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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Speed workout 1.

This morning I woke up, did a few dynamic stretches then two of my boys and I drove into town to run at the high school track.  It was about 45 degrees and the wind was howling.  While the boys each worked on doing a mile with a warm up and cool down, I did 3.25 miles worth of 800m repeats.  The cold and the wind actually helped motivate me to run faster because I was really in a hurry to get back in the car!  After I got done, we drove home and I did 40 minutes of Pilates/Yoga Crunch.

Monday, May 30, 2011

New schedule!

I've decided on a training method and schedule for my next marathon.  Back when I first started running last year, a friend of mine loaned me a book called "Run Less, Run Faster".  I read it then, but I was already into a training plan and decided not to do the one profiled in the book.  I've decided to try it this time around.  I've ordered my own copy of the book and should be getting it in the mail this week, but I was able to get the actual training schedule online.  The meat of this particular method is this: only three runs a week - a speed work run, a tempo run and a long run, then two strong cross-training sessions of 45-60 min. per week.  The theory is that with only three runs and a day of non-running in between each, your body will be rested enough for you to push harder on those three running days.  The speed work runs are between 2.5 and 4.5 miles worth of 400, 800, 1200 and 1600 meter repeats, the tempo runs range from 3-10 miles each to be run at 15-30 sec/mile slower than your 10K pace, and the long runs go from 10 - 20 miles to be run at 60 to 75 seconds slower than your 10K pace.  There are two 20 mile long runs on the schedule, but on my schedule I made the second one a 22 miler.

This program is a 16 week training schedule, but since I only have 14 weeks until my next marathon, I am just going to start on week 3 - TODAY!  So, this morning was slotted as a cross-training day and I started out by doing level 1 of 30 Day Shred, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical and another 15 minutes of speed walking on the treadmill.  I also plan to do some Yoga or Pilates at some point today, but with the kids out of school now I have to rearrange my workout schedule a little bit.

Tomorrow I will do my first speed workout.  I am feeling good, no pain, strong...let's just hope and pray my body continues on this path and that there is no recurrence of my previous problems.  I'm also hoping that at some point soon, Mother Nature will actually figure out that it's supposed to be summer now!  We've had snow, rain, wind, cold temperatures for what feels like months now.  I am SO ready for some consistently sunny and warm days.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time with the kids.

My kids are getting geared up for some fun hikes we have planned this summer.  One of the hikes is an 8 mile trail hike up to a mountain lake, which is in about three weeks.  So in preparation for all the activity, they are doing some extra walking/jogging/running according to a schedule that I printed out for them.  This morning my 8 year old daughter and my 11 year old son and I walked to the park (1/2 mile), jogged/walked a little over a mile, then walked home.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but right now I just want to start getting them into the routine of doing some kind of scheduled exercise each morning now that they are on their summer break.  When we came home, I did 30 Day Shred.  I haven't done that one in a while...I think I should probably try and do it 3 or 4 times a week because it's such a great workout that only takes 20 minutes!

Friday, May 27, 2011

More easy stuff.

Continuing with the recovery theme...for this morning's workout I went for a 30 minute walk at the park, then I came home and did 45 minutes of Pilates/Yoga blend.  I feel in a bit of a funk, physically and mentally.  It seems like I remember this happening after my first marathon, too.  With just a little over 3 months until my next marathon, I guess I should start getting serious about finding a training schedule.  Once I have my schedule in place, maybe I'll feel more back to "normal".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still getting back into a groove...

I'm trying to be smart about my marathon recovery, and since I'm still feeling pain in my hamstrings, I decided against doing any running today.  Instead, I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, then 25 minutes of walking on the treadmill, then I did another 20 minutes of "random" exercises, like step-ups, reps with 5 pound hand weights and finally a little time with the foam roller.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First attempts.

So today I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a workout that included a little running.  I started out with 30 minutes of floor work Pilates, then I did 40 minutes on the elliptical.  Finally, I did a 20 minute run/jog on the treadmill.  My hamstrings are still what bother me the most, but a couple of minutes into my run and they started feeling a little bit better.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recovery days.

I'm nowhere near back into the swing of things, but after having 2 days off, I decided this morning to at least do some sort of formal exercise.  Yesterday I was on my feet all day, running errands and doing some shopping and I have been pleasantly surprised at how minimally sore my legs are at this point.  The hardest part about working out this morning was trying to put my sports bra on over my severely sunburned shoulders.  Once I finally got some workout clothes on, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill.  Not much, I know, but I want to work back into things slowly.  I think I made a mistake after my first marathon by not taking a long enough break from running post-race to allow adequate time for my muscles to fully heal.  I read an article about marathon recovery that said to keep in mind that even when the muscles aren't sore anymore, they are still healing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ogden Marathon ~ The time has come...and gone!

