Monday, September 15, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 15 of 20

So apparently the Market-to-Market was a little bit more difficult that I thought. My legs were HATING me all of last week for the most part, and I was struggling to get workouts in, struggling mentally, and honestly, feeling a little bit discouraged despite the fact that I have overall had a glorious training cycle so far. It is amazing how one thing not going as planned can really change your mind about how you are feeling.

The craziest part about that, was that I executed a long run MUCH faster than planned, and I was still completely freaked out that I was not going to make it. Sigh. Freak outs are likely to happen at least once or twice more before the big day.

SO because I was feeling it for most of last week, meaning my legs were not really having running, I modified the week a bit. BUT I still managed to accomplish what the goal for the week truly was... Here is the week in workouts.

Monday: 3 mile walk
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5 mile progressive run (final mile - sub-8)
Thursday: 5 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday 20 MILES! 8:21 average pace, 1.5 mile cooldown walk
Sunday: rest

Seriously. 20 miles at an 8:21 average pace.
Totals: 34.5 miles, one day crosstraining, 3 runs.

Not an overall great week, but I did manage to accomplish the big goal of the week, which was the 20 miler. I mentally needed to run 20 miles this weekend to show myself that I am still on track, despite how I might feel about this race.

I definitely need to write a post on my race goals, so except that coming in the next few weeks. I have a goal to write it before the race.

Do you tend to have routine freak outs prior to your own goal races (or your hobby's equivalent)?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming Weekend

This weekend is going to be a big one, I think. Yes, we are going to be busy, but for the first time, since the very beginning of August, all of the plans that we have are just with us. We don't have plans externally with visitors or me being gone all day to run to Dayton. Just J, Addie-Roo, and I enjoying our weekend together. I mean, yes, I do have a long run this weekend (holy crap, including tomorrow there is 5 more long runs and then the longest of all of them!) but after that, I am free!

So the tentative rundown for the weekend:
Saturday - 20 mile run
home to shower and get ready while Addie naps
run errands
grab an early bird dinner as a family
home to hang out

Sunday - family photos (check out Green Fairie Productions for some of the Roo's greatest pics!)
home for lunch and football!

So yeah, it should be a pretty great weekend.

Speaking of pictures, I got the first of Addie's 1st birthday pics. She is a goof.
Carol says it is not the cutest one, but she loves it because you can see all of Addie's little teeth! (She has popped three more through since this was taken!)

Have a lovely weekend, and wish me luck on my 20!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Race Recap: Market to Market Relay

So, like I said the other day, I ran a relay over the weekend.
This was the first time this took place in Ohio, so this year they opened it up to 150 teams (likely to expand to 250 next year - we spent some time with the race director, Matt, so we got some insight into this). The Market-to-Market relay series is a little bit different than the other relays out there, as it is not overnight. The first teams started at 6 am, and our understanding was the last team crossed the finish line a little after 9 pm. Currently it is pretty much a Midwest event, with locations in Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska, but there is definitely more to come as it has been successful.

As with the other relays that I have been a part of, there are requirements about reflective vests, headlamps, and blinky red lights, but we started at 7:40 am and the sun was up so we did not need them to start our race (we had them in the van though, just in case. The race was set up to be Cincinnati to Dayton, and had 19 legs. Unlike a Ragnar or Bourbon Chase (again) there are no 12 man teams. You can choose between a 6, 7, or 8 man team. So depending on how many people on your team you will run more or less miles.

Naturally, with our whole team training for a marathon, we had to have only a 6 man team. This offered the opportunity for the most mileage. The Ohio version of this race follows the Little Miami Scenic Trail (known to me as the Loveland Bike Trail) for the duration of the race. Yes, long bike trail runs can be boring, but the longest any of us was out there was 5.6 miles (me). So that isn't too bad, plus there is the added motivation of kills. Yes, that is kind of bad, because you are likely passing teams that are not as fast as your team (you start earlier if your average pace is slower, in order to get all teams finishing within the same window of time). But it is still one of those things that can definitely get you fired up about racing.

