“How do you fit it all in?” I’m entering the time of year where I ask myself that question a lot. Despite an increasingly full calendar and traveling for work, I got a pretty solid two weeks of training under my belt, as I recovered from the Papa John’s 10 Miler and started gearing back up for my April half marathon.
So I ran a 10 mile race last weekend! Before we get to that, I thought it might be good to give y’all a sense of what I’ve been up to, and not just in the big picture, existential life updates kinda way, but really, truly what’s been going on with my training. Let’s dive right in, shall we? Read more >>
I used to be scared of the half marathon. Too far to fake it, not far enough to be comfortable. I worried if I ran a half marathon before a marathon, I’d use up all my fitness. That doesn’t even make sense.
This year I’ve run three half marathons in the first half of the year. One was two weeks before my marathon; the other two after.
So what’s changed?
The past few months I’ve been buried under miles and Clif Bars in preparation for my next race, which I am super excited about! On April 30th, I’m racing in my first U.S.A. Half Marathon Championship at the Cap City Half in Columbus!
I began my training cycle for this race in early February, but a couple of weeks into it and it became clear that something was off. I had little aches and pains everywhere, slogged through every training run, and felt like my workouts were way more of a struggle than they should have been. Worst of all, I didn’t feel the joy in training I usually do. After a few weeks of wondering what was wrong with me, I finally realized what was going on.
Time for a flashback. Back in January, I met Salty and Cinnamon at the Jacksonville Bank Half. More precisely, I met Salty on the bus to the pre-race dinner. She sat next to me and I told her I was there to run a 1:15 or faster and qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon. The next morning, I lined up in the dark rain and gave it my all, but fell short by 35 heart-breaking seconds, finishing in 1:15:35. Read more >>
As we discussed on Monday, fall marathon season is upon us! Cinnamon and I are targeting PRs in New York. Jasmine, Catnip, and Ginkgo are going for it in Columbus. Ginger’s doing a little half late in the fall. Cardamom is taking on Wineglass and Sage is taking on Portland … this weekend! No matter what fall half or full you’re targeting, it’s time to get serious about getting yourself race ready. If you’re like me, to get race ready, you have spent the past several months working on building base mileage, long runs, tempo runs, and intervals. These are the foundations of half and full marathon success.
But there’s another component to reaching time goals that should not be neglected in the final weeks: the dress rehearsal. Just like any performance, a big race performance requires a full dress rehearsal to calm a few of the race day jitters and work out the kinks in your race plan. Here’s how to execute the perfect marathon dress rehearsal. Read more >>
We here at Salty Running love to share our training strategies, opinions on all sorts of running stuff, and some of the strategies we think have helped or hurt our performance as runners and we especially love it when our readers have questions about this stuff! I’ve written in my training logs a bit about the changes I made to the Hanson’s Marathon Method training plan, which brings us to Mark from Indiana, who writes:
I read in the Hansons Marathon Method that easy miles should not be run too easy, but should be anywhere from 1 min to 2 minutes slower than goal marathon pace. Do you agree with this recommendation?
You mentioned that you think that the paces in the Hansons Marathon Method require too large of a quantum leap from training to race day. Could you elaborate on that? What alternative did you implement into your training strategy?
Great questions, Mark! Read more >>
It’s been a while since we’ve visited the long run, and since many of us are getting into fall racing season it’s time!
Most of us know long runs are important, but we also have some newbies among us who need a little background on the fundamentals of good half and full marathon training. Weather you’ve run a bazillion of them or are sweating about your first, this post is for you!
It seems like runners either love or hate going long. No matter your standpoint, they are necessary, especially for half and full marathon training. And as we creep up on prime timing of long training runs for this fall’s racing season, I’ll share what the experts have to offer as well as what has worked for me, personally, for these time consuming but gratifying runs.
Another solid week in the books.
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 75 minutes easy with 4 strides – 8.44 / 8:57 pace.
Wednesday – 62 minutes – 7 miles / 8:55 pace. I also logged 1.5 at GOTR in the evening with some strides.
Thursday – unplanned rest day. I had a very early morning meeting and way too busy day, so my run fell by the wayside.
