I added a fourth running day this week, dodged yet another snowstorm and ran an accidental 10K PR during an anger-fueled training run. I also had plenty of girlfriend time plus two solid sessions at the gym. All in all, a good week! Read more >>
The last two weeks have been marked by frustration, worry, travel, recovery and trying to play it smart. Heads-up: this training log may contain profanity. There’s been more swimming than running, but the most miles have been covered by train and plane for sure. I’m so incredibly ready for normal life to return so let’s hope that’s what I have to talk about next weekend. As for the past two weeks: Read more >>
It’s a two for one special with training logs for me with the weeks leading up to and following the Donna Marathon, my goal race. Despite an incredibly smooth training cycle, the race didn’t go at all as I had hoped, at least in terms of getting the time I wanted on the clock. I did have an amazingly fun and satisfying time in Florida, though. More on that in an upcoming race report.
My race is really getting close. This week was marked by more work-work and more bad weather and some noticeable irritability. But also more girlfriend runs, which makes me really super happy.
Monday, 1/29, Morning Crew – Swim 2100
The usual Monday morning swim. I’ve become pretty lax about swimming anything longer than a 100 without a break so today I got inspired and did a 300. Did not drown, always a plus. The swim-after-long-run combo is so good I feel like evangelizing about it, but I try not to get totally weird on people like that. Read more >>
The most common running question I got from friends this week: So, are you tapering now? Hmmm. I guess so? I asked Coach Mick and he said he prefers the term peaking, from Greg McMillan. Therefore no, I am not tapering; I am peaking. I like that term much better anyway.
Monday, 1/22, Morning Crew – Swim 2000
I was pretty sore and creaky after Sunday’s 20 miler, but these Monday morning recovery swims have been pure gold. I felt SO much better afterwards. I still ducked in to see the Maestro for a little dry needling and massage just to keep my cranky right hip in working order. Read more >>
The second week of brutally cold weather, plus a major winter storm as a bonus! Even for Connecticut in January, this weather is awful. The running is going pretty well even though winter is definitely starting to wear me down.
Monday, 1/1, Morning Crew – Yoga
Monday is generally a swim day for me, but with it being New Year’s, the pool was closed. I had thought to throw in an easy run to kick off the new year, but Coach Mick advised against that. I ran a lot of miles last week and plenty coming up this week, so yoga it was. I started 2017 with a solo yoga workout after cleaning the cat vomit off my mat. Highly symbolic of how things were going a year ago. This year, though, I had excellent company with both Snarky Girl and Olivia in our playroom “studio”.
Tuesday, 1/2, Afternoon Crew – 10 miles, tempo intervals
I peeked ahead to this workout at some point last week thinking, oh, next Tuesday won’t be that big of a deal. Um, no such luck. Seven 1 mile repeats with two at marathon pace, three at half marathon pace, two at 10K pace, plus warm up and cool down. Really? Apparently really. My schedule is still flexible so I worked early in the morning and ran in the late afternoon to take advantage of the warmest time of the day. The first two marathon pace repeats were a bit off (one too fast, one too slow…), but then I stopped looking at my watch and totally nailed the rest of the workout. Interesting. I could not possibly be happier with how this went!
Wednesday, 1/3, Lunch Time Crew – 4 easy miles (9:31 pace), plus strength training
Running from the gym, as per usual. It was sixteen degrees when I ran. I wondered if I was losing my mind to still be outside but I knew even worse weather was on the way. Followed the run with a great lifting session with Tough Guy Trainer.
Thursday, 1/4, Morning Crew – Goal pace run, 1 mile warm up, 8 at marathon pace
The “bomb cyclone” storm hit today and drove me inside at last. 9 miles on the treadmill with 8 at marathon pace is not fun. At all. I listened to the album “All Day” by Girl Talk, recommended by High Power Running Mentor #1 and that got me through most of it. I didn’t take in any fuel, which was probably an error, but whatever. Today was kind of about survival and I survived.
