Flying Pig Training Plan

It’s a new week, so it’s time for some new changes. I’m starting a new training cycle, with new ideas behind it. And if you  haven’t noticed, I have a new background for my blog. I’m working on updating a few things and should hopefully have it revamped in the next couple weeks.

My big spring race for this year is the Flying Pig Half Marathon. I originally wanted to be out of state, but with such a busy schedule, I decided to stay close to home. And as much as I’d like to run Cleveland again, I’m excited to spend a weekend on the other end of the state and experience a challenging course. After running 10 half marathons, I want to take this distance to a new level. I want to push myself on speed and push myself on challenges. Hills of course being my biggest challenge.

So what makes this training cycle so different? After joining the rec center two months ago, I was able to open my training to more than just running. There are multiple ways of cross training including biking, elliptical and a dangerous monster of a machine called the stair climber. It has at least 5 stairs, and I’m terrified to go near it.  But this time, I’m actually going to make the effort in using these machines, and hopefully stay injury free.

What’ I’ve also added this time around are classes.  There is a full schedule of classes that can be taken through the week including yoga, cardio, spin, kick boxing and much more. I’m looking at adding two of these and possibly a third if I get the guts to take on more. In a couple of weeks I’ll be starting Yoga-lates on Thursday evenings and Yoga on Sunday mornings. My goal is to become more flexible and really focus on my breathing. One day I may add a spin or cardio class, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that quite yet.

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You can see that the weekday runs are pretty light. Between getting home at 6:30 and making time for dinner, the night really cuts into my chance to run more miles. And well, morning workouts just aren’t my thing.  I’ve also thrown in some cross training on the days that my miles are really low. My major focus will be on weekend long runs. I’ve thrown in a few days of hills and speed, but all of my outside runs will have hills, and speed will be the harder day.

My body is ready for a half marathon, maybe not today, but I’ve learned that I can easily jump into the race. I want to push myself this year and try new things. I want to stay healthy and love every single day that I sweat. Here’s to a new round of training!

What spring race are you training for? Do you add any cross training or classes?

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River Run Half Marathon Recap

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to run this race. I saw the t-shirt and medal a while ago and that was my single motivation, I’m a sucker for race swag. But as the day got closer, I knew I had to run the race, not just for the shirt, but because I knew I had to get my long run in. I ran it last year and I felt good most of the way. The end wasn’t my best shot, but I really enjoyed the race. I really didn’t know what was in store for me this year, but I’m glad I signed up. I was in the same boat as last year, coming back from an injury with limited training. I had hopes that the slight down hill of the race would be to my benefit and allow me to finish in one piece.

The day started off chilly and rainy, almost perfect weather. I tried to stay warm in my car as I mentally prepared myself for my longest run in 5 weeks. Even after a Clif Bar and some sport beans, I was still starving, so naturally I tried something new on race day with a Honey Stinger Waffle. It was delish, and lemon of course. My only hope was that it wouldn’t come back to haunt me later on. About 10 minutes before the race started it stopped raining, and I headed to the start line. I wasn’t nervous, just ready to run.

The first couple of miles felt pretty good. I started off at a slower pace, mostly because it was crowded. I made my way through the familiar path and was excited to head into the park. (Sidenote: I actually lived in Berea for a short time, I was right off the parkway, so running this course was a daily thing for me.) I was hitting the miles in a 9:30 pace and was feeling pretty confident that I could keep it up for a while. The sun was starting to peak through the clouds, and the views were beautiful. I’m a sucker for the bridges and leaves of the parkway, so anytime I run through it I make sure to take advantage of the sights.

I was coming up on mile 6 at 56 minutes. My time was much quicker than I thought it would be. I quickly starting counting miles and tried to figure out my estimated finish time. As quickly as I thought about it, I shoved it out of my mind. I wasn’t going to stress about my finish time, I hadn’t run more than 8 miles for quite some time. Who knew what would happened once I made it past that mark.

Soon enough I started to feel the effects of the winding path. I had tried to run along the center line, but with the course still pretty full I ended up all over the road. The biggest downfall of this race is that even though it’s pretty flat, the road is never even. Most of the way you’re putting stress on one leg or another and I was feeling it pretty bad. However, it didn’t slow down my pace too much yet. I was able to get to an 8:50 pace, but kept myself between 9:05-9:20. No idea where this speed came from.

