Frosty 5 Miler Recap

On Christmas Eve, I ran the Frosty 5 Mile race in Hudson. I typically don’t run any races near Christmas, but after a bunch of MCRR members signed up, I decided I would give it a shot. We met up at 6:45am and drove to Hudson, picked up our bibs, stayed warm in the car and watched the 1 Mile race.

The weather was a bit chilly, but it definitely could have been a lot colder, or worse, we could have been running on ice or snow. We decided to run the race as a group and do it as a fun run. We lined up, and shortly after the National Anthem, we were off!

We started from the square and ran up Main Street. This was the first time I’d ever been to Hudson, so I was enjoying the sights of the cute town and all of the older houses decorated for Christmas. We continued up College St. and ran around some more homes. The first mile had a nice gradual incline that didn’t seem as bad in the beginning, but I could feel it the longer we were running.

Mile 1-9:22

The first mile seemed to go on forever, but isn’t it always like that in the shorter races? At this point, I was wishing the race was a 5k, and I was a little concerned I was going to struggle with the race. After making our way past Western Reserve Academy we headed over to Hayden Parkway. We kept ourselves busy by talking and I could feel the pace start to pick up a bit. I was still feeling strong, but didn’t want to go out too fast and tire too much towards the end.

Mile 2-8:41

We continued along through the housing developments, which reminded me a little of Medina. The next mile and a half were pretty much a blur. Everything looked pretty much the same and there was nothing too exciting. At some point, Mo ran into some friends, so they joined us for a bit.

Mile 3-8:56

With two miles to go, I was still feeling pretty good, and trying not to check my Garmin. We headed down Ravenna Street, which was a little more open than the developments. Next, we headed to a park and ran around the two ponds. It was a  nice little break from the streets and even though most trees were without leaves, it was very pretty.

Mile 4-8:56

We finished up around the lake, and with just one mile left I started to pick up the pace a bit. We headed back towards the square and were greeted again with the older, beautiful homes. I checked my Garmin with about a half mile to go, and didn’t think I was anywhere close to my PR. So I didn’t push it too hard, but kept up a quicker pace. We had a few turns left but we finally made our last turn and headed into the finish line.

Mile 5-8:34

I thought this was a great race! I don’t run too many 5 milers, but this one is definitely on my list for future races. The course was well marked and Western Reserve Racing did a great job of hosting. We really lucked out with weather, which can always be dicy this time of year.

The course was beautiful, especially around the square and through the park. It isn’t too challenging, but there are a few smaller hills. And it turns out, it’s a pretty fast course. After checking my data, I was just 46 seconds off my PR! If I had known that, I would have pushed it a little more. I definitely recommend this race and will be there next year, weather permitting 😉

MCRR!

MCRR!

Results:

Official Time: 43:11

Age Group 25-29: 14/52

Female:106/282

Overall: 275/657

Fun new race tee!

Fun new race tee!

Advertisements

Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon Recap

Sunday morning I ran the Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon, my first half since May. I didn’t have a goal in mind, especially since I had really only “trained” for the past five weeks. I knew I just wanted to get back out there and complete the distance. I decided to aim for a 9:30 pace and see where it went. If I felt it was too hard, I’d back off, if it felt too easy, I’d push it a bit, but no pressure to to PR or try to come close.

We had a group of MCRR members running, and most of us met up at 6:15 to make the drive to Massillon. We ended up arriving early, but it gave us plenty of time to stay warm and use the port-a-potties a few times. The race started at 8:00, with some sun on our back, it was the perfect weather for a half.

We started next to the Tuscarawas River and had a slight downhill. We were on a back road that twisted and winded around some houses, industrial buildings and woods. I was definitely nervous and hoped I could find a good pace to stick with. I started a bit too fast but was able to slow myself down by the first mile.

It was within the first mile or two that I realized I had to use the restroom again. Race nerves? I tried to focus on my surroundings and fellow runners, which seemed to help a bit.

