Coastal Delaware 9k Recap

Over the weekend, I ran my first race of the year. It was much shorter than I had originally planned, but I’m thankful I was able to run at all. It was exactly three months from my first day of absolutely horrible shin pain to the day I crossed the finish line in Dewey Beach, Delaware. Pain free, and wearing this biggest smile I’ve had in months.

Pre Race

When we planned this trip back in the winter, we decided we’d make the 8 hour drive. As it approached on Friday, it seemed a lot more daunting. We left Friday night after work, and made it about 3 hours before we decided to stop for the night. We picked up on Saturday morning, and made the rest of the drive through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Thankfully the packet pickup and expo didn’t start until 2:00pm, so we didn’t have to rush.

After a few stops for food, gas and outlet shopping, we made it to Dewey Beach. Packet pickup was held outside of The Starboard restaurant, and gave the event a bit more of a beach feel. Packets came with our bib, official race shirt and a custom Tervis cup.

Beach town packet pickup

Beach town packet pickup

Pick up your packet, head to the beach!

Pick up your packet, head to the beach!

From here we stopped at the beach, dropped our bags off at the hotel and went to find something to eat. We had been given recommendations to stop at The Lighthouse, but after stopping in, it wasn’t a place we wanted to test the day before a race. Instead, we crossed the street to the Rusty Rudder, and after a few turns down a few hallways, we found the pasta dinner and buffet that was set up for the race. The food was great and we had some amazing views of the sunset.

The views are ok...

The views are ok…

The only thing left for the night was to lay out our outfits and try to get some sleep!

Race Day

We woke up between 5:15am and 6:00am on race day. The marathon, half and 9k had different starting times, which was nice because I got to sleep in a few extra minutes. Michelle and Mo left early to catch the bus to the start, while Mallory and I took our time getting ready before heading outside to watch the marathoners run by. Luckily we were able to see Michelle and Mo run by before we headed down to the start for our own race.

Looking goo at mile 1!

Looking goo at mile 1!

The bus line was quick and fairly empty, and the ride last 5 minutes at most. We were dropped off at the start, and had plenty of time to use the porta potties, relax and get in line.

Not your typical Ohio start line

Not your typical Ohio start line

At almost exactly 8:00am, we were off. We didn’t really have a plan for the race, other than to take it easy and walk if we needed. I had hoped to stay under and hour, but wasn’t going to put too much pressure on myself.

The first mile we ran along the coastal highway from the watch tower to a little outside of Dewey Beach. We had some views of the water, but it was mostly filled with high grass and some houses. I felt pretty good, but noticed I had some tightness in my left calf. It eventually went away and didn’t bother me the rest of the race.

Strong start to the race

Strong start to the race

From here we continued on into town seeing more shops and restaurants, showing it’s true colors of a little beach town. We also noticed how flat the course was, almost too flat. Which, had we been in perfect shape, it would have been perfect for a PR. We also had a bit of a headwind, but with the sun out, it kept us cool and wasn’t too much of a bother.

Mile 1 – 10:23

Mile 2 – 10:29

We pulled off the Coastal Highway and now we were running down Silver Lake Drive. We were able to run next to Silver Lake, which was absolutely beautiful, and picked out a few houses we wouldn’t mind buying. We still felt good, and didn’t have a need to push it at this time. Runners were starting to spread out, but it was also starting to warm up a bit.

Halfway there!

Halfway there!

From here we turned into a housing development and ran through a few different streets. We had a bit of shade from time to time, but nothing too helpful. We didn’t see too many people outside, but noticed a lot of cars and furniture on the side of the streets.

Mile 3 – 10:32

Mile 4 – 10:20

We turned back onto the Coastal Highway and knew we were in the home stretch. I grabbed a water and took a few sips at the water stop around mile 4. It was starting to warm up and I didn’t want to be too dehydrated.

We ducked off the highway again and back into some more housing developments where we finally had a decent amount of shade. Then suddenly, the first place half marathoner passed us. He was the only one we saw, and wondered where everyone else had gone. (He ended up finishing in 1:20, 6 minutes ahead of second place).

