Bits + Bangs

A quick running update: I've still been doing it, it just hasn't been interesting in any way. Due to weather and darkness I've been relegated to the treadmill which is making me happier than I care to admit. I think this is the beginning of a weird genetic mutation, but I am perfectly content and sometimes even happier to run on a machine. I don't run with music when I run outside, so I think that has something to do with it, and I don't have any good wet weather running gear, which is insane considering where I live. Also, I'm not training for anything in particular right now so I don't feel bad taking the dryer path most days. It's been about 5-6 days a week 3-10 miles each time, and closer to the the 3 than the 10 most days. 

Speaking of not training, I in fact should be training for a 2 upcoming races. Sunday I have a 5k, but the goal there is to get my out-of-shape dog across the finish line. I'm hoping 3.1 miles at a relaxed and sometimes walking pace isn't going to kill me. A few weeks after that I have a 10k with friends. I'm looking forward to this no matter how many times I forget I'm actually running it, but I've got to get at least a few dedicated training runs in if I hope to run it with my speedy friend. I'm hoping we can pace each other but then I remember I haven't given a shit about pace in a few weeks (1 month today OMG) so that may be a brutal wake up call. In addition to these two that I am legit signed up for, there is another 10k in December that could happen and is on a course that holds my most recent 10k PR (I think). That's just downright terrifying but the time I ran it was 10 degrees F and crispy and sunny and I loved it so if that is anything like what will happen this year I am in. I love running cold, dry, slightly ice crystal coated races, as long as I don't slip. 

Besides running, life has been pretty mellow. Work has been busy this last week or two and aerial has been super fun but still just once a week. I wish I could fit in more review sessions but my sleep and lack of planning seem to be getting in the way lately. Also, I got bangs and they are more work than I'm used to but whatever my face needed a change. Then I took a selfie and I feel weird about it because there really isn't anything in particular I'm looking at over my left shoulder it's just what I thought I was supposed to do. This was 2ish weeks ago and I already need a trim. Happy Hump Day!

Goldilocks and the Three Runs

Or alternately titled Some Annoying Things That Happened on my Run Yesterday.

I gave myself the luxury of sleeping in yesterday since I'm still enjoying this training plan free time, and planned my run for the evening. After a ridiculous commute home (bus route changes have lead to me be very annoyed and realizing how spoiled I was) I was pretty pissed by the time I got home and was ready to run. I had texted D to feed the dogs in advance so I could just grab one and run upon getting home. I picked Apollo at first thinking a steady run without having to drag a dog up hills and start/stop repeatedly would be nice. I quickly had forgotten how herky jerky he is on a leash and how very distracted he gets by other dogs. A dog with no brakes mixed with other dogs on the path and mossy, wet sidewalks forced us to turn around after almost a mile. 

I exchanged one dog for the other and tried again. Mira was in a mood. She was slow and not even really that tired, just not into going very far without stopping for a fake pee (sniffing, some circling, no pee. She's a great actress.) We made it about another mile before my shoulder was tired from helping her up the hill. 

I dropped her off and tried to set out again, made it once around the block and saw the black clouds coming my way and remembered the whole point of running with a dog was so I didn't have to run solo in the dark, so I turned around with 2.2 total miles on my Garmin. 

I was really irritated. I knew I had to keep running to get this mood out of my system. I started on the treadmill and had no plan, just to run until I felt better. At 1.5 miles my headphones started the bong of death as I like to call their warning sound for low battery. They died shortly thereafter. I ran with my tinny iPhone blasting for the remainder of the 40 minutes. It took about 2 miles on the machine to find a happyish pace and stride, sometimes I just can't get it right on the mill. I wonder if it's worth a tuneup or at least some lube underneath the belt. Either way, the run got done somehow. 

I don't like complaining about running because it makes me so happy and I am incredibly grateful to be able to do it, no matter the surface or the running partner. I felt like I needed to document this though mostly as a reminder to myself of that fact. I could have just not gone last night. I'm not (really) training for anything right now. No one is making me do this. I just know that it's the cure for most things that ail me lately and yeah it's annoying sometimes to make it happen, but it's worth it. 

Dear Self - Run. Just keep trying because it makes you happy. Sometimes things that are annoying and difficult make you happy in the end. Also, there are about a million parallels to life with that so you know, stick with it. Sincerely, Future Self.

Pretending to be innocent. 

Pretending to be innocent. 

Back at it

I made it about 9 days and then I started to really go insane. Wednesday after work I changed into some old Asics and took the wolf princess for a walk/jog to see where her running level was at. Let's just say it left much to be desired. We stopped about every 1-2 minutes for pee/sniff/fakeouts and walked quite a bit. Also, she wasn't even really running, but paw-dragging shuffling. I was worried a little bit after our adventure since just that morning I had registered us for our first mother/pupper 5k in a few weeks. We tried again Thursday evening and I swear she got better overnight. After our improved 15 minute walk/jog, I ventured out on my own for 3 easy miles. Friday we all rested, Saturday I ran 4 solo and about 1 cool-down with her again, and today I ran about 4.6 solo and cooled down with the other dog! 

poor mariners :(

poor mariners :(

After my run this morning I came home looking for my running partner and she was waaaay too comfortable on the couch (much like she still is now, several hours later). So I leashed up my alternate 3-legged friend and had very low expectations which he immediately blew away! Apollo has a really bad pulling problem on the leash that I'm trying to be better about, working with him on solo walks with treat incentives, but still he's pretty terrible sometimes and my shoulders get pretty irritated with the whole ordeal. As soon as we hit the pavement today though, he was at a perfectly moderate pace and only got slightly distracted and arm-killing when a squirrel ran up a tree and some old ladies were on our path. I think I found a pretty good substitute! I also realized that both humans in our house need to be running so we have enough energy to wear out these beasts.

The upcoming 5k I signed up for is definitely not for speed, I just want to finish a fun race with my dog. Since the marathon, I have absolutely ignored my Garmin while running. One of the many things I promised myself during the final miles of the race was that I could spend the rest of this fall/winter not giving a shit about how fast I run. I'm still really stoked that I met my goal for the race and successfully followed the training program, but the constant pace checking sucked some of the fun out of it. Going fast and feeling good is definitely fun, don't get me wrong, but I just want to chill and run through these next few months. Also, I want to do more trail running and uh, I'm pretty damn slow on some of those climbs and that's okay. 

