Marathon Monday

Ok, so it's not quite Monday anymore, but close enough! Here's my wrap up of last week's training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Monday evening was the first day of soccer practice for Big Kid. Seeing as how I didn't get up in the morning for my planned 7 miles, I took Little Man out in the jogging stroller for a little 5K during soccer. I failed to check the temperature before I started and almost died by mile 3 because I started out WAY too fast for the "felt like" 92 degrees. Oops! But at least I got a few miles in.

Tuesday morning was an easy speedwork day for the Ten Miler Team. It was a cut-back week for them. We did a mile warm up and then a 2 mile time trial. I ran my 2 miles in 16:48, my second fastest 2 mile time. Not bad considering the tired legs from the night before and still 12 seconds faster than I need to max my run on my PT test! We ended with a nice easy 1 mile cool down.

I actually managed to get up and run Wednesday morning and I got a nice easy 6.9 miles in! I tackled the hills along one of the bike path routes and then just kind of meandered through the neighborhood to get home. I finished the 6.9 miles in 1:10:09 – not a bad way to start off the day!

Thursday was a rest day for the team, so no practice. I ran a nice easy 3.2 miles on one of my flatter routes. Finished in 30:30.

Friday was a rest day for me. It was nice getting a little extra sleep. However, I was still up about 5:30 or so, so I got some crocheting done and I did a short 10 minute yoga work out!

Saturday I knocked out a super hilly 13.1 miles for my long run (no team practice as most everyone was racing 5Ks). I finished in 2:19:47 – 15 seconds per mile faster than when I ran this same route back in the spring!! After my turn around point (it was an out-and-back route), I saw a snake on the side of the road that was about as big around as my forearm. Thankfully it was dead, but talk about a spike in my heart rate! I felt pretty good after this run despite the hills. Training on hills will be nice come my half marathon in 4 weeks and the Marine Corps Marathon in October – both those courses are fairly flat!!

Sunday was a rest day, and it was nice sleeping in a little more than usual. However Little Man decided that 6:30 was a perfectly ok time to wake up; Mommy would have liked to have slept for another hour or hour and a half.

Total miles for the week – 29.4

It was a really good week of training!!

Marathon Monday

It's time for another recap of my marathon training!! It wasn't the best of weeks, so this will be pretty short. It's all good though! One bad week doesn't make for a bad marathon.

Monday got the week off to a good start with a nice little 5K in the morning. Or not so nice. It was supposed to be 7, but everything just felt off so I cut my run short to save it for another day. 3.11 miles in 30:26, 9:47 pace.

Tuesday was our weekly speed session at a local high school track! I'm really enjoying the speed days with the Ten Mile Team. After a 1 mile warm up (9:32), we did 5x1K repeats and then walked from the finish to the start for recovery. I now know what a sub-25 5K feels like (kind of). My time for the 5K was 24:56, an 8:03 pace!! My goal is to someday run a sub-25 5K race. Then it was a mile cool down, again 9:32 for me!

Wednesday had another 7 on the schedule, but I don't remember what happened. Sleep probably.

Thursday was a 65 minute run with the goal of getting a negative split. I made that happen, and had a nice little progression run as well (each mile is faster than the previous). I ran 6.65 hilly miles in the 65 minutes, 9:47 pace!! I'll take that.

Friday was a planned rest day which worked well since I had early formation for a ceremony.

Saturday was our team long run day, but the weather didn't cooperate. It was POURING at 6 a.m. when we were supposed to start. I'll run in the rain, but this was ridiculous and our team coach decided we weren't going to run. Not to mention that there was lightning about 20 miles away and getting closer.

Sunday morning was going to be my long run make-up day, but I ended up sleeping through my alarm and was awakened by my "Thomas alarm" at 8:00! The extra sleep sure was nice, but running would have been nice as well. I had 14 on the schedule and that just didn't happen. Oh well.

Total miles for the week – 14.9

Overall I'm happy with the runs that I did get in, especially with the speed session on Tuesday. On to next week!!

