Mindi is a serial marathoner. She is a private practice attorney, wife and mom of two awesome (and super fast) boys, ages 12 and 14. She coaches Girls on the Run and is a big advocate of youth running.

Good Golly, It’s Molly!

All smiles for this NCAA Cross-Country Champ
All smiles for this 2015 NCAA CC Champ

If you haven’t been watching rising star, Molly Seidel, you should be. She is fast. She is feisty. She is smart. She is a badass and she is making her mark on the running world! She will no doubt continue on a swift, upward trajectory; having amazing talent, an impressive work ethic, a strong support network, and even the prayers of Pope Francis to support her.

After an incredible high school career, Molly is now hitting a high point with her running at Notre Dame. This year alone, she won two NCAA titles and obliterated the infamous Foot Locker Curse. I had the good fortune of meeting Molly a couple of weeks ago at the Foot Locker Midwest Cross Country Championships, where we talked about her career to date, what’s in her future, and her approach to running that has made her a role model in the sport of Women’s Running. Read more >>

A Salty Guide to the Standing Desk

Sitting =

Sitting is the new smoking.  We read it all the time and we’ve even written about it here.

For me it’s been one of those things I’ve read about numerous times, but I have had a hard time doing anything about it. I’ve researched various models of standing desks for more than two years and never quite found anything that fit my needs or finances.

That said, after last fall’s training season, I realized that I really need to get out of my sitting pattern if I am going to train at a high level. Or even medium level. I often sit for 10 hours a day (if not more), and only get up 3-4 times a day for a couple of minutes at a time. After I hit age 40, it started taking a toll. After hard workouts in the morning, I would get up after a few hours of sitting and would feel excruciatingly sore. You know the feeling – you get up, workout hard, then sit for hours at work. You get up for a glass of water and AI-YI-YI your hammies, hips (insert  your problematic body part) scream in protest.

It was time for me to do something.


Mint’s Training Log – 1.25.15

So happy this baby is working again!
So happy this baby is working again!

Good news, Salties!  This week I hit all of my scheduled runs + 40 extra minutes.  I may just be back on track.

I am still very low mileage and progressing slowly, but it is the path I need at this time.  I am also committed to making yoga a regular part of my training regime.  I’ve resisted stretching for too long, but it is now time to get back at it if I want to remain injury free.

Monday is my rest day.  I did do arm weights, however.  They had been put away for some home renovations, so it was nice to have them back out.

Tuesday I went to a 5:30 a.m. yoga class.  It was a great way to wake up.  I am not very good at yoga, but the stretching feels good.  The best news was after that, the treadmill repair guy came out and finally fixed my treadmill.  I took it for a spin after work – 50 minutes / 5.7 miles / 8:49 pace.  The down side of Tuesday was it was very icy and I fell on the driveway in the morning.  I wasn’t hurt, but it caused soreness for days.

Wednesday I ran easy on the mill again – 31 minutes /  3.5 miles / 8:51 pace.

Thursday I did the early yoga class again.  It was a heart-opener class and the stretches were pretty amazing, although some of it was rather difficult.  I loved it because it really worked my shoulders, hip flexors and hamstrings.  All of my problem areas.

Friday my kids didn’t have school and my oldest was sleeping in the basement, where my treadmill is.  So I waited until the sun came out and ran outside.  60 minutes / 6.4 miles / 9:34 pace.  My core was wicked sore from yoga and my right side was sore from my fall, so I just took it super easy.

Saturday I took an aerial yoga class.  It was awesome!  But much harder and scarier than I anticipated.  The first time I flipped over to become inverted was unsettling.  It definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I loved it.  After yoga, I ran 30 minutes easy outside with my son.  30 minutes / 3.35 miles / 9:05 pace.

Sunday I was insanely sore from yoga and felt like a cold was coming on.  It was feels like 5 degrees outside with the 20 mph winds, and I almost didn’t run at all.  But, I talked myself into hitting the treadmill and ended up getting my full run in.  75 minutes / 8.5 miles / 8:50 pace.

Total: Run – 4 hours 6 minutes / 27.3 miles; Yoga – 3 hours

I signed up for a membership with the yoga studio and am excited to build that strength.

In super fun news, my awesome friend/pacer buddy surprised me with a fabulous gift tonight.  They’ll be perfect for Ragnar.  :)

I love my friends.
I love my friends.


I am also happy to report my son and his friend are still training well for their half.  I am coaching them, but cannot keep up with them by any stretch.  Their easy pace now is around a 7:40 average pace (mine is 8:45-9:00) and they ran 8 miles.  I cannot wait to watch them tear it up this year!

