My second-to-last week of training is done, and tomorrow starts race week. The second-to-last week is always my least favorite: close enough to the race that I’m tapering, but far enough away that my brain thinks we should still be killing it. Taper madness is real, folks.
Do I make a tapir/taper pun every training cycle? Yes. Does it ever get old? No.
Here’s how this week looked:
Rest. I don’t like to rest on Mondays (running = sanity), but my body needed it after Sunday’s long run.
7.2 miles of fartleks to shake the legs out, followed by core work.
10.1 miles with Jaylin. It’s so fun to have a running buddy! I love my solo runs, too, but I’ve really enjoyed these weekly meet-ups.
5 miles easy + core and upper body… by which I mean I tacked 20 push-ups onto my usual core workout. I’m hardcore.
4 miles of “hills” on the treadmill, followed by core and — believe it or not — stretching.
5 easy miles, plus the same hardcore workout as Thursday.
10 miles easy. This was the first long run of training that I haven’