Friday, 1/5, Morning Crew – 5 easy miles (10:10 pace)
5 miles at 10 degrees with 14 mph wind and crappy road conditions the day after yesterday’s treadmill extravaganza meant that this did not feel entirely “easy”. However, Snarky Girl was game for coming along and she had fun hurdling the snow drifts and outside beats inside except when the “bomb cyclone” is actively raging so I got it done.
Saturday, 1/6, Morning Crew – swim, then strength training
Snarky Girl came with for swimming as well. What would I do without her? We had a nice swim. Lifting was just so-so. I have kind of had it with the weather. I did go get new shoes today and spent a great afternoon playing Agricola with Aidan. My new winter weather plan is Agricola and whisky all day, every day. Not sure that will help with my marathon project though….
Sunday, 1/7, Afternoon Crew – 5 miles, Mixed fartlek run
I moved my long run this week to tomorrow when the weather is finally supposed to break. I spent some of today watching the weather app and waiting for the warmest moment to go run, which turned out to be 14 degrees and 6 mph wind. Woot. Luckily, I love this workout, which is just hard/easy for equal amounts of time, with the intervals getting shorter and shorter. I was happy to get out of the house and at least as happy to get back in the house. We are in hunker down mode.
Total: 33 miles
Monday, 12/25, Post-Presents Crew – 5 miles easy (9:37 pace)
With everything closed for Christmas, my usual cross-training options weren’t available. That’s ok – I really wanted to run today anyway. My incredibly indulgent family just smiled when I skipped out after presents for five chilly miles through the newly-fallen snow. Gorgeous.
Tuesday, 12/26, Vacation Crew (i.e., run whenever the hell you want to) – 7 miles, speed intervals
I had 2 miles warm up, 5×800, 2 miles cool down. The track is under snow, but I’ve been doing speed work on the path near the track. Teacher Runner and Blue Turtle joined me for this outing because they are crazy and who doesn’t run 800s just for fun the day after Christmas? But actually, it was really fun blasting up and down the path. Aiming for around 4:00, I ran 3:55, 3:48, 3:57, 3:51, 3:57. The odd intervals are ever so slightly uphill, which ends up mattering, apparently. I was very happy with how this went!
Wednesday, 12/27, Lunch Time Crew – 4 easy miles (9:47 pace), plus strength training
The usual Wednesday run from the gym. Except much, much colder. The creek is frozen now so I didn’t see any ducks. Tough Guy Trainer kind of rolls his eyes at me when I finish a run at this temperature, but whatever. I’m staying off the treadmill as long as I can.
Thursday, 12/28, Vacation Crew – 7 easy miles, (9:26 pace)
Teacher Runner joined me for 7 miles at 6 degrees, wind chill of -7. It’s possible we are insane. In a week filled with very cold running, this was the coldest. The Incredible Mervus gave me top-notch cycling gloves for my birthday and I’ve started to wear them while running. They are amazing. My other coping mechanism? I downloaded the WTForecast weather app and I’m sending profanity-laced screen shots to my coach, who de-camps to Florida for the winter. Smart man.
Friday, 12/29, Afternoon Crew – 10 miles, tempo run
I usually do tempo runs on Thursday, but yesterday’s weather was so brutal that I moved this to today, which was marginally better. “Better” meant 17 degrees with wind chill of 5. Which is still pretty horrifyingly cold, but it was definitely better than Thursday. 2 mile warm up, 7 miles at half marathon effort, 1 mile cool down. One of the most challenging things about these longer runs is I can’t easily get to fuel or water with my amazing cycling gloves on. My nutritionist has me fueling with the hippie sandwiches so I pretty much have to stop entirely to eat them. Whatever. It can not possibly stay this cold forever. I had been worried about this run and I was incredibly glad to have it over with.
Saturday, 12/30, Morning Crew – swim, then strength training
I had considered moving my long run to today, mainly because of weather issues, but I wasn’t super keen on that idea. Coach Mick pointed out that I had already run 11 consecutive days (surely a first for me!) and when I woke up to a text from JJ asking to swim, I decided that was fate. We had a great swim and then I lifted at the YMCA. Nothing outside today, whew.
