I had arrived home from the race spent and crusty. I lost and, although that part wasn’t unexpected at all, I had run probably the most miserable marathon out of my total of 15 finishes. The Columbus Marathon, not to mention a few hundred other runners, had beaten me thoroughly. Read more >>
Long story short: my Glass City Marathon finish time of 3:03:07 is disappointing, nowhere close to my 2:50 goal. Even worse, I enjoyed only a handful of the 26.2 miles I raced.
However, even just a couple minutes after finishing, I started to feel pretty happy about the whole thing: I faced failure, dueled with the DNF devil and chose to keep working.
Now for the long story.
Winter training pointed to marathon fitness in the low-2:50 range. As race day approached I felt less confident about hitting 6:30s, instead planning to start around 7:00 for the first mile and then drop to 6:45s. Then ideally, I’d be able to pull off a negative split like in Columbus. Read more >>
Can you call yourself a real runner if you don’t do a Turkey Trot?
I think my first Turkey Trot was back in high school. I ran 26 or 27 minutes for 5k and remember being in awe of the speedy winner. We thought that winning a turkey was so hilarious that my dad and I posed with ours in our ugly-ass sweatshirts when we got home.
As I got older and quicker, the tradition evolved to trying to win that
silly turkey race myself! Except for 2013 (when I was seven-months pregnant) I’ve won the East Side Turkey Trot every year since 2010 and my Holiday Hustle streak goes back to 2007!
One more week to go until my favorite Thanksgiving/Holiday races! This was mostly just another week of fairly low mileage with a touch of speed thrown in — but I also did my first race with a stroller!
Patrick had hockey on Sunday morning so I really didn’t have a choice but to bring JB if I wanted to race. Plus, one of the items on my secret running bucket list is to win a race while pushing him and I figured this could be my chance!
Because it was pretty cold, we kept the warm up short, just 7 or 8 minutes. I lined up right at the starting line and zipped into the lead (female) position right from the gun. There were several turns, a couple short inclines and declines, and a curb hop (!) right away but I maintained my first place position through the mile marker in 6:31. JB had never gone that fast in the stroller and was cheering “go fat (fast) mommy!”
I probably went out too hard because I was already starting to struggle when the course started going through a series of turns. So hard to navigate with a stroller and I struggled to dig deep to accelerate out of each one. I was passed by several women and, although I decreased the gap on the straightaways, I never did catch up. Mile 2 in 7:27. Ouch!
The final mile — until the last 200m — was straighter but had a few inclines. It was the same route we’d taken in the first mile, but in reverse (which might explain the quicker first mile since I now realized it had been mostly downhill…). On the bright side, I glanced at my Garmin and realized that the course was probably going to be short of 5k. I was feeling so tired that I was very relieved to be spared an extra .10! Ha! Mile 3 was 7:33 for a 3-mile time of 21:31.
JB was still excited and even though I was spent, I had a good time, too! Next time I try a stroller race I’ll pick one with fewer turns, though.
And the weekly summary:
Monday: 6 miles on hilly trails taking advantage of an afternoon off work.
Wednesday: Doctor’s appointment in the morning complete with blood draw. Ran 4.6 miles average 6:49 pace during JB’s nap including 20 minute tempo averaging 6:10 pace and feeling controlled.
Thursday: 3.2 miles @ 8:02 including 4 strides.
Friday: 4 miles @ 8:13 with the stroller
Saturday: 3.5 @ 8:06 on the treadmill with a few surges at 6:00 pace and a couple at 5:49 pace.
Sunday: 3.8 miles, all with stroller including 3 mile race in 21:31.
total: 25.1 miles
Now that I am caught up on the past several month’s training logs since my injury/burnout phase, I can start posting weekly again! Right now, I’m trying to hold onto the fitness I earned for the Columbus Marathon and sharpen up for some 5ks in November. My goal is to run 17:45 around Thanksgiving and then shut down for a couple weeks to rest and get ready for a few track meets.
I ran a 5k on Sunday, my first since August and was pretty happy with the 19:13 finish since it was a touch long. I ran probably the most even splits I’ve ever achieved in a 5k – 6:02, 6:05, 6:06 – which is a good indicator I’ve got decent strength right now.
Monday: 2.3 miles at 8:47 pace. Tired after a long day of work and had a stuffy nose, but really wanted to get outside and clear my head. This run served its purpose – felt much better afterward.
Tuesday: 5.2 at 6:58 average including 25 minutes progressive tempo averaging 6:24. Felt controlled.
Wednesday: 4.3 at 8:46 pace during JB’s nap.
Thursday: 4 at 8:33 pace. Wasn’t feeling very excited about getting out the door in the dark, but decided to try and did feel good once I was out there.
Friday: Off. Bubble bath instead!
Saturday: 4 miles at 8:45 pace including 4 strides.
Sunday: 4.2 total including 5k (3.2 miles) in 19:13 for the win.
total: 24 miles
Allow me to state the obvious: Marathons are hard. And after my back-to-back DNF marathons last fall, training for a 2015 marathon was more mentally than physically challenging. So my goal for the Columbus Marathon was to (finally) complete marathon #13 feeling strong and with a smile on my face.