Mile 5 – 10:20
Once we hit mile 5, I knew we only had about .6 left to go. We were out in full sun and all of the tan colored buildings looked the same. Finally we ran past our hotel and all that was left was a turn to the finish. I couldn’t help but get excited and had the biggest grin the whole way to the finish. I think I almost started to tear up a bit as well.

All smiles into the finish

All smiles into the finish

I was so excited to cross that finish line that I completely forgot to stop my watch, so I have no idea what my last split was. We grabbed our medals and water and headed to the beach. It was still relatively empty so we had plenty of room to spread out. Luckily they had a computer out where you could check your time, I finished at 58:33, meeting my goal of under 1 hour!

I ran the entire race without walking or stopping and I had no pain at all. Despite the fact that I was running a 10:27 pace, I could not be happier. A month ago, I had no idea if I’d be able to run, let alone run the entire race. I’m far from PR shape, but I’m running again and building myself back to where I used to be.

Finished!

Finished!

Medal and beach, all you need post race

Medal and beach, all you need post race

Overall, I think this was a great race. The packet pickup was easy and went fairly quickly. The race was very well run and according to Michelle and Mo, the full was the most beautiful race they’ve run. After the race, they had a huge party on the beach which included music and a full buffet of real food including chicken, pasta, salad, bread deserts and a few others. Plus, every runner was able to get three beers for free after the race.

I would highly recommend this race, especially since they did such a wonderful job and it was only their second year. The full and the half are a bit expensive, so signing up early is key. The 9k option was a lot cheaper, and almost an automatic PR for everyone since it’s not a common distance. If the drive wasn’t so far, I’d consider doing it again in the future.

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Results:

Official Time: 58:33 (First 9k, automatic PR)

Overall Place: 223/517

Female Overall: 142/375

AG 25-29: 16/27

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Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Six

Well, what can I say about this week. I planned on running 32-25 miles, increasing my long run to 17-18 and spending some quality time with my running shoes. That didn’t quite happen, it was actually the exact opposite. I ended up with 0 miles for this week, and here’s why.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll have random shin pain that really only lasts a day and I try to take the next day off. No big deal, it wasn’t causing harm or making me miss multiple runs. It was just there, and then gone. So after taking a rest day Sunday, I figured by Monday afternoon, the pain would be gone, just like always. But the pain didn’t go away. In fact, it lingered. From a dull ache to a random burst of mild pain, I decided I’d take this past week day by day. Surely after two rest days it would be gone, right?

Nope. Things got worse. When my shin hurt during my entire commute Tuesday morning (45 minutes of driving), I decided to call a doctor. Hoping that since I made an appointment, the pain would go away. That’s typically how it works, fingers crossed.

I had my appointment on Wednesday morning, and the results weren’t great. With symptoms of a stress fracture, we did an X-Ray. Unfortunately, the results didn’t show much, just as expected, with the exception of a minor faint horizontal line near the base of the pain. With what I’m sure was an absolute pathetic look in my eyes, I asked the doctor what we should do. He replied with treat it as a stress fracture and we’ll get some more tests done.

I took the rest of the week off running and will be taking next week off as well. We’re hoping that with two weeks of rest, the pain will be less and I can slowly get back to normal. But here I am, a week later, and I’m still having a decent amount of pain. No biking, no elliptical, no doing anything that will add any more pressure to the leg. But thankfully, no walking boot, at least not yet.

I have a bone scan scheduled for Tuesday morning, which I’m sure will be a delight. And we’ll be following that up with another appointment on Friday to discuss results and what to do next.

I go through moments of no pain at all, thinking that maybe it’s just in my head, to a dull ache, to random bursts of sharp pain. It’s definitely worse after being on my feet for long periods of time and after driving. I’ve never had a stress fracture before, but in my gut, I believe that’s what it is. If it were typical aches and pains, it’d be gone after a few days, but here it is, still lingering, still preventing me from doing what I love. And what keeps me sane.