See you next week!

Mint’s Training Log – 1.18.15

Week 2 of spring training is in the books.  It didn’t go as planned and was very light, but one step in front of another.

The beginning of the week was still very cold and the roads were covered in ice and snow.  My treadmill is still broken and I refuse to run in the snow/ice in the dark, which is the  only time I can run during the work week, so I missed a couple of runs.  The good news is the treadmill is supposed to get fixed this Tuesday and the weather – at least right now – has improved.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – sunrise yoga.  Felt so good to actually get back into stretching.  The yoga class wasn’t hard, but I could definitely feel it in my muscles.

Wednesday – Thursday – rest days due to ice /snow / darkness and no treadmill.  Yes, I was beginning to feel like a real wuss by not just getting out there, but coming off an injury, it seemed smart to stay conservative.

Friday – I had to work from home as we had various contractors coming out, so I was able to take a break and run mid-morning.  60 minutes / 6.3 (9:36 pace).

Saturday – it was awesome outside!  40 degrees and the roads finally cleared up.  50 minutes / 5.5 miles (9:02 pace).

Sunday – I started my run with my son and his friend who are training for the half.  We took off and by .25 in, I stopped them , gave them my Garmin and told them to take off without me.  They are simply too fast for me now.  It was sort of sad realizing I wouldn’t be able to run with them as much as I did last season, but it was also great to see how strong and fast they’ve become.  I ended up running close to 7 miles / 1 hour.  They ran 5 miles at around a 7:30 pace.

Total:  18.5 miles

I really feel out of shape and I know it will take at least 4-6 more weeks before I start feeling strong, so I am committing to just put my head down and get the work done.  It should be much easier for me and more consistent when my treadmill is working again.

Mint’s Training Log – 1.11.15

Yes, very cold.
Yes, very cold.

I am back at it.  Well, sort of.

After my injury and Chicago debacle, I haven’t run much at all in the last 3 months.  Which means I am soft, out of shape, and my clothes are fitting way more tightly than I’d like.

I met with my coach and told him a spring marathon was out – I need some time to build back up and recover.  I need to take a slightly lower mileage approach and regain some flexibility.  For the spring, my goals are:

  1. Coach my boy and his friend for their second half marathon;
  2. Train for the same half myself;
  3. Run the Chicago Ragnar Relay (Madison-Milwaukee-Chicago).

I am pretty excited about these goals because it isn’t as intensive as marathon training, but will be a ton of fun.  I’ve wanted to do a Ragnar-type relay for years and my team is made up of awesome locals/friends, so I am fired  up.  I also enlisted a buddy to do sunrise yoga with me.  It’s time to get some stretchy back or I fear my hammies and butt won’t allow me to train hard.

It was a rough first week though.

I mentioned a while back that we refurbished our treadmill entirely.  Well, apparently the guy who did it didn’t quite know what he was doing.  Either that or Sole sent us some seriously defective parts.  I’ll never know, but I do know that it threw a wrench in week one and, no doubt, week two of training.  I had very, very light mileage on tap anyway as my coach knew I’ve pretty much been a desk potato the last 3+ months.  But, unfortunately, I didn’t even make my scheduled miles.  Here is how things shook out:

Monday: scheduled rest day.

Tuesday: Scheduled for 30 minutes easy with 4 strides.  Ran on the treadmill and everything was fine until the strides.  Then the belt felt like it was slipping.

Wednesday: Husband and son both ran on the treadmill.  Husband thought it was slipping a teeny bit.  Son said it was bad.  Instead of running my scheduled 30 minutes, I contacted the repair guy and he said he’d come out Thursday morning to fix.

Thursday:  Treadmill guy came out and I ran on it a few minutes – felt fine.  But when I tried to run after work, it was slipping REALLY bad after about 1.3 miles.  I fought through to 2 miles after almost killing myself several times.  Dammit.  I would have run outside, but it was almost 40 degrees below zero with the wind chill, dark, and slippery roads.

Friday: Owner of treadmill repair shop comes out.  Either the tech that put it in totally failed to lube the belt or both the belt and deck were totally defective.  We had run less than 10 miles on the thing and it showed approx. 500 hours of wear.  They are fixing, but it will be at least a week.  Unplanned rest day.  I would have gone outside, but it was about 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill.

Saturday: It was super cold in the am (-15 with wind), so my son and I spent over an hour trying to find a health club that would give us a day or week pass.  NONE of them allowed kids under 14 (he’s 13) and even if he was old enough, it was $20 per person per day. Crazy.  So we waited until the warmest part of the day (14 degrees and only feels like 0 with wind chill).  We ran watchless, but a typical route.  3.35 awesome miles.