Mile 1- 9:16

Mile 2- 9:21

The road had some rollers, but nothing too big to handle. Surprisingly I actually enjoyed having some uphill and downhill rather than an absolutely flat course. The trees hadn’t lost all of their leaves yet, so it was somewhat pretty when we were surrounded by woods.

The biggest hill came in mile 3 and I felt confident climbing it. I was a little worried my hip wouldn’t approve and I’d have some pain, but luckily my legs felt great. My stomach on the other hand didn’t. I kept my eye out for a port-a-potty, but nothing.

Mile 3- 9:34

Mile 4- 9:30

Around mile 4 we got off the road and turned onto the towpath. I was excited for some flat land, beautiful scenery and hopefully a steady pace.

We continued along and my pace was still decent, along with some pain free legs. My need for a bathroom was growing, and I even thought about dodging behind a tree. Instead, I kept my eyes focused in front of me, praying a port-a-potty would appear after each bend.

Mile 5- 9:32

Mile 6- 9:46

I should have taken my honey stinger at mile 6, but I was too nervous it would cause me harm, so I waited, focused on the runners around me, and zoned out for a while. I noticed my pace dropped a bit, but every time I tried to speed up a bit, my stomach would rebel. Back to focusing on the runners and the scenery.

Mile 7- 9:49

Mile 8- 11:57

By mile 7 I was starting to struggle. I had gotten to the point where I was getting a bit bored of the trees and desperately needing that bathroom. I trudged along, no longer caring about my pace, but contemplating dropping if I didn’t feel better soon.

But then, magically a port-a-potty appeared right  before the turn around. Finally! I lost about 2 minutes, but I felt like a new person and was ready to run! I also took the time to eat a Honey Stinger to get my energy up for the last 5 miles.

Mile 9- 9:39

Mile 10- 9:50

We pass the turn point and headed back toward the start. The sun was in and out of my eyes so I focused on the ground. It was a little uneven, and I didn’t want to trip or slip on leaves. I felt much better and even my legs felt great. Thankfully up to this point, my legs were handling the half well.

Mile 11- 9:55

Mile 12- 11:24

I continued along and would bounce back and forth between zoning out and trying to pass runners. My legs were beginning to become sore, which I knew would happen eventually. I started to stop at each mile marker to stretch my legs and hips, hoping they could keep up with the final miles.

My back started to cramp up in the last mile and a half, so I started stopping every half mile to stretch, walk a bit, and get my body to a comfortable pace to finish. I kept getting pulled in with the other runners paces, so I tried to imagine myself on a short run on my own trail to get me to the finish.

Mile 13- 11:01

With a mile left, I knew I could make it, because I certainly questioned it earlier on. I kept a pace I was comfortable with, without stressing my hips too much. We made our way to the finish, and I was excited to see the MCRR group at the top of the bridge before the finish. ( I swear I was excited to see you guys, even though my face didn’t show it.) I pushed what I had left, and crossed the line of my 23rd half.

Las 0.20 – 9:23 pace

When you cross the line, you’re given your medal and a blanket, and offered water, food and the option to get beer. I grabbed my stuff and met up with the rest of the group. We hung around for a while and then walked back to our cars. Shuttles were available, but why not walk some more after running 13 miles!

Lovely MCRR group!

Lovely MCRR group!

Overall, this was a pretty good race. Despite my own personal stomach issues, the course was pretty well laid out, 4 miles on rolling roads and the rest on the towpath. Everything seemed well organized and from what I’ve read, the race has improved a bunch in it’s third year. I don’t know if I’ll run it again soon, but I recommend trying it out. And for $30, you can’t beat such a great deal.

Race swag

Race swag

Results

Time: 2:12:36

Age Group 25-29:12/20

Female: 122/240

Overall: 297/453

Weekly Fitness Update

Another week gone and another week closer to getting back in shape. I was only able to get three workouts in this week, which was due to this lingering sickness. This whole congested head, running/stuffy nose and cough so deep you think a lung is going to burst, has been sticking around for two weeks now. Thankfully, I think it’s finally on its way out!

