Vanilla’s January 2016 Training Log

Another year!  New goals, new challenges and new ideas. I haven’t posted a training log for awhile, and I wanted to get started again.  The second half of 2015 was a challenging year for me both athletically and professionally.  We did get our housing situation settled and moved about 15 miles north of Boulder to a small town called Lyons, which is on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Every window in our house has a mountain view!  We got very lucky!

Sunset view from our deck--really!
Sunset view from our deck–really!

Athletically, the latter part of 2015 had its challenges and redemptions.  I had a mediocre and disappointing Ironman Boulder in August.  After getting punched in the head during the swim, I managed a bike PR, but it all fell apart on the run.  To this day, I have no idea how I completed my run.  I lost some of my hearing starting at mile 2, and my equilibrium was non-existent during the run.  I contemplated dropping several times and had to walk several times.  I’m pretty sure that I looked like a walking zombie during the marathon. I finished that marathon in 4:59:59, visited the medical tent and somehow got a clean bill of health to exit?  It didn’t damage my triathlon spirit, and a few weeks later, I finally grabbed a 1st AG at a local sprint and qualified for Nationals in 2017.  I ended my tri season in November with a hot and steamy half in Florida, which was slow, but I grabbed a podium spot and some sweet swag.  And… I almost (almost) got my 5K time back to 20:00 at a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

I ended 2015 just shy of 2,000 running miles.  My yearly goal is 2,000 per year, but I didn’t get hung-up on falling short.  For 2016, I decided to give the ironman another try and signed up for IM Arizona in November, 2016.  And, since we were already planning on being in LA for the Olympic Marathon Trials, I figured…what the hell, I’ll run LA!  At that point, I decided to get a coach to help me train properly for the marathon and start building a base for all of 2016.

Professionally, it was rough for our company starting in October.  Our CEO stepped down to be replaced by a highly-energetic running shoe veteran to make significant changes within our company.  We underwent a reorganization which ultimately resulted in layoffs.  I was fortunate to keep my job and receive a promotion, which was bittersweet since my supervisor was let go.  Added responsibility meant more hours, more challenges and much greater accountability. I had many good days and many stressful days, which will be the norm in 2016.  My biggest issue has been and continues to be proper sleep and nutrition.  I have a tendency to not sleep many hours when I am stressed, and I have a bad habit of not eating when days get slammed with meetings and fire drills.  It’s not the best recipe for training success. Why couldn’t we have won the Powerball and retired???

So…after all of that, let’s start off 2016!

Week of 1/3 to 1/9:

  • Lovely, but chilly 18 miler to start off the year!  Thanks goodness for the sun!
  • Tough training workouts: 5 x 8 minutes at marathon pace with 2 minutes at 10K pace.  So really, 5 x 10 minutes!
  • Consistently started to run 50 miles per week with 2 workouts and 1 long run.

Week of 1/10 to 1/16:

  • 2o miles with 6 easy/4 marathon pace/3 easy/4 marathon pace/3 easy.  Convinced my friend’s fiancé to run the workout with me since we are both aiming for 3:10 at LA.  We nailed the workout going 28:32/28:37 ( a little uphill on the second set).  3:10 pace is 7:15 per mile. Pace felt smooth and controlled, but I have to say that those last 3 easy miles were EASY!
  • Group workout with my coaching group.  5 x 5 minutes with varying paces for each interval, which was challenging. (i.e 3 minutes at half pace/2 minutes at 5K pace; 1 minute progression for 5 minutes).  Ran most of the intervals with a partner, which was great because we took turns pulling each other. Running with a group has really helped my mental prep.
  • Two out of three workouts ain’t bad…  raced a 10 miler over the weekend, and everything that could go wrong and feel awful did.  Legs felt flat, sore and heavy.  I went out in 7:10, 7:08, and then I just had to shut it down.  Everything hurt, and I felt like I was sprinting.  The only reason why I kept running was because I could tell I was in the top, and I could place to win a gift certificate.  Spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch trying to get rid of an awful headache!  Trying not to let this awful race get into my head 4 weeks from LA…
Feeling like a$$, after a 1st AG, but still trying to smile. Photo cred: Eddie Metro
Feeling like a$$, after a 1st AG, but still trying to smile. Photo cred: Eddie Metro

Week of 1/17-1/23:

  • I. GOT. SICK.  Great workout on  Tuesday.  Woke up Thursday with a scratchy throat which later turned into the aches, chills, sweats, loss of appetite and pounding headache.  Stayed home from work on Friday.  Slept all day and night.
  • Was able to get in an easy 4 on Saturday.  Even though it was 60 degrees, I opted for the treadmill, which was good since I was coughing and sneezing a lot.

Week of 1/24-1/31:

  • 21 mile planned on Sunday the 24th.  I made the bad decision to go for it.  Legs felt rested, but I was hacking the entire time.  My nose was constantly running.  Watched the Broncos vs. Patriots in the AFC Championship with some friends, and of course alcohol was consumed.
  • Felt fine the next day, but not ready for a Tuesday workout.  Took every once of energy to run 4 miles.  The exhaustion set in after that 21 miler.  Not the smartest decision, but hindsight is 20/20.  Had to leave work early on Tuesday.  Slept for 4 hours, woke up, had a small dinner, then slept for 10 hours.
  • Hit the track with my training group on Saturday.  Workout was 2 x 800/1600/800.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to run the 800s at 6:30 pace and 1600s at sub 7:00 pace after not doing a workout for over 10 days.  We had to end the workout with a mile progression, which I started at 7;15 pace and ended at 6:30.  Still coughing a lot at the end, but a bit of a confidence booster.
  • 14 miler on Sunday.  Got a ride with my husband who was meeting his training group in Boulder, and I ran home, which was exactly 14 miles from the parking lot to the entrance of our neighborhood.  Felt great!
I LOVE this sign at the end of my long run loops. One mile til home!
I LOVE this sign at the end of my long run loops. One mile til home!

Overall, I averaged about 50  miles of running per week combined with 2+ miles per week of swimming, one bike workout and 2 weight training sessions.  The volume has been manageable and has kept me from overtraining.  Getting a coach was one of the best decisions I made!  Looking forward to February!



Native Ohioan now living in Boulder, Colorado. I love to run, tri, train, eat good chocolate, drink good rum, and laugh (a lot). I am a CPA by trade and work for Newton Running.

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