So what are you thinking about this Fall so far? The weather here has been pretty great for running in - below 65 and dry long enough to get in a few miles at a time. The handful of trail races I did last fall were so much fun, I can't wait to get 1 or 2 more on the schedule and spend some time traipsing merrily through the woods dressed in various neon and spandex items with my trusty yellow hat. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

Marathon Recovery

So recovery felt pretty good the first 2 days. I was walking down the halls at work and would want to sprint to my next meeting or back to my desk. My legs felt great. Waking up in the morning felt great. After the race I took an Epsom salt bath (which I will not stop talking about) and haven't had any soreness. I have a toenail that I think got a blister underneath it during the run and is now threatening to make a break for it but other than that, recovery has physically been going pretty well. However, since about Wednesday waking up has been more difficult, I haven't been drinking enough water, and I've been fighting a tiny cold/sore throat. I can't really tell when I'm hungry or not but don't worry, I've been eating just about the same amount of food as I did while training. I feel like my body is starting to recalibrate a little bit and is not too happy with the lack of miles but also just doesn't know what is up. I really want to run again, but also really like sleeping too. I think I should wait at least 10 days before trying even though the plan was a full two weeks. I'm feeling okay cutting it a few days short since I wasn't really sore, and my plan is a walk/run strategy with my dog. We'll see. It's all up in the air. Does anyone else get this weird limbo feeling after a big race? I know I will miss this time of rest once I get started again, but it just makes me feel weird. Like tired but not, hungry but not, stressed but not. My body and mind aren't on the same page. 

I have however, finally been able to see past Sept 18 on the calendar and am getting excited for other people's races (LB!!!), think about Halloween costumes, and enjoy sleeping in (way too much). Also, spending time relaxing with my family and friends has been really nice the last few days. I've also started thinking about the running plan a tiny bit. Maybe a relaxed puppy 5k and a cold winter half marathon (flat???), maybe some trail races? I do love getting out into the woods on the weekend, seeing my breath and running with other strangers who enjoy the same. I'm still not committed to anything just yet, but I'm keeping my calendar open and trying not to go completely nuts. 

Okay, back to my recovery. I just finished my coffee and will be taking my dogs on a walk only. Then hanging out with more family and watching football. Sounds like an okay Sunday. 

Beat the Blerch 2016 Full Marathon Recap

Okay, so here it is, what I can remember of my marathon mostly copy and pasted from an email to my BFFs earlier this week when my brain was a little more fresh. I wanted to get it all down before my brain starts erasing things. Enjoy! 

5am ready to party! 

5am ready to party! 

I woke up at 5am to dress, drink coffee, and eat a bagel with PB and 1/2 a fig bar. I ate pretty well the day before (lots of carbs about every 3 hours) so eating was not as fun as it usually is but I knew I would need those calories later. At 6:30 after a few bathroom meditations, we hit the road and drove out to the park where the race was held with about 40 minutes to kill after. We wandered around the park, tied and retied my laces, and checked out the river. 

 They had a donut eating contest and swag stations already setup, but the sweet treats every where just kind of made me feel a little sick. Then it seemed really quickly it was starting line time. There weren't a ton of people running the marathon and our start time was before all the other races so we gathered, counted down, and were off. The path was a little cramped at first but then thinned out once we hit the actual trail part. Here's what I can recollect mile by mile-ish. 

Miles 1-6 were on a flat out and back through pretty farm and vegetable fields. My goal pace (8:50-9:05) was pretty good feeling but I was worried that I was going too fast too soon. I was hitting 8:55 easily and knew that wasn't sustainable if any incline showed up and from my google searches of past elevation of this race, there was supposed to be a hill. I took a gu at 4ish miles. I started following this guy with a pirate hat and inflatable sword. He was super annoying so I stayed far back and used him to pace myself. 

Miles 6-10 were on a weird other out and back with just a random sign that said 'turnaround' and no volunteer manning the spot. Kind of worried me, because people were pretty spread apart at that point so I don't know when other people were turning around. I just kind of pivoted around the sign and kept going. I felt pretty good still, hitting the paces and trying to remain chill. but I was starting to get a little bored, like the mental part was getting tough knowing I still had 16 miles to go. I tried to break up the race into a few parts - The First Half, 16 miles, 20, and 22 kind of an a whim. I passed the 22 back side of the 22 mile marker sign on the way out and thought "okay self, you will be really happy when you see that on the way back." I took Gus at 7 and 11 miles I think and walked through the aid stations to get at least a cup of water each time.

10-13 - I made my goal and hit it under 2 hours. I can't remember now how the course was split out, but I think I started the final out and back at mile 12? Pirate Guy was getting increasingly more annoying and I was creeping up on them, so I just hit it and passed them to get away. I had to get out of there. I think this was around mile 14, and was probably the reason that the last few miles of my race felt so terrible but this guy was just so irritating. Plus he was running really nonchalantly and lightly and making it look easy while carrying on this inane conversation with the people around him. No thanks. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 


13-16 - This course is out on a lovely trail and at one point a beautiful snowy owl swooped in front of me and perched in a tree. The woods opened up into this amazing fairy tale magical scene. the trail got that good packed feeling that was nice to run on. I was following a guy wearing sandals with a ponytail who I had seen pounding some cake before the race started. (he eventually pulled off into a porta-potty) and even though I was going up hill I think I was smiling because this was my jam. Good trail, amazing views, randomly some gun shots in the distance to keep up on our toes. I really liked this part of the race. I was mentally relying too heavily on the downhill that I knew was coming once we turned around. 

15.5ish 16 was the turnaround, we ran through a weird short creepy tunnel and I think my Garmin lost its signal for a hot second. I took some more water and Gu and did a self check to straighten up, check my stomach sloshiness, take some deep breaths, refocus for the last 10. Anyone that passed anyone on the out and back was super nice and encouraging so I loved this part. I was seeing faces after a few miles of not seeing anyone or anything but calves and butts. 

16-18 - more pretty trail and terrain. I passed people coming toward the turnaround and my legs felt okay. I knew that I was supposed to have saved my energy until mile 18 and I hadn't really, but I still felt like I could finish. Every once in a while I would pass someone which felt good but mostly scary. I wasn't sure if I could keep this up for 8 more miles and it made me nervous for a big crash. I made sure to take a Gu at some point with this exact fear in mind. 

18-20 - same. more of the same, getting kind of thirsty. 

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

20-22 - As predicted I was very happy to see the sign I had thought about going out. At this point I was doing tons of mental math to see if I would hit sub 4. This is when I knew I was getting a bit fried and that the last bit might be a struggle. My brain just wasn't working. I wanted to hit 20 miles at 3 hours so I could just do a solid 6.2 miles in the final hour. I didn't hit it right on, so I pushed it a little bit. My inability to do math and my goal were at the forefront of my mind so there was a lot of watch checking. Also, did I mention I was thirsty?