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 0

Wednesday: 2.9 Miles + Abs

Thursday: 0

Friday: 0

Saturday: Paws for the Cause 5k

Sunday: 12.2 Miles

Total Miles: 18.2 Miles

I felt the worst on Monday and Tuesday, so I opted to take both for as a rest day. I felt a little better on Wednesday and took advantage of the beautiful weather. I booked it home and was out the door by 6:25. I sprinted to the back roads to watch the sunset, knowing it’d probably be my last run outside after work for a while. Luckily, I got quite the show. I was a little tired, but slowed my pace on the way back and did some loops in the development to keep me safe from traffic until the sun was gone.

Country sunsets are always worth the run.

Country sunsets are always worth the run.

I wanted to get a run in on Thursday, but just didn’t have enough time after work before dinner and Grey’s night, so I went into Saturday’s race with fresh legs. I’ll have a recap up later this week.

Sunday I set out for my last long run until my next half marathon. I met up with Mallory and Jennifer at Hinckley, and we started with the outer lake loop. My legs were a little tight from Saturday’s race, but I finally warmed up by the third mile. Once we got back to our cars, Mo and Sherri were ready to start the 9 mile loop around Hinckley.

It’s been some time since I’ve done the loop, but this is the perfect time of year to be out there. The trees were at peak color, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful everything was. We managed to keep a decent pace, even when I stopped to take some pictures. I never felt like I was working too hard, but the hills were a bit harder than I remembered.

Mandatory barn picture

Mandatory barn picture

Our little group!

Our little group!

It was about halfway through the 9 mile loop, I started to have weird pains in my left leg. I also started to feel a bit weak, but wanted to wait until we got to Effie to take my Honey Stinger chew. Again, I should have taken it at mile 6. (I’ll remember this for the race)

We continued on, and I started to fall back with Mo. We got to Effie, took our fuel and continued on our way, not too far back from the rest of the group. The pace was still pretty good, considering how hilly it is. We finished up, and I felt even more confident that I could handle a half marathon in two weeks.

Hills for breakfast.

Hills for breakfast.

Another week of getting back to where I was, and I’m definitely feeling more confident in my running. I’m starting to work on a training plan for the rest of the year, mostly to keep me motivated and on track. As well as start my short list of races next year. I’m finally out of my rut and glad to be back doing something I truly love.

 

Race with Grace 5k Recap

Sunday I ran the Medina Race with Grace 5k. It was my first race since the Twin Sizzler back on the 4th of July, and after just two weeks of running again, I had a much better day than expected. With just a few runs under my belt, I had no idea what to expect. I’m still a bit out of shape, Medina is forever hilly in all directions, and speed work is something I haven’t done in months. But after seeing so many group members sign up, and spending the previous day volunteering at NorthCoast 24, I figured I’d give it a shot, and run it for fun.

Woke up Sunday morning, got ready and arrived at the start line with a half hour to go. I wasn’t really nervous, but I was excited to get out there and run, especially with so many MCRR members on the course. Ideally, I wanted to finish under 27. I felt with little running and no speed work, I should be able to pull it off.

We started at the hospital, which was a nice change to all the other 5ks in town that start on the square. We went from the back parking lot, up around the hospital and right onto Route 18. We had a nice little downhill before going back uphill again. I worked on finding my pace and was concerned about going out too fast. Somewhere I settled around 8:50-8:45 and decided to hang onto the pace until the first mile.

From Rt.18 we turned right onto Foot and back into a development. The neighborhood was relatively flat and it was a good way to settle into a decent pace. Sarah came up behind me and I thought of sticking with her, but decided to run my own pace and focus on my own race.

Mile 1 – 8:53

We finished up in the neighborhood and turned right onto Smith. I still felt pretty good and so I sped up a bit. I bounced between 8:30-8:40, cautious not to let myself speed up too much.

Next we turned into another development, which again was pretty flat compared to most, but it did have some small rollers. I’ve run both developments many times so I was fairly familiar with the route. I zoned out some during this mile, but still aware of my pace and the runners around me. We had more turns in this mile, and it felt like it went on forever.