Sunday, 12/31, Afternoon Crew – 18 miles, last 6 at marathon pace
Trying to combine marathon training and church attendance has been one of the challenges this fall. After close to a decade of being sporadic church-goers, I decided a year ago to try to commit to going more frequently and Rose and I joined our congregation officially last spring. I do not understand how spirituality and running are linked exactly – or at all – but I know that for me, they are. My regular gang runs Sunday mornings and they are willing to start early because I am not the only one trying to fit in church. But 18 miles would mean really early and really dark and really cold. So I scheduled this run for after church and then Rashi was able to join me for the first 7 miles. I sort of don’t want to ‘fess up about how cold it was in case my parents read this. Damn cold. But we got the first 7 done together and then I did 5 more and then the last 6, which came out surprisingly close to goal marathon pace. So all in all a success and I got Starbucks and then hot soup for New Year’s Eve. Plus, this run put me at over 50 miles for the week and over 200 for the month – two milestones I’ve never reached before! Ending the year on a high note!
Total: 51 miles (201 for the month of December!)
The holidays are a busy time and it feels like I did all this a hundred years ago. Marathon training continues as the weather starts to get worse…..
Monday, 12/18, School Bus Crew – Swim 1850 yards
Swimming with Snarky Girl and a new swim friend. Snarky Girl and I did 8×125 with a super short break at 75 and last 50 meters hard. Challenging for sure, but fun! She is getting much, much faster in the pool.
Tuesday, 12/19, Early Morning Crew – 8.5 miles easy, (9:41 pace)
8 miles “easy” on a Tuesday? How is 8 miles mid-week supposed to be “easy”? Marathon training does weird things to one’s perspective. However, I ran this with a group of friends and it actually did feel easy. I also got to try out my new Sugoi tights, which I loved. I had said I wasn’t buying new gear this training cycle, but so much for that idea. Stupid cold weather is on the way so new warm tights it is.
Wednesday, 12/20, Lunch Time Crew – 4 easy miles (8:57 pace), plus strength training
This was one of those runs where you take the first step and feel like, whoa! Where did all that springiness come from? Don’t know and doesn’t matter – I just enjoyed it. For me to run sub-9 minute miles and have it feel easy is basically unprecedented. Plus, this was my route from the gym and I saw at least 10 ducks on the creek!
Thursday, 12/21, School Bus Crew – 10 miles, tempo intervals
Thursdays are starting to be a little scary. 1 mile warm up, 4 miles at half marathon pace, 1 mile recovery, 3 miles at 10K pace, 1 mile cool down. I’m still doing these tempo runs on my favorite stretch of road so I get a good view, what counts around here as flat, and no intersections. This is the first run where the temperature started to be pretty cold. By the end of the 10K segment, I felt like I was dying, but all in all, this went fairly well. Rewarded myself with Starbucks.
Friday, 12/22, Early Morning Crew – 4 easy miles (9:07 pace), then strength training later
No trails this week because everyone is busy with holiday preparations and travel. Another peppy 4-miler and then lifted at the YMCA with Snarky Girl. What would I do without her? She’s not even training for anything!
Saturday, 12/23, Afternoon Crew – 5 easy miles on treadmill (9:36 pace)
The weather started to make things really interesting. At the Readers Roundtable on Monday, I had noted that I had no flexibility to move anything this weekend because of holiday commitments and therefore we had better not have a blizzard today. No blizzard, just freezing rain and ice. I won’t run on ice and 15 on the treadmill seemed too awful so I did 5 and moved the long run to Sunday, finding some flexibility after all.
Sunday, 12/24, Morning Crew – 15 miles, last 5 at marathon pace
Early Bird does a Christmas Eve fun run every year. We meet at the YMCA, run a few miles and go for brunch. I really didn’t want to miss it, but I also had 15 miles to go with the last 5 at marathon pace. After consulting with Coach Mick, I decided to go ahead and split the run, so I could do the fun run and brunch and then continue on with the last 10. In a stroke of amazing good luck, Rashi decided the fun run was a bit early for her, but she was in for brunch and the last 10 miles. So I ended up with company for the whole thing! Flexibility is key and this turned out to be an amazing end to the week!