22-23 - Hard. Unhappy. Thirsty. We had rejoined with the half marathoners and 10krs at this point so there was a lot more traffic on the trail and a lot more noise. I was listening to people at the back of their pack struggling to keep going and the same stuff was going on in my head silently. It felt like I was passing a lot of people and I really wanted to ask them for their water. I would eyeball water bottles and think about how I could do it while also avoiding a 10 minute conversation that would take me out of my goal time game. I couldn't get to the aid station soon enough. I felt like I should have taken the electrolyte drinks earlier in the game. My tongue felt thick. Thankfully though my legs seemed to be okay-ish considering how salty my mouth felt. 

23-24 - Still so thirsty. The sun had come out and I didn't notice how warm I was until this point. I just kept passing the walkers/joggers and trying to keep it together and remember if there was supposed to be another aid station before the end.

24-25 - I actually said out loud "You can do this!" which was weird and scared me because I didn't think I was actually talking. There was a lot of grunting and heavy sighing through this mile. I knew I was going to make sub 4, and actually my paces were still near 8:55 which was weird  because it felt so much harder than before but I couldn't slow down. Like my brain would not let me not hit this goal. It was weird. It felt harder at this point than any other race I have run before, but I also never have pace goals in other races. Some people were on the nice part of the path and I just shouted "on your left!!!" because the idea of shifting any direction and being agile was out of the question. I was very much in a monkey brain mode and could only think of running to the finish.

25 Finally hit an aid station and double-fisted fluid, but I had to keep moving. The paved part was coming and that was a huge mental marker to me that the finish line was near. Also, I thought maybe I'd see the husband. 

25.5 - I could hear the finish line and was on the pavement. I eventually saw Dev and he snapped that picture while I was shouting "I feel like a pile of garbage!!" laughed maniacally, and kept on running. I actually did have the tiniest of kicks (probably not, I just felt like it) when I saw the finish line. I could only imagine water, gatorade, and being done. 

26- I think the course was short? I found a fence post and just stretched for about 5 minutes after getting my medal. It took my brain a few minutes to process not running anymore. Found the husband and drank my water bottle while warning him I might get hyponatremia because all I wanted to do was drink gallon after gallon of water. He assured me I probably wouldn't get it and so we made our way to more water and snacks. 

Under the tree afterward I ate some goopy Clif brand soupy banana packet thing and drank some pink drink. My invisalign are a huge pain at moments like this because I always worry about getting them back in soon enough and that means brushing/rinsing and only clear fluids after that. I'm not running another marathon until I'm done with braces. 

3:54:40 - 5th Female / 13th Overall (small races FTW) 

The race itself was great. It's on a beautiful course with a super fun theme and lots of treats. I want to do a separate recap of my training since that feels like another monster all by itself, but as far as the race goes, I'm pleased with the results. I definitely felt like I learned on this course more than I have in my previous 2 marathons, but I think that's because I was trying to finish within a certain time frame instead of just running to run and finish like I do all my other races. I will have a million more thoughts on this whole thing, so expect more random mini-recaps. 


Week 18

9/15 Thurs 6 miles neighborhood

9/16 Fri 5 miles easy treadmill

9/17 Sat 3 miles easy at the Park


It's done! I really want to do a recap so I don't forget all of the feelings and thoughts I had about this race and the training. I'm up now drinking coffee and making my way leisurely into the office this morning, but I honestly feel pretty good. An epsom salt bath yesterday has seemed to help relieve most of the soreness I was feeling in my calves from mile 16 until going to bed last night. Things I want to make sure I don't forget to talk about when recapping later: pacing, nutrition, hydration, and body glide.

Today officially starts my 2 week recovery with zero running so I'm going to try and put together my recap for Iron Horse too, (3 weeks late, whoops) and not fall completely off the blog band wagon. Next goal: Getting my dog to run a 5k AND make her comfortable on mass transit so we don't have to park at the race. I may be in over my head. 

I'm glad my muscles (as of right now) don't feel completely trashed because I have my second Aerial 2/3 class tonight. I include the 3 like it could apply to me, but no, I'm definitely the 2 in that split. Maybe even the 1.5. Either way, class was fun last week and I have  new coach/teacher for the first time in almost 2 years so that's exciting! She's been with Cirque de Soleil and a bunch of other phenomenal sounding groups so I'm really looking forward to learning a bunch from her. Also, she kept saying she's into the boring technical stuff in Aerial which I absolutely need more time and work on, so I think it will be challenging but very much worth it class. 

Happy Monday All, now I have to run and catch a bus. LOL JK I'm not running anywhere because I literally cannot, because the rules.  

Run a marathon? Hmmm... 

Run a marathon? Hmmm... 

Week 17 + Taper Week

9/6 Tues - 6x1 mile repeats 9.75 mi total

9/7 Wed - Rest

9/8 Thurs - 10 Mile Tempo 12.2 mi total

9/9 Fri - Morning Treadmill - 6 mi

9/10 Sat - Morning Neighborhood 6 mi

9/11 Sun - 8 mi at the Lake

9/12 Mon - Morning Treadmill - 5 mi

9/13 Tues - Evening Neighborhood Run - 5mi

9/14 Wed - Rest Day

Here we are, Taper Week. I'm not feeling more nuts than I expected, but the crazy is most definitely here. I'm feeling a bit restless right now as I type, but still am enjoying having a few more minutes each day to either sleep or eat. 

My attitude about Race Day keeps fluctuating but as of this moment I feel pretty okay about the whole thing. I'm pretty happy with how training went so even if the marathon totally blows chunks, I poop my pants and hit the wall at mile 4, I'll still be happy with how I spent my summer. That doesn't mean I won't be disappointed and go on an amazing tirade about the lying load of crap that is Hanson's. Until that point comes though I remain hopeful that the training plan will do what it promised to do since I (mostly) did what I promised to do. I missed one day when I thought I had a stress fracture but really had too small of shoes. I moved 2 runs to the evening which were the last two Tuesdays. Also, there were two track workouts I moved to the treadmill and held a lot of guilt about that for a while but have since let it go.  Writing this out makes me feel like a little bit of a freak. What are you going to do. 

During my run last night I got an unwanted reminder of why I have preferred morning running lately. There were about 3 sick catcalls and some of the grossest leering from male drivers I have seen in a while. What is it about dudes? I ended up running my middle 2-4 miles much too fast last night (not in the spirit of taper) because I was pissed. It immediately makes me question my safety and everything I'm doing when really it's not my fault and I shouldn't be scared to run in the daylight in my own neighborhood!! (or anywhere for that matter) So frustrating. Also frustrating is that I can't seem to get a response together fast enough and just end up frustrated and steaming for the rest of my run. Anyway, rant over. 

My running plan for the rest of the week is easy for the next few days and eating various forms of bread, pretzels, pizza, and oatmeal. Also, note to self I need to get some body glide and nuun. Also, finalize the outfit and sleep as much as possible. 

