The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Monday, January 27, 2014

The One With A Much Better Week



After the past 2 weeks of craziness this next week was definitely much better. My life is still crazy, it always is I guess but at least this past week was self-induced crazy and not the other way around. That being said I technically only missed 1 workout but when it’s all said and done I’m not sad about it since I had a back-to-back racing weekend. I also realized that I did something that everyone would say is a huge no-no by upping my mileage by way more than 10% of what it has been in the past 3 weeks...oops! So with that being said I’ll try to keep it a little more simple to make sure I have recovered and didn’t completely over do it.

Here is how last week turned out:


Week 3
4 miles @ 11:30




Done
3 miles @ 11:50




Done
Speed work 6 miles = wu, 4 m @ 9:50, cool


Done
3 miles @ 11:50




Off
BodyPump





Off
Polar Dash 5K




Done
Miracle Match half marathon @ 11:40


Done
32 miles


Monday I literally forced myself to the gym for 4 easy miles at an 11:20 pace. I was so bored and felt so sluggish but they got done.
Tuesday Kristie and I went to the park by our new house, which was very dark, much darker than I thought and did a quick 3 miles run at a 10:55 pace (oops on that one).
Wednesday was a hard day to get to the gym but when I originally made this schedule I wanted Wednesdays to be speed days but since then I have decided to do a Bible study on Wednesdays as well, so in the future this may need to change but I got to the gym at 9pm and got on the treadmill for my speedwork. Those 4 miles at 9:50 were super hard but I decided that even though I have missed 2 weeks of speed work and haven’t really done any speed work in 2 months I still want that half and marathon PR so I am just going to get after it. I finished all 6 miles at a 10:31 pace.
I wound up taking Thursday and Friday off. On Thursday it was super windy and cold here AND I was having some stomach issues. I could have gone to the gym if my stomach were better but I didn’t really feel like chancing it.
Saturday I ran the Polar Dash 5k with my youngest sister and we had an awesome time! I was so proud of her. Race recap coming soon.
Sunday I drove to Waco for the Miracle Match half marathon; I was super nervous about this race going in because I knew I was under trained and I had heard about the hills and I just really had no idea what to expect but I wound up having an awesome time and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this race, hills and all! I finished right under my goal time at 2:34:33 for an average pace of 11:34. Race recap for this coming as well.
All in all this week was definitely a confidence booster for me; I have really struggled coming back from my injury to feel like myself again but this week gave me hope that the runner I know I can be is still in there.
This next week I changed up my schedule just a bit to allow myself some recovery miles tonight and I’m moving speed work from Wednesday to Thursday this week and I’m only doing an easy 10 miler race for my long run this weekend so hopefully this will be another great training week in the books!

Week 4
3 miles @ 11:50
5 miles @ 11:20

Off
BodyPump Speed work 6 mile = wu, 4 m @ 9:45, cool
BodyPump + 4 miles @ 11:50
Off

Too Cold to Hold 10 miler @ 11:30
28 miles

Monday, January 20, 2014

The One Where It’s Not Going So Well; But I’ll Persevere Nonetheless



So week 1 of marathon training was rough annnnnd now week 2 didn’t go so well either. I can make excuses for you, like for example I can talk about how hard it really is to come off of an injury. Building your mileage back up is truly harder than you think. But honestly the hardest part is really boiled down to our recent move. Not only did we move last weekend but we have also been experiencing some major plumbing issues all week.


Alex and I bought an older house so we knew that there would be things that would come up along the way that would require maintenance and upkeeping but we did not expect the craziness that was our first week in our new house. It all started when our apartment flooded (for the 2nd time in 6 weeks) 2 nights before we moved out, which then led to a water line breaking at our house the day before we moved in to once that was fixed and the water back on the laundry room flooded and the sink backed up. That led to plumbers coming out and telling us we had roots in our pipes which they supposedly got out for us. Until the next day when our toilet stopped working and our neighbor came over to inform us that our side yard was completely flooded…. At this point we are on day 7 in the new house and have yet to have a normal day. I was about ready to find one of our cats and sacrifice them as an offering to whatever water god we apparently pissed off….


