I started the week with a great track workout at home, but mostly I was running on vacation. I love running in new places. We met up with my extended family in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. The cooler temperatures we had all week meant we didn’t get to swim, but the running was lovely. We stayed only about an hour away from the location of my fall marathon so it felt a bit like checking out the terrain. Here’s how the week unfolded.
Super stoked about this week’s workouts. Note: Above photo is me cooling down with a crawl. Also: the only time I bring my phone with me on runs is when I have the stroller so that’s why I never have midrun or even postrun workout photos. But people probably prefer faceless baby photos anyway, right? Read more >>
It is always a little tough to get back in the swing of things after a week away! Routines are a little off, my intestines take some time to adjust back to normal eating habits. It was rough coming back to the crazy Indiana humidity after such nice weather in upstate New York!
Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.11.18 – 06.17.18:
Monday – Easy: 6 miles (9:07 pace)
I started the week off with an easy treadmill run after work Monday evening. I’ve still been struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. I think just knowing that I can just run in the evenings if I don’t run in the mornings gives me an easy out. If I know I won’t have the chance to run later in they day, it’s a lot easier to actually get up and get it done. In the meantime, I’m thankful for a schedule that allows for some flexibility.
Speaking of flexibility though, it must be noted that up until this week I had only been somewhat “loosely” following my training plan. I was getting the workouts in, but I was basically just rearranging the easy runs however I wanted, which was usually based on what anyone else was doing. My coach pointed out that there was in fact “a method to the madness” and that sticking to the actual plan was going to be a key component of reaching my goals. Noted!
Tuesday – Quality: 9 miles (7:50 pace)
Tuesday morning I hit the track for some “light” speedwork to keep the legs fresh for the upcoming race I had on the schedule for Saturday. I did a two mile warm up, 13 X 1 minute hard with 1 minute jogging recoveries and a 3 mile cool down. The goal pace for the hard minutes was 5:45 and I ended up averaging 5:51. During timed intervals, I don’t specifically look at my pace while I am running and I really just try to focus on getting in the appropriate effort.
I was supposed to have an easy double Tuesday evening, but the weather didn’t cooperate. I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the treadmill that evening either, so on day two of #committotheplan and #trusttheprocess, I had to text my coach and ask how I should redistribute the missed miles over the course of the week. I have never really thought of texting my coach for something like this in the past. I think it has something to do with not wanting someone to think that I was “needy” and not wanting to bother someone. I need to get passed that nonsense …
Wednesday – Easy: 8.5 miles (8:37 pace)
Wednesday evening my husband and I ran a variation of our regular loop that gave us a bit more mileage, so that I could get my scheduled eight and a half in (per the training plan).
Thursday – Easy: 7 miles (8:47 pace)
We actually drug ourselves out of bed and ran before work Thursday morning. The hubs did a loop with me and I added on a couple of miles at the end to get my seven for the day.
Friday – Easy: 4.75 miles (9:10 pace)
Friday morning I did a solo easy loop and listened to the Ali on the Run Show episode with Wesley Little. Wesley is a couple’s therapist and it was fascinating to hear about how she became and therapist and how therapy can help so many different people in so many different ways. I’m all about some therapy though, so it makes sense that I enjoyed this episode!
Saturday – RACE: 10 miles (7:59 pace)
Saturday morning I ran the 36th annual Doc’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, AL. I did a two and a half mile warm up, raced the 5K (recap coming soon!) and did a four mile cool down.
Sunday – Easy: 11 miles (8:42 pace)
Sunday morning I got in an easy “long” run with some of my best running friends! Sunday is usually a good group run day, but it was even better this week because one of our friends who moved away about a year ago was back in town visiting. We haven’t seen her since she moved and it was so good to catch up over some easy miles.
I did another thing Sunday afternoon as well and went biking. I mean, what?! We’re talking about riding a bike in the road. I borrowed a friend’s hybrid bike and took it for a spin. I’ve still never ridden a true road bike, but this was definitely a good stepping stone. I was slow as Christmas, but I rode for an hour and had a good time!