Mile 2 – 8:39

With a mile left, I was still feeling really good. I started to pick up the pace, but careful not to go too fast too early and have nothing left in the tank at the end.

We made our way out on Guilford, and then right on Washington. We had a nice little downhill, which definitely helped to get my legs excited for the finish. But every downhill, must be met with an uphill, and we had our biggest hill at about 2.6 miles. I powered up, knowing we were close, also knowing we’d have another downhill ahead of us.

Turning into the entrance of the hospital, I tried to pick it up a bit. I took advantage of the downhill and tried to pick off a few runners on my way in. I followed the course to the back of the parking lot, and saw one final turn.

Mile 3 – 8:20

I turned and there was the finish, a lot closer than I expected. So like any runner, I booked it. And watched the clock, pleasantly surprised with how much time I had until the clock would hit 27 minutes.

Last .1 – 7:20 pace

Coming into the finish!

Coming into the finish!

I finished up with 26:25. Not a PR by any means, not even close, but I was happy with my finish. For the second 5k this year, I had negative split on the course and finished feeling great, rather than doubled over losing my breakfast. I enjoyed the race and honestly, that’s all I wanted.

Medina County Road Runners finished 2nd place as a team out of over 20+. And I ended up 3rd in my age group out of 22. We had a lot of runners place in their age groups, so it was a good day all around for MCRR.

Thoughts? This was a great race and we had perfect weather. Any race that begins with weather in the low/mid 50’s is alright with me. The course was great. I was extremely familiar with all the streets we ran on, mostly from living on that side of town a few years ago. It has some hills, but it’s the flattest course I’ve run in Medina. If I was in shape, there’s no doubt I would have gone under 26, maybe even under 25. And I definitely see myself running this again next year.

Results:

Age Group 25-29: 3/22

Female: 76/360

Overall: 196/632

 

Age group award: Medal, carnation, and Ralph.

Age group award: Medal, carnation, and Ralph.

HOF Half Marathon Training: Week One

Week 1 of the spring training cycle is complete, and unfortunately it was off to a rocky start. Like every January, traveling for work and training go hand in hand. Luckily this year, I only have a few days of travel, but they can still divert training. Sunday through Tuesday I drove over 350 miles and worked two trade shows, limiting my time to work out and tiring my feet and legs. Thankfully, I had the rest of the week to make up for it.

Monday- 1 Mile

Tuesday- 2.5 Miles

Wednesday-1 Mile

Thursday- 4 Miles

Friday- 0

Saturday- 7 Miles

Sunday- 4.2 Miles

Total Miles-19.7 Miles

Monday was a travel day, and I got back from Michigan just late enough to miss PiYo, but I did get my mile in for the streak. It took everything in me to run, especially with incredibly sore feet and legs. Tuesday was a planned track day, but no one could make it for our regular time, so I ran in my neighborhood instead. My feet felt shattered and my legs felt like bricks, and with every step I took, my legs hurt more and more. I forgot just how much working a show can wear down my legs.

Wednesday, we had a wedding appointment after work, so I knew I wouldn’t get much in, so just a mile for the streak. Thursday I had a tempo run on the schedule. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go on the indoor track, but somehow I found my groove. My first mile was 8:40 and by the last mile I was down to 8:01. I felt fast and confident, but I was still working hard.

Friday I broke the streak and I’m 100% ok with it. I lasted 22 days in a row, and I don’t regret skipping a day for a much needed night off. To be honest, I had been thinking of quitting all week. The days of just one mile runs to keep the streak alive starting to become junk miles, dreadful miles. Not only do my legs need a break once in a while, so does my mind.

Saturday was my first long run of the cycle and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I started out on 7 solo miles on the back roads. My pace was a bit all over the place, jumping to 8:3x going down hill, then jumping to 9:1x going uphill. I actually felt pretty good and tried not to focus on my watch as much as I used to. Somehow I kept a 9:00 average pace, and surprisingly felt amazing the whole time.