AAAAHHHH I can't believe there are only 3 more runs and then it's the race!  Holy Shit!!




Not even Week 17

9/3: 8 easy neighborhood miles - very sour mood going into this run but eventually I got over it. 

9/4: 10 trail miles @ Lake Padden. Harder than it should have been = 5 hrs sleep and 0 coffee. 

Fog on the lake

Fog on the lake

9/5: 2 trail miles + 5 treadmill miles

This week is already off to a weird start. First of all, blogging on a Tuesday morning. Second of all, my usual Tuesday morning strength workout is being bumped to later tonight. Third, yesterday was a day off from work so my easy Monday miles were turned into an adventure run that fizzled and ended up with me finishing at home on the treadmill. 

I knew staying in the training mindset was going to be hard these last two weeks, but even though I'm checked out a tiny bit with the end in sight, my anxiety about sticking to the plan and schedule remains strong. It's an ugly combo. I was awful to be around yesterday until I finished up my run on the treadmill. We drove to a beautiful area in the Snoqualamie Nat'l Forest area with the intention of me running my 7 easy miles down a hill and into a trail that ended up at a series of lakes while D explored the area. I decided last minute to take my very out of shape husky for company and she made it about 2 miles before I felt like it looked like animal abuse. We sauntered around after that, casually sniffing grass and drinking from babbling streams (both her, to be clear). The entire drive back the stress of knowing I'd left the run unfinished really got to me and I just read my phone and digested the delicious Taco Time we stopped for on the way home. I just wanted to jump out of my body and yell at my own self for being in such a bad mood. Whatever. I learned. 

Happy dog

Happy dog

Now today, in part due to yesterday's rescheduling, my usual AM workout is in the PM. It's break week from aerial between sessions, so it works out perfectly. Also, it's been raining so I may get some extra practice running in wet weather. Surprisingly I haven't had to deal with that much this training cycle. I'll have Wednesday as a rest day and then Thursday Tempo (which I'm also trying not to freak out about or completely forget about, it's a delicate balance).

The runger is on full force. I think it's the emotional part of all the training catching up to me. I still want to hit my goal but I also just want to spend some more time with family and friends not constantly thinking about my next meal and next run and if I can sneak away to go to sleep already, while at the same time enjoying how great it feels to run and getting to run in places I usually don't. After running with Mira yesterday I am really looking forward to her getting back in running shape because it is so fun looking down and seeing how happy she is tearing down a hill with her curly tail and huge smile. That girl dog was made to run, even though she's a little easily winded right now. 

This post feels a little rambly, but what can I say? My schedule is totally off, it's Tuesday, it's dark and rainy outside, and this summer feels totally. over. I'm in that weird seasonal transition spot where everything has flipped to the new season except the Big Race still hasn't happened yet. Okay, time to find my umbrella and get to work. 13 days. Let's do this. 



Week 16


8/28 Sun Iron Horse Half Marathon + 3 Treadmill Miles

8/29 Mon 5 miles treadmill easy

8/30 Tues 4x1.5 mile repeats w/ warm up and cool down 10.5 miles total

8/31 Wed Rest

9/1 Thurs 10 mile tempo, 12 miles total

9/2 Fri 6 miles treadmill easy

Last Sunday my BFF and I drove out to North Bend, pinned on bibs, and got on a school bus that trucked us to the start line of a wonderful, downhill trail race. I knew the course elevation was 'fast' but I was surprised by how beautiful the course was as well. If I can get my shit together I will write a real race recap later and post it. Short version - it was good but I may have run too fast for the middle of training and finishing my highest mileage week that day. 

Due to the race and to the return of some very PNW style weather, I hopped on the treadmill for more miles than usual this week. That includes 6 I did yesterday instead of the 5 on schedule (learn to read...) that then promptly landed me back in bed with sinus pressure and a headache that wouldn't go away. Our office has been a cess pool of germs lately so I was grateful for my laptop and the chance to get in my work that day from my bed and the couch. 

Tuesday's strength workout suffered because of my still tired legs. I managed to hit most of the paces but there was a microscopic tiny uphill at the start of the third repeat that nearly killed me. My left quad was yelling at me, reminding me of the downhill I had trampled for 13.1 miles just 2 days before. In the end I made it through, but was very grateful for a rest day on Wed. Tuesday also happened to be demo week in Aerial, my last of the level 1 class. I'm moving to a 2/3 class in a few weeks and that wonderful, nervous, terrified feeling is beginning again. I don't feel like I mastered some of the skills in level 1 and it's going to come back and bite me. Anything I can't do in aerial class though is usually just more incentive to do some core work. Yuck. 

Tempo on Thursday I swear still felt some lingering soreness/tiredness from Sunday, but after mile 4 or 5 it eased up and felt pretty good. I can't believe I only have one tempo left!! How on earth did I get here? I have been feeling strangely nostalgic and sentimental about this training cycle unlike any other I have done. I keep flipping back through my log to see all the miles and workouts that made me so nervous before trying and disbelieving that I actually completed them. The small problem with this kind of thinking is that I keep forgetting training isn't actually over yet and I still have one small 26.2 mile workout to do in 15 days in addition to 2 more weeks of training. 

This week my goal is to stay in the training headspace and not half ass any workouts or start missing sleep etc. because I feel like the training is complete. It's not. Note the looming final 10 mile tempo and 6x1 mile repeats coming up this week. Also, the runger made a pretty strong appearance this week and yesterday I think I ate 3 dinners. I'm hoping this doesn't destroy my upcoming weekend miles, but I was just an amazing bottomless pit last night. It started around 3pm and finally stopped around 7:30. These stupid Invisalign were the only things that stopped me from eating through our entire kitchen.

Taking the trays out to eat and brushing after every meal, plus having to wear them 22 hours a day has really put a damper on the amount of food I would like to shove in my mouth lately. I've been adding a smoothie after some meals just to get something down quickly before having to brush and put them back in for a few hours. 

I still have my miles this weekend to get in plus a week of workouts before taper. I feel about 60-70% prepared for the race. That lingering 30-40% is mostly mental as it usually is, but it's enough to remind me I still have work to do in the upcoming weeks. Now I'm off to finish up week 16 after this coffee is gone. How's your training going? 

Week 15

8/21: Sun 10 mi Lake

8/22: Mon 7 mi neigbhorhood

8/23: Tues 3x2mi repeats, 800m recovery each + 1mi WU + 1mi CD

8/24: Wed Rest

8/25: Thurs 10 Mi Tempo + 1mi WU + 1mi CD

8/26: Fri 6 miles easy TM

8/27: Sat 6 miles easy neighborhood

Not a bad way to end a tempo. 

Not a bad way to end a tempo. 