Marathon Monday

I had another really good week of training last week! Training with the Ten Mile Team really helps keep me consistent, and the encouragement I get from the team members is awesome.

I started off the week with a rest day on Monday. When I went to bed Sunday night I was undecided as to whether I would run, go for a bike ride, or put in a yoga DVD. The answer? None of the above. I forgot to set my alarm to workout time, so I got some extra (and probably much needed) sleep!

Tuesday morning was speed work at the track! I've really come to look forward to speed days, and Tuesday was an awesome workout. After a mile warm up, we did 4×800 with 90-120 seconds rest in between followed by 4×400 with 200 meters recovery followed by 2×1 mile with a few minutes rest in between!! My average pace for my 2 miles was 8:47, even after the other stuff!! I'm definitely getting to be a stronger runner. After a .8 mile cool down, my total mileage for the morning was right around 7.3 miles. Not a bad way to start the week!

Wednesday morning was another rest morning. I think I had planned on getting up and getting 5-6 miles in, but I think I must have needed sleep.

Thursday morning was fartleks on one of the dirt roads we run on. We did a 10 minute warmup followed by 5 sets of 5 minutes at 10 mile race pace and 5 minutes recovery and a 10 minute cool down. I had to walk a little during the recovery times, but I still had a great workout! I covered 6.9 miles in an hour and ten minutes.

Friday morning we had a Change of Command ceremony to march, so it was an early formation/no workout kind of morning. It was close to 80 by the time the ceremony started and I think I got my workout in from marching and standing on the field in the heat.

Saturday morning was an awesome long run! It was the complete opposite of last week's. I ran just over 12 miles in 2:07:35 – 2+ miles farther and about 20 seconds per mile FASTER than my 10 last weekend! It's amazing what a couple degrees cooler temperature and proper fueling and hydration can do for a run. After we were done with our long runs (everyone went different distances and routes), we waded around in the lake for a while after just chatting and enjoying the social aspect of running. Although the lake water is pretty warm, it still felt really good on my legs after the run.

I had planned on doing a 3-4 mile recovery run Sunday morning before church, but after the awesome run Saturday morning and a church pool party Saturday afternoon, I was tired. I got a wonderful 10 hours of sleep overnight Saturday! It was kind of nice sleeping in and just using my "Thomas alarm".

My total miles for the week was 26.5 – that makes 2 weeks in a row with mileage over a marathon! Now to keep up on that consistency.

Marathon Monday

My marathon Monday posts are back! My next goal race is the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in October, but that's also going to be part of my training for the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World in January. So now you get to read all about my training for the next 5+ months!! Feel free to offer me encouragement and/or words of advice.

This past week I finally got my training back on track and actually logged over a marathon of miles. Training with the Fort Rucker Army Ten Mile team really helps. I didn't make the team but I will still be able to train with them! They are an awesome group of runners and Soldiers.  Anyway, on to my training. . .

Monday was a rest day although it was anything but a sleep in day. One of my Soldiers and I had formation at 0500 for the trip to Fort Benning, GA, for a school for him. It was a long day with the 2 1/2 hour ride there, standing around waiting, and the 2 1/2 hour ride back (on a Bluebird bus, nonetheless), and then I still had a rehearsal to go to in the afternoon.

Tuesday was speed work day at the track with the team. We did a 1 mile warm up and then 4×800 m repeats with 2-3 minutes rest in between and then 4×400 m repeats with 200 m in between. Then we did 4×100 m strides and a 1/2 mile cool down. It was going to be 8×400 and a mile cool down, but with the 100% humidity, it was pretty miserable running. But it was still a really good workout! I got a total of 5.3 miles in.

Wednesday was an easy 5 mile run on my own. It was nice running one of my usual routes again. It was 75 degrees and 94% humidity, but I managed 5.1 miles in 49:47.

Thursday was a short run with the team to taper for Saturday's 10 mile run off. I ran 3 miles in 29:29 on part of the course that we'd be using on Saturday.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but we had a Battalion Run so I didn't get a day off, but it all worked out. We ran 3.3 miles in 29:15 (an 8:53 pace). It was a pretty nice little run, our first with our new Battalion Commander.