Home sweet home on the back roads

Home sweet home on the back roads

Sunday, after a fun MCRR banquet, I met up with Mallory and Mo for some snowy trails of Buckeye Woods. This was definitely treated as a recover run, and even though the ground was a bit tough to run on, it was still great to get out there.

IMG_9023


A rough start, a broken streak, but three amazing runs to make up for the bumps along the way. I’m certainly feeling good about this training cycle!

Weekly Fitness Recap

After a temporary cut back, I’m back to posting my weekly fitness recap. I had a few weeks where I just didn’t get to run much. This week wasn’t exactly perfect, but this time of year schedules can be a little challenging.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 5.5 Miles
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: 3.2 Miles
Saturday: 5 Miles
Sunday: Off
Total Miles: 13.7 Miles

I certainly haven’t been keeping up with my goal of 15-20 miles a week, but I’m getting back on track. This week was the second time since September I focused on speedwork. Instead of running on the track, we ran 6 sets of 400 repeats on the treadmill. We started at an 8:00 pace and moved up one notch each set, eventually ending at 7:30. I felt pretty good, but slightly out of sprinting shape. We also spent a good half hour doing abs and lifting, which was good to get back into.

Friday was the MCRR Holiday Run. It was my first time attending, and I was so glad I did. We decked out in our best festive gear and ran from the square to the fairgrounds and back. At the fairgrounds, we slowed our pace and took time to see all of the Christmas decorations displayed around. They went all out with different themes and I loved it. As we made our way back, we sang, busted through a few shops on the square sharing our holiday cheer and made it back to Sully’s to eat, drink and be merry!

MCRR Holiday Run

MCRR Holiday Run

Saturday, Mallory and I slogged through 5 miles at Buckeye Woods on some icy, snowy trails. We couldn’t get our legs going, and decided to focus on the miles and not the minutes on the clock. I definitely noticed the downside of my lack in running when I felt out of shape by Saturday, but my base mileage needs to go back up because training will begin in just one month!

IMG_8863

BW Barn

Next week I hope to get more miles in and work on my 2015 race calendar. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over, what a running year it has been!

Have you ever run a holiday run or race? Do you dress up?

Wineglass Marathon Goals

Marathon weekend is finally here and I can hardly believe it. I remember signing up in January, wondering if I’d regret the decision. Ten months later and I couldn’t be more excited! I feel so much more prepared this time around, and knock on wood, I made it through the training cycle uninjured.

This cycle was completely different than any other. Knowing the marathon isn’t a race I can easily jump into, I wanted to make sure my training would be the best yet. I based it lightly off Runners World Smart Coach and altered to fit my schedule and capabilities. This is what I did differently this time around:

  • Alternated shoes. I had two pairs of shoes that I would alternate so not to break down one pair right before race day.
  • Track Tuesday’s. I really focused on my speed workouts this time and successfully made it through those Yasso 800’s!
  • Switched terrain. I ran pavement, trails, sandstone, gravel and this helped tremendously. Rather than beat my legs on pavement for 18 weeks, softer surfaces were perfect for recovery.
  • Group runs. I ran most of my runs with MCRR and Second Sole. This helped with motivation and I was able to push myself into paces I was too afraid of before.

And so now for my goals. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what will happen race day. Weather is projected with a low of 35, high of 57, and possible light rain, so pretty much perfect conditions. I know I can run a 10:00 minute pace for my first 20 miles, it’s the last 6.2 that I’m nervous about. And of course, you never know what could happen on race day.

Goal A: 4:22. If I can keep a perfect 10:00 pace, I think I can hit this. It’s a stretch, but it’s worth thinking of. I’d like to think that if I don’t get it this time  it will be my goal for my next marathon.

Goal B: 4:30. More realistic, this would be almost an entire hour off my PR. I’ve worked hard enough that I think this is the most realistic goal and should be obtainable even if I slow down off the 10:00 minute pace.

Goal C: 4:45. This is my what-if-my-stomach-acts-up goal. I can still keep a decent pace and land just about 45 minutes under my PR. I’d prefer not to be near this time, but there is always a chance it could happen.

