Medina Half Training: Week Eleven

This week was a little different than the normal week of training. Knowing that I had two big and important races this weekend, I wanted to make sure my legs were fresh and that I’d be ready to give it my all. So I gave myself a mini taper.

Monday I started off the week like normal with body fusion. I’m continuing to use the heavier weights and they’re becoming more comfortable for me. I just need to start lifting more on my own at home.

Before, After 2 months, After 4 months

Before, After 2 months, After 4 months

Tuesday I took a vacation day for my birthday and took the day to spoil myself. I originally wanted to run in the morning, but after hearing rain, I decided to move my run to the afternoon. Instead I got a massage and was able to hopefully get all the kinks out of my body. I really need to make a habit of getting a massage every couple of months because I felt so much better afterward.

After an afternoon of sun, clouds, hail and rain, the weather finally leveled out and started to warm back up again. Around 4:30 I headed out to Buckeye Woods to get some miles in. I started in the woods and kept it pretty easy, dodging puddles and roots, just trying to enjoy the trails.

Trail love

Trail love

At about 1.60 miles in I started seeing more people on the trail so I picked up my pace and headed over to the marsh. I had some headwind, but I was feeling pretty good. I stopped at an overlook just as my Garmin beeped 3 miles and took in the amazing views of the day.

Take it in.

Take a breath.

I’m not sure if it was the views, the perfect weather, or the massage, but once I jumped back on the path my legs were ready to go and they weren’t stopping anytime soon. I looked down at the Garmin and saw I was running an 8:13 pace. I kept going, and kept checking my watch, but it didn’t change. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I kept running, and it actually felt comfortable. I went back through the woods and up and around to the paved path, slowing a little, but never felt like I was struggling. The Garmin beeped and I kept going until I got to my car at an even faster pace. I don’t know how, but I felt great, never feeling like I couldn’t hold on. The run itself was the perfect gift.

Mile 1 – 9:35
Mile 2 – 9:11
Mile 3 – 9:05
Mile 4 – 8:18
Last .33 – 7:44 pace

Wednesday and Thursday I took off, but Friday I did a short run around the neighborhood to check on my legs. They were a little tight at first, but they loosened up. I finished up and felt like I was prepared for the weekend’s races.

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

Tuesday: 4.33 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Off

Friday: 1.64 Miles

Saturday: Hermes 10 Miler

Sunday: Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5k

Total Miles: 19 Miles

I’m saving my race recaps for later this week, but they were a big eye opener, and in a good way. Hermes 10 Miler was my B race for this spring. It was the race where I’d have a better guess at how my training was and what to expect come May 31st. I couldn’t be happier with how the weekend played out, and surprised at how well everything is coming together. I left it all on the courses this weekend, and sub 2:00 has never felt closer.

 

Weekly Fact about Type 1 Diabetes: If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, know that you’re not alone. And more importantly, that Diabetes won’t stop you from doing things you love. You can live a full life with Diabetes, it didn’t stop these people:

  • Halle Berry – Actress
  • Mary Tyler Moore -Actress
  • Bret Michaels – Musician
  • Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears Quarterback
  • Jackie Robinson – Former Dodger’s player
  • Gary Hall, Jr. –  Olympic Swimmer
  • Ryan Reed – Nascar driver
  • Scott Verplank – Professional Golfer
  • Sonia Sotomayer – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

If you’d like to help cure Type 1 Diabetes, you can donate here.

Medina Half Training: Week Six

This week turned into a roller coaster for training. I started out with high hopes and had a great plan of attack, but mid week things fell apart. Luckily I was able to turn things around over the weekend.

I started Monday with a short run before Body Fusion. Knowing I was going to be busy Tuesday night, I wanted to try to get some miles in before class. I only had time for two miles, but it was a nice change of pace and pretty refreshing.

Tuesday I was busy, so I was looking forward to Wednesday’s run. It was supposed to be a track workout with about 6.5 miles total. All day I had been excited to get some mile repeats in, until the rain hit hard. I set out on the journey to find an outdoor track, because mentally I couldn’t run the indoor track anymore. The first track had a soccer game, and the second track was rained out. By this point, the other two available tracks weren’t worth the drive and I was just frustrated. I headed home and attempted to get in what I could.

My body wasn’t having it, and I could barely get 2.5 miles in. I tried to brush off the feeling of disappointment, but I couldn’t. I failed at getting my speed work in, and I couldn’t even make it three miles. So I had to remind myself that each run is it’s own. No two workouts will be the same and I have to take the bad workouts to really appreciate the good ones. Take training run by run and move on to the next one once the Garmin stops.