Friday – Tempo miles! 87 minutes. 2 mile warm up (9:04 pace); then 4 x 1 mile at a target of 7:06-7:15 pace with 1 minute recoveries in between. Actual: 7:07, 7:08, 7:13 and 7:14. I then did a 4.1 mile cool down with 4 strides (8:57 pace). Felt good to shake the dust off.
Saturday I was hurting a bit. My husband and I had a big 40th birthday party on Friday night. We stayed up WAY too late and had WAY too much fun. So I woke up with a head ache and a head cold. Ugh. Ran 45 minutes easy, but nothing about it felt easy. 5 miles / 8:55 pace.
Sunday I worked all day and then got out for an early evening run. It had rained all day and was only in the 60s. 2 hours, 5 minutes / 14 miles / 8:59 pace. This was the longest run I’ve logged in quite some time.
Total: 46.5 miles / 6 hours, 49 minutes
I am at that tough spot in training. Still too early on for anything to feel easy, but far enough in that I have some expectation that it should feel easier than it does. Oh well, I know if I keep putting in the time, the fitness will come. One step in front of the other. Literally.
Monday is my rest day, but it was also Labor Day. It would seem wrong not to get something in! I ran 3.5 miles easy (8:51 pace) on the trail with my husband and both boys. It was warm and humid, so short and easy was perfect.
Tuesday I did my arm weights and 50 minutes easy before work. 5.7 miles / 8:50 pace.
Wednesday I did my first uptempo work since the Illinois Marathon in April. Yes, you read that right. I was a bit nervous about it all, truth be told. I was scheduled for an hour with 2 x 10-15 minutes at 7:15-7:45 pace. Guess what? It went well! I won’t say it was easy, but it felt SO GOOD to be running hard. I was able to stick close to the 7:15 pace and once the run was over, I had that great big rush of the runner’s high. I really needed that. 7.4 miles / 8:11 average pace. I also got to start out another season coaching Girls on the Run after work. We have a fun group and already started practicing our strong, fast finishes. 🙂
Thursday I did my arm weights again and an hour-long easy run after work. 6.75 miles / 8:56 pace.
Friday I was super time crunched and my legs were tired. 4 miles / 9:08 pace.
Saturday it was hot. And humid. And awful. I ran just under an hour. 6.3 miles / 8:57 pace.
Sunday it wasn’t as hot (70 degrees), but it was SUPER humid (80%). I felt okay until about 8.5 miles and then it was a suffer-fest to finish. 11 miles / 9:07 pace. This was a very dejecting run as it really shouldn’t be that hard now that I have several weeks under my training belt. I know my fitness with meet me soon. Patience, grasshopper.
Total: 44.6 miles
Good news: the last few weeks I’ve been having some serious heel pain. I switched up my shoes and it is getting noticeably better. Thank goodness…..
My fall half marathon training is rolling along and I anticipate I will move out of easy, base-building and into some serious workouts pretty soon. Why do I think this? Because I just finished a recovery week and if I know my coach like I think I do, I suspect I’ll have to start putting in some hard work very, very soon. I am ready for it too!
Week of 8.25:
Monday is a rest day, but I did arm weights. My shoulders are very slowly starting to recover and my range of motion is improving.
Tuesday I ran an hour easy with 4 strides – 7 miles / 8:48 pace.
Wednesday I did arm weights again and ran 30 minutes easy on the trail with my son after work. 3.4 miles / 8:51 pace.
Thursday I ran just over an hour. It was hot – even in the early morning and almost 100% humidity. Ick. 7.2 miles / 8:56 pace.
Friday I was scheduled for 30 minutes, but I skipped it. No good reason for it. For some reason those super short runs are too easy for me to skip. Fortunately, I will be done with them soon as my training progresses.
Saturday I was scheduled for 30 minutes again, but bumped it up to 60 since I skipped Friday’s workout. 7 miles with 4 strides / 8:43.
Sunday I had an hour and fifty minutes on tap. Unfortunately it was hot and humid. I struggled from the beginning of the run and ultimately pulled the plug early. I had stopped at home to get water, and immediately got a wicked headache and the chills. Decided to be smart and call it quits. It made me crazy not to meet my scheduled workout, but I was feeling awful. 84 minutes / 9.3 miles / 9:05 pace
Total: 33.9 miles
Week of 9.1.13 (Recovery Week):
Monday is my rest day, but I did arm weights.