I asked my coach, who trained me to a sub-17 5k a few years ago, to write me a marathon plan. He crafted a flexible training schedule that perfectly accommodated my working mom lifestyle. I’ll fill in the details in my training logs, but I peaked at 81 miles, with several weeks in the 70s. I ran four 20+ mile runs. I raced a 37:54 10k three weeks out. I nailed an 8x 1 kilometer workout and a week later 20x 1 min hard/1 min easy averaging under 6:40 pace for the entirety. And somehow I didn’t realize I nailed the whole darn training program. Read more >>
How about a happy and a crappy? Has anyone ever played that game?
Happy: In contrast to last week, my long run went well on Saturday. I completed 18 miles with two 3-mile uptempo segments at 18:44 and 18:36, including my first sub-6 mile outside of a 5k race since 2013! I think these were net downhill, but still a good result!
Crappy: Plantar fasciitis. I’d been feeling some twinges in my left heel during the week but didn’t worry too much. The pain came back in the final easy miles of my long run Saturday and when I tried to run on Sunday I was favoring that side. I knew I could get throough some miles, but the lopsided gait would likely cause worse problems so I stopped running and went to Target instead. I am terrible at making the decision not to run and always have to ask myself, “what would [running friend] advise?” Fortunately, it felt better as soon as I quit running and the ache subsided throughout the day.
Five more weeks until the Glass City Marathon. I need to stay off the injury list and dial into marathon pace. I still think 2:50 is a good rough goal, but a part of me is still optimistic I can run faster. I know, however, that a big part of marathon success is brutal honesty with oneself about fitness and proper pacing so I’m going to hold off on that decision for now.
Monday: 4.2 miles @ 8:43 pace in the morning. 8.5 @ 6:49 on the treadmill in the evening including 45 tempo minutes averaging 6:24 pace. However, that tempo was broken up after 20 minutes when JB woke up crying. Took 10 minutes to calm him before completing the last 25 minutes of the tempo. 6:24 pace would be a great marathon goal, but the long (seated) break makes it difficult to evaluate how hard this tempo was.
Tuesday: 7.3 @ 8:17 average outside! 4x strides.
Wednesday: 10.7 @ 8:32 on the treadmill. After some trial and error I found my new treadmill show: Parenthood! This run flew by watching the first two episodes. 3.3 @ 8:58 pace in the evening.
Thursday: 6.8 @ 8:52 average working up from 0–> 4% incline by bumping up the incline every 5 minutes. Last 15 minutes were at 1-1.5%.
Friday: 9 miles @ 8:44 pace. Skipped the p.m. run due to JB’s late bedtime.
Saturday: 18 miles at 7:14 average including 2x 3 mile uptempo segments (6:38, 6:10, 5:56 and 6:28, 6:04, 6:04). Ran this on a ~4 mile loop some hills and used the same 3 mile segment both times. Pretty sure it was net downhill and net tailwind so (again) another workout that isn’t very helpful in pinpointing my fitness (but still a good workout!).
Sunday: Failed run. PF pain made me limp when I started, so decided to take the day off so as not to risk causing any other issues.
total: 67.8 miles (down from planned 80+ due to missed run Friday night and day off Sunday. I’m okay with that. I think.)
I raced this week! I rarely get nervous for races, but the indoor track always gives me goosebumps. The last time I raced was in November, and following my 2-week break in December I haven’t done many uptempo runs recently so I was pretty uncertain of what to expect, adding to the nerves. I entered myself with a 18:45 seed time, but my real goal was to run a smart race (meaning not go out too fast!) and get in a decent workout.
From the starting gun, I was probably in 10th place in a field of 16 collegians. A trio broke away in the opening mile, but I was happy running a bit slower. A few girls started drifting back and I passed them smoothly, going through 1600m in 6:08, just over 19:00 pace. In the second mile I started catching a few more girls, after and the initial lead back broke up I caught 3rd and 2nd place. I tried to talk them into hanging on to my pace, but the timing company’s splits show I was actually picking up some speed. My throat was starting to burn from breathing the indoor air, but I realized that my legs actually felt quite fresh!
I reached 3200m in 12:09, and found myself sitting on the shoulder of the leader. I thought I remembered seeing her destroy the last kilometer of a 5k last year, so I decided to wait. We made a few circuits of the track in 47 seconds before splitting a 48. Her coach was yelling at her to move and finally I realized she was toast and I needed to take responsibility for pushing myself.
With 850 meters to go, I accelerated. My last four splits were 40.0, 43.6, 43.1, and 39.0, giving me an 18:50 finish time. What’s really exciting is that last 2:45+ 800m is faster than I closed my 5k PR from almost two years ago — and I haven’t done any running faster than marathon pace in a couple months! I’m really excited to put in some more work now and see where it takes me in the spring.
Here’s the weekly training summary:
Monday: 8.5 miles @ 8:21 average pace on the treadmill.
Tuesday: 4.1 @ 8:39 in the morning (work meeting was canceled) and 7.5 @ 8:35 in the evening.