Sunday: It was the tropics here.  28 degrees and sunny.  But the roads were slushy, snowy, and icy.  The footing was bad, but the company was good.  My son and I ran just over 5 miles in 48 minutes.

Total: 2 hours; 10 minutes / 14 miles.

Hey, it’s not much, but it’s a start.  See you next week.

Adventures in Pacing!

Pace team schwag
Pace team schwag

They’re at every big half and full marathon, carrying their signs for many, many miles and helping innumerable runners achieve their big goals. But have you ever stopped to wonder what the pacers you follow in races are thinking or doing?  Have you ever thought about being a pacer yourself?

I recently had my first opportunity to pace the 2:00 group at the Madison Half Marathon and it was a great experience.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in pacing, like our pacer-extraordinaire Clove, but it was fun and I learned a lot from it, so I wanted to share some of it with our Salty readers.


The Marathon That Wasn’t: Mint’s Chicago Marathon Race Report

The goal.  200 baby!
The goal. 200 baby!

Race reports are so easy to write when you have a big win, hit a PR, have a great race.

The crappy ones?  Not so much.  Those are a lot harder to document, to rehash, to reflect upon.  But, alas, they are important parts of the journey too.  And it really is all about the journey.

When I started running marathons almost ten years ago, a more seasoned running friend told me that if I kept doing them, it was only a matter of time before I had a bad one. He was very right.  Over the years, I’ve definitely had my marathoning ups and downs.  This fall’s race unfortunately crashed like a brick in the down category.

Down as in DNF – did not finish. Read more >>

Mint’s Training Log – 10.5.14 – Taper Week 2

Channeling Chicago as I hit the home stretch

This week was a total roller coaster.  I had 2 hard workouts on tap (strength intervals and goal race pace miles).  I didn’t make either.  The name of the game this week was recovery.  I won’t lie, mid week I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to toe the line at all.  Thanks to lots of support from friends, including my fellow Salties, I took a deep breath and decided to go with the process.  I put  the time in along with my last longish run and I am hopeful I will be minty fresh on race day.

Monday is my rest day.  Arm weights only.

Tuesday I was scheduled for 50 minutes with a strength workout (3 x 1 mile @ 7:25).  Wasn’t going to happen.  My piriformis / left butt was not about to let me open up my stride without risk of strain.  So I went conservatively and ran easy.  51 minutes / 5.8 / 8:51 pace.  I was frankly just happy to be in my easy pace zone without pain.  Also did leg pilates and foam rolling.

Wednesday  I had 30 minutes easy on tap.  Decided to sleep in, give myself extra rest and see how I felt when running with my Girls on the Run girls.  Ugh.  It wasn’t as I hoped and I was still in pain.  2+ miles.  17 minutes.  I also did arm weights, leg pilates and foam rolling.

Thursday I was scheduled for 65 minutes with 6 miles at goal race pace.  I’ll admit I was really hoping by today, I’d at least be ready for 1 or 2 mile intervals at goal race pace.  But I wasn’t.  So I ran easy and worried like hell about hitting the start line of Chicago.  65 minutes / 7.6 miles / 8:46 pace.

Friday was a rest day.  I felt better (yay!) and did arm weights.

Saturday my son wanted to run a 5k.  Cool.  I had 30 minutes on tap and woke up feeling GREAT.  I could 5k at goal race pace!  I haven’t run GMP in 2 weeks, now is my chance! I got all decked out in my race gear and then (thankfully) found some perspective.  No need to push now.  Keep the eye on the main goal.  What if GMP is too much and I hurt myself?  Come on, Mint!  I changed into spectating gear, and went out in 35 degrees and rain to watch my 13 year old BUST OUT at 17:09 5k.  It was insane and I am so glad I didn’t miss it. His goal was to break 19 and, well, obviously he crushed it.  Ended up with a win, 2+ minute PR and a course record.  I told him to relish it as that is never likely to happen again!  Not to mention his negative splits each mile.  Man, I would LOVE a break-through like that!  His training buddy (and fellow halfer this summer) was on his  heels at 17:27.  So amazing and inspiring.  When I got home, I ran 30 minutes easy and was glad I didn’t push it as my right butt was still barky (dammit).  32 minutes / 3.6 / 9:01.