Tuesday I also rested because it was insanely hot and humid. My coach hadn’t gotten a workout to me by the morning and it was way too horrible to run in the evening (95 degrees and humid).
Wednesday I ran just over 30 minutes / 3.6 miles / 9:03 pace.
Thursday I ran 50 minutes with 4 strides / 5.6 miles / 8:51 pace.
Friday I ran 30 minutes easy / 3.4 miles / 8:55 pace. Once again, it was super humid.
Saturday the entire family did the Color Me Rad 5k race. It was SO much fun! I ran with my youngest son and we were moving along pretty nicely. Not sure of the exact time as I did not wear a watch, but I’d guess we were around 25 minutes.
Sunday we had family in town visiting and a big breakfast scheduled. We also had late afternoon/evening plans, which meant I ended up having to get my run in during the heat of the day. It was 84 degrees and 70% humidity. Translated = total suffer fest. But I put the work in with a few water stops to let my HR drop. 10.1 miles / 8:56 pace.
Total: 25.8 miles
I am looking forward to getting into heftier training in the coming weeks! I will admit though, that I was at first disappointed to see my coach had scheduled me for a super light week last week after only 40 mile and 33 mile weeks. However, I felt really good by the end and know it will position me well for what is just around the bend. Stay tuned…..
I am pleased to report that I have officially put a new game plan in place for this Fall. I am slowly building back my base, but know that I don’t have enough time to put in to have a stellar marathon. So I am now shooting for another half – the Tyranena Beer Run Half on 11.2.13.
I met with my coach on Friday and we decided that was a good plan. The best news is that my sister is also doing the race and we haven’t done the same race in a LONG time.
This week wasn’t a big one, but I was able to put in some work while managing a still very busy work schedule. Here it is by the numbers:
Monday is my rest day.
Tuesday is not usually a rest day, but I was slammed at work and needed to make that a priority. So it became a rest day.
Wednesday I ran just over an hour – 7 miles / 9:06 pace. I almost cut it short, but reminded myself I need to get back into a strong training mindset.
Thursday morning was fantastic. 60 degrees and no humidity. 9 miles / 9:07 pace. I would have made it 10, but didn’t have any more time.
Friday I was dog tired, but I forced myself to get out there and get it done. 5.1 miles / 9:09 pace.
Saturday we had family in town, so I skipped the run to have lots of family time.
Sunday I ran 10 miles / 9:12 pace. This was my first double-digit run in MONTHS. It was hard and feel like I have SO far to go to get into shape, but it was awesome to get it done.
Total: 31.1 miles
Hopefully I’ll get in a couple more base-building weeks and then I’ll be able to start getting some real quality in.
Finishing is nice, but you love racing. You’ve got some 5k and 10k races under your belt and you think you might be ready to take the next step and try a half marathon.
13.1 miles can seem daunting if you’ve never raced that far before, and with good reason–pushing yourself for that many miles is tough to get used to! Lucky for you, the half is a very accessible distance, especially if you’ve run a few 10ks. Many veteran runners love the half because it’s short enough to not require the monster training of a full marathon but it’s long enough to be a challenge, especially if you want to push your pace to its limit.
And if you’re a half-marathon vet, please share tips and stories from your first half marathons to help our newbies get a better sense of what they’re in for.
Here is the Salty guide to racing your first half marathon:
This week was intense in many ways. A serious family health scare + work + the start of Girls on the Run (I am a coach) + kid’s sports + training = one heck of a whirlwind week. As crazy as it was, I have to say that I feel so very fortunate to have the people in my life that I do and to be able to do all that I can do.
Monday is my rest day and I felt I needed it as my legs were pretty sore from my 17 miler the day before. I did my arm weights and ended up doing some easy running in the evening since Girls on the Run started. How can I not run when I have so many fabulous running buddies?!
Tuesday I was scheduled for a tempo / speed work out, but my legs were still pretty sore. I really did not want another failed workout like last week, so rather than push it, I decided just to log an easy progressive run. 61 minutes / 7 miles / 8:42 pace.