Totals – 56.3 miles run and 12.5 miles biked!
Introducing our new slogan: Make Running Great Again™!
Why might we change our slogan from the perfectly adequate “Get Chicked™”? Well, these are dark times in running, between the USATF infringing on athletes’ rights, to the doping epidemic and EPO flooding our borders, to the biased media indoctrinating us with the idea that we have any business spending hours training for marathons. And we long for the good old days, when people whistled while they worked, people knew where to sit on the bus, and we women had fewer choices to confuse us.
Yes, America! We must go back when women were thrown out of the Boston Marathon, and when we could never dream beyond running 800 meters in an Olympic Games, but only manly chicks did that anyway, so we didn’t bother with that dream.
It’s time, America! We’re going to turn back the clock and Make Running Great Again™! It’s gonna be a YUGE success! Read more >>
When we left off, it was two days before my goal 10k race and I was excited for race day (June 10th). We took the 90-minute train ride to Dresden on Saturday, checked into our hotel, and I went to get my race number while my husband and son looked around the city. So far, so good — but I knew the forecast for Sunday was 85F and high humidity. That’s not anyone’s ideal. I focused on keeping a positive mindset, tried to only allow thoughts that would help me and throw the unhelpful thoughts out. My race plan was to start much easier than I thought I should and hope to hang on. Read more >>
One more week of marathon training in the books. Twelve more weeks until race day! From here on out, it’s more marathon-specific training. This week featured a fun track workout, loads of running with friends, and the first time breaking 40 miles since the Donna marathon in February. Read more >>
Can we talk about that gorgeous spring (but almost fall-like) morning weather? I had to restrain myself from running every day this week. Read more >>
It has been a crazy week here! Spent nearly all of it in upstate New York (near Syracuse for a few days and in Buffalo for a few days) to visit my brother and to celebrate the wedding of a longtime friend! I did manage to get in a little bit of activity this week, despite all of the running around that was done. Well, it wasn’t all running around, there was some much needed rest and relaxation for the week also! I got a few beautiful runs in in my brother’s town. The weather was glorious, low’s in the 50’s and high’s in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. It was such a relief from the high heat and humidity that has been plaguing Central Indiana for the last few weeks. Read on for more details of my week!
For a man, being a father and a runner don’t always go together. In fact, finding time for running together with a career, partner, and social life can be as challenging for a guy as getting all their kids buckled into the minivan without anyone having to go potty — you think you’ve got it all under control, until everything comes crashing down. Ladies, do you ever wonder how these supermen do it all? In this Week in the Life, a busy #fatherrunner tells us how he balances family, work, life, and running. Read more >>
Weeks 29-30 and 30-31 of pregnancy
I’m really putting the ‘untraining’ in this training cycle! Pregnancy is a lot like a reverse training cycle: I’ve definitely become detrained (at least specific to running) along the way, and now am just kind of hanging in there to maintain my general health, fitness and sanity till delivery rolls around. (Emphasis on roll.)
Monday 5/28 – Memorial Day was a damp squib of a day, wet and rainy. Husband and his brother took the kiddos cabin camping overnight, which I declined, because I can barely sleep well in my own bed as it is, let alone in a sleeping bag on a hard platform. I ended up staying in PJs, doing chores, and reading for most of the day, and made cookies for a friend who’s solo parenting for a month. I did a couple of Aaptiv maternity workouts: one strength, one elliptical cardio. I also read this and thought about my cousins and other relatives in military service here and elsewhere.
Tuesday 5/29 – off
Wednesday 5/30 – Shuffling around the track, ~25 minutes.