Sunday I slept in.  Then I ran 1:45 in perfect conditions.  My legs were tired, but typical one week out – everything is heavy -tired.   Good news is my resting HR was nice and low for me (53).  Ran 12 miles at 8:56 pace, even though it felt like 8:40 pace.  I am feeling better and am no longer concerned I won’t be able to toe the line.  I may adjust my goals slightly, but I am feeling optimistic.  I am also so inspired by my boys and my friends who have been tearing it up out there.  So cool!

Total: 4 hours 35 minutes / 31 miles.

It’s go time.  My bib # is 2789 if you want to track me.

Mint’s Training Log – 9.28.2014 – Taper Week 1

 I love Fall running, even if my training has hit a bit of a wall.

This week was rough.  Really rough.  The first week of taper is usually hard for me because I am mentally ready to cut back, yet it never quite feels like much of a cut-back.  I knew this time would be no different since I had 2 serious workouts and a longish run on tap.  But what was even worse than being tired and still working hard in the taper was being unable to get my workouts in because my legs were trashed.  Yes, this week I was still really feeling the effects of overdoing it last Friday and then running 20 miles on Sunday.

So the name of the game now through race day is simply to maintain fitness, recover strong and rest.

Monday is my rest day.  I did arm weights and foam rolled like crazy.

Tuesday I was scheduled for 75 minutes with strength intervals (2 x 3 miles @ 7:25 pace).  I knew that was not going to happen with as beat up as my legs were.  I planned to go out and just run it easy.  But once I started running, everything hurt.  Each leg felt like it weighed about 100 pounds.  My hamstrings hurt, the muscles in front of my shins (tibialis anterior) hurt, my inner thighs were screaming, and I physically couldn’t lengthen out my strides.  It took 3 miles before my legs loosened up a little and I was able to pick up the pace a teeny bit.   I decided to run my Wednesday workout instead.  46 minutes / 5 miles / 9:18 pace.   Tuesday evening,  I was running around at my sons’ cross country meet cheering them on and taking photos.  My legs were screaming.

So I decided to rest on Wednesday morning, then run a little easy with my girls at Girls on the Run.  I did, and my legs were still not happy.  D@mn.

Thursday morning I felt okay.  I was scheduled to run 95 minutes with 10 miles at goal marathon pace.  Again, I knew race pace wasn’t going to happen, but I was really hoping to put the time in.  Fortunately, my legs felt better.  They didn’t feel good, but much better than Tuesday and Wednesday.  It took a few miles to warm up and I actually felt better toward the end of the run, even though my legs were tired.  96 minutes / 10.6 miles / 9:10 pace.  The best news was that my legs felt good when I finished.  And as the day went along, I was feeling okay. Again, not great, but as though I may be on the upswing.

Friday was a scheduled rest day.  I debated making up the 75 minute run I missed earlier in the week, but pretty quickly realized that would be really dumb at this point.  Rest it is.  I had lunch with my coach, which I really needed.  We decided the hay is in the barn – just get to the start line feeling good.  We discussed adjusting my ambitious goals, but agreed it was too early.  We’ll reassess as the race gets close and we know more about the state of my legs and the weather.

Saturday I was scheduled for 30 minutes easy.  I was also lucky enough to get fit in for a sports massage.  I ran first knowing that running post-massage would be dumb.  32 minutes / 3.6 miles / 9:10 pace.  I then went and got  my massage.  Holy macaroni I forgot how much that hurts!  The massage therapist said my legs were pretty much tight all over, so she worked my legs over pretty hard everywhere – not just the piriformis.  My legs definitely felt looser when she finished.  She said I should expect to be sore until early next week (actually she said I’d feel like I’d been hit by a truck), then hopefully things will start feeling snappier.  If not, she’d fit me in one more time next week before my race.

Sunday I was scheduled for 2 hours and 25 minutes.  I decided to play this by ear since I know it is not ideal running a long or hard workout post sports massage.  My goal was to get in at least 12 miles – more if I felt good.  Unfortunately, despite drinking a ton of water on Saturday, I woke up with a terrible headache.  The good news is that my legs did not hurt at all.  I took off and it was already warm out (70 degrees).  I decided not to worry about pace and just put some miles in.  By mile 8,it was almost 80 degrees and I felt like I had already run 15 miles.  My legs were jello, I had a headache, and was a little dizzy.  Great.  I ran home, refilled my water and Gatorade.  My husband agreed to run the last few miles with me, so we ran down the trail.  2 hours, 3 minutes / 13.5 miles / 9:11 pace.

Total: 5 hours, 9 minutes / 33.6 miles

I had been scheduled to run 6 hours and 30 minutes, so it is hard to write out these numbers.  I KNOW it was the right thing to do though.  Recovery, recovery, recover.