Thankfully, the city was able to come out to our house last night and use a camera to check some of our pipes for us and we discovered even more roots. It’s still an ongoing saga because as I type my husband is at home meeting the plumbers yet again to hopefully get the rest of the tree roots and also hopefully do a full inspection of our 40+ year old plumbing and let us know if and what can be done to prevent further issues. Oh the joys of homeownership….


Anyways, all of that being said I am exhausted and maybe a tad depressed. Add all of this to the fact that I DO NOT deal with change and transitions well and these past 2 weeks I have felt like a complete basket case. I know, that I know that working out and running will definitely be good for me and the stress but I just haven’t gotten that far just yet.


But this week is a new week, and a race week at that! I know I am a strong person and I know that I truly can get myself together and get moving and make my runs and get my workouts in. So with that being said, I’m done being upset over missed run, worrying about them won’t make them happen so I’m moving on. One of these days I will start and finish a training plan in it’s entirety buuuuuut this year is not the year for that right now. I am also learning a lot about other areas of my life as well; as much as running is so very important to me there are so many other areas of my life that bring me great joy and can be just as rewarding and fulfilling to me so I am definitely learning to BALANCE and let me tell you that is not easy. If I discover the secret though I will definitely bottle it up and sell it for sure!


Anyways, enough of all that for now here is what I have planned (and am determined to complete!!) for workouts this week:



Week 3
4 miles @ 11:30
3 miles @ 11:50
Speed work 6 miles = wu, 4 m @ 9:50, cool
3 miles @ 11:50
BodyPump
Polar Dash 5K
Miracle Match half marathon @ 11:40
32 miles



I am super excited about the Polar Dash weekend because my little sister Sara is coming in town to do it with me!! My middle sister and I run together often but I have never had the chance to do a race with my little sister.
On Sunday I had plans to do the Miracle Match marathon in Waco, TX, which is deemed the toughest hills in Texas. I was going to do the marathon as a training run for the Cowtown Ultra but since I had to drop that I will just be doing the half marathon. I’ve considered skipping it altogether but that just goes against my religion and makes me cringe, so I’ll tough it out for a half and that 11:40 is just a lofty little goal there….
Is anyone else racing this weekend?
Has anyone moved recently, or ever?
Am I the only one who really struggles with moving?

Monday, January 13, 2014

The One With My 2014 Racing Schedule (Winter & Spring)
I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone around these parts that I already have a full racing schedule set, and if it is a surprise to you then you must be new around here, so “Welcome!”

I believe my sister put it well when she commented with, “OH. MY. WORD. You are sick!” when I told her my racing plans through April. I love to race, I just can’t help it. For me racing is a way for me to stick with running for long periods of time; as much as I love it I like to have something to work towards and for me that’s a race. Most of the time I don’t have a particular goal for each race, I just enjoy the race itself. There are a few races I have goals for but honestly you can’t have a goal for every single one, at least I can’t, I would burn out and overwhelm myself.

With that being said I have only 2 goal races for this spring: a sub-5 marathon and a sub-2:10 half marathon. I think my half marathon goal will actually be the hardest since that will be a 6+ minute PR for me so I have created my training schedule and speed work to specifically train for that. The marathon is after my goal half so if training goes well a sub-5 marathon should definitely be within my grasp.

Here is what I have on the calendar so far:

January 1st: Polar Dash 10K in Noblesville, Indiana (done! 1:06) ← race report to come
January 11th: Hotcake Hustle 10K (done! 1:05) ← race report to come
January 25th: Polar Dash 5K (with my sister!)
February 23rd: Cowtown Marathon
April 5th: Fairview Half marathon *goal half
April 19th: Kentucky Marathon *goal marathon

So as you can see I will be well raced by the end of April! Is anyone else doing any of these races? I love meeting new people or running with new and old running friends.