Thursday 5/31 – off
Friday 6/1 – Aaptiv workout, walk ~3.5 miles
Saturday 6/2 – off
Sunday 6/3 – Cambridge 5K Freedom Run! 3.1 miles
Cambridge 5K Freedom Run: a mini race-recap
On Sunday I woke up, still not sure whether I was going to spectate or participate. The weather decided it for me – sunny most of the day and in the 50s/60s? Bring it on! We started at the back, with the strollers and the walkers (and the costumes. I spotted both Uncle Sam and a 6ft hot dog wearing the works), right where I needed to be to do a 5 minute run/ 1 minute walk ratio. I was definitely running during the run segments, but it was an easy effort – no heroics here.
The course starts outside a mall, goes through an office area with lots of biotech companies, then loops
back up to Cambridge Street and the residential neighbourhood near the local courthouse. There are maybe four or five turns, a brief climb, and a gradual downhill back to the finish. I can think of worse ways to spend a summer Sunday. I finished with a record personal worst and can definitively say the Cambridge 5K race experience is just as pleasant at the back of the pack as it is in the middle, which is not true of every race – but should be.
The afterparty featured a huge range of brews and ciders (sadly, none for me this year, but I did snag a lemonade and a couple cans of cold-brew coffee to take home), but it was loud and a little overwhelming for the stroller set – and my ice cream hopes were dashed! What kind of barbaric summer race doesn’t have ice cream or freeze pops at the end?! Otherwise, if you like beer and dancing plus a well-organised race experience, it’s worth the money.
Alas, post-race sacroiliac pain bugged me for the next couple of days. The terrible thing is that I never know when it’s going to flare up or how bad it’s going to be – sometimes I can walk for miles or run without pain, sometimes I walk a mile and the pain shoots down my leg, and sometimes it doesn’t show up until hours *after* the offending workout. This particular flare was bad enough to need a heating pad, and I made a couple of PT appointments to figure out how to quell it.
Monday 6/4 – off
Tuesday 6/5 – MYRTLs, perfunctory series of lunges and squats
Wednesday 6/6 – walk (errands)
Thursday 6/7 to Sunday 6/10 – travel. We were in New Orleans for the very sweet, very beautiful and very low-key wedding of one of my dearest friends from college. (I asked her for sitter recommendations as she’s nannied in the past and has friends with kids in town, and she said ‘oh, just bring Kiddo’! Who turned out to be all kinds of well-behaved, especially after we plied him with snacks, and was the first one to hit the dance floor at the reception before he was hustled back to our AirBnB for bedtime.)
Remarkably, despite walking (maybe much more slowly than normal? the weather was very sticky) all over the city, I had no pain. None. Zilch. My brain and body must’ve been in full-on holiday mode, so that even the sacroiliac pain took a vacation. Does dancing my feet off for hours at the wedding reception count as a workout? I think so.
Naomi Alderman, ‘The Power’;
Alex Hutchinson, ‘Endure’;
Hanya Yanagihara, ‘A Little Life’;
Thomas Pynchon, ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ (for book club…very…slowly…)
By now everyone knows about that raccoon who scaled a 25-story skyscraper in St. Paul this week. Epic! Look at that cute, furry, lean mean climbing machine! Are you not inspired?
What’s that you say? Rabies-ridden trash panda?
Total badass, more like. Move over honey badger. This raccoon is now officially my role model for training. No, not because it’s my life goal to trend on Twitter, but that wasn’t the raccoon’s fault anyway. She was just doing what daredevil raccoons do best (apart from ripping apart trash cans in large groups and scaring you when their eyes glow from your headlamp on those early a.m. runs): inspiring greatness.
Still not convinced? Here’s why stuntcoon is going to help you take your running to new heights:
I ran a 1:45:45 half marathon — a PR by seven minutes — and I am still smiling. I can hardly believe I did that! Read more >>
Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.04.18 – 06.10.18:
Monday – Off
I know “they” say #nevermissamonday, but this runner missed a Monday and lived to tell the tale. In all actuality, I planned to run after work but didn’t end up getting home until close to 7 p.m. and I had a workout scheduled for the next day, so I decided that it made more sense to just take the day off and be ready to roll in the morning.