This week has gone pretty well, I managed to successfully complete my first of the three 10 mile tempo runs and used the correct workout settings on my 2 mile repeats, so wins all around!

Fuel from my sweet friend. 

Fuel from my sweet friend. 

This weekend I'm running a half marathon for my long run with some besties and hopefully enjoying it in some cooler weather. It was plus 90 degrees this week, which is just the reason why I moved my runs to the morning for this training cycle. I'm still a sweaty mess when I'm done, but I'm thankful that I haven't had to get in this crazy heat! 

See? Sweaty. 

See? Sweaty. 

Does anyone else use Nike+ for run tracking?  Well I do, and they updated the app this week making it all fancy and more soc-meds friendly, but they wiped the mileage on my two main pairs of shoes I've been using! It managed to store some old random ones but I went to add my Brooks Glycerins to my run and they were unavailable! Now I'm just tracking in my paper calendar until I start a new pair, but this is really frustrating. I've made it a goal to rotate my shoes -Glycerins for longer runs, Saucony Rides for shorter- and now I'm all lost on how old they are. Oh well. I'm wondering if I should buy another pair of Glycerins before the marathon, what do you think? They will have about 250ish on them by that time - is that too many for a race? Usually I don't care that much, but my feet have been finicky lately and I don't want giant blisters or weird pains during the race. Training life is complicated you guys! Tell me what you race shoe strategy is please.

This is what summer looks like to me lately. HOT. 

This is what summer looks like to me lately. HOT. 

Week 13 & 14

I've been late on posting updates, obvi. Catching up now!

8/8 Mon: 7Easy, tired miles in the neighborhood

8/9 Tues: 3x2 mi repeats - totally messed up the workout on my watch, played it by ear but had a really hard time maintaining an even pace without the beeping. 10ish miles total

8/10 Wed: REST

8/11 Thurs: 9 mi tempo, 11 miles total

8/12 Fri: 6.3 easy, treadmill

8/13 Sat: 6.2 mi easy, neighborhood

8/14 Sun: 16 mi, Lake Wash Blvd

8/15 Mon: 5.15 mi, pathway near my Mom's house

8/16 Tues: 2x3 mi repeats @ Seward Park 10 mi total

8/17: Wed: REST

8/18 Thu: 9 mile tempo, 11 mi total at the Lake. 

8/19 Fri: 5 miles easy, treadmill

8/20 Sat: 8 miles easy, neighborhood

In addition to running, it's been summer time to the max around here. Family visits, seeing all of my nieces and nephews, several cousins, in-laws, boating, SUPing very briefly but officially for the first time, reading, relaxing etc etc. It's felt very much like the summer I have been waiting for with the temperature finally hitting the very uncomfortable level and that feeling of not being home for more than 10 minutes without something to do coming up. So far, so good. 

Next week I move up to 10 mile tempos which is freaking my shit out, but all the strength workouts will be ones I have already done before. I'm looking forward to attempting the 3x2 mile repeats again this week with a correct workout setup on my Garmin. I have become incredibly dependent on the annoying vibrating bleeps that come from my wrist when I have to hit a certain pace. 

Oh, and the mystery foot pain turned out to be ill fitting shoes and I feel like an idiot about the whole thing so I don't really care to discuss it. Moral of the story = get fitted for shoes. 

How's marathon training going for all y'all? Any Hanson's people that can offer thoughts on what a tempo feels like in comparison to the actual race day feel? I'm getting nervous about making it the whole 26.2 at MP but don't really remember how my workouts felt on the Higdon plans before. 

Gotta go, sweating through my clothes in the home office. It's not pretty!

Week 12 Marathon Training + Socks!

7/31: 16 mile long run 1-90 Bridge!

8/1: 5 mile treadmill run

8/2: 4 x 1.5 mile repeats 1.25W UP+ 1.75 mi CD 11+ miles total

8/3: Wed Rest

8/4: 9 mi Tempo + 1mi WU 1 mi CD

8/5: Rest - kind of shitty, let's not talk about this just yet.

8/6: 8 miles easy neighborhood

8/7: 10 miles easy neighborhood

The theme of this week has been my feet. Ugh. The jury is still out with what exactly is up right now, but I'm trying to stay positive and also not dwell on it. I'll hopefully have more of an update in a few days. Fingers crossed that I'm just being paranoid and weird and overthinking something. Whatever it is has inspired some shakeups in my below the ankle wardrobe. Nothing like a little hitch in your giddyup to make you spend too much money at Road Runner

Round 1 of sock+shoe combo trials to improve overall feet happiness = Zella socks + Saucony Ride 9. 

(Similar socks here, shoes here.) 

(Similar socks here, shoes here.) 

This is my usual shoe with new socks I am fit testing for work. I loved these socks. I usually run in super thin, cotton Adidas or Nike socks I get from the Rack. I also always get blisters of some kind, usually in between my toes and lately some pretty gnarly ones underneath my toes on my right foot. (16 miles last weekend was not pretty). Changing to a more cushioned and non-cotton sock made a huge difference. I've always been a little cautious of thicker socks because I worry about my feet getting too hot or taking up precious real estate in my shoes. However these had these got rid of all my fears with my feet feel awesome and super cushioned the whole 8 miles. Still had some mystery foot stuff, but that is something different I think. 

Shoes here, socks here. 

Shoes here, socks here

This morning I tried out my new Brooks Glycerin 13 (on sale!) and also new Injinji socks. I got the Glycerins in an attempt to replace my Triumph 1's as another cushy option and picked up the Injinji's to combat the supreme blister problems I've been having lately. Again, success all around. NOT A SINGLE BLISTER. This hasn't happened like, ever. I didn't realize that it could happen. Definitely a convert to these socks and abandoning my thin cotton socks altogether. I have read so many positive reviews of these socks, I dont know what took me so long. The shoes felt good, fit well, and hopefully will be a good add to my rotation. I like having a cushioned and lighter option to swap between. 


So overall another good week of miles with the exception of mystery foot problem. I'm loving the miles and am really love running in the morning as well. I get sad every day I see the sunrise getting later and later, but that just means starting a bit later and strapping on some sort of blinking light for those first few miles.

My legs feel good and I am really enjoying the Hanson's method so far. I'm starting week 13 tomorrow and I really cannot believe it. 13 weeks ago I didn't think I could run in the mornings, run 6 days a week, run a long run after a medium run the day before, run a speed workout, or run this many miles total per week. I'm trying to absorb each run and enjoy the process, and so far that part hasn't been too hard. I'm having more of a difficult time visualizing a successful race. Maybe it's the lack of 20 mile runs or now this crazy foot thing, but I just can't see it all coming together. I'm not sure if I need to be worried about this yet, I still have a few weeks until I start to get race nerves. Until then I'll just keep trucking along and watching the Olympics to keep me motivated. Oh and also reading other marathon training blogs, you ladies are ALL KILLING IT.  