I’m not exactly sure where training will be going from here. I’m almost 100 percent certain that running the full will be out. Hopefully this is just a minor issue and I’ll be able to get back into training and run the half. This is definitely not where I saw my spring going, mostly because I felt so strong during my runs, and never felt that pain was limiting me. I’m trying to put a positive spin on everything, which has been hard. So for now, I’ll be taking it easy, working on my core, and counting down the days until I can run again.

Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Five

Week 5 and my main goal of this week was to make sure the pain in my shin was gone, and that I was back to running healthy. I did fairly well in keeping all pain minimal by icing, elevating and wearing compression socks/sleeves whenever I could. And I survived the week without any pain, until the very end.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3×1600 (8:57, 8:55, 8:51) w/400 recovery, 1 mile c/d + Abs

Wednesday: 5 Miles + Abs & Arms

Thursday: 5.65 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 6×600 hill w/400 recovery, 1 mile, c/d + Abs

Friday: 0

Saturday: 15.6 Miles

Sunday: 0

Total: 31.75 Miles

Tuesday I was back on the treadmill for some mile repeats. I was nervous going in that I’d have some shin pain, so I took my warm up mile pretty easy. Thankfully I was pain free. I didn’t push myself as much as I could have, but I didn’t want to bring on any more pain. I felt good, and decided a step back in training last week was the best decision for me.

I  met up with Mallory on Wednesday and we did some easy miles at the rec. It was so nice to finally run on something other than the treadmill, even if the track is 10 laps per mile. We kept things to an easy conversational pace and it went by pretty quickly, despite going around and around for ever.

Thursday I was back on the treadmill for some hill repeats. I decided to move the incline to 5 this time and see how things would go. I felt pretty strong and decided to increase the speed with each one. By the 4th one, I was wearing down a bit, but I pushed myself to complete all six. I may not feel it now, but doing hill repeats every other week will eventually pay off.

Saturday was the first official course run for the Medina Half! Since I didn’t get a long run in last week, I was aiming for 15-16 miles. I was pretty nervous for this run and wasn’t sure how it would go. I think the last time I ran 14+ miles was fall of 2014, so clearly I felt the pressure to run it well.

The goal was to run the half course and tack on miles at the end. The Medina Half course changed this year, and I can honestly say, it’s probably the best course yet. You still wind through a few neighborhoods with gradual inclines, but avoiding the giant hill on Rt. 18 is amazing. And with the addition of a new path and bridge, you now get to spend some extra time around Lake Medina.

I felt relatively well during the long run, fueling at 4 and 10. We had a small group that stuck together and we chatted the miles away, dodging some leftover ice and getting a few Bald Eagle sightings. Once we got back to the square, I ran the last few miles on my own around town, finishing up with 15.6 miles.

Lake Medina

Lake Medina

I meant to do my recovery run on Sunday, but I woke up a bit sore and had minimal shin pain. Throughout the day, I still felt tight and the pain in my leg would come and go. Ultimately, I decided to take the day off, and really rethink the next week of training.

Overall it was a pretty good week. I’m at my highest weekly mileage and on track for my highest monthly mileage ever. My only concern is the recurring shin pain. I’ve nearly doubled my mileage, which is probably the reason behind the pain. I need to take a few days to recover and think about how to train smarter while building my mileage. I looked back at Wineglass training, and I didn’t push the longer runs (15+) until week 7 or 8, so I’m a bit ahead of what I’ve done in the past. There’s still plenty of time to get long runs in, so I just need to look at the training again, and see what works and what doesn’t.

 

Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Four

Week four is done and honestly, I can’t believe we’re already this far into the training cycle. I know that 18 weeks can seem daunting, but knowing that I only have 14 weeks left to get ready still makes me nervous! This week was a rough one, and I eventually decided that it would be a cut back week…on Sunday. Things just weren’t clicking this week and I could tell my body needed a bit of a break.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 6 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3×1600 (8:53, 8:42, 8:55) w/400 recovery, 1.5 mile c/d + Abs & Arms

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: 0

Saturday: 6 Miles + Abs

Sunday: 3.5 Miles + Abs

Total: 20.5 Miles

Tuesday I was back at the rec, and ready for some mile repeats. We started with our mile warm up on the track and headed to the treadmill for our repeats. Last time I did these, I hovered around a 9:00 minute pace. This time I wanted to push myself a little, so I upped the speed. I was in a pretty good groove and despite being a bit bored, I felt like I was doing a good job of working hard. Until my third repeat when the treadmill hit the 30 minute limit and shut down on me. I tried to get back up to speed as quickly as I could, but the overall time was my slowest. We finished up with a 1.5 mile cool down, some abs and an incredibly hard arm workout.