Wednesday: 11.3 @ 7:30 average pace. Ran 55 minutes progressing from 7:30 to 6:40 pace — treadmill of course. Noted in my online log that it “felt easy.”
Thursday: 7.6 @ 8:28 pace. Felt terrible at first. It was sort of a blessing that JB woke up and I had to re-settle him because I also took the time to grab a snack. Felt better the last four miles.
Friday: 8.5 @ 8:23 pace in the morning, 3.7 @ 8:25 in the evening.
Saturday: 2 miles warmup, 5000m indoor track race in 18:50, 2.5 miles cooldown. 3.5 @ 8:47 pace in the evening. I typically try to do an early morning shakeout before afternoon races, but I was on my own with JB so it didn’t happen.
Sunday: 13.4 @ 7:52 average outdoors. I wore my Garmin so I knew I was hitting some sub-8 miles and tried to back off the pace and failed. No idea why I was going this fast. Belly was upset mid-run but otherwise felt great and wished I’d had time for a few more miles.
total: 75.5 miles
I love Thanksgiving week. Obviously, there’s a lot of non-running related activities to be excited for, but I’ve traditionally had some great running experiences at this time. I’ve set and re-set my 5k PR at the Holiday Hustle, won frozen turkeys at the Turkey Trot, and had win streaks going at both races until pregnancy sidelined me last year. After having a rough time at my marathon attempts, I was looking forward to these fun races and they did not disappoint! I’ll hold you in a little suspense while I recap the beginning of the week here:
Monday: 5 miles @ 7:13 average including 20 minutes tempo averaging 6:19 pace. Getting close to predicting sub-18:00 5k fitness…
Wednesday: an hour of yoga at 6 a.m., 4 miles on flat trails in the afternoon + 4x strides.
Thursday: Turkey Trot!!! Having done most of my recent mileage on the treadmill I was a real wimp about the cold. My dad and I did a pretty minimal warmup broken up by breaks to sit in the warm car. When we finally lined up it had been a while since I’d done my strides and when a girl wearing Siena Heights University gear blazed the first 200, I was unprepared to give chase and nearly gave myself a heart attack. Fortunately she slowed and I pulled up alongside her. This Turkey Trot awards a premium to the male/femal leaders at the mile mark — a frozen turkey! — and my mom thinks it’s hilarious when I bring it home. So when the mile mark came into focus, I kicked away from the other girl to win cleanly. I backed down to about tempo pace for the last two miles and came into the finish at 19:21 for the win.
Friday: planned on a few easy miles, but got too busy. 0 running miles. Went for a walk with the family instead.
Saturday: Holiday Hustle! This is a flat course and it’s run in the evening making it a great race to run fast. Actually, I’ve run a PR here four times – let’s see if I can remember: 18:30 (2006), 18:23 (2008), 17:25 (2009), 17:13 (2012). If you’ve been keeping up with my logs, you’ll see I haven’t been working too hard on the running front for a while, but I thought I could eke out a postpartum 5k PR. At the starting gun, the pack strung out quickly and I followed a handful of guys through the first mile in 5:49 – perfect. The second mile includes a hairpun turn. I was excited to spot my friend Karen in 2nd place and give a shoutout to my dad (also doubling up on the holiday races!) but at the same time I was discouraged from pushing harder seeing there was no one near me. After the turn, there’s over a mile long straightaway before the final 400m turn. It seems to go on forever, especially since it’s dark and all you can see is the traffic light in the distance! Finally I made the last turn and kicked for home – 18:19, tying my postpartum PR. Success!
Sunday: 0 miles.
total: 18.3 miles
What’s up next — two weeks completely off! I don’t believe in cross-training during breaks, aside from a bit of yoga. I will be too busy to do much anyway — I’ll be attending the USATF Annual Meeting the first week of December and then earning my Level 1 Coaching certification the second weekend of December. Click back here for summaries of those events!
I’ve completed 12 marathons and countless shorter races without a single DNF. If you’re superstitious, the fact that the Columbus Marathon would have been my 13th might appear unlucky. And attempting another the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon exactly 13 days later would appear foreboding.
If you remember, my goal for the Columbus Marathon was to break 3 hours. That time goal was based on 5k and 10k races and some decent workouts. Mainly, however, I wanted to complete the marathon feeling strong (no bonk!) and set myself up for a strong assault on the 2:43:00 Olympic Trials qualifying standard. Read more >>
Although my major (running) goal for the next two years is to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon, my true race love is the 5k. It might be a case of familiarity breeding affection (after all, I spent 7 seasons of high school and college cross-country racing 5ks), but I love the blend of speed and endurance. It doesn’t hurt that 5ks are plentiful; if you have one bad day then redemption is right around the corner.
In my first installment of my postpartum comeback I had raced 3 5ks: 20:58, 19:55, and then 19:07 on the track at 11 weeks postpartum. Since then, I’ve had some great workouts and a couple setbacks including injuries due to chafing and pulling my shoe off wrong (I’ve been running since I was 12 and still do dumb things). Fortunately, these injuries were short-lived and now I’m healthy and ready to run hard! Read more >>
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