Wish me luck on that please as I am feeling a wee bit (okay, completely) terrified about this upcoming race and my ability to get to the start line 100% healthy and ready to race. 

Mint’s Training Log – 9.21.14 – It’s Taper Time!

One of those red bad boys was giving me all sorts of trouble this week.
One of those red bad boys was giving me all sorts of trouble this week.

Going into this week, I was a bit concerned.  I was coming off a very hefty training week (both mileage and hard workouts) and had three monster workouts to get in.  It turns out that my concerns were valid and I made a dumb choice that almost upset my entire training season.  Good news was, it was just *almost.*

Monday is my rest day.

Tuesday I had strength intervals: 2 mile warm up; 3 x 2 miles @ 7:25 pace; .5 mile recoveries; 10+ minute cool down with 4 striders.  This was hard.  Really hard.  I struggled throughout the entire workout, but I got it done.  85 minutes / 10.55 miles.

Wednesday I had an hour easy on tap.  However, I was short on time, so I only ran 50 minutes.  I was also really tired and my legs were sore, so I allowed myself to run super easy and slow.  50 minutes / 5.4 miles / 9:26 pace.

Thursday I was scheduled for 90 minutes with 9 miles at goal race pace.  I was super tired, my legs were heavy and sore, and my resting heart rate were super high.  So I decided to swap Thursday and Friday’s workouts and run easy.  68 minutes / 7.55 miles / 9:04 pace.

Friday I checked my training schedule and saw my coach told me to take it easy today if my HR was still high and my legs were sore.  The key workout this week was my long run, not my marathon pace run.  But my legs felt a lot better and my resting HR was in a good place.  So I went for it.  I did a one mile warm-up, then started my goal race pace miles.  Again, it was hard and I couldn’t quite hit my goal paces.  I didn’t worry too much though and just ran by feel.  I know what goal race pace feels like, and I knew I was pretty beat up so I wasn’t going to worry about the exact pace.  I stopped a couple of times to rest and get water.  At mile 6ish, I started running hard again and noticed my R hamstring was really barky.  No problem – just 3 more miles.  I stopped again just after mile 7 and, again, it hurt when I started running again.  So I bagged the GMP workout at mile 8 and just ran the last 2 easy.  90 minutes /11 miles.  I was feeling all proud of myself for getting this workout done.  That was until about 3:00 in the afternoon.  I have a desk job and had been sitting for a couple hours straight.  I got up to refill my water and YEOUCH! my right piriformis/hamstring/something way up in there was screaming.  I limped to the break room and immediately knew I was stupid to have pushed through that workout.  #%@*$%@$.

Saturday I was scheduled for 30 minutes easy.  My butt felt like it was broken though.  I dug into the piriformis area with a small street hockey ball and that helped.  I determined I *could* run 30 minutes, but it would be more likely to do more harm than good for my Sunday long run.  So instead, I stretched and walked for 30 minutes easy.  I also cursed myself all day for being so dumb.

Sunday I was scheduled to run my last long run – 3hours, 20 minutes.  200.  Unfortunately, my entire right leg was barky.  My hamstring, piriformis, inner thigh, front shin and foot.  Dammit.  I decided to go out and just see how everything felt.  The first steps hurt and I was worried.  By .5 in, however, I felt okay.  I allowed myself just to run nice and easy.  I stopped at home at 5 to take a gel and evaluate.  I seemed okay, but sore.  From there, I knew 3 hours and 20 minutes was NOT going to happen.  My son ran with me for another 3 miles and then I hit the trail, determined to at least get 10 in.  I was practicing my fueling as most long runs this season I ran depleted.  But as I started down the trail, I was feeling much better.  I don’t know why, but I was.  I got home just before 15 miles and reevaluated again.  I actually felt fine.  So I took off for a little over 5 to get things done.  I got back at mile 20, and while I was tired, my leg actually hurt less than it did at the start.  Weird.  But I wasn’t going any further.  I always think it is risky going over 20 in training as it increases the risk of injury, etc.  I do it, but I wasn’t about to do it with a broken butt.  So 20 would have to do.  3 hours, 6 minutes / 20.1 / 9:18 pace.

After my run, I took an ice bath and then a hot shower.  Oddly enough, my legs felt pretty good and my piriformis was not barking at all.  Fingers crossed that I feel good tomorrow.  I am definitely going to stop using the Brooks Pure Cadence for my uptempo work.  I think that is – at least in part – the culprit.

Total: 8 hours – 54.5 miles


Mint’s Training Log – 9.14.2014

The goal.
The goal.