I had to skip my Wednesday workout again this week. I woke up to a migraine in the middle of the night and was still feeling the tail end of it by evening. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I’ve had enough migraines to know running is the opposite of what I should do. I was disappointed I couldn’t get my run in, but I can’t fight a migraine, no matter how bad I want to run.

I was feeling better on Thursday, so I hit the treadmill. I was aiming to run between 5-7 miles, but mentally I could barely make it to two. I switched up the speed every once and while I found a new show on Netflix, I was still bored out of my mind. It was a struggle, but I got 5 miles in. Sometimes treadmill runs are great, and sometimes they’re the last place I want to be.

How we feel about treadmill runs.

Looks like we have the same thoughts on treadmill runs.

Saturday I took the opportunity to sleep in and run on the treadmill. I was a little nervous for how it would go after Thursday’s breakdown, but I actually felt great. I increased the speed every 10 minutes or so, and never felt the need for a break or to jump off.

"Faster! Faster!"

“Faster! Faster!”

Sunday was pretty much a disaster. After skipping the group run at Hinckley, a few of us decided to run in the afternoon. Until the roads got nasty and I was forced back to the treadmill. I wasn’t in the mindset to run long on the treadmill, but I wanted to see how far I could get without struggling. Unfortunately, my shin had other plans when it decided to have a faint pain in it. I knew not to work it hard, and called it after 3.5 miles. Not a great workout at all.

Overall this week was a bit of a roller coaster. I had a few good runs, and I had a few horrible runs. I’ve had a slight pain in my shin from time to time for the past four days, and I know it’s because I’ve increased my mileage by a lot in such a short amount of time. I always do this, and always need to step back a few weeks into the new training cycle. Pushing myself too much now is not worth the risk of injury. I still have 12 weeks left, which is plenty of time to get ready for the marathon.

Sometimes all you need is a bit of rest and recovery.

Sometimes all you need is a bit of rest and recovery.

I also wanted to focus on hydration and sleep this week. I had over 5 hours of sleep 4 of the 5 weekday nights, which is an improvement to say the least. I tried to be asleep by 10pm, which still gave me plenty of time to toss and turn many times each night.

I also made sure to have at least 30oz of water a day. It’s still not enough, but it’s a goal to aim for. And just like Wineglass, I’ve been cutting back on wine and only drinking it two to three nights a week. This will help to keep me hydrated and hopefully allow me to sleep better.

Next week I’ll be back to my higher mileage, hopefully less pain, and some stronger runs!

Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Three

Three weeks in and I’m already exhausted! It could be that we’re back to a regular work schedule after the holidays, the additional miles, or that I’m only sleeping an average of about 4.5 hours a night. Regardless, I really struggled with staying awake and motivated this week.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 5.8 miles, 2 mile w/u, 4×800 (4:32, 4:32, 4:28, 4:26) w/ 400 recovery, 1 mile c/d + Abs & Arms

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 4×1200 hills w/ 400 recovery, 1 m c/d

Friday: 0

Saturday: 13 Miles

Sunday: 6.2 Miles + Abs

Total: 30 Miles

I headed to the rec center on Tuesday with caution, I was expecting the parking lot to be full and every machine in use. Luckily, it was fairly empty. We started with the warm up on the track and moved to the treadmills. I tried to keep my pace as close as I could to 4:30, so I bounced between 6.7 and 6.8 on speed. I felt fine, but felt slow. We finished with a mile cool down, some ab work and some arm work.