My A goal may be a little too quick than what I can do, but a girl has to dream. I’ve put in the work, pushed myself harder than ever before and really think I can drop some major time off the marathon.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in the last 18 weeks. It’s been a long road but I couldn’t have made it this far without my friends, family, and MCRR. So here’s to 18 weeks of training, it’s time to take on Wineglass!

IMG_8552

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Ten

This week was all about refocusing after last week’s cut back week, and honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. Without a doubt, this week was my strongest yet, and completely restored all confidence in my running.

I started the week with Body Fusion, and I was so glad to get back into class. Having the rec center shut down for a week really put me in a funk last week. This week we focused on maxing out our arms. I was able to go all the way up to 15lbs for free weights/kettle bells and I never felt stronger. My arms are still weak compared to what I know many other people can do, but I’m slowly getting there.

Tuesday was the real test. With some slight twinge still in my hip, I hoped I’d be able to complete my workout without stopping early. I met up with Mo and we planned on running our 800’s at a 4:15 pace. We ended up under pace for all but one, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

My perfect Tuesday night

My perfect Tuesday night

Wednesday was my recovery run and in the the first time in about three weeks, I actually had my iPod on me during my run. I stayed close to home, but I got lost in my thoughts and the music. I tried not to look at my watch and ran whatever pace my legs were comfortable with. I was all over the place from 9:04 to 8:12 to 8:48, but I felt great. It was exactly the run I needed to reassure me that I am still going strong with training.

Thursday was the group run with Second Sole. We started as a group, but by a half mile in we broke up into our smaller groups. I spent most of the run speaking with one of the employees about our old college conference and I became completely unaware of my pace. We headed out for five miles of rolling hills through town, with the last mile about 95% uphill. I averaged an 8:51 pace and felt really strong for my third run in a row.

Friday was my rest day and I took every precaution to get myself ready for Saturday’s long run. I knew that this 20 miler would be a big deal and pretty much set the tone for the rest of training. I knew I could keep my pace around 10 minutes for most of the run, but I wanted to slow down a bit. After my 18 miler a few weeks ago, I felt great for about 15 minutes, but shortly after I fell apart and was sick for most of the afternoon. I didn’t want that to happen again.

Saturday I met with a small group of MCRR and we headed out for our long run. We all had different distances, so our route was full of out and back and loops, but it worked out perfectly. We started on the inlet and headed out on the back roads before turning around. I was still warming up, and a little unsure if I could handle the full 20 miles, but I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise and forgot about the miles for a little bit.

Country roads sunrise

Spoiled by sunrises

We made our way back and dropped off a few runners. By now we were already at 6 miles, keeping steady just under a 10:00 minute pace. Next we headed out to the rail trail and I was so excited to explore a new route. The trail was heavily shaded and kept us cool as the weather started to heat up. We made a slight adjustment and took a turn near Chippewa to pick up the inlet again. We made our way back to the cars, dropped a few more runners off, and decided to make a loop around the outer roads of Buckeye Woods.

The roads had more than a few rolling hills, so our pace slowed down, but we were still right around a 10:00 pace. By now we were approaching mile 15 and I knew my legs would start to wear down a bit. I was feeling ok, but prepared for the worst. We took a few miles around the marsh and let our legs recover from the pavement. Running on crushed limestone saved my legs, but I did feel a small pain in my left knee that went away by mile 16.

As we made our way around the marsh and headed towards the woods, we lost one more runner. We were approaching mile 18, and I knew I had just 20 more minutes of running left. I couldn’t help but get excited for the final miles, knowing how great I felt and finishing up on the trails couldn’t have been more perfect. With a half mile to go, I started to pick up the pace and gave what I had until the final beep.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 20 miler, especially considering it was my first one of the training cycle. The two biggest things I wanted to focus on were pacing and fueling. I wanted to stay over a 10:00 minute pace, but spent 13/20 miles under. I ended up with a 10:03 average pace, a quicker pace than my 18 miler two weeks before.