Wednesday I was up early for my tempo / speed workout. My legs were feeling pretty fresh and it was a successful (but hard) workout: 10 minute warm up (8:57); 20 minutes @ 7:16 pace; .13 recovery (10:00 m/m); 3 x (.25 @ 6:15 pace; .25 recovery); 2 x 1 mile at 7:16 pace; 1 minute recovery; 10 minute cool down with 5 x 30 second pick ups at 6:00 pace. 70 minutes; 9 miles / 7:45 average pace. Wednesday night I ran with my fabulous Girls on the Run again. No idea how far or fast, but it was fun.
Thursday I had a fartlek workout on tap. I could have moved it to Friday, but I wanted to race on Saturday. So I decided to do it as scheduled, but to do it after work so I would have 36 hours between hard efforts. Fortunately the workout wasn’t too tough. Just enough to get some speedy stuff in: 20 minute easy warm up; 5 x (2 min @ 6:40; 1 min rest; 1 min @ 6:40; 30 sec rest; 30 sec @ 6:40; 30 sec rest); 7+ minute cool down with 4 x 30 sec pick ups @ 6:00 pace. 55 minutes / 7 miles / 7:56 average pace.
Friday I ran easy after work. It was windy, but 47 degrees! 45 minutes / 5 miles and change / 8:51 pace.
Saturday it was race time! The whole family decided to run it (yay!) and one of my good friends came out too. I didn’t have super high expectations since I hadn’t raced a 5k in a LONG time and I had enjoyed way too much red wine Friday night when my husband I went out to celebrate the fact that my sister-in-law’s cancer had not returned (woo hoo!!). It was a small race and my friend and I ended up taking 1st and 2nd place (me in 2nd). Don’t be fooled though. It wasn’t a great race for me. I faded a bit and I finished with a time no where near my PR. BUT, we all had a blast! My goal was anything under 22 minutes and I ended up with 21:55. Talk about cutting it close. 🙂
Sunday was a beautiful day. It was 50 degrees and sunny during my run. My legs were a little tight from the 5k, but overall I felt pretty good. 1 hour 45 minutes / 12 miles / 8:49 pace. Closed out the night hanging out with friends and enjoying spring-like weather. Looking forward to next week.
Total: 45 miles
Less than 2 weeks until my half marathon! To be honest, I am not feeling overly confident about my ability to PR, but I am looking forward to a fun race. I also have to admit that I am getting pretty excited about the Boston Marathon. I have a love/hate relationship with that race (mostly hate/hate truth be told), but it is exciting!
Whew – this week was crazy. It was one of those weeks that my husband and I were both very busy with work and we had something scheduled every single evening. With late nights, lots to do, and a couple of unexpected emergencies, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get all of my scheduled miles in. Fortunately, with a little juggling around and mental determination I was able to make it happen.
Monday is my rest day. My legs were a little sore from my hilly 10k the day before, but it was a good kind of sore if you know what I mean.
Monday night, my son had a band concert. Right before we got there, we got a call from a friend who was in terrible pain and needed to go to the ER. So we picked up their kids and ended up having 3 extra children overnight at the last minute. I was not going to get up early and run and make my husband deal with 5 kids on his own, so I decided that Tuesday’s 60 minute recovery run would have to take place after work. Believe it or not, however, I got a call around 2:30 from our child care provider and she was super sick/in pain and had to go to Urgent Care. I worked at home in the afternoon when the kids got home and planned to run around 6. But then I got a call that she needed to be picked up and have a ride, so I opted to help out instead (of course!). After all of that, I decided it was not in the cards for me to run that day.
Wednesday I was back at it. I was scheduled for 75 minutes, but ended up going just over 95 to get in 11 miles (8:44 pace).
Thursday it was tempo time. I had a 10 minute warm up, then 20 minutes at 7:17 pace; 4 minute recovery; 15 minutes at 7:17 pace; then 11 minute cool down with 4 x 30 second pickups at 6:00 pace. 7.73 miles / 7:45 average pace.
Friday I had another 75 minutes on tap. I had to work at home since the kids had started spring break and I had no child care. The good news is that I got to sneak out (OUTSIDE!) for 80 minutes to get a run in. 9.1 miles / 8:45 pace.