Right around mile 7 I heard my name being called, it was Heather! Seeing her for a few minutes helped to keep me motivated to continue on and hopefully make it past that 8 mile mark. And once I got to mile 8, I took a  break. Not a short one, but I walked while I took some sport beans, and tried to shake out my legs. I was at 1:18 (I think) so I had some time that I could use to make sure I’d have enough energy to get to the end. I knew the hill was coming up, and it would be tough. My strategy going in was to attempt to run as much as I could and walk what I couldn’t run. I’m not sure if it was the fear of the hill or all the hills I have to run in Medina, but I made it up didn’t have to walk a step.

But once I got up the hill, it all went down hill from there. My legs started to really hurt and my pace slowed down. I took advantage of the water stops, and I even walked a bit in mile 11. I swear that is the longest mile of the entire race. I knew my time was somewhat still decent, but had no idea how well I had done until I crossed that finish line. I finished at 2:08, just three minutes off my PR and 13 minutes faster than last year. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me, and I’m still surprised with Sunday’s results.


River Run was by far not my best work, but I don’t think I’ve ever worked that hard for a race. I had a strong start and got my pace down to where it should be to go sub 2. Even with limited training and sore legs, I know that I can still bounce back and prepare for Columbus. Racing this past weekend gave me the confidence I needed for marathon training. And maybe that sub 2 isn’t that far off…

Half Marathon #8

Show me what you got

2011 was pretty awesome, but I hope 2012 can be even better. I’ve made goals and plans and hopes for the next year. Of course these will change as the year goes on, but I think I can take on anything that comes my way. Here’s my goals and plans for the next year!

Goals

  • Run a PR for the half marathon
  • Run a full marathon (I’m taking the plunge!!)
  • Run four half marathons in four new states
  • Run seven half marathons
  • Travel!
  • Volunteer at races
  • Try a duathlon
  • Raise and donate money for the American Diabetes Association
  • Learn German
  • Learn to cook…no more pasta diet

Plans

  • Vegas, Toronto, Dallas, Chicago, Long Beach-Work trips!
  • Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Nashville-Running trips!
  • CLE Half, round 2!
  • Columbus Full Marathon, yes that’s 26.2 miles!

So far a lot of traveling, but I’m looking forward to every trip. And like I said, I’m sure more will be added, but I’d say I have some pretty exciting things to look forward to!

What are your goals or plans for 2012?

Back on the horse

It’s been almost two months since running Columbus, and I finally took the first steps in getting ready for training. I had originally hoped to get started sooner, but between being afraid of still being hurt and grad school taking over my life, it kept getting pushed back. But now that I’ll have free nights I’ll finally be able to put in the miles, and hopefully get a few miles in before official training starts. I’m using my Runner’s World Smart Coach app to plan my training schedule over a 16 week time frame. I’ve used this app before, and I love it. I’ll also be tracking my training through Running2win. I also want to work on my muscles ( as in creating some)

Starting December 26th, I’ll begin my training plan for the Platter River Half. This is the first half of the year, as well as the first out of state half. No pressure, of course. Here goes nothing!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 4 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Tempo-3M@10:02 4 Miles Easy Rest 8 Miles Long Rest
Week 2 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Speed-2×1600@9:29 4 Miles Easy Rest 8 Miles Long Rest
Week 3 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Tempo-3M@10:02 4 Miles Easy Rest 9 Miles Long Rest
Week 4 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy Rest 4 Miles Easy Rest
Week 5 5 Miles Easy Rest 6 Miles Tempo-4M@10:02 4 Miles Easy Rest 9 Miles Long Rest
Week 6 4 Miles Easy Rest 7 Miles Speed-3×1600@9:23 4 Miles Easy Rest 10 Miles Long Rest
Week 7 4 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 6 Miles Tempo-4M@10:02 3 Miles Easy Rest 10 Miles Long Rest
Week 8 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Easy 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Easy Rest
Week 9 3 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 7 Miles Tempo-5M@10:01 3 Miles Easy Rest 11 Miles Long Rest
Week 10 3 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 8 Miles Speed-4×1600@9:17 3 Miles Easy Rest 11 Miles Long Rest
Week 11 4 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 7 Miles Tempo-5M@10:01 3 Miles Easy Rest 12 Miles Long Rest
Week 12 6 Miles Easy Rest 6 Miles Easy 5 Miles Easy Rest 5 Miles Easy Rest
Week 13 4 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 8 Miles Tempo-6M@10:01 3 Miles Easy Rest 12 Miles Long Rest
Week 14 3 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy 10 Miles Speed-5×1600@9:12 2 Miles Easy Rest 12 Miles Long Rest
Week 15 4 Miles Easy 4 Miles Easy 8 Miles Tempo-6M@10:01 3 Miles Easy Rest 13 Miles Long Rest
Week 16 Rest 3 Miles Easy 3 Miles Easy Rest 2 Miles Easy 2 Miles Easy 13.1