The weekend sort of went by in a blur, despite the fact that I was trying to savor every moment.  The weather forecast had called for sunshine and warm temperatures on race day, but on Friday afternoon when we drove the course it was cloudy, cool and rainy.  I was getting excited as we drove and I saw how much downhill there was.  Here is a picture of the starting line area the day before:

After we drove the course, we headed into downtown Ogden where I picked up my bib number and packet, as well as the bib and packet for my friend.  The race expo seemed a little small and cramped, but it was still fun to look at all the cool running and fitness paraphernalia and feel the vibe of anticipation of all the runners around us.

On Friday night we spent the evening with our dear friends, Marsden and Lynette.  First, Marsden and I went to the Wasatch Running Center to pick up a few last minute items, then we all went to dinner at a pizza buffet where the kids ate like they were the ones doing the carbo-loading!  After dinner it was back to their house, where we all got an early night, relatively speaking.  After taking a shower, I had the kids down and myself in bed by 9pm, with the alarms set for 3am.  After a bit of a restless night, I got up with the alarm, ate the snacks I had laid out for myself the night before, and started getting ready.  We were dropped of by a family friend at the shuttle loading area in downtown Ogden, where we then had to drive up the canyon to the starting point.  As we were getting onto the buses, it was raining, but when we arrived at the starting line area the sun had come out and the clouds were breaking up.

I have to say that as the day began, I was feeling great.  Mentally and physically, it was the best I had felt in a long time and I was eager to get going and get some miles under our belts.  The worst part of the entire day was the time from waking up at 3am up to the race start, which ended up being around 7:20am - a long wait with a lot of standing around.  With almost 3000 marathoners, Marsden (who has now run 14 marathons himself), talked me through the start of the race.  At his suggestion, we waited near the back of the pack and when we started out, there were only a few people behind us.  As we got going, though, the crowd thinned out and we made our way closer to the middle of the pack.  The first 8 miles or so literally flew by.  It was almost all downhill and I was feeling SO good.  Marsden mentioned a few times that we were probably going a little too fast, but I was having a hard time holding myself back even though I knew it might hurt me in the end.  Looking at my splits on my Garmin post-race, I saw that during that first 8-10 miles we averaged about 9 minute miles.  We walked through every aid-station, taking a few sips of either water or Powerade.  I also had to make a stop at a port-a-potty around mile 7, thinking I was going to "lighten my load", but after a failed attempt had to make another stop around mile 11.  Moving on from there I felt better and got a bit of a second wind.  At around the midway point there was a long, curvy hill.  As we approached and I was starting to slow from fatigue, we took a walking break until we reached the base of the hill, then we picked it up and started running.  This was one of the high points of the race for me mentally because I was able to overcome my body's desire to slow down and run up the hill while everyone around us was walking.  After making it up that hill, we made our way around a reservoir and the scenery was breathtaking.

The second half of the race was a lot more difficult physically, but it was made great by my wonderful running companion who kept encouraging me and talking me through the rough patches.  He made it so fun as he talked with everyone around us, from the other runners to the volunteers on the sidelines, which helped keep me entertained the made the time go by a little faster.  From miles 18 - 23 I still felt considerably decent.  We had continued walking through every aid station, but the sun and the heat were definitely something I wasn't used to.  I was SO THIRSTY!  I took sips/chugs of the Powerade at every stop, then only ran from there just to get to the next aid station and get another drink.  Some of the stations had orange slices, which turned out to be one of my favorite things.  The drinking was making my stomach hurt, but the juicy orange was just enough to quench my dry throat without too much liquid going into my gut.  At around mile 23, after having run through two different canyons, along a raging river and past a beautiful reservoir, the course left the road and entered a city park pathway.  We wound our way around and up and down small hills for a couple of miles.  This was probably the hardest part for me.  I had completely lost my steam and my hamstrings were so tight I wanted to cry.  I did, in fact, a few times.  Partly because of the pain, partly because I knew we were almost done.  I also knew at this point that I wasn't going to make my goal of being under 5 hours, which was disappointing, but I tried to acknowledge and focus on the fact that I was definitely going to best my time from my first marathon, by a pretty decent margin.