When do you start getting pre-race jitters? 

What's your favorite running sock?

Favorite Summer Olympic event?

Week 11 + Running with Long Hair

7/22 Fri - 5.05 Treadmill 

7/23 Sat - 8.13 Neighborhood/Hills

7/24 Sun - 10 Lake Washington

Actually did something social after a Sunday run! 

Actually did something social after a Sunday run! 

7/25 Mon - 5.00 Treadmill

7/26 Tues - 6x1 mile repeats + Run Commute 10.3 total miles

7/27 Wed - REST

7/28 Thurs - 8 mile Tempo + W/up C/Dn Run Commute 10 total miles 

7/29 Fri - 5 miles easy neighborhood

7/30 Sat - 8 miles easy Lake Washington

This week has felt pretty good mentally and physically, good enough that now it's dipping into paranoia about what is going to go wrong between now and race day. I'm thinking a lot about fueling, even though I'm doing it wrong, and about my physical body. Turns out I can't eat kale salad 12 hours before a run without planning for a port-a-potty stop. You'd think that would be something I would know. I'm waffling back and forth between being proud of myself for making it this far into training and starting to believe it might work, and waiting for the other shoe to drop with an unexpected injury or some sort of other barrier to pop up. This morning I tried to focus a lot on enjoying the good feeling run I was having instead of over thinking everything. Sometimes on a good run I can trick myself into thinking that the race is going to feel just as amazing (rarely true) or that the good feelings are just a huge fluke (also rarely true). So today I tried instead of going from one extreme to the other, to sit in the happy zone and enjoy what was happening in those miles, knowing that it may or may not feel like this in a few weeks on mile 18 on slightly rocky terrain with hundreds of other people in god knows what kind of NW summer weather we'll be having. It could feel way worse, it could feel way better. Today felt like yes, I'm a runner and I am training and this is what it feels like for my body to run right now. That's all. Staying in the headspace of the current run instead of pinning all my emotions on what this could mean for any of my future runs was a relief. I ended feeling strong with a little left in the tank. I didn't want to blow my wad today since there are 16 miles looming for tomorrow. 

Another thing to note about this run was that my hair was in a pony and not braids, and when I finished I could actually run a comb through it. THIS IS A MIRACLE. I usually braid to prevent the wad of hair that a ponytail will usually turn into after a few miles of wind and sweat. This morning I tried to preserve the straight hair I've been sporting since Wednesday by adding some serum to it before heading out. Yes, it looked a little greeeezy when I left but by the time I got home I was really happy that it managed to keep itself from cannibalizing into a giant knot. Now I'm chilling in my compression sleeves and semi-okay looking hair and feeling pretty, pretty, pretty good in my filthy office. 



Why is running so effing mental??? 

What's your favorite Larry David quote?


Miles Lately + Running Stores

Sunday 7/17: 15 mile long run

Monday 7/18: 7 miles easy neighborhood

Tuesday 7/19: Track Treadmill Tuesday 4x1200 repeats, 6.30 total miles

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: 7/21 Thursday 8 mile Tempo + w/up c/dwn 10 miles total RUN COMMUTE!

Feeling a little spazzy after my run commute. In new shoes!

Feeling a little spazzy after my run commute. In new shoes!


Notes on the Long Run: Ugh, Invisalign. I really need GU's for fueling so I can take it and wash it down at the water fountains, but due to some poor planning and lack of running supplies at a local Safeway I had to resort to the chews I had left hanging around. I chopped them up (not easy, very sticky) and wrapped them up in plastic wrap. At the usual 3 mile-ish mark I unpacked some lumps and threw 'em back. It sort of worked. I kind of choked a bit and then at the next water fountain held on to some of the lumpy chews in my mouth away from the Invisalign and tried to let the melt for a few miles. Overall it was kind of a disaster. My mouth and trays felt really gross. Later that day I went to Road Runner Sports and got a box of GU's + some Clif Shot Gels to keep it interesting. I'm looking forward to trying these out this weekend. The running part went pretty well. I didn't have the total shit first three miles I usually do and the nothing terrible happened. I saw lots of cute wildlife, other runners, great lake views, and really enjoyed the run. It was weird thinking that I ran almost the max I'm going to for the whole training. In a few weeks I'll run a few 16s and then boom boom boom marathon. Yikes. 

Notes on some shoes and the running shoe store: So y'all know how in love I am with my Saucony Triumphs. Like In LOVE. So it really bummed me out when I couldn't find them again at the running shoe store. I went ahead and tried the Triumph 2's. I bought them from Road Runner and ran a few runs in them while simultaneously developing a pain in my left arch. I kept rotating in my 1's with the 2's and when I'd use my old ones, the pain would go away. I went in on Sunday to return the 2's and walked out with the suggested replacements, the Saucony Ride 9's. The whole thing was really seamless and so far my Ride's are working out pretty well. I had them tied a bit too tight the first run and my toes went numb, but since I loosened them up they've been pretty nice. They aren't as cushy as the Triumph 1's and I am still tempted to hunt them down on Amazon in my size, but for now these will work and they feel fine.  Moral of the story is I love Road Runner Sports and the return policy for shoes and being able to try them out for miles to see if they really work. You just can't tell trying them on once or reading about them online if shoes are going to work for you. This takes that risk out of buying new shoes. I usually feel guilty doing this kind of thing, but it makes sense for a running store and I really appreciate it. 

Hope you guys are having a good running week. My under arm is chafed like crazy from my iphone holder on this morning's run. I hope this didn't happen to you. Happy trails!




Week 9 Training+ Some Thoughts

At least I think it's week 9?

7/9 - 6 mile easy around the neighborhood

7/10 - 10 mile long run at the lake

7/11 - 6.1 mile easy around the neighborhood

7/12 - treadmill (track?) tuesday: 5x1000m repeats, 400 rest between, 1 mile w/u, 1 mile c/d

7/13 - REST

7/14 - 8 mile tempo + 1 mile w/u, w mile c/d RUN COMMUTE OMG

7/15 - 5 mile easy treadmill + Ariana Grande sing along

7/16 - 5 mile easy neighborhood

Some observations from training this week:

Before a few of my runs on the weekends and the tempo on Thursday I've been trying to drink a bit of nuun. I was reading some random running thing (sorry for lack of citations!) that was talking about the importance of electrolytes and sodium in helping your body actually utilize the water you are drinking before a run. Too many runs have been run with water sloshing in my stomach and a lingering queasy feeling when I thought I was helping hydrate. Changing up from drinking 24-32 oz before a run to 8-16 of nuun has helped alleviate the queasy feeling and keep me hydrating, at least it feels a lot better when I do it. 