Saturday morning was our team 10 mile run off to determine the team. Like I said earlier, I didn't make the team, but that's ok. It's been awesome training and I will continue to train with them! I ran my hot, humid, hilly 10 miles in 1:48:17 – about 10 minutes slower than my goal. It was 75 degrees and 100% humidity when we started and I really should have carried my water with me. I didn't get any water until almost mile 5 and that really did me in. Our coach/team captain was at the turn around and had my water bottle and also gave me a bottle of Gatorade. I finished off the 20 oz of Gatorade during the second 5 miles and then finished off my 24 oz water bottle as well. I lost 4 1/2 pounds during the run, if that says anything. But I finished and it was really nice having everyone else there waiting for me and cheering me on (unlike last year's 10 mile run off when there were only 2 other runners left when I finished). The team dynamic this year is a lot better than last year and I really enjoy running with them.

Total miles for the week – 26.7, and I ran 5 days in a row!! It was a great week despite all the heat and humidity. That's what you get when you live in southern Alabama.

Marathon Monday – Country Music Marathon Race Report!

The Country Music Marathon this past Saturday was my 4th marathon, and first since I've been a mom of 2 (my last marathon was March 2010). I had been watching the weather forecast from 10 days out and watched the chance of rain go from 40% to 100%. Saturday morning dawned overcast and dreary. It tried sprinkling a little while we were driving to the start area (Ryan and the boys ended up getting up to drive me as all the shuttles were sold out and I wasn't about to pay $30-$40 for a taxi), but then it stopped. The guys dropped me off and I headed down to the start area. I actually found a group of porta-potties that didn't have much of a line. I'm not sure how people weren't seeing them – it's not like they were hidden or anything – but that sure was nice. After that stop, I headed to corral 20 and that's when it started raining, lightly. There was a gas station right by corral 20, and there were several hundred runners huddled together under the covering over the pumps. That made it a little nicer. I was wearing a trash bag, but it was still nice being under cover for a while. Eventually I made my way into the corral (which actually ended up being corral 21 – they had the signs with the corral numbers at the back of the corral instead of the front) and did my final stretching. We paused for a moment of silence for Boston and then the National Anthem and they finally got the wheelchairs underway. I crossed the start line about 30 minutes after corral 1 started, so not too bad. I never was in a really large clump of runners, so that was nice, but I did do my share of weaving back and forth.

I wore my trash bag for the first mile and would have worn it a bit longer, but when I tried to make arm holes (I'd only had a head hole at first), I managed to get my right arm hole too close to the head hole and I ended up with a trash bag toga and I decided to get rid of it altogether. It really wasn't too bad running in the rain, but I'm very thankful I decided at the last minute to wear a hat (I had never worn a hat while running before, but it didn't bother me at all). I'm also thankful that I no longer wear glasses – I saw a lot of people with glasses and they were getting wet and/or fogging up. During the early miles, I leap-frogged with another Team RWB member, and when we were running together, we spent some time chatting. She was running the half marathon. It was nice chatting with her, and we didn't even notice the gradual 3 mile uphill climb that we had! Eventually our run/walk times didn't coincide anymore and we drifted apart.

I felt really good for about the first 15 miles, although I was half tempted to take the half marathon turn off and just call it a day. But I decided that I hadn't done all that training for nothing and I really couldn't get any wetter than I already was, so I went on. I'm really glad that I didn't turn off and that I completed the full distance! My knee started hurting some for a few miles around this point, but I managed to stretch a few times and it was fine until around mile 23. Mile 17 was a tough mile because we were running by the half marathoners again, but they were turning into LP Field (the stadium where the Tennessee Titans play!) for their finish. That was where we finished, too, but we still had another 9 miles to go.