Tuesday – Quality: 8.75 miles (7:45 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a two mile warm up, 10 X 400 and a three mile cool down. Mr. Sesame ran this one with me and that helped me out so much! It’s really amazing how much of a difference it makes to have someone to pace off of and work with during a workout (especially at the track). My splits were 86, 84, 83, 84, 85, 83, 83, 83, 83, 81 and his were all about 2 to 3 seconds quicker. We knocked this one out before work Tuesday morning and were both really pleased with how it went!
Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:20 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:00 pace)
I met my RBF at dark o’clock (i.e., we were done with our run before 5:30 a.m.) on Wednesday to celebrate Global Running Day. It’s crazy how oddly satisfying it can be to have a double digit run knocked out before the rest of the world is even awake.
Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:55 pace)
My legs were definitely a bit tired Thursday. I did an easy loop before work.
Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:16 pace)
Admittedly, Friday’s run was a bit of a mess. We went fishing all day Friday and I couldn’t decide whether it would be good to try to get my other workout for the week out of the way on Friday or whether I should just wait and do it on Saturday. I wanted to do it Friday because I figured I would be worn out Saturday after being out in the sun all day long. The problem was that I needed to be done with my workout by 5:30 a.m. Friday morning in order to make the fishing trip. I knew that the early wake up was possible (I mean, I did it Wednesday), but I also knew that it was going to be tough.
Sure enough, when push came to shove, I hit snooze a few times and didn’t get started as early as I needed to. I had a three mile warm up, so I planned to do that on the treadmill and then head over to the track for the workout. My husband was going to come up to the track around 5 to check on me. For whatever strange reason, the treadmill cut off on me about a mile and half into the run, so I was kind of forced to go ahead and go to the track. I don’t like running by myself in the dark, so I really didn’t want to have to go over there any earlier than absolutely necessary. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew it would be fine. By the time I finished my warm up miles, it was already 4:45 and I knew that there was no way that I was going to have time to do the workout and the cool down, so I decided to just do an easy run around the track instead.
Saturday – Quality: 9 miles (8:12 pace)
Saturday morning I did a three mile warm up, a workout of 1 X 1600 followed by 4 X 800 with two minute standing recoveries between and a three mile cool down. The workout was actually supposed to have two more 800s and another 1600 at the end, but I didn’t make it that far. I waited until a bit later than usual to run and I felt like I was cooking in the heat on the track. I ran 5:53 for the mile and 5:50 average for the 800s. I messed up the actual splits on my watch because of the standing recoveries. I should’ve just set up the workout on my Garmin and done it that way, but I decided I could figure it out on my own and that didn’t exactly work out for me.
Sunday – Easy: 8 miles (8:12 pace)
I finished up the week with an easy group run Sunday morning. My legs were definitely feeling the effects of Saturday’s speed work!
Total – 55.3 miles
Today we’re addressing a question from reader CW that she left as a comment on a post about how to run a sub-3 marathon. CW asks a very common question: how to get back to her pre-baby race times.
Can it be done? Absolutely. Two of our resident fast-as-F moms, Hops and Parsley, have been there and done that. Below, they share their top 3 tips for CW and anyone else in her situation. While the question is sub-3-specific, the advice can apply to any woman at any level looking to train seriously again after having babies.
I am 32 years old now with two kids (seven months old and a three year old) and I really want to get back to racing. My last marathon was Boston Marathon 2013 and I ran it in 2:51. I ran that by running pretty much every day — maybe one day off every two weeks. I consistently did one long run a week of 18-22 miles with some at goal marathon pace and did at least one tempo run a week. I raced a 10k and half marathon in the training period to gauge fitness. I PR’d in the 10k with a 37:37 and half marathon with a 1:23. After having my first baby, I started running three days per week 6-ish miles at a slow pace for me. Then I got pregnant with my second kid (now 7 months old). Currently I am running three days a week about six miles per run. I really want to start training for another marathon but have no idea where to begin. Any ideas or training plans? I’d love to be fast again.
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