I’m not going to lie: when I saw my training schedule for this week, I was a bit worried as it was very intense.  Add in a busy week with work, kids’ sports, and Girls on the Run and, well, I was feeling a bit intimidated.  I knew I would have to see a fair bit of 4:30 am to get things done.  But I reminded myself that I only have 2 more big weeks to crank through before the taper.  That definitely helped motivate me to get it done.  Here is how it panned out:

Monday is my rest day.  I slept in until 6 and did arm weights.  I also ran with my Girls on the Run girls in the evening at practice.

Tuesday I was up bright and early for a hefty workout: 95 minutes with strength intervals (6 x 1 mile @ 7:25 pace; .5 mile recoveries).  I did a 10 minute warm up, then hit my intervals (7:23, 7:18, 7:24, 7:16, 7:24; 7:17).  I finished up with a 20 minute cool down and 4 strides.  99 minutes / 12.3 miles / 8:03 average pace.  I was very happy with this run because everything felt much easier than last week’s similar (but shorter) workout.  It is amazing what a nice little drop in the temps will do (it was 57 degrees and overcast).

Wednesday I ran 75 minutes / 8 miles / 9:26 pace in the morning.  My legs were tired and heavy, so I just took it super easy.  I then ran 25 minutes / 2.75 miles / 9:17 pace in the evening.

Thursday I  had another big workout on tap: 80 minutes with 8 miles at goal race pace (7:35-7:40).  I got up at wee dark o’clock to get things done.  I did a 10 minute warm up, then hit my tempo.  The first mile was slow as I was tired and creaky, but by mile 2, I fell into a good groove (8:02, 7:41, 7:38, 7:35, 7:45, 7:33, 7:44, 7:29).  I then did a cool down with 4 strides.  I had to cut my cool down short though as I had an early morning presentation to give.  73 minutes / 9.43 miles / 7:51 average pace.  In the late afternoon, I booked out of work to watch my son in his first XC race.  It was a close one, as he and two others jockeyed for the win and came in within about 2 seconds of each other, but he came in 3rd overall!

Friday I had another early morning work meeting, so I was up and at ’em at 4:30 again.  63 minutes / 7 miles / 9:02 pace.

Saturday I was scheduled for an hour, but my son wanted to run 8.  I had a wonderful time running with him.  He kept telling me how much he loved running and spouted off many very audacious goals (love it!).  We also connected re the first weeks of school and life.  Priceless.  72 minutes / 8 miles / 9:01 pace.

Sunday I was a bit of a mess when I woke up.  I had slept on my neck wrong and the left side of it down through the shoulder blade really hurt and I had very limited range of motion.  My right ankle was really bugging me too.  Oh yes, and my hammies were crazy tight.  Yup, it’s that time of the season.  I had 3 hours on tap for the day, but did not have to rush out as the weather was amazing.  So I slept in (much needed) and headed out around 10:30 am.  It was 45 degrees at the start; 60 at finish.  3 hours / 20.1 miles / 8:58 pace.  This run was tough for a variety of reasons.  First, I was tired and feeling beat up.  Second, I decided to run it relatively depleted.  I had coffee with sweetened cream before I went, but nothing else. I had nothing but a few swigs of water until mile 15.  Then I stopped at home, drank a large water and took a gel.  It was hard to get back out the door, but I got it done and my last mile was my fastest mile.  The good news was that other than being tired, my body seemed no worse for the wear once I finished.

Total: 9 hours and 49 minutes / 68 miles.

Four weeks until the Chicago Marathon.  Next week is a bear too as my 3 workouts will increase, but my overall mileage will drop so I can hopefully nail those workouts with reasonable legs.  Bring it on.

Ah, sweet ice bath post-long run.
Ah, sweet ice bath post-long run.

Mint’s Training Log – 9.7.2014

The goal.
The goal.

Five weeks until the Chicago Marathon…

This week was a recovery week for me after my 70 mile week last week.  Next up I have 2 big weeks before I begin my taper.  I am starting to get nervous and excited.  Am I ready?  Are my goals right?  The next couple of weeks will be very telling.

I’ve spent some time looking back at training from my last two high volume training cycles and very successful races.  One interesting thing is for the last three (including this training cycle), is that at this point out I have been a little under the weather for all of them.  Strange.  So I am trying to eat healthy, get extra sleep and avoid illness.  Usually I get head colds of some sort.  This time I have a little  of that + bad headaches.  Ugh.  I hope it passes because I am a big baby when it comes to headaches.

Monday is my rest day.