I had to skip Wednesday’s workout because a very busy evening. I ended up getting home at 10pm, and by that point it was dinner and bedtime.

On Thursday I had my first hill repeat workout of the training cycle. I prefer to run my hill repeats outside, but in winter I’m limited to the treadmill after work. I wasn’t sure what incline to use, so I started at 4% and increased my speed on every repeat. Each one felt harder and my hips were getting sore, but I could feel the benefit of the workout, especially walking upstairs afterward!

Saturday’s long run ended up being a tough one. I met up with Jennifer, Kate and Mallory at Buckeye Woods and we set out with the intention of running between 6-8 miles. We ran the inlet to the back roads, to the rail trail. I felt ok in the beginning, but started to get hot and tired a few miles in. I took off my jacket around mile 3 and felt a little better. But by mile 4, I was feeling rough. I fueled with Honey Stingers and stripped down to my tank top. Finally, I felt better and we made our way to a connecting housing development, in search of the house with the cat statue. Gotta make runs fun, right? From here, we were back on the rail trail, and headed back to BW. By this point, I was debating if I should just do my long run since we were expected to have bad weather on Sunday.

Tank tops and cat statues. Both odd in January.

Tank top and a cat statue (under the window). Both odd in January.

So we dropped off Kate and headed around the marsh loop. Within these few miles, my knee was starting to become quite sore. Instead of pushing it to the scheduled 14, we stopped at 11. But after a quick drive home, I felt guilty for not hitting my mileage, so I set out for the final three miles in my neighborhood. The knee pain was gone, and I figured the rest of the run would be no problem. Except for when I started to feel weak and delusional 1.5 miles in. So I headed home and called it quits at 13 for the day. Considering I hadn’t fueled since mile 4, I knew why I couldn’t finish up so I only have myself to blame for this one.

Somehow, I think Sunday ended up as my best run of the week. I was glad I did my long run the day before because the weather started to get nasty when I finally started my run. I set out for 6 miles on the treadmill, and got through 3 episodes of 30 Rock. I fueled with Honey Stingers and Gu at mile 2, mostly because it was lunch time and I was starving, I did not want a repeat of the day before. And I had a small break at mile 4 to open the window for colder air. I felt great and ended up increasing the speed maybe every 10-15 minutes.

After my run, I tallied up my mileage for the week and realized I was at 29.8, so naturally I had to get back on the treadmill for .2 miles to make it an even 30.

Tired legs, stronger legs.

Tired legs, stronger legs.

Overall, this was another good week. I got four workouts in and hit over 30 miles for the second week in a row. I’m not even sure I did that with Wineglass! I think this week was a little harder than last because of the higher mileage. It will take my body some getting used to, but hopefully it will pay off in the end.

 

Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Two

Week two is in the books, and it went so much better than the first. I was happy to be back on somewhat of a routine, but having friends around to join in my runs helped to keep me on track. I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident about training after this past week. Especially because I hit my highest mileage in a single week since Wineglass training!

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3×1600 with 400 recovery (9:05, 8:57, 8:57), 1 mile c/d + Abs & Lifting

Wednesday: 7.1 Miles + Abs

Thursday: 6 Miles + Abs, Butt & Arms from Daily Workout App (DWA)

Friday: 0

Saturday: 12.22 + Abs

Sunday: 0

Total: 30.82 Miles

 

Even looking over each day, I feel a bit exhausted! I skipped any sort of yoga on Monday, mostly because I just can’t get into it by myself. Which is fine, because Monday is rest or yoga, but hopefully I can find a yoga class to join that fits my schedule.

Tuesday I wasn’t feeling so hot, so instead of going to the gym, I stuck to the treadmill. I had mile repeats on the schedule, so I pushed through and got them done, just above the time I needed. I think I’m actually starting to enjoy speed work on the treadmill because it keeps me focused on the pace, even if it doesn’t exactly line up with the set speeds. I followed up with abs and a little bit of lifting.

Wednesday I met up with the marathon girls and we ran along Lester Trail. My legs were a bit stiff from Tuesday, but it felt good to be on softer ground. I hadn’t been able to run Lester much since the time change, so it was nice to get out there and run one of my favorite trails. Once I got home, I did some abs.