With the help and encouragement of Marsden, we ran in the last mile to the finish line.  I had started my Garmin at the exact moment we crossed the start, and had set the alarm to alert me at exactly 26.2 miles, which ended up being, at least according to my Garmin, a little ways before the finish line.  At the point that I stopped my Garmin, it said I had done 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 22 minutes, which is about 28 minutes faster than my first marathon time.  When I checked the race results online, my chip time was 5:32.  Either way, I am happy with the outcome.  I couldn't have asked for more perfect running conditions or a better running companion.  And now, of course, I have ample room for improvement for my next marathon experience!  I am also surprised at how well I've recovered.  I am sore, no doubt, but what hurts the most is my searing sunburn...next time - note to self: DON'T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN!

I relied on caffeine to function the day after the race...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2 miles.

Last day of my taper!  This morning I did an easy 2 miles on the treadmill, then I did about10 minutes on the elliptical.  I'm feeling good, and excited to leave for Utah this afternoon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

4 miles.

Before my run this morning I did 20 minutes of Pilates.  My run was only four miles, but after not running yesterday, I felt like I had to push myself.  If only my hamstrings would loosen up...
After my run I stretched with 10 minutes of Yoga.  I am getting excited about Saturday.  So far the weather forecast is looking promising, and if everything else is favorable - should be a great race!☺

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cross-training day.

For this morning's workout I did a 30 minute Pilates DVD, followed by 45 minutes on the elliptical.  Again, nothing too revolutionary, but I don't want to do anything that will give me any new sore or aching muscles.  I get enough of that just from the running.  Less than 4 days to go...

Monday, May 16, 2011

3 mile Monday.

This morning I did 20 minutes of Pilates/Yoga, then took the kids to school, then headed out for my 3 mile run.  I felt decent, though my legs, especially my hamstrings, are still giving me some trouble.  After my run I did another 20 minutes of Pilates/Yoga.  I was thinking this morning as I ran about how for me, running is such an emotional thing.  I suppose for some runners, it is at least partly, maybe mostly, mechanical, but I've noticed that my success on any given run has largely to do with my emotional state.  And that state can change throughout my run, so it may start out less than favorable, and end feeling strong and eager to do better.  So with that in mind, this week, since all of my runs are short in preparation for Saturday's race, I am going to work on keeping my emotions in-check.  I have to stay positive if I want to have my desired outcome at the marathon.  I am also starting to get those pre-race jitters and butterflies in my stomach...I just want my run on Saturday to go well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

8.5 miles.

This morning I warmed up with 15 minutes of Pilates before going out for my run.  For some reason, right from the start, my legs felt tired and heavy.  I pushed through, taking a few walking breaks when I felt the need.  I was having a hard time mentally pulling myself out of the "I feel like crap right now" mindset, and found myself just wanting to get the run done.  I guess that's just how some runs go.  When I got home, I did 30 minutes of Pilates/Yoga blend, and my legs still feel ridiculously tired and stiff.  Just one more week to rest up and be ready for race day!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Well, apparently Blogger has been having issues, and now posts from yesterday have vanished...

Anyway, yesterday I did a 3 mile run, after doing Jillian's 30 minute Yoga Meltdown.  Today was theoretically a rest day, but when I woke up this morning I decided to shake off my morning "blahs" by going for a nice, long walk.  I walked at the park while enjoying watching the sun come up over the mountains for an hour and 6 minutes (which took me just under 4 miles).  Then I had to get ready for Cub Scout meetings and a day of running errands.  Tomorrow I have an 8 miler planned, then Sunday will be my true rest day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6 miles.

This morning's run was a 6 miler.  As you can see from my Garmin info above, what a difference a little rest makes!  I haven't had a run this good for a while, and now I feel the powerful importance of the taper! :)  I'm feeling very optimistic that my goal of doing the marathon in under 5 hours is within reach.  After my run, I did 35 minutes of Pilates/Yoga Crunch, (that sounds like the name of a breakfast cereal).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cross-training day.

It's no joke, we actually woke up to about 2 inches of accumulated snow, after the rain that has been coming down for two days straight turned colder.  Looking at the weather forecast, we do have warmer, sunnier days coming ahead later this week, and I sure hope that it happens because I'm about to go crazy!  I did my (indoor) workout this morning, starting out with 35 minutes of Pilates/Yoga Crunch, then I did 45 minutes on the elliptical.