Tuesday I ran 30 minutes easy after work with my son.  3.23 miles / 9:20 pace.  I also did my arm weights.

Wednesday I started strength intervals.  These are done a bit slower than my normal intervals, but faster than race pace.  Man, they were hard too.  2 mile warm up; 5 x 1 mile @ 7:25 pace; .5 mile recoveries; cool down + 4 strides.  85 minutes / 10.4 miles / 8:14 average overall pace.

Thursday I ran 30 minutes easy / 3.38 miles / 8:53 pace.

Friday I was scheduled for goal race pace miles, but it was wicked warm and humid.  I decided to switch things around and just ran 30 minutes easy / 3.6 miles / 8:41 pace.

Saturday I got my workout on.  I haven’t run goal race pace in many weeks, so it’s time to get back into the feel of that.  10+ minute warm up ; 7 miles @ 7:35-7:40 pace; cool down + 4 strides.  I really tried to run by feel rather than looking at my watch and was happy with how close I was.  It was harder than it should have been, but it always is at this point in training.  It will feel different once I am tapered.  76  minutes / 9.6 miles / 7:54 overall average pace.

Sunday I had 1:50 on tap.  But first, I went to my son’s soccer game.  Due to travel and the length of the game, I didn’t get out to run until 1:30 in the afternoon.  It was warm, so I decided to run down the trail (rails to trail) next to my house.  I had to run 6.5 to get to the next town over and water.  I stopped briefly, had 2 swigs of water and started back towards home.  I thought I’d be okay without carrying water since I had been hydrating all morning, but boy was I wrong.  I was thirsty, my mouth was dry, and my pace started fading hard by mile 9.  Ugh.  I fought through and finished, but it wasn’t pretty.  Even worse, I really should have known better to run in 80 degrees without planning for more water.  1:52 / 12.73 / 8:49 pace.

Total: 6 hours and 5 minutes / 43 miles.

Mint’s Training Log – 8.31.2014

Ahhhh, a much needed ice bath.
Ahhhh, a much needed ice bath.

Week # 13 is in the books – just 6 weeks until the Chicago Marathon!

I ended up having to miss some of my  scheduled workouts last week, but this week I was bound and determined to not only hit all of my prescribed workouts, but to also bump it up a notch so I could get to 70 miles for the week.  I don’t know why, but that level of training has always been a sweet spot for me, so I always strive to get there if I can.

Monday is my rest day.  My right shoulder is still cranky, so no arm weights again this week (stupid softball).

Tuesday I did mile repeats at 6:58 pace.  It was warm and humid and painful, but I got the workout done.  68 minutes with 3×1 mile repeats; .25 recovery and 4 strides.  8.5 miles / 8:03 average pace.

Wednesday I ran nice and easy.  80 minutes / 9.15 miles / 8:52 pace.

Thursday I was back at it with intervals.  This time it was 12 x .25 with .25 recoveries.  73 minutes / 9 miles / 8:06 average pace.

Friday I was scheduled to run 60 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  We had family coming into town, however, so I did as much as I could in the morning before a work meeting.  85 minutes / 9.5 miles / 8:58 pace.

Saturday we got up to run a 5k.  My son really wanted to break 19 minutes in the 5k, so we decided to go for it.  It was warm and humid, but hey, why not give it a shot?  I did a 3 mile warm up, then ran with my youngest son during the race.  We ended up running 22:58, which is the best he’s logged in a while.  So fun!  My oldest son didn’t quite break 19 minutes, but he came close and ran another PR (19:17).  We got poured on during and after the race, so I went home, changed and then did my scheduled workout.  62 minutes / 7.1 miles / 8:48 pace.

Sunday was brutal.  I stayed up too late watching college football with family and had one (or two) many adult beverages.  It was fun last night, not so fun when my alarm went off early.  So I made a huge mistake and slept in.  It was warm and humid and I did not even get out the door until almost 10:00 am for my long run.  By then it was well over 70 degrees and about 90% humidity.  By mile 4, I was suffering.  By mile 8, I took inventory of the situation: my legs feel okay, I am breathing okay, I am okay.  This just seriously sucks.  I kept doing shortish loops so I could hit water ever 1.5-2 miles.  I got home just before I hit 16 miles.  It was 85 degrees, I was tired, soaking wet and chafed like hell.  I gave myself 20 minutes to cool down and put on dry clothes.  My husband jumped on the bike and said, come on, let’s get you to 70.  The man is my hero.  I ran the last 5 miles on the trail and he carried water for me so I could stop at the turnaround and replenish.  I ended up finishing strong.  3 hours, 2 minutes / 20.6 miles / 8:55 pace.  It was brutal and hard and so freaking awesome.  I took an ice bath and sipped on a veggie/fruit smoothie.  Sweet victory.  I have not logged a 70 mile week in almost 2 years, so I am thrilled.