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Thursday was a bit tough. My legs were definitely feeling the increase in mileage, but I wasn’t going to back out of the run. I met up with Mallory and we ran two loops at Hinckley Lake. It was a nice change, but it can still be a bit challenging with the smaller hills. We kept an easy pace and walked the slippery bridges, no need to fall and injure ourselves!

So peaceful, but so chilly.

So peaceful, but so chilly.

After I got home, I tried a new app that Jennifer had mentioned to us. Daily Workout App or DWA from now on, has a variety of workouts ranging from 5-10 minutes and focuses on different parts of the body. I had been using workouts I’d found from Pinterest, but from now on, I’ll be using this to tone my abs, arms, legs,etc. I think it will be perfect to keep me motivated on lifting and my ab routine.

Home screen of Daily Workout App. So many options!

Home screen of Daily Workout App. So many options!

Saturday was my long run, and I met up with a group of 10-12 at Hinckley. Some of us came early and ran a lake loop. After we finished, we met up with the rest of the group and headed out for our road loop. I hadn’t done a long run in a while, so I was a bit concerned how this would go. The first three miles, most of us stuck together, which helped the miles fly by. It was about the three mile point of the road loop/sixth mile of the day, I took advantage of a decent sized hill and walked/fueled while I had the chance. But once I got to the top, I found myself in between groups and spent the next two miles trying to catch up. Eventually I decided to just do my own thing, and run the pace I was comfortable with. I ended up running the last six miles alone but always had the next group in sight. Typically I would have dreaded being by myself, but I spent the time reflecting on the year, thinking of what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months, and singing “Hello” by Adele.

Tough run, but Bart Yasso approves!

Tough run, but Bart Yasso approves!

I planned on doing a recovery run on Sunday, but my legs were really sore. I jumped a bunch in mileage, and I didn’t want to overdo it this early on in the training cycle. Instead, we watched the entire Making a Murderer series. Netflix marathon for marathon training? It works.

Overall this week was so much better than last. I ran more, I drank more water and I was able to sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep each day. Mentally I feel a lot more prepared for training, and I just hope I can keep the momentum up.

 

*Also, Nuun is currently having a discontinuation sale on three of it’s flavors. Right now, Kona Cola, Lemon Tea, and Lemonade are just $4.00! Watermelon is also on sale, but not being discontinued. So stock up before they’re gone!

Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week One

The first week of training is done, and we’re just going to pretend it was a warm up. I’m not sure why I thought I could balance the first week of training with the week of Christmas, but I didn’t fare too well.

I only managed three days of workouts, and just two with runs. I also tracked my sleep schedule and water intake, which wasn’t impressive either.  With unusual schedules, excessive food, and plenty of time in the car. This week was just a plain bust. But at least it can only go up from here!

Monday: 30 minutes Jasyoga- Dynamic Hamstring Flexibility

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: Frosty 5 Miler

Friday: 0

Saturday: 5.28 miles + Abs

Sunday: 0

Total: 10.28 Miles

I started Monday with a quick Jasyoga session. My hips are terribly weak so I thought this may be a good video for me. It definitely helped to stretch me out, but I’d prefer to be in a class rather than by myself.

I didn’t get out on a run until Thursday. I’m not sure how that happened, but I didn’t feel prepared for the race. We decided to run as a group and I was pushed to medium effort, but ran well. I’ll have a recap up later this week.

MCRR at Frosty 5 Miler!

MCRR at Frosty 5 Miler!

I was able to get in a short run on Saturday before heading out of town. I didn’t feel fantastic, most likely from all the food I had all week. I ran from home, to the square and back. It’s mostly a gradual uphill there and a nice decline on the way back. I ended up negative splitting all but the last mile and felt great. The only downside of this route is traffic and the constant stopping and starting.

 

December 26th, still no snow

December 26th, still no snow

I had good intentions to do my long run Sunday morning, but the weather was horrible where we were and I didn’t have access to a gym. Major fail on my part.