GUs + water are good at mile 3 of a long run. I'm out of GUs. I have a long run tomorrow. Time to go shopping. 

Easy runs are FUN. I'm trying to remind myself that easy runs are doing a lot of the work in this training plan. By that I mean they are doing the mitochondria building magic that the Hansons talk about, they are slowly fatiguing my legs so when I keep running on them I'm building up endurance. They are making my heart stronger. They are helping maintain and increase my fitness level. Plus, they are EASY so they are fun! I can control my facial expressions a little better so my neighbors don't think I am constantly having a stroke or holding in the biggest poo when I pass them on the run. I actually have enough spare energy and breath to say "hello" or "good morning" instead of grunting and lifting my fingers limply as I pass. I will let myself be stressed about 2 runs a week (tempo and track) and that's it. All the others should have a more relaxed and fun feel. It's making this plan seem less like 16 weeks of death and more like 16 weeks of becoming a better runner who likes running. Weird, right?

Shoes make a difference. I became a Road Runner sports VIP member so I get that fancy 100 day trial for my shoes and boy is it a good thing. I am taking a pair back tomorrow and hoping to get a pair that's better for me or order a repeat of what I have now (Saucony Triumph ISO). The arch of my left foot felt tight and cramped, so I switched back to my old shoes and tada! the pain went away. I hate when shoes change or my favorites get retired. Especially in the middle of training for a race. Fingers crossed I can find some to get me through the next half of this training plan without my feel falling off. 

The long run gets real tomorrow so wish me luck. Hopefully I can get my hands on some GU between now and then!

What's your favorite fuel?

What's your favorite shoe?

What do you think about treadmill speed workouts? Yay or nay?



Two Things To Talk About

1. The last two long runs I've done suck for the first 3 miles and then I eat a gel of some kind all at once washed down at the water fountain and everything gets better. Gels are a must now with the Invisalign and I have to have copius amounts of water to go with it and rinse out my mouth. Also it has to be mostly clear-ish so it doesn't stain. The trials and tribulations of a brace face runner.  Scraping the bottom of the barrel with this flavor. 


2. I moved a track workout to the treadmill yesterday morning and I feel a little guilty about it. I think I need to push out my wake up time a bit since I think the main reason I avoided the track was due to a little fear of the dark. Next week is the last official speed workout and from then on it's officially "strength" workouts. Hmm. We'll see how that goes. Oh and ps it's week 9? Wtf.  

Happy hump day y'all!  

Superstition and Sock Sacrifice

July 3 Sun - 10 mile long run @ the lake

July 4 Mon - 6 easy miles @ the park

July 5 Tues - 6x800m w/ 400m recovery 6.7 miles total

July 6 Wed - rest

July 7 Thurs - 5 mile tempo w/ 1 mile w/up & c/down 

July 8 Fri - 5 easy treadmill

My long run on Sunday was pretty fun but also really terrible. I spent a lot of the first half worried about how slow I was going, all the tiny aches and pains I could feel, how I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can't do this whole Hanson's training plan etc etc. I was stressing about the fuel that I had packed. I was stressing that my whole nutrition plan was garbage (especially after listening to this podcast). I was stressing about how much time it was going to take me to run the future 10 mile tempos in a few weeks before work. It was all a lot of garbage. Then I found a fountain at mile 3, gulped my Honey Stinger (delicious! mostly clear! worked with the invisalign!) and restarted. The next 7 miles felt so much better. I tried to enjoy the views on one of my favorite running paths along Lake Washington and get over it. I did. It was fine. 

For my own reference - Orange Mango was delicious. 

For my own reference - Orange Mango was delicious. 

I was also wearing this shirt for the first time:



After partially Marie Kondo'ing my running clothes (I could probably stand to do a few more rounds) I actually got rid of some old race shirts that I didn't really like or want to wear. But this guy, this one is my absolute favorite but strangely enough I had never worn it before Sunday. That's right. It's sat patiently waiting in my dresser drawer for 3 years until I could work up the nerve to wear it on an actual run. It's like I thought it was going to lose its power or magic if I wore it. I mean, I am worried about stinking it up, but really I think I was just being superstitious. Turns out it fits great and I love wearing it. So glad I did that I've worn it again already this week, after a wash of course. My goal is to keep this shirt from smelling as rank and foul as all my other running clothes. I would like to keep the shirt from my first marathon from smelling like butt. 


I have also been slowly incorporating my new Saucony Triumph ISO 2's into the rotation. Right off the bat they feel a bit roomier than my 1's which I didn't think was possible. They are definitely cushy and wide enough where I need it, but the jury is still out, I'll update in a few more miles. I'm noticing some strain in the arch of my left foot lately and I'm worried it's due to lack of support and the extreme flatness of my feet. Apollo also ate one of my favorite Balega socks (pictured above before the incident) so if anyone has a single they'd like to donate to my now lone favorite neon green sock it would be greatly appreciated. 

Are you sentimental or superstitious about running gear? Any weird rituals?

What's the best sock you've run in? 

Week 7-ish and Eastern Washington Trail Run

Miles since last update:

6/23 7 miles - 5 tempo, 2 w/up/c/d

6/24 4.15 treadmill

6/25 8.06 miles neighborhood easy run

6/26 8 miles in Vancouver! Mom visit

6/27 4 miles in neighborhood. watch died at mile 3.3, I worried I would die

6/28 7.5 miles - Track Tuesday! 8x600 meter repeats. DEATH. Mega digestion issues, pretty tired, used weird porta potty at 5am. 

6/29 Rest

6/30 7 miles - 5 tempo, 2 w/up/c/d

7/1 4 treadmill miles

7/2 6.42 Trail Run - Photos below!


The beginning, when everything was good and lovely. Before I saw all the bear poop and cougar tracks. 


I ran my fastest miles EVER down hill. The first 2 miles were uphill and felt like I was going to murder my spouse for recommending this run. The elevation was a bit more than I am used to plus the incline was a bit intense.  Then I started the downhill and realized I was the only human for miles and started to enjoy it. AMAZING. 


The foliage, so lovely! When I wasn't running from imaginary wild cats I was taking in some breathtaking views. 

Earlier in the week though it was a different story. These AM runs are resulting in some interesting outfit choices, including wearing shirts backwards. Like. A. Boss.


Back V Neck, anyone?


The miles are starting to pile on, tomorrow I have 10 on deck which is my longest so far. Maybe I'll start some fuel experimenting? Does anyone have any recommendations for clear gus? I can't really tell what color they are until they are spilling all over my hands attracting various bugs. I have also been noticing that any extra activities are starting to fall by the wayside and my runs are taking more time. I need to pay a little more attention to what I'm eating nights before track and tempo runs, it seems to have a very direct and uh, urgent effect on my running. I also need to get a massage like you wouldn't believe. My shoulders are super tight from aerial and then work (computers amirite??), my quads are grumpy some mornings more than I would like, and the arch of my left foot is really mad about some lack of support. Saving my pennies this month for a little time with my favorite masseuse and making sure to get my stretching in after ALL runs. 