Somewhere shortly after the 4 hour mark the rain tapered off and eventually stopped for a while. During this time, I was praying that the sun wouldn't come out because that would have been really miserable with as soggy as I was. I had been wringing out my ponytail and my skirt during most of my non-fuel walk breaks, and my shoes were squishy from not only the rain, but the water on the roads we had to run through. In some places it was 2-3 inches deep. Thankfully Feetures makes awesome socks and I ended the day with not one blister despite all the sogginess!! I was out in a park/golf course when the rain stopped, and we got to run around a really pretty area in the park, including around a lake. It was nice that I could enjoy the beauty a little without the rain falling down. It was also around here – around mile 23 that my knee started acting up again (I think it's due to weak hip abductors and/or adductors) and I had to stop and stretch and walk more frequently. Up until this point I was on pace for a sub-5 hour marathon and when I realized that wasn't going to happen, I was sad for a little while, but then I brushed it off knowing I was still going to have a HUGE PR (personal record)!! I could have walked the last 3 miles completely and still had a PR!

Despite the rain and the super hilly course (I knew it was going to be hilly going into it, having studied the course elevation profile), I finished in 5:06:24 which was a new PR by an hour and 18 minutes!! I never once had to use my hill mantra (This little hill ain't nothin'), but the relentlessness of the hills is what hurt my knee, I think. My nutrition plan was perfect – a serving of Generation UCAN pom-blue and an English muffin with peanut butter before the race, and 4 Jelly Belly Sport Beans every 20 minutes and alternating water & Gatorade at every water stop during the race! I also had 2 orange slices around mile 18 and they sure tasted good!

Here are my splits from the day – feet of elevation gained/lost for each mile are in parentheses:
Miles 1-5 – 11:00 (60/62), 10:45 (53/135), 10:48 (114/48), 11:01 (104/35), 11:14 (81/25)
Miles 6-10 – 10:45 (34/85), 10:47 (58/71), 10:59 (85/41), 10:50 (42/114), 10:58 (31/93)
Miles 11-15 – 11:25 (21/64), 11:18 (69/38), 11:12 (92/90), 10:50 (9/58), 11:33 (100/32)
Miles 16-20 – 11:46 (42/88), 12:55 (84/23), 12:07 (133/141), 11:40 (61/31), 11:17 (91/167)
Miles 21-26.5 – 11:31 (22/30), 11:30 (52/69), 13:11 (68/47), 12:33 (27/48), 13:25 (62/52), 13:08 (41/10), 11:20 pace for the last .5 (16/52)
Total elevation gain – 1653 ft.
Total elevation lost – 1751 ft.

Post Country Music Marathon

All in all, I'm very happy with how the day went!! I'm going to try tweaking my run/walk ratios from 9:1 to maybe 7:1 or 8:1, and I'm definitely going to work on some strength training for my hips (and everywhere). The Marine Corps Marathon in DC in October will be flat compared to this and I should definitely get my sub-5 marathon and another new PR in the fall! But in the meantime, I'll be running the 10 Miler here on post on May 11 and the Army Strong Triathlon on post on June 15. I'll keep posting my training updates weekly, but they might become Training Tuesday. Marathon Monday posts will start back up in mid-July when I start training for the Marine Corps Marathon!

CMM Flat Mama

Thanks to everyone for cheering me on and supporting me for this marathon training cycle and the Country Music Marathon!!

Tuesday Thoughts & Training

In the light of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday, one of my good friends asked me if I would still be running my marathon that I've been training for. When I said "Yes, of course, I'm still going to run it" he said that he hoped that I would say that. We runners are a strong community and something like yesterday will only make us stronger – both as individuals and as a whole community. Although tragic, yesterday's events will not stop us. They will give us even more drive and determination to do what some think is crazy or even impossible. On that note, here's my training recap from last week, my first week of tapering for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville!

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 4 miles
                What I did (WID): Ran 4 miles!! Yes, I actually got my week started off on the right foot!

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)        
                 WID: Rest, and the extra sleep sure was nice!! I did have a softball game in the evening, so I didn't have a complete day of rest.

Wednesday – OTS: 8 miles    
                      WID: Sleep. I was tired after the softball game last night which was followed by wearing Thomas during Robert's baseball game afterwards. And then we didn't get home until after 9 and Thomas was overtired and was up several times during the night.