Total: 46.5 miles
Cutback week! Basically all the usual stuff, just a little bit less of it, plus some faster running mixed in for good measure.
Monday, 11/27, School Bus Crew – Swim 1800 yards
Swimmin’ with Snarky Girl. My new awesome Monday morning routine.
Two miles warm up, four at just a tad faster than half marathon pace, 1 mile cool down. Sometimes running by feel is irritating. I’m doing nearly all my training based on effort so this felt like I-am-sort-of-irritated-to-be-running-this-fast-but-I-am-not-dying pace, which I guess was fine. It would have been sort of satisfying to have an actual number to target, but my coach assured me this was on the mark, so good enough. Any November day that requires sunglasses is a good day in my book.
Wednesday, 11/29, Lunch Time Crew – 4 easy miles (9:14 pace), plus strength training
I ran from the gym before lifting, so an extended lunch hour. My gym moved locations over the summer and I haven’t run from the new place yet, but this was a great route. A really big hill in a nice neighborhood.
Thursday, 11/30, Early Morning Crew – 3 easy miles (9:23 pace)
Ran from home with Snarky Girl. You know how some runs are filled with rainbows and unicorns? Well, this one wasn’t. More like frost giants. Frosty outside, congestion settling in my chest, stress from kids and work on my brain. Blech.
Friday, 12/1, Early Morning Crew – 5 easy miles on trails (11:18 pace)
Monday morning swim with Snarky Girl and Friday morning trails with the girls. How quickly these have become the bookends of my week. The woods is my happy place.
Saturday, 11/25, Morning Crew – 45 minutes on the bike plus strength workout
Nothing fancy. Too cold and too little time for an outside ride.
Sunday, 11/26, Early Morning Crew – 12 miles then 4×20 second strides (9:47 pace)
I got to run with both Teacher Runner and Rashi! Having their company was pretty glorious. I’m also trying a new fueling strategy. I have been a big fan of Gu and I’ve usually had one big delicious slurp every 45 minutes. I know it is wildly uncool and unpopular to both use and enjoy Gu, but there you have it. On the other hand, the nutritionist I’m consulting says I may do better with something slower to absorb and also that I should have it later in the run. So I tried what one of my buddies is dubbing my “hippie sandwich” of whole wheat bread, almond butter, and bananas. It was just as tasty as Gu, but I got pissy waiting for 90 minutes into the run until having it. The jury is out on whether this had any effect or not. In the meantime, the fueling switch meant I enjoyed the post-run café run even more than usual.
Total: 31 miles
Marathon training continues with the long run getting longer. More hills, a race, and the strange appearance of some fish round out the week.
Monday, 11/20, School Bus Crew – Swim 1700 yards
Another excellent Monday morning swim with Snarky Girl.
Same as last week. Two miles warm-up, strides, then up and down the hill for 20 minutes, two miles cool down. Weather can make a huge difference in my mood. I felt much perkier this week because of the beautiful fall sunshine. Mr. Angelica obliged me by acting as photographer. Mailbox 264 was as close as I could get to 26.2!
Wednesday, 11/22, School Bus Crew – 4 miles (8:57 pace), plus strength training
Snarky Girl wanted to join me for weight lifting so we went to the YMCA. It was super fun to do this together. I have turned into a total gym rat. So weird. I had planned to run on the treadmill but suddenly I couldn’t bear being inside for one second longer so I went outside even though I was slightly under-dressed. I ran along the river and was rewarded with one of those runs that feels like flight. The hawks overhead and the Moana soundtrack on my shuffle no doubt contributed to this fabulous outing!
Thursday, 11/23, Manchester Road Race! – 4.748 miles plus 1.19 warm up and 1.14 cool down
Race report coming!