Monday: 2 Miles + Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 2.5 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Strongsville Super 5k

Sunday: Spring TRAINing 10 Miler

Total Miles: 17.5 Miles

So despite my rough patch in the middle of the week, I had big plans for the weekend. I had the Strongsville Super Saturday 5k on my radar for a long time, but after I struggled all week I wasn’t sure I still wanted to do it. I did it anyway, and I was so glad I did. I’ll have a recap later this week, but it was just the thing I needed to boost my confidence.

I also had 10 miles up for my long run this weekend, so I decided I would run long on Sunday. I had been back and forth between a group run or the Spring TRAINing 10 Miler, but decided last moment that if I’m going to run 10 miles, I might as well have fun with it. I’ll have a recap on this race later on as well.

I may have had a bad day this week, but my three other runs were great. I focused too much on Wednesday’s run to enjoy the others. But looking back, I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m just about two months away from the race, and my times are close to where I’d be on a normal half marathon. I’m bringing my 5k time down, cross training and I’m still injury free. I still have time for improvement over the next 10 weeks, and I know I can do it.

Weekly Type 1 Diabetes Fact: March 25th (tomorrow) is the annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day. It’s your chance to take the risk test to find out if you’re at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. While my facts have been about Type 1, Type 2 isn’t something to ignore. For every risk test taken, Boar’s Head will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association. By taking the test, you’re not only helping yourself, but helping others. Take the test here.

If you’d like to donate and help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, check out my Team JDRF page.

Medina Half Training: Week One

First week of training is in the books and I’m happy to say it was my final week of traveling! I couldn’t be more excited to get back to a regular schedule because this week threw me for a loop! The hardest part about running and traveling is time management. Even though we had a quick 25 hour trip in St. Louis, time was tight and there was no room for exercise. I knew this week I wouldn’t be able to follow my plan as well as I hoped, but I wanted to try. Instead I took each day as it’s own and focused on that workout alone.

Body Fusion was great this week, there were only two of us in class, but I felt that we were able to do more than we usually could. I also went up in my weights, it’s nice to see that the class is paying off and I can finally lift more without feeling too exhausted. I can’t wait to see how well this class helps me out this year.

Tuesday and Wednesday I was in St. Louis with no time to exercise. By the time I got home from the airport on Wednesday night I knew I wouldn’t make it to the gym, so I ran in the basement, getting a measly two miles in. Not much, but it was better than waiting until another day to run.

Luckily Thursday I was able to get to the gym. I decided that instead of trying to make up for lost miles on the week, I would just stick to whatever the schedule had planned. I had 4 on the schedule and wanted to keep them at a similar pace if I could, as a way to prepare for Sunday’s 5k. I kept the pace just under 9:00 and made sure to check my 1.5 mile time and 2.5 mile time for reference. It seemed easy enough then, so hopefully I could do the same on Sunday.

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

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 2 Miles

Thursday: 4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 3 Miles

Sunday: Frosty 5k + 4 Miles

Total Miles: 16 Miles

Saturday was supposed to be my long run of 7 miles, but I woke up with tight calves that just wouldn’t relax. I ran three and even then I struggled to keep my legs going. With all the snow and cold we’ve been getting it’s been hard for neighbors to keep up with shoveling their sidewalks, so only half of them seem to be clear. I attempted to run sidewalks when I could, but ended up on the street after almost twisting my ankle on some ice. After 3 miles and almost a dozen falls, I decided to head in and run my long run Sunday. With the 5k, I’d only have to do an extra 4 miles, which seemed like an easy plan.

Sunday I woke up early, tried to get rid of my nerves and headed to the rec center. They were hosting the Frosty 5k, which I’ll recap on Wednesday. After my three miles were completed, I opted to head home instead of run on the track. I like to take advantage of running outdoors when I can, even when it’s cold and snowy. The snow started to pick up, so I headed through developments where traffic wouldn’t be as busy. My pace was pretty much on spot at 9:30 except for about a half mile where I ended up in the 8:30 range somehow. I was able to explore parts of a new development, but was stuck on the street due to the foot of snow that was on the sidewalks. Most cars were being stand up citizens and driving on the other side of the road to avoid me. All except for a lovely lady in a white mini van, who decided to yell and swerve towards me to show her anger of runners on the road. I pulled into a driveway to collect myself, feeling glad I was ok, but pretty angry. While I understand that winter isn’t the best time for runners and drivers to share the road, there’s no reason to display anger like that. When sidewalks aren’t clear or aren’t available, sometimes the road is the only place to run. I saw a few other runners running the road, in the same development, so I’m sure she was having a wonderful day scaring runners.