Thursday – OTS: 3 miles
                  WID: Ran 6.1 miles – made up for yesterday a little bit. I was a little stiff from the softball game on Tuesday and this really helped loosen my legs up.

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. Another graduation ceremony with 0715 formation, so no time for even a short workout DVD. Last one of these Friday graduations for a while.

Saturday – OTS: 12 miles
                  WID: Ran 12.8 miles. I had a great run, my fastest paced long run since my half marathon in February. What a great confidence boost for 2 weeks before my marathon!!

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: Much needed rest!! It was nice sleeping in a little later.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 27, Actual: 22.8
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 270

I'm thankful that softball season has started so I don't go crazy with my lower mileage during taper.

Wednesday Wrap-Up

As promised yesterday, here is my training report from last week! I had a pretty good week, only missing one run and culminating in my 20 miler!!

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 5 miles
                What I did (WID): Sleep. And it was planned after running my long run the day before.

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)         
                 WID: Ran 4.6 miles to start off the day! It would have been the 5 miles, but I started having some tummy issues so I ended up walking the last almost half mile home.

Wednesday – OTS: 5 miles     
                      WID: Sleep. That's an important part of training, right??

Thursday – OTS: 5 miles
                  WID: 5.4 miles in the rain! It was an awesome run with perfect temperatures and a great way to start off the day!

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. Another graduation ceremony with 0715 formation, so no time for even a short workout DVD. Well, I guess I could have gotten up at like 4:30 and did 30 Day Shred. But I didn't. Rest is always nice.

Saturday – OTS: 20 miles!!
                  WID: Ran 19.5 miles which is close enough in my book! I ended up leaving an hour and a half later than planned, despite being completely ready by 5:15. I went to turn on my Garmin, only to discover it was completely dead despite me charging it after Thursday's run. So I waited for it to charge. During my almost 3.75 hours out running, the temperature went up almost 30 degrees and by the end, my long sleeves and tights were way too much. But I persevered and got it done! One of my friends came and joined me for miles 8-11 and that was really nice having her run with me.

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: Much needed rest!! It was nice sleeping in a little later.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 35, Actual: 29.5.
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 247.2

It's all downhill from here! Taper has begun and my mileage, especially my Saturday long runs, will be going down. Thankfully intramural softball has started, so I won't go completely crazy with less running!

Marathon Monday

Despite missing one run and having 2 others that were short it was still a pretty good week to end my highest mileage month ever! I was so close to that elusive 100 miles, but there's always next month!

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 7 miles
                What I did (WID): Sleep. And it was planned after running my long run the day before.

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)          
                 WID: 4 windy and chilly miles in the afternoon. I slept too long in the morning so I ran after work. I only had time for 4 miles before we had to head to baseball practice. Oh, and did I mention I ran these at a 9:13 pace despite the 13 mph winds with gusts over 35 mph!!

Wednesday – OTS: 7 miles      
                      WID: Sleep in the morning. I don't know what I did after work that I didn't run. Oh well.

Thursday – OTS: 7 miles
                  WID: 4.2 miles in the afternoon with Thomas in the jogging stroller. We ran while Robert was at baseball practice. It was nice taking Thomas out in the jogger again – first time since November. He laughed and giggled the whole time and when I was done, he was signing for more!

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. Another graduation ceremony with 0715 formation, so no time for even a short workout DVD. Well, I guess I could have gotten up at like 4:30 and did 30 Day Shred. But I didn't. Rest is always nice.

Saturday – OTS: 12 miles
                  WID: Slept through my alarm clock – didn't wake up until almost 9!! The sleep sure was nice, although I really wish I had gotten my long run in.

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: 12.1 miles. Ugly miles. I ran in the afternoon after church and it was nearly 80 out. I wasn't properly hydrated or fueled, and my trial fuel for the run didn't work for me at all. 40 ounces of water during the run wasn't enough water. The super hilly route I chose probably didn't help either. But I got the miles in and learned the importance of not sleeping through my alarm clock now that it's getting warmer out.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 33, Actual: 20.3.
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 217.7

4 weeks to go until the Country Music Marathon. I'm nervous about my 20 miler this coming Saturday, but at least now I've figured out what type of fuel works for me during my runs. I've ordered a 24 variety pack of Jelly Belly's Sport Beans and hopefully they arrive on time. At least I know where I can buy some locally if I need to.