Looking Forward

Three weeks ago I finished my last race of the year. Now it’s time to make the final decisions for next years races. As much as I was excited for the original ones I planned, a few changes made me rethink the entire year. Chicago Spring Half still doesn’t have a date, so I went back to one of the races I’m looking forward to the most, the Green Bay Half. But unfortunately construction will prevent runners to finish in Lambeau field so that will have to be put on hold. After all, what’s a fan to do when you can’t finish with all that glory? So after looking into what I had on reserve, this is what I plan on doing in 2012:

April 15, 2012 – Platte River Half Marathon

April 22, 2012 – Earth Day Challenge Half Marathon

May 6, 2012 – Greater Binghamton Bridge Run Half Marathon

May 20, 2012 – Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon

June 8-9, 2012: Ragnar Relay

September 15, 2012 – Mount Desert Island Half Marathon

October 21, 2012 – Columbus Marathon

November 2012 – Nashville Half Marathon

Facts about 2012 races:

  • Round two of 2 races in 8 days
  • Repeat of Cleveland, attempt at a quicker time
  • Ragnar is my “easy” race of the year
  • Yes, that’s a marathon on the list, I’m taking the plunge
  • Four more states to cross off of the 25 challenge!

This is only a brief look into the new year, of course as time gets closer, I’ll be looking at race goals and explain why I chose each race. I’m sure some 5k’s and other smaller races will be added, but these are the major ones. I’ve also realized that as long as everything goes as planned, I’ll be able to hopefully finish all 25 states before I turn 30, score!

The 25 Challenge

Between my love for traveling and running, I’ve given myself a new goal, The 25 Challenge. This is not something I plan to do before I turn 25, I don’t think it would be possible, but something I plan to do over the next couple of years. One of my high school coaches had a goal of running a marathon in every state. She’s always been a big inspiration to me so I blame her for giving me the idea.  Scale it back to something I would want to do, run a half in half of the states. This isn’t a new concept, and I’m sure many people have tried or want to do this as well. I’m not setting a time limit, but I would like to average between 3-4 half marathons a year. Ran one and now I can’t stop. Yes, I could be crazy, but when I’m passionate about something, I tend to be an over achiever. This is where I need your help. I’m in need of 24 states to cover, and I only have a few in mind. So if you know of any races out of state that would be fun to run or states to see, let me know. I’m hoping to compile the list in the next couple of weeks. Here’s what I have so far, not much, but it’s a start!

1. Maine-Mount Desert Island YMCA Half Marathon

Reason: I have a slight obsession with lighthouses and my favorite (Bass Harbor Light) is actually in Acadia National Park located on Mount Desert Island. I’m doing this one next September.

2. Colorado-Need your help!

Reason: Within the next year or so I’ll be taking a trip to Colorado for some snowboarding and I need a half to run, anything between Jauary-March?

3. Arizona-Rock & Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Reason: When I went to Phoenix in April, I fell in love with the area. I’m already looking forward to going back in the fall.

4. Nevada-Red Rock Canyon Half Marathon

Reason: As if I’d need a reason to go to Vegas again!

5. California-13.1 Los Angeles

Reason:  One of my oldest and closest friends lives outside LA and runs marathons, so I might be able to convince him to run the half with me.

6. Washington-Seattle Half Marathon

Reason: I’m on a search for McDreamy, but since he’s leaving Grey’s 😦 I’ll just load up on Starbucks instead

7. Illinois-Chicago Spring Half Marathon

Reason: I love Chicago, I’ve never ventured into the city, but driven past it. I am determined to get there

8. Wisconsin-Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

Reason: Green Bay Packers, Start and finish at Lambeau Field. No other reasons needed.

Yes, these won’t all be accomplished within the next year, but it gives me something to look forward to and work towards. I appreciate any ideas of states and races. I love a good vacation, and when I can run, it makes it so much better!