Sunday I opted to do my long run because the weather forecast was much milder than the forecast for Sunday. 2 hours / 13.5 miles / 8:55 pace.
Not sure why, but I woke up really sore on Sunday. My feet (heels) were sore and my inner thighs were screaming. No idea why. It was also cold, windy and snowy out, making it hard to get out there and get it done. I was scheduled for 45 minutes, but I was still short by almost 35 minutes from my skipped run on Tuesday. So I sucked it up and got out there. Man, the sleety snow hurt my face when I was running into the wind and my face was super red when I got home. But I never cut it short or gave in, even though I considered both about 150 times. 80 minutes / 9.05 miles / 8:51 pace.
Total: 50.4 miles.
Only 4 weeks until my half marathon! This was the big motivator for me not giving up today BTW. Now I MUST drop the 5-7 pounds I have been hanging onto this training season. I know it will make a huge difference in my race performance, so I am going to be very good the next 4 weeks. Please remind me of this if you see me eating out or drinking wine. 🙂
This week was a cut-back week for me as I prepared for my first race in more than 5 months! The mission was to shake off the dust and … shake off the dust I did! Neither the week of training or the race went 100% as planned, but I am closing it feeling happy where I am at with training and feeling gratitude for my family and friends.
Monday is my rest day! Usually I would do weights or something, but I was also stuck in airports and traveling home from D.C. I did some core work, but overall, this was a sit around and wait day.
Tuesday I was scheduled for speed work but was WAY behind on life thanks to travel delays so running had to take the back-burner. I ran 3.5 miles easy after work. The best part was that my oldest son ran most of it with me. 3.53 miles / 30 mins / 8:31 pace.
Wednesday it was time to get back at it. I got up early for a speed workout on the treadmill. 7.67 miles / 60 minutes / 7:50 average pace. Workout was: 1 mile warmup; 3 x .75 miles @ 6:40 pace; 4 minute recoveries; 2 x .5 miles @ 6:40 pace; 2 minute recoveries; 13 minute cool down with 4 x 30 second pickups @ 6:00 pace. I also did arm weights and core work.
Thursday I woke up exhausted and with a bad head cold. So I turned off my alarm and opted for sleep before work. After work I had parent-teacher conferences and did not get a run in. Unplanned rest day + core work.
Friday I was back at the swift stuff again. 7.5 miles / 60 mins / 8:02 average pace. This was a tempo interval workout: 15 minute warmup; 5 x 5 minutes at 7:17 pace; 1 minute recoveries; 15 minute cool down with 4 x 30 second pickups at 6:00 pace. I had to play with the speeds again to hit the right pace on the TM. Started at 7:19 and bumped it up to 7:13 for second half. Did last one at 7:13/7:08, so it was nice to finish strong. It is funny how easy these feel after doing speed work 2 days earlier. I also did weights and core work.
Saturday – I ran 38 minutes easy / 4.33 mi (8:52 pace).
Sunday – Shamrock Shuffle time! I was in for the 10k and frankly didn’t know what to expect given the course (huge hills in first and 5th miles), but I have done this race every year since 2007. My best was 44:25, my worst was last year at 46:33. I decided to go out with little expectations, but to listen to my body and do my thing. Just before the start, I ran into my friend, Nora and we decided to run together. We stuck together until just before the 3rd mile when I pulled back some. I hit the half at 22:15 and wasn’t feeling spectacular, but wasn’t dying either. I ran into several friends on the course and chatted it up, which was fun. The long, steep hill at mile 5 just about killed me, but I pressed hard and finished in 45:19. Not a PR, but not bad for the course or the day. My funky little deeleyboppers (ha!) stayed on too! I was very pleased and it lead me into a fun, family-filled day. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my house with extended family (my Mother’s side is Irish).
Total: 4 hours; 17 minutes / 32 miles
Onto next week!
In fun news, I finally chose my spring half marathon. It will be on April 20. I also signed up for the Columbus full marathon on October 20 and will be pacing the 4 hour marathon group at the Madison Marathon 3 weeks later. Lots of fun coming up! So great to be tasting racing season again!
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