Marathon Monday

This past week was by far my best week of training!! I'm really excited to report that I actually got all 4 of my runs in!

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 6 miles
                What I did (WID): 6 miles – This consisted of 2 miles in the morning as part of my PT test (during which I scored a 298 out of a possible 300; my highest score ever and the highest score in the unit!) and then another 4 miles in the afternoon with the Soldiers that are on special PT.

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)           
                 WID: We had our weigh in for the PT test this morning, so no workout, but rest is good!

Wednesday – OTS: 7 miles       
                      WID: 7.2 miles – It felt great to start my day with a nice hilly longish run!

Thursday – OTS: 5 miles
                  WID: 5 miles! Another awesome start to my day, although it was a little chilly.

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. Thomas had his 18 month well baby doctor visit (Doctor deemed him perfect!) and then at lunch we had a hail & farewell luncheon to say farewell to 3 outstanding Soldiers and welcome several others to our unit. I had to go back to my office for a little bit in the afternoon after I got Thomas down for a nap (we kept him home all day after his appointment since I knew the departing Soldiers would like to see him).

Saturday – OTS: 17 miles
                  WID: Slept through my alarm clock – didn't wake up until almost 8!! The sleep sure was nice!

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: 14 miles. I got up and ran before church. Although it wasn't the 17 that was on the schedule, I'm really happy that I was able to get a good long run in.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 35, Actual: 32.2. It was my first week ever of running more than 30 miles in the week!!
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 197.4

5 weeks to go until the Country Music Marathon and I'm feeling pretty good! I'm still nervous about the marathon, but hopefully I'll feel a little better after my 20 miler in 2 weeks.

Wednesday Wrap-Up

It's been a crazy week and I didn't get my Marathon Monday post done, so I'll call it Wednesday Wrap-Up this week. Same post, just a few days late!

My running this past week started off ok and went downhill from there. But life gets in the way sometimes and some miles are better than no miles! Here's my recap of this past week's training. . .

Monday – On the schedule (OTS): 5 miles
                What I did (WID): 3.6 miles – I didn't get up with my alarm so I ended up running after work, and I only had time for 3.6 miles before having to do end-of-day mommy duties.

Tuesday – OTS: Rest or XT (cross train)            
                 WID: My friend/CrossFit trainer had been sick and didn't make it to the gym. Since I was there, I decided I should still do a workout and I got on the rowing machine and did 2500 meters in a little over 12 minutes. Nice short total body workout!

Wednesday – OTS: 7 miles        
                      WID: 4.5 miles – Again, I didn't get up in the morning and I ended up having to run after work again.

Thursday – OTS: 4 miles
                  WID: Nothing. Again. I haven't gotten a Thursday run in for almost a month.

Friday – OTS: Rest or XT
              WID: Rest. We had a ceremony with an early formation and then work got crazy and I didn't leave the office until almost 1 so I didn't get to go to the gym.

Saturday – OTS: 17 miles
                  WID: Sat on a bus for 3 hours, marched a short parade, ate lunch, and sat on the bus for the 3 hours home. Formation was at 0430. Once we got back, we had family fun time and went bowling.

Sunday – OTS: Rest or XT
               WID: Ran 5.8 miles. I wanted to get at least something in this weekend. I had planned on getting up and getting a couple hour run in before church, but that didn't happen so I ran in the afternoon after we got home from church.

Total miles for the week – Scheduled: 33, Actual: 13.9. Yeah, not so good, but again, some miles are better than no miles!
Total miles run for this marathon training cycle so far – 158.4

I'm ok with how this week went training-wise. I'm starting to finally get it through my head that life gets in the way sometimes and you do what you can when you can. I still have 6 1/2 weeks until my marathon.