Team BRC Beast lined up at the start. Randy, Andrew, me, Brett, Karen, Jes.

Buckeye Running Company supplied us with shorts and singlets (we paid our own race entry), and somehow I ended up with the lone pink one? I like it anyway. Randy is the only one of us who is wearing the shorts we got, but the rest of us put them on later.

At 7:40 am, Andrew took off.

I was runner 5, after Andrew, Karen, Brett, and Randy. I had set a goal in my head of running approximately 8:30 pace throughout the relay because we didn't have any goals or anything going in. We didn't expect to win, so might as well just get the long run at an easy pace out of this.
Randy handed off the timing chip to me at the exchange point.

My first leg was short, less than 3 miles. 2.72 is what the garmin says, and after running through the grassy area seen in the picture, up and hill and over a little highway overpass, I was back on the bike trail for the duration of the run. 2.72 miles - 21:25, 7:53 average pace.

After my first leg, I hung out in the minivan of Brett's family (we were not gone overnight, no need for the 12-man van), and ate a picky bar, getting out to cheer on my teammates and take pictures at the exchanges. We found out that there was going to be a checkpoint at my next leg (marking the halfway point of the race) and they would do standings in real time as teams crossed that checkpoint. We were eager to see how things were shaping up since we could tell we were catching up to a lot of the teams that started earlier than us. However, teams started in two more waves after us as well, so we knew we would not immediately know our standings.
I took the chip from Randy and took off for my second leg, the furthest any of us would run all day. 5.6 miles. I made sure to wave the timing chip over the check point (there was not a mat like their normally is at races, but since it wasn't crowded like it normally might be at a race, it was not a big deal to do this. It might be notable to say here that the timing chip is attached to a neoprene armband that gets a little sweaty. I didn't actually wear it at all, I just carried it in my hand and switched hands when necessary.

5.66 miles in 44:55 - 7:56 average pace. This one was a bit more difficult to keep the sub-8 pace. It was a longer leg, plus I was feeling a little stiff from sitting for a little while in between. That is the more difficult part about relays I think. The total distance that you cover is not too bad, generally shorter than a long run, but you sit in between! When I got back to the car and Jes was off on her second leg, the team told me we were sitting in 5th place. The top 7 in each division got a prize. So we decided then and there that we were going no lower than 5th.

My third leg was three miles even. Our friend Alex met up with us on the bike trail and was running with us at this point. I felt pretty lucky because I was still feeling pretty good, and I knew Alex would help me to push the pace a little. 22:49 or an average of 7:41 for 3 miles. Boom.

And Jes had one more leg, followed by Andrew's final one (runner 1 had three legs) and then we finished as a team. We were the 6th team to cross the finish line, 10th overall, and 5th in our division. (we stayed put after the halfway point).
And this is how you win at relaying.
Thanks to the BRC Beast team, Buckeye Running Co and M2M Relay for a great day! We will be back!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 14 of 20

Another week of training has come and gone, and I believe I am left with just 6 weeks to go at this point. In addition, this weekend's long run was broken up into three parts, because I ran with 5 other folks in the Market-to-Market Ohio relay.
Obviously, this relay deserves a full post in its honor. It was way too much fun to not get one, but this is not the post for that. This is the post where I review my weekly mileage and plans and see how we did for the week.

So let's take a quick peek at last week and see where I landed.