As for fueling, I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of it, and wanted to test what would work best on race day. I was spot on, and nothing ever gave me any issues, my main concern for race day. I stuck with the following:

  • Sips of water at every mile mark, more often if needed in the later miles
  • Two-three sport beans every four miles (miles 4, 8, 12, 16)
  • Salt tabs every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)
  • Honey Stinger chews every hour (miles 6, 12, 18)

This worked out perfectly. I never felt tired, dehydrated or hungry, so I’ll be sure to keep this fueling strategy for all of my future long runs. Without a doubt fueling was key to making this the perfect 20 miler.

The perfect 20

The perfect 20

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 5.5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 7×800(4:12, 4:17, 4:10, 4:10, 4:11, 4:12, 4:06), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 5 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 34 Miles

This week was great. I hit every workout like I wanted and felt stronger than ever. I also hit my highest weekly mileage ever and I’m just under my goal of 600  miles for the year. I have to admit, I had my doubts about training recently, but this week was the turning point. I couldn’t have done this week without the help of the amazing MCRR members. They’ve definitely pushed me more than I know this year. Now I’m excited more than ever for Wineglass!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Six

This week was a little challenging, but it started off with some great news! Monday I had the opportunity to join Oiselle as one of their Flock members. Oiselle has been a company I admired for over the past year or so. Not only do they provide running clothing for women, but their team is comprised of runners from all over. The passion they have and share is absolutely amazing, and I’m so honored to be part of this team!

Capture

Anyway, back to training, I didn’t get all of my workouts in, but when I did, they were spot on. I started the week with Body Fusion. We had a bunch of new people in class so it was relatively easy and lighter than normal. Next week it’s time to step up the weights again!

Tuesday I was at the track. After last week’s failed attempt at mile repeats, I was a little nervous. I started out a little too quick, but I managed my first sub 7:30 mile in quite some time. I can tell my speed is getting quicker, I just have to work on keeping my times closer together.

Wednesday I went out to my favorite hill to work on some repeats. Each repeat is a half mile long, so I started with a warm up, attacked the hill six times, and followed it up with a mile cool down. The first three repeats I felt strong, at number four I could feel myself fading a bit. I had to dig deep for number five, but finished strong for my last one. This hill is one of my favorites because it winds up and around a development, the top is so far from the beginning, you can’t help but push yourself the entire time.

Hill repeats for dinner

Hill repeats for dinner

Thursday I had evening plans, but had full intention of running Friday before going out of town for the weekend. But then I was plagued with a horrible headache until Saturday afternoon that kept me from running.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 4.5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 3×1600(7:27, 7:36, 7:45), .5 Mile C/D

Wednesday: 5 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 6x .5 Mile Hill Repeats, 1 Mile C/D

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 15 Miles

Total Miles: 24.5 Miles

Sunday was my scheduled long run for the weekend, and I was able to meet up with some MCRR members for a nice long run. I was a little unsure about the run because I only had four hours of sleep, and about a pound of deeply buttered  popcorn in my stomach. (Note to self, stay away from popcorn the night before a long run!)

When I started I felt ok, and we had a big group of about 12. Within the first mile we started to break apart, and the core group of 7 stayed together for the first twelve miles. We began our run at Buckeye Woods and headed down the inlet towards the back roads to Chippewa Lake. The views were absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately I left my phone in the car, so I couldn’t take any pictures.

We managed to make our way on the back roads and around the lake, it was relatively flat with a few rollings hills. We kept an easy pace and my legs felt great, but my stomach was not so happy. Between miles 6-9 I had some major cramping, and running was the last thing I wanted to do. I managed to make it through and we finished up back in the parking lot with 11 miles.

At this point, I refilled my water with ice and Nuun, and we stretched for a few moments before the last four of us went out for our remaining miles. We went back on the inlet for two miles and made our way back, finishing with a solid 15 miles for the day.

Sunday's group

Sunday’s group

This long run was rough. We started with an easy pace, but by mile 12/13, I was getting pretty worn down. We lucked out on weather, even though it was quite humid. We dodged the heat and storms with the occasional sprinkle which helped to cool us down.