Okay, time for netflix, dessert, and sleep. NEED SO MUCH SLEEP. 




PS You Can Do This

 I ran my first real legit tempo of the training plan this morning. You guys. It was so hard. Let's talk about it. 

I woke up to very overcast skies and worried a tiny bit about the weather and the thought of running this on the treadmill crossed my mind. With a workout so pace specific though, I realized I couldn't because of the lack of trust in my 'mill and its speed read out. I could go by effort, but I wanted to really know what my MP felt like in real life, not just what I thought it would feel like on the machine. I started with 1 mile warm up and didn't know my route for sure until I crossed the intersection turning myself away from the track. I was thinking maybe I could handle 5 miles on the track because it would be flat but I got bored just thinking about it so I kept going in the neighborhood. Hills will happen and I need to practice. So I did. 

My first 1.5 miles were a tiny incline, enough to make me a little worried and huff and puff a bit. Then as it flattened out I tried to maintain my sanity and keep my pace even. I really didn't move out of the pace zone as much as I thought I would, it's mostly the warmup and c/down where my pace becomes an issue. I am all over the place. I turned around halfway and continued on back. I tried to maintain the 'comfortably hard' feeling I've read about for tempo runs although some of the tiny hills made it feel more hard than comfortable, but I made it. 

The nice thing about tempos and about running with a warmup is that the run doesn't ever get to boring. I'm working the whole time, and working hard keeps my mind busy. Workouts with a purpose seem to turn on a part of my brain that makes it feel like a project and reminds me this is part of meeting my goal, this right now, what I'm doing, is going to help me run the race in September better or worse. It's also nice to have a specific goal to remind myself of when I'm doubting if I want to even put my running shoes on. Even after all my fretting beforehand, I realized at about mile 2 that oh, PS I can do this. I caught myself with the phrase on repeat until it was cool down time so it became my official tempo mantra. BTW self, you can do this hard thing even though you doubt yourself sometimes and ate ice cream yesterday and then some cookies and maybe didn't sleep enough and are running without fueling and your shoes have 430 miles on them and you are really tired and your legs feel like lead and you are not that fast anyway. This training plan so far has taught me that my internal monologue is really important and I need to start feeding it strong and positive data if I'm going to keep this up. 

I made the mistake just now of looking a few weeks ahead on my schedule. So, see you guys later I'm going to go throw up in fear now. I mean, I can do hard things and I'm only thinking about my next run. Trust the training. 

Do you freakout during training?

Do you think the physical or mental aspect is harder when running and training?

Marathon Training Week 6 + My First Track Tuesday

Run update:

Tues 6/14: 5 Easy outside

Wed 6/15: Rest

Thurs 6/16: 4.2 Easy Treadmill

Friday 6/17: 5 Easy outside (BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE OMG)

Saturday 6/18: 4.1 Easy outside

Sunday 6/19: 6 Easy @ the park, first time using a "Workout" on my Garmin. 

Sunday Run View

Sunday Run View

Monday 6/20: 4.1 Easy Outside

Tuesday 6/21: 12X400 repeats, 1.25 mi W/Up & C/Dwn

I used the Workout feature on my Garmin for the first time this weekend and it was amazing and simultaneously super annoying. Turns out I have no idea how to stay on pace and require multiple buzzing and bleeping reminders from my wrist as I try to find it. I wanted to make sure I was actually hitting and staying within my predetermined easy pace on Sunday so I attempted a 1 mile warm-up at v. easy, and then bumped it up super slightly for 4.5 miles and then cooled down for the last half mile. I had no idea how it was going to work and was so embarrassed at the racket my watch was making trying to get me to settle within the 15 second window I had given myself, I kind of missed the first mile. I guess that's one way to speed up a workout! But after I settled in at easy pace of 9:30-9:45 for the majority of the run, it was really nice! It worked out pretty well considering the park is a relatively flat loop, so there weren't any dramatic shifts in effort. I will definitely be using this feature throughout marathon training to help keep me on target. Setting it up on Garmin Connect was super simple and I look forward to playing with all the features. 

Duck feathers and duck poop. Not pictured: really cute ducks at the park.

Duck feathers and duck poop. Not pictured: really cute ducks at the park.

This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed and started to put on my running clothes. I actually asked myself "Is today the day you quit?" and then meekly answered "no" and continued to get dressed. I had never done a speed or track workout before and was terrified that somehow I was going to mess it up or fail all of Marathon by screwing up this workout. I picture myself as a pretty casual and relaxed runner so adding this kind of workout just felt so serious. I was worried it was somehow going to prove I wasn't really a runner, just a lame poser. (Don't ask me how my brain works.) Turns out I didn't fail Marathon and everything worked out pretty well, except for the chafing. 

I ran 1.25 mile easy warm up which is not totally easy that early in the morning, but whatever it was a warmup. Then I attempted my first 400 on the way into the track and the following 11 on the oval. It's a micro oval at an elementary school, but it still works. I had a difficult time staying on pace with each of the 400s at first, starting too fast and then overcompensating, and then all of a sudden it was over because it's only 400 meters. I definitely felt fatigued by the time I got home, but also completely warmed up. It ended up being almost 8.5 total miles which I wasn't expecting (not good at track math yet). I also did them about 5 seconds too slow according to my goal pace, so I'll have to update that for next weeks speed session. At this point though I'm just really happy I did it and did all 12 AND made it to work relatively on time and not broken. The one thing to report is that there was some serious #chubrub at attempt number 8 so I will definitely be wearing capris next week. 

I think my official goal time is between 3:50 and 3:55 for the race. It's not too specific for a couple reasons. I'd like to end up sub-4 because that's a very clear goal and would be a PR. Anything more than that I'm not sure of though. It's been 2 years since I ran a marathon and my running record has been spotty since then with injuries and mental breaks dotting the timeline. I wanted to run a track workout first before totally committing to this time, and still want to leave it flexible. I have my first MP tempo on Thursday which will help me get a better idea of where I'm at and if my goals are really workable. I will base my workouts around this pace and see where I end up. It's a challenge alone just attempting Hanson's so I'm pretty stoked to have made it this far (6 weeks, lol). 

Now it's time for aerial and maybe sleeping in tomorrow since it's an official rest day. Funny thing is I don't mind that I just ran 6 days in a row, it was kind of awesome. I'm going to try and soak in this feeling because I have a suspicion it's fleeting. 

Did you run today?

What's your favorite track workout?