Monday: 7.5 miles, 8x400m repeats
Tuesday: strength workout, bodyweight
Wednesday: 7 easy with fast finish, 2.25 mile walk with stroller
Thursday: 5 at race pace
Friday: rest
Saturday: Market-to-market 11.38 miles run, 7:49 average pace. 13 total miles
Sunday: 3.38 mile walk with stroller

38.13 total miles.
2 walks
1 strength
1 race

Another good week of workouts, and only 6 more to go!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Strength Training - Little at a time

One of my goals for the month of September is to do a strength workout at least once per week. Now, I LOVE strength training. Unfortunately, when I am marathon training it usually is one of the earliest workouts to be eliminated from my regularly scheduled program. That absolutely makes me sad. One of the things that I have always prided myself on was my strength, and since Addie was born, I have been pretty focused on running. Granted, I have had some awesome results, and I am much faster than I was at any point before she was born, but strength training needs to be one of those things that I do regardless of my running. It is part of training, and it will be what gets me to the starting line stronger and faster. Right?

So in an effort to do a little more strength training, as I am hoping, I put together a quick 20 minute circuit that I did while Addie was watching Frozen. Yep, bad mothering, a one year old watching TV.
Obviously, she was into it.

So here was the quick 20 minutes of strength training that I got in.
Pretty easy, but hits all major muscles, and is good for core strengthening, which is what is really needed for running. So I am going to make a valiant effort in this last 6-7 weeks before Columbus. I can't redo what I have already done, but I have high hopes for improvement.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Goals

So... September? Not sure how we got here already, but I am glad to be through the summer. We are now entering the best time of the year, the fall. The temps should start dropping off any time now, and the weather will get more pleasant for running. My body will re-adapt to the temps that it actually enjoys running in, and hopefully my times will reflect that level of comfort that is coming on. It has been a pretty long summer, even though the weather was not too bad, considering, it still was a little bit too humid for my liking. I guess maybe I can/should set some goals for September?

Maybe if I break the goals apart into sections for various parts of my life, I will accomplish something OTHER than RUNNING ALL THE MILES. I would like to set three goals in each area of my life.

  1. Log 150 Miles
  2. Have 2 successful 20 mile runs
  3. strength train 4 times (once per week)
  1. Finish the book I am reading. 
  2. Write 10000 words
  3. schedule a hair appointment
  1. go on a date. with or without Addie to a place we don't go frequently.
  2. Send the hubby a card, just because
  3. Plan a fall trip
  1. Play at the park
  2. Go for 4 walks
  3. learn to walk (addie)
How does that look for a month? Do-able? Totally crazy? What are your goals for September?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Marathon Training: Week 13 of 20

Another week is in the books as far as hammering through runs. We do not have too much longer to go before we get to the Columbus Marathon. I have been working really hard to nail all of my runs, hit my required paces, and tack on the mileage as required. Things have been feeling pretty good, and while I am nervous, I know that I am putting in the work.
I am 13 weeks in to this training plan, and I have really been working hard to make sure that I am hitting all of the workouts that I want to get in. Some short, speedy intervals, some longer, faster than MGP intervals, all of the mileage, and really trying not to let myself come up with excuses this cycle. That has always been my biggest hurdle, mental training. I struggle when I hit double digits mentally, and I am working hard to break that habit. In fact, I am purposely pulling myself further away from my house (or wherever I am running from) in order to force myself to get the mileage. And yes, I could stop and walk, but when I just want to be DONE running is faster. It forces my mind to work in a different way. And hopefully it is going to make me stronger on race day. *fingers crossed*

So let's look at Week 13, shall we?
Monday: 3.5 mile walk
Tuesday: 7.5 miles, speedwork. 1 mile @ 7:15, 2x800m @ 7:03, 1 mile @ 7:15
Wednesday: 7 miles, easy pace, 8:32 average
Thursday: 10.2 miles
Friday: 3.25 mile walk
Saturday: 18 mile run with a half mile cooldown walk. (8:37 average for the run)
Sunday: REST

Total: 4 runs, 2 cross training (walking) for a total of 49.95 miles (D'OH!) 189.71 miles for the month of August. This MIGHT be my highest month of all time. I think I ran around 185 in September of 2012. I think.

Less than 7 weeks until GO TIME!