Total: 10 hours and 2 minutes / 70 miles.

Bring it on Chicago. #200

Mint’s Training Log – 8.17.14 and 8.24.14

The goal.
The goal.

I forgot to post my training log last week, but I am still rolling forward with training for the Chicago Marathon.  I had a few set-backs and scheduling switch ups, but overall everything is continuing to go well.  The first week was a cut-back week and race week.  The second week, was a strong training / building week.

Week Ending August 17, 2014 – RACE WEEK!

Monday is my rest day.  I felt surprisingly good after my 22.5 mile run the day before, so that was great.  Arm weights.

Tuesday was intervals.  I ran a 10 minute warm up, then did 5 x .5 miles @ 6:58 pace with .25 mile recoveries.  By my 3rd repeat, my legs were really feeling my long run from the weekend before.  In fact, my legs felt like logs.  Jello logs.  I finished up the intervals then did a cool down with 4 strides.  50 minutes / 6.16 miles / 8:13 overall average pace.

Wednesday my legs were sore.  I was scheduled to run 30 minutes easy, but decided to take the extra rest.  Arm weights.

Thursday I woke up and my neck felt pinched.  Apparently I slept on it funky.   I was scheduled for intervals again (mile repeats), but I decided not to do them.  My legs were already very tight and heavy and I was growing very concerned about my ability to keep up with the boys for their half marathon.  So I just ran 45 minutes easy / 5 miles / 8:59 pace.  Thursday after work, we had our firm softball game. It was super fun, but all the throwing and batting made my sore neck very aggravated.

Friday I ran 30 minutes easy / 3.5 miles / 8:36 pace.

Saturday was race day!  13.1 miles / 1:51:34 / 8:31 average pace.

Sunday I rested.  My neck was really sore and the bottom (ball) of my right foot hurt.  Since this was a cut-back week, I decided I’d be better off resting than aggravating either issue.

Total: 4 hours, 10 minutes / 29.3 miles

Week Ending 8.25.15 – Time to get back at it!

Monday is my rest day.  No arm weights because my neck / back still hurt.

Tuesday I was back at it  with intervals.  2 mile warm up, then 4 x 1000m @ 6:58 pace; .25 mile recoveries.  Cool down + 4 strides.  70 minutes / 8.57 miles / 8:11 overall pace.

Wednesday 78 minutes easy / 8.7 miles / 9:01 pace.

Thursday I was scheduled for a longer run with more intervals.  But it was looking super stormy, so I just went out easy and stuck close to home.  Sure enough, just before mile 4, it started raining and thundering.  I started running back home and the thunder was getting closer and louder.  Definitely a nerve-racking finish to this run.  I was booking it back home and just as I hit the driveway a huge thunder clap sounded.  Crazy.  I was very happy to be home.  41 minutes / 4.7 miles / 8:48 pace.

Friday I was scheduled for 60 minutes am / 30 minutes pm.  I ended up running 75 minutes in the morning to make up for part of my missed workout Thursday.  It was wicked warm and humid.    75 minutes / 8.6 miles / 8:45 pace.  When I got home from work, it was 92 degrees and full sun.  Rather than running, I decided to go out to dinner with my family to celebrate my election as a shareholder of my law firm the night before!

Saturday I slept in.  I was going to be muggy and humid even early on, so I decided I’d let sleep win.  By the time I got out, it was 77 degrees and 90% humidity.  Brutal.  I stopped 3 times for water and to let my HR drop.  I was scheduled for 45 minutes, but decided to tack some more on to make up for missed time.  66 minutes / 7.5 miles / 8:48 pace.

Sunday I was up bright and early for my 3 hour run.  Unfortunately, it was somewhat unbearable outside.  70 degrees and 95% humidity.  There was a nice little breeze so I didn’t feel hot,  but I was sweating like 2 football teams.  I stopped every mile or mile and a half to replenish water,  but I was feeling spent by the end of 2 hours and my heart rate was super high.  I could have forced myself to suffer through another hour, but I didn’t think it would be worth what it would take out of me.  Plus, I have several more long runs scheduled.  2 hours / 13.6 miles / 8:51 pace.  In the evening, I biked 3 miles with my youngest son while he ran.  Very fun.

Total:  7 hours and 30 minutes / 51.7 miles