Friday, 11/24, Mid Morning Crew – 3.73 somewhat creaky miles (11:14 pace); plus 9.72 biking
Post-Thanksgiving Day run on the trails with Snarky Girl. We found some kind of fish on the driveway in the park. Weird! Hawk sushi? Then Mr. Angelica wanted to bike so we did our standard loop.
Saturday, 11/25, Morning Crew – Strength workout with Tough Guy Trainer
I swapped the usual Wednesday session for today’s attack-the-hamstring workout. Yikes.
Sunday, 11/26, Early Morning Crew – 15.64 easy miles (9:21 pace)
All my usual running buddies were out of town so this was to be a solo effort. I was starting to get a little bummed about that, but I sent up a flare on FaceBook and in about five minutes, I had some virtual running buddies. Then Rooster also met me at the start though she was walking because now she has the dreaded PF. This run was fantastic! I felt strong the whole time. I listened to some excellent new music. A gang of friends took my kids swimming and we met for brunch afterwards. I feel vaguely obnoxious having so much fun with all this, but last year was truly awful, so maybe karma is coming around to bring me some good running. I will just enjoy it.
Total: 37 miles
A week of firsts as I dive back into marathon training for the first time since recovering from plantar fasciitis. I’ve become a total maniac about watching out for my feet so I got new shoes this week, based on mileage alone because the old ones felt fine. The new ones are SO much better though. My daughter Rose got new shoes too!
Monday, 11/13, Early Morning Crew – Swim 1650 yards
Not everything was new this week. Swimming with Snarky Girl again. Felt terrific again. We even did the same workout from last week, again. Hey, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
Tuesday, 11/14, School Bus Crew – 6.9 miles (10:05 pace), hill workout
Two miles warm-up, strides, then up and down the hill for 20 minutes, two miles cool down. I spent a fair amount of time picking an appropriate hill and decided on one right around the corner from our house. It was gray and blustery and I wasn’t in the mood, but this was fine once I got going. Almost 7 miles is definitely the longest I’ve run mid-week since this injury.
Wednesday, 11/15, School Bus Crew – 2.5 miles (10:00 pace), plus strength training
It was really cold and I didn’t feel like dealing with double laundry so I just ran this on the treadmill at the gym. The gym treadmill is another post-PF first.
Thursday, 11/16, School Bus Crew – 4 easy miles (9:07 pace)
This somewhat-more-upbeat-than-usual easy run brought to you courtesy of motherly angst about teenage boy antics. Snarky Girl and I did our usual four mile loop to campus and back.
Friday, 11/17, Early Morning Crew – 5.4 easy miles (11:03 pace)
Five miles on the trails plus strides at the end. A beautiful morning run.
Saturday, 11/18, Morning Crew – Strength workout
This was a little half-assed. I was short on time, had my daughter with me, and was doing a new routine for the first time. Whatever. Something is better than nothing.
Sunday, 11/19, Afternoon Crew – 14 easy miles (9:47 pace)
Mr. Angelica was out of town on Saturday for work and the weather early Sunday morning was horrible and my friends did not want to go early either. I don’t want to be a wimp, but solo, dark, wind, and rain seemed like an awful lot for the first double digit training run in over a year. Rashi and a friend were going Sunday afternoon so I postponed until then and went with them. That freed up Sunday morning for pre-church waffles, so not a bad deal, all the way around. Longest run post-PF for yet another first!
Total: 32.8 miles
This week was mostly recovery from the Ghost Train half last Saturday. I also started working on nutrition and headed back to the pool for the first time in forever.
Snarky Girl and I hit the pool for the first time since mid-August. We did a lot of swimming last year while I was dealing with the plantar fasciitis. Neither of us is at all fast, but this felt terrific. Yeah for swimming!
Tuesday, 11/7, School Bus Crew – 4.86 easy miles (9:37 pace); Strength training at lunch
Ran a new loop with Rashi, which ended up a little further than I expected. Definitely still feeling the effects of the weekend’s half marathon.
Wednesday, 11/8, Rest day
Rest day and Resting metabolic rate test with Charles Coaching and Nutrition Services. I’ve decided to try to clean up my nutrition a bit and this is step one. Weird but cool.
