today’s speed workout was 9 miles of FUN!  Warm up and cool down along with 6x800m (paces between 3:26 – 3:33), 4x400m (paces between 1:26 – 1:38).  Felt SO good to start the day off with a hard workout.  Love it!


14 years ago today I was in the middle of the hardest workout of my life – having Meghan!

Happy Birthday Meg!

Tune up race tomorrow! (And Twin Cities training Week #10 recap)

Tune up race tomorrow with the Victory 10k.  I went back in my runningahead log to see what the course measured exactly last time I did it and I realized that 2 years ago at it was my 10k PR (46:31).  I had thought my 10k PR was slower and from 2007.  Apparently not!  Goal tomorrow is ambitious, but I’m definitely up for it!  Stay tuned!

This weekend was SO relaxing!  I took my own advice and slept (8 – 9 hours each night), drank beer/wine (2 glasses each night) and read Running The Edge.  It was a great last weekend of the summer.  Tomorrow completes a perfect weekend/summer with the Victory 10k in the morning, State Fair (mmmm, Sweet Martha’s Cookies!) during the day and Maroon 5/Train/Matt Nathanson concert (with the kids too!) tomorrow night.  Can’t wait!


Twin Cities Marathon Training, Week #10 recap:

Miles Run: 45.7

Minutes Biked: 70

Weights: 2 times

Pilates: 3 times

  • M: 7 miles (8:29) (w/ 4x.25 hill repeats and a couple MP miles)
  • T: 11.1 miles (8:51)
  • W: pilates; bike 50 minutes; weights
  • Th: 8.25 w/ interval ladder (1 mile, 800, 400, 400, 800, 1 mile)
  • F: pilates
  • Sa: 16.2 miles (8: 50; last two miles at MP of 8:15; 8:10)
  • Su: 3.1 miles (9:35); pilates

I am so happy to report that this was a great week again!  I feel like I’ve found a good balance of quality workouts, recovery miles and cross training/strength/pilates.  I’m feeling really good about the marathon!

Twin Cities Marathon Training, Week #9 recap

First, update on the iphone:  It works!  Rice fixed it.  Now I’m connected to the world again!

Legs feel great today.  No pain or issues.  A little creaky.  I feel like I could run, but I’m going to be a good trainee and listen to coach and take the day off of running.

Twin Cities marathon training week #9 was MUCH better!  I’m so happy that things are feeling good again, paces are back to closer to where they were pre-hamstring issue and I’m getting in some good “other” stuff (i.e. strength, pilates).


Miles run: 47.8

Cross:  biking 15 minutes; walking 1.5 miles

Pilates: 4 times!

Weights: 3 (but 2 of the times were only arms)

  • M:  7 miles (9:38); bike 15 minutes; weights
  • T:  pilates; walk 1.5 miles
  • W: 6 miles (8:35) w/ middle 3 miles at GMP; pilates; weights (arms)
  • Th: 8.31 miles w/ intervals 3 x 1 mile at 10k and 1 mile of 100m fast, 100m slow,
  • F: 5 miles (9:33); pilates
  • Sa: 21 miles (8:36)
  • Su: pilates; weights (arms)

Bring on week #10!

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