In the past I have always posted my entire schedule at the beginning of my training program but I think this time I am not going to do that. However, I will post a weekly workout post with both my plan for the week and what I did the past week. That being said last week was a bit of a disaster due to messed up travel plans and by the fact that we moved (yay!) on Saturday so we will just skip last week and look ahead.

Here is what is on the plan for this week:

Week 2
4 miles @ 11:30
3 miles @ 11:50
BodyPump
Speed work 6 miles = wu, 3x1600 @10:00 w/800 jogs, cool
3 miles @ 11:50
BodyPump
14 miles @ 11:50
Off
30 miles


I always make my own training plans after consulting past training plans as well as other resources. This time I decided to do the Smart Coach training from Runner’s World. I have used it in the past and I really liked it. I actually used the Smart Coach to develop both a half marathon training plan and a marathon training plan then I combined the workouts. I really liked the speed work on both training plans which is what led me to ultimately use these plans. The half marathon training plan however did have faster paces than the marathon plan did and over all both plans had seemingly slower paces than I am used to so I would look at the prescribed workout for each day and find a pace that was about evenly split between the 2 plans or a little faster and go with that. I also opted to go for 5 days of running that the marathon plan called for versus the 4 days that the half marathon plan called for. It has actually been a goal of mine for a while now to make running 5 days a week a habit so this is a good time to start. As always with any of my training plans it is just that, A PLAN; it is a guideline that I aim to follow so that I can get to the finish line happy and healthy.
What do you use for your training plans? Do you have any good apps to use?
What are your running and racing goal for 2014?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The One With A Tough {But Necessary} Decision

A couple of months ago (beginning of November to be exact) I announced on Instagram that I had signed up to train for my very first Ultra marathon. I signed up to run the Cowtown Ultra 50K (31 miles) the end of February in Fort Worth, TX. Five days later I got injured….

I never got an official diagnosis but the PT that I work with thinks I may have displaced a bone on the outside of my foot which obviously made it painful to walk and caused irritation in my ligaments in my ankle as well. I spent 2 weeks wrapping it, icing it and resting it as much as possible even though my job requires lots of walking. After 2 weeks of no gym time I slowly started adding back spin class and then after another week a few slow, short runs. And then I got sick and Dallas had an ice storm and after it was all said and done I missed a good 6 weeks of ultra marathon training.

I was still optimistic heading into the holidays thinking that would be a good time for me to log some miles and build my mileage up back to where it should be, but that plan did not work so well either. Being on someone else’s time makes it hard, the weather makes it hard, not having a gym makes it hard and building my base back up in an area where I am not familiar running made it really hard. I know this all sounds like excuses but building mileage back up from an injury really is hard, end of story.

Finally on New Year’s Eve I sat down and discussed all my thoughts and concerns about my ultra training with Alex; he may not really understand all this running stuff and heaven only knows he has never followed a training plan a day in his life but despite all that he really is a good sounding board for me when it comes to my running and ambitions. My main concern was that with a 16 week training plan for my very first ultra I already missed a huge chunk of it and could I safely {key word} build myself back up to where I wanted to be? And would I be capable of finishing giving what would be a lack of training?

I think eventually my deciding factor boiled down to this: I know that given my personality I would get to the finish line, undertrained or not. However, I would more than likely be very disappointed in my performance due to being undertrained, and that would really get me down. I don’t necessarily have a time goal in mind but I do know that I am capable of putting much more into this than I have been able to over the past month.

So my final decision is to drop the ultra and run the marathon at Cowtown on February 23rd.

I am fully confident that this is the right decision for me right now. It was a tough decision because I really don’t like the thought of not following through on something I have set out to do, however I want to safely continue to run and so that being said this is the right decision. I’m actually a little bit hesitant at a marathon that soon but since this will not be my first or even second marathon I know I will be fine. I won’t be running for a PR by any means but I am confident enough in my running abilities at this point to run a strong race that I can be proud of.


I actually have a very full late winter/spring race calendar right now (which I will share soon!) that I am excited about and I am ready to finally be healthy, be settled in our house and at my new job and just focus on running again.