The taper period of marathon training is a strange beast.  On the one hand, I do love how much "rest" I seem to be getting, but on the other hand my mind is racked with guilt, questions and second guesses...have I done all I could do, shouldn't I be running more...?  Oh, well.  I've been through this once before, so I know it will all work out. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

The taper continues...

After doing 30 minutes of Pilates this morning, I did my 4 mile run on the treadmill, since it's raining outside.  After my run, I did 10 minutes of Yoga stretches.  Nothing too exciting, I know, but I've been feeling kind of blah the past few days.  I'm actually happy about that, because if I know that if I go through my days of "yuck" now, I should be coming to a high point again when the day of the marathon comes around, at least that's how these cycles typically go for me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

12.5 miles.

I warmed up for my long run this morning with 15 minutes of Yoga/Pilates.  My run went okay, and I blame it's average-ness on the fact that it was raining, I didn't get a very good night's sleep and I was having GI issues with stomach cramping, etc.  But, I got my 12.5 miles in and like I said, it was okay.  When I got home I did10 minutes of Pilates leg work and stretching.  Just two weeks from today and I will be tackling my second marathon...:)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

4 miles.

Before my run this morning I did Jillian's 30 minute Yoga Meltdown, then I did my 4 miles.  It is a beautiful, 100% sunny day, with 100% wind and 100% cold.  ;)  I was kind of glad it was only 4 miles.  When I got home I did 15 more minutes of Yoga to stretch, and then I did a few minutes with the foam roller.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cross-training day.

This morning I started my workout with Crunch: Pilates/Yoga blend for 45 minutes, then I did 45 minutes on the elliptical.  I was sort of stiff and sore when I got out of bed this morning, which was a little surprising considering how good I've been feeling lately.  I think I need to spend some time using the foam roller today.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

8.5 miles.

I think my internal alarm has been reset for 5:45am because that's what time I've been waking up every day lately.  Since I had the time, I did Jillian Michael's 30 minute Yoga Meltdown this morning before my 8.5 mile run.  My run went well, I felt pretty good for most of it, and even though it was cloudy, the temperature was a mild 50 degrees.  When I got home I did 10 minutes of Yoga stretches.

Monday, May 2, 2011

5 mile Monday.

This morning I woke up early again, so I did 45 minutes of Pilates before taking the kids to school then heading out for my run.  I did 5 miles, and felt great the whole time.  It did help that the sun was shining, cold as it was, it felt so great.  I did my 5 miles in 55 minutes, then came  home and did 10 minutes of Yoga stretches.  Although I am on my taper for the next 3 weeks, the thought came to me while running this morning that this is no time for me to take my foot off the gas.  I plan to also closely monitor my diet during this time.  I haven't been doing so great in that area lately, as it usually happens when the mileage increases and my appetite increases.  I have a tendency to eat too much crap, and the past few days I've been revamping and making changes, including cutting out processed sugars and empty carbs and sticking with as many fruits, veggies and whole wheat and grains as I can.  I'm already feeling better in that sense, even after only a few days of being more strict with myself.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday ~ day of rest!

I feel so good today, especially considering I ran 20 miles just 2 days ago.  In the past I have always been much more sore after runs that long.  Yesterday I did 45 minutes of Pilates in the morning, and after keeping busy running the kids around to their activities, going grocery shopping and various other errands, my husband and I went for a walk/run at the park with the kids.  We did about 3 miles, and he actually ran a little more than I did because I was just too beat up to do too much running.  I also realized why I always run in the mornings: me and afternoon/evening running don't mix, unless I'm channeling super-human powers on any given day.  I felt yucky the whole time, with heavy legs, poor respiration, a bit of a headache and even a little heartburn.  It did feel good to get out and get some fresh air and movement the day after my long run, but I'm also enjoying my day of rest today.

After church this morning, I found I had a new email from my running friend/mentor asking me how my training is going and if I have a goal time for Ogden.  As I was writing him back, I curiously pondered where I'm at in comparison with where I was at at this point in my training for my first marathon.  Luckily, all I have to do to find that out is go back in the analogs of this here blog!  I was actually a little surprised to find that I'm not all that much improved from 6 or 7 months ago, at least not "speed" wise.  I had to remind myself that for the majority of my training this time around I had all that annoying hip/leg pain and that I also have had to do a lot of my training runs on the treadmill, which wasn't the case last time.  All in all, I do feel good about where things are at now.  I am optimistic about running Ogden, and no matter what my time, I can always feel good about knowing I put in my training.