Clearly this week was rough on my training. But I was able to spend time with family and had a wonderful Christmas. This week was just one of eighteen. I have plenty of time to get ready, and I’m not going to let this week stress me out.

On to week two!

Here we go again!

Well, well. I’ve found myself back at the beginning of a training cycle once again. Only this year I won’t be training for a spring half. Instead, I’m stretching the long runs a bit longer, and for the first time, I’ll be training for a spring marathon. Yikes! Even typing it feels a little scary, maybe because we’ve had two harsh winters back to back that make me a bit concerned on what this winter will bring. But it’s time I put on my big girl shoes (with the help of few friends) and get back on the road to running a 4:30 marathon!

Now, if you remember, in the fall of 2014, I ran the Wineglass Marathon. Training was amazing, my head, heart and legs were ready to run a 4:30 and I truly believed I could do it. Unfortunately, my head got the best of me, and I hit the wall hard at mile 16, and again at mile 20, and well, the race didn’t turn out anything like I had imagined. I still pulled on a 21+ minute PR, but my dream of running a 4:30 marathon was crushed. I vowed to never run a marathon again, at least for a long while. Then 2015 happened, and instead of training for a marathon, I got married. Which in retrospect, was a lot more fun. So even though running was a complete disaster, I won the more important prize.

But, it turns out, when you get a bunch of runners together, add a bit of wine, and the post run break high of loving running once again, you decide you want to run a marathon. So over the past few months, four of us have been researching races, narrowing down schedules, and we finally decided on a spring marathon! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running the Coastal Delaware Marathon on April 24th!

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I’ve trained for three marathons, and have run two, so I’m not completely new to the distance, but I still find there are things that need improvement. Over the next 18 weeks, I’ve set out a plan, made some changes from previous mistakes, but also kept what I excelled at. Here’s a look at what to expect.

Mileage:

During Wineglass training, I hit 100+ miles for three out of four months of training. Because of this, I felt that my running was much stronger. With longer runs during the week, plus more days on my feet, my long runs (15+ miles) felt much easier that I expected them to. So I plan on upping my mileage, running 4-5 days per week and expanding my long run to 22 miles.

I’ll be using the Runner’s World training plan I used last time, but I’ll be making some minor tweaks to accommodate longer runs and my schedule. I’m hoping with more mileage, I’ll be more prepared and I won’t panic about the distance mid race like at Wineglass.

Cross Training:

This is something I severely lack. I was good about it during Wineglass, but I need to step it up again. Unfortunately, my commute gets in the way of being able to join classes after work. Considering I don’t get home until 6:30, and even later during the winter, making it to class on time is almost out of the question. So, it looks like I’ll be doing much of this on my own. I’ve decided to try the following

-Monday: Yoga (at least 30 minutes)

-Tuesday/Thursday: Lift

-After every run: Abs

Hopefully I can stick to this plan and see some improvements. We’ll see how it goes.

Diet and Hydration:

The biggest thing that can turn my run from a great one to a horrible one, is my stomach. I’ve found a few things that work for me pre run and during, but there is always room for improvement. The biggest improvement I want to make is no longer eating dinner at 9:00pm or later. Again, thanks to our long commutes, we eat much later than normal people. But when you get home at 6:30, workout until 7:30 or 8, it’s rare to eat at a decent time. Regardless of what time I eat, I still should be eating healthier.

I also need to stay hydrated. I’m aiming to drink at least 50 oz of water a day, hopefully more. It shouldn’t be too hard during the week, but weekends could be a bit challenging.

Sleep:

It’s no secret that I struggle with sleep. On average, I get about 4.5 hours of solid sleep a night. Some days I’m not even sure how I function. The more sleep I get, the better I can recovery and the more motivation I’ll have.

 

And of course, here’s a look at the training planned for the next 18 weeks. I hope to stick to it as close as I can, but I also need to prepared for life to get in the way at times.

JC_Stone_50k___Coastal_Delaware_Training_-_Google_Sheets

So here we go. 18 weeks, lots of miles, and fingers crossed for a mild winter. It’s time to start marathon training!