Thursday, 11/9, Late School Bus Crew – Fartlek: Mixed, 5.3 miles (9:22 pace)
Two miles easy then 3 min, 2:30, 2 min, 1:30, 1 min, equal parts fast/recovery running, 1 mile cool down. I did this same workout after the Hartford half and ended up with a 7:03 average pace for that last fast minute. Today, I really wanted a sub-7 pace on that and boom! I don’t see a lot of numbers in that range so even though it’s just a minute, I will take it!
Friday, 11/10, Veterans’ Day – 6 easy miles (9:29 pace)
Easy run with Snarky Girl except it suddenly got really cold and we froze our butts off. Almost literally because my capris kept falling down. Brrrr.
Saturday, 11/11, Early Morning Crew – Strength workout plus 30 min on stationary bike
It was way too cold today to ride outside so I skipped the ride to the gym in favor of the stationary bike once there. Boring, but I got to chat with some friends and watch the boot camp class. Weights with Tough Guy Trainer after.
Sunday, 11/12, Early Morning Crew – 9 easy miles (9:35 pace)
I met up with Rashi, Teacher Runner, and Blue Turtle for nine very chilly miles. This run was quite uneventful except for feeling like the first real training run for the Donna marathon, my goal race for the spring. No more half marathons this fall because racing around here is shutting down for the season. This is the first marathon training cycle where I am attempting to combine regular church attendance and Sunday morning long runs, which might get complicated. But, Teacher Runner and Blue Turtle didn’t even blink at the idea of 6am starts and longer Sunday outings even though neither of them has a marathon on the horizon at the moment, so we are good to go. Bring on the double digit long runs!
Total: 25 miles
This is the week leading up to my second half marathon of the fall, the Ghost Train Run on the airline trail in central Connecticut.
Monday, 10/30, Lunch Crew – Stationary bike – 15 miles, 45 minutes
We had a pretty big storm over the weekend so there was still a good deal of debris on the streets, and I didn’t feel comfortable riding outside. I logged a lot of hours on the Expresso video bike at our local YMCA last spring when I couldn’t run. Wow, is it boring. I spent most of the ride texting people to make the time go by faster.
Tuesday, 10/31, Early Morning Crew – Tempo intervals on the track: 2 mile WU, 3×1000, 1 mile cool down
Back before I got the damn plantar fasciitis, “track Tuesday” was a thing with my gang and it turns out it still is. I met a couple of friends at 6am and there were loads of other people running around the university track in the dark. I have never run 1000s before. I was aiming for 5:05, and I ran 5:03, 4:59, and 5:00 so I felt pretty good about that!
I also lifted weights, went to lunch with a friend and got a pedicure because it was my birthday! Then I spent the evening trick-or-treating with the kids and stealing their candy.
Wednesday, 11/1, Early Morning Crew – 3 easy miles (9:51 pace)
Three easy miles with Snarky Girl before going to NYC to see Hamilton. The tickets were my birthday present last year and I waited a whole year to see it. Totally and completely worth the wait!
Thursday, 11/2, Lunch Crew – 4 easy miles (9:03 pace)
I just ran around my neighborhood at lunch. It was a little warmer than I thought so this felt kind of lousy initially but then I found some kind of zone and next thing I knew, I was pretty much done.
Friday, 11/3, Lunch Crew – 2 easy miles plus 4×20 second strides (9:20 pace)
Another lunch run. I don’t really like running at lunch, but my writing productivity is better first thing in the morning so I am prioritizing that right now. Getting ready for tomorrow’s race!
Saturday, 11/4, Ghost Train Half Marathon – 1:54:24 – 15.5 miles total with warm-up and cool down
Race report coming soon!
Sunday, 11/5, Late Afternoon Crew – 3 easy miles (9:59 pace)
Three very creaky miles around the neighborhood after a morning of watching the NYC marathon (GO SHALANE!) and eating gingerbread waffles.
Total: 32 miles
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