My only two issues with this run was my stomach and how sore I felt after I finished. When I do my long runs on Sunday I need to focus more on what I eat all weekend and try to drink more water the day before.

Even though I didn’t get as many workouts in this week, every single workout was where it needed to be. I’ll be pumping up my mileage again this week and I have a trail race on Saturday. I’m only weeks away from my first 20 miler of the cycle, so hopefully my long runs will become a little easier each time. I’m now a third of the way done with training, and so far I feel like I’m on the right track.

Do you prefer track or hill workouts more? What do you do when a long run doesn’t go like you planned?

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week One

The first week of marathon training is complete and I don’t think it could have gone any better! Monday I was finally able to get back to Body Fusion, and after a month off I could tell the difference. I started with lighter weights, but felt great the entire time. I was sore the next day, but over time I’ll get right back to where I was before my May break.

Tuesday I headed to the track for my first speed session of the cycle. I met with some members of MCRR, and we started our warm up together. I originally wanted to hit them at 8:15-8:30, knowing I wasn’t used to the heat, I wanted to be cautious. But my legs had other plans. I started out a little too quick, and kept trying to slow myself down. Apparently it didn’t work, because my 800m split of my first mile was at a 6:25 pace. Whoa! Eventually I got my legs under control and I ended up with two sub 8 minute miles. I went back and forth about trying a third one, but my legs were getting a little sore, so instead I opted for an 800 and followed it up with a mile cool down. I hadn’t run those mile times since college, so it was a nice surprise to see those little 7’s on my watch again!

Feels good to be back

Feels good to be back

Wednesday I stopped by my parent’s house after work for a short recovery run. I convinced my dad to ride his bike with me (he’s been on a 60+ day cycling streak!) and we went for a short out and back. I held up a pretty fast pace for a recovery run, but I enjoyed every moment of running on my old streets again. Sometimes you need to get back to where it started and really just let go. I may have also felt like a rock star with my own personal entourage.

Thursday I ran with Second Sole Medina and MCRR out at Buckeye Woods. We started out as a group, but as the first mile went on, it was a little too quick for my liking. We spread out and I ended up with a few members as we tried to slow down our pace. We did a loop around the marsh, then headed out toward the inlet and back. I ended up with a little over 4 miles and an 8:37 average pace.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 4 Miles, 1/2 Mile W/U, 2×1600(7:28, 7:45),1×800(3:55), 1 Mile C/D

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 13 Miles

Sunday: 1 Mile

Total Miles: 25 Miles

Saturday I met up with a few MCRR members and went out to Hinckley to run my first trail loop in the park. I was definitely excited and a little nervous. Most trails I’m used to are flat and relatively easy. Knowing I’d be up for 13 miles of trails I’d never experienced, well…I wasn’t sure what I was in for. Over the span of a couple hours we climbed rocks, jumped streams, trail blazed through grass, ventured single track and much more.

Hello trails!

Hello trails!

I had such a fun time, and forgot how much harder it is to run trails than it is roads. I enjoyed every minute of the run and look forward to adding more miles on my shoes doing a little off road running.

Stream jumping

Stream jumping

I enjoyed the trails so much, that I ended up at Second Sole that afternoon testing out trail shoes. Due to my tiny feet they’ll arrive later this week, but I was also able to pick up a pair of the Asics Kayano 20 as my second shoe for rotation. I’m hoping this will cut down on damage to the shoe as I add on miles, and keep any injuries away from my legs.

One pair had more fun than the other

One pair had more fun than the other

And naturally I couldn’t let them sit in their box all weekend, so I did a short shake out/recovery run on Sunday. I was definitely sore from the trails, but it was nice to get a morning run in before all of the rain.

I’m excited to jump into the second week of training. I’m a little sore from standing for about 4 hours straight on concrete Sunday night, but hopefully that will wear down throughout the day. I’ll be switching my long run to Sunday as I run the Park 2 Park Half Marathon this weekend. One week down, 17 to go!

How many shoes do you keep in rotation? Do you prefer trails or road?