After this I headed back towards home, my legs starting to loose traction on the road from the snow. They were also pretty tight from the slight uphill and the random spots of ice that I found. I finished up with 7 for the day, just as my plan showed. Even though I didn’t get all the miles I was supposed to run this week, I still had some good runs. I’m so excited to have a normal week again, so I can ramp up the mileage and work on my speed!

How are battling the elements this winter? Do you prefer sidewalks or road to run on?

 

Weekly Fact about Type 1 Diabetes:

What is Type 1 Diabetes? Sure you’ve heard of it, but do you really know what it means? Type 1 Diabetes happens when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin helps to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy that is needed every day. Without natural insulin, you have to find another way to get insulin into your body, such as using daily injections or an insulin pump. Type 1 Diabetes is diagnosed in children and young adults and is a lifelong challenge.

Want to help cure Type 1 Diabetes? You can donate here!

Medina Half Marathon Training

The time has finally come. In just 16 short weeks I’ll be running the Medina Half Marathon and working towards my mission of sub 2:00! I’m finally out of my non running funk and couldn’t be more excited to get some major mileage back on my shoes. Last year was the trial run of the race, and it went so well that I couldn’t wait to sign up for the race again this year. I’m more than confident that I can run sub 2:00, and without any injuries I should be able to ramp up training to push me to my limits. 2013 was a rough year of running for me, so this year, I’m determined not to let anything get in my way. So with out any more delay, let’s take a look at the facts for the race and see what the next 16 weeks will bring!

Medina Half Facts:

  • The half marathon is capped at 1000 runners for the first year, and it just sold out last night. Amazing how many people will be running the streets of Medina on May 31st!
  • There is a 5k option available with no limit of runners. It’s only $20 until April 1st, and you can sign up here.
  • The medal is one of a kind and created by the same company that does Boston’s medal.
Love, love this medal.

Love, love this medal.

  • If you can’t run the race, or happen to be in the area on race day, you can sign up to volunteer here!
  • Medina Half has a race specific training plan you can follow if you’re looking for some help. There are also group runs and course runs available as well.
  • All other info can be found here or on the Facebook Page.

As you can tell, I’m excited for this race. I know the course and I know what to expect as far as hills and when I need to push it and when I can take it easy. As far as my own goals and training, I went back to Runner’s World Smart Coach to set the basics. From there I added my cross training ( Body Fusion & Yoga) and moved a few things around to where I’m comfortable. I’ve included speed work and hills again and this time I don’t completely hate them. I also included optional running days that help to keep me from running too much, but can help if a workout earlier in the week didn’t go as planned.

Capture

As for my goals, I’ve got quite a few. I’ll need to keep all of these in mind if I want to have the best race of my life come May 31st.

  • Run Sub 2:00. The giant milestone that I am currently 5 minutes and 56 seconds away from.
  • PR. As long as I run 2:05:54 I’ll have a PR, but I’d love to have a pretty big gap between my next PR and my current one. Even better if it starts with a 1.
  • Gain weight. Yes, such a troublesome topic that most people hate to talk about. I’m not happy with my current weight and know that I need to fill out a little. Let’s say add 10lbs, because we all know that 5lbs comes and goes easily.
  • Cross train at least twice a week. Whether it be Body Fusion, Yoga or getting on the bike, I need to keep on this. I know that cross training helps to keep me injury free, so that should be motivation enough.
  • Eat healthier. This goes alone with gaining weight. If you eat poorly, you run poorly. I also need to find the perfect foods for race day eve and race day morning. Tummy troubles no more.
  • Raise $1000 for Team JDRF. As you may or may not know, Darren was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 3 years old. Diabetes is now a part of my life as I watch him live with it every day. Team JDRF is fighting to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes so that future generations won’t have this horrible disease. Each week I’ll be posting a fact as way to educate readers on Diabetes. If you want to help find a cure, you can donate here. I truly appreciate it!

So there we have it, the facts about Medina Half, my training plan and my goals for the next 16 weeks. It’s going to take a lot of work and dedication to reach this milestone, but I’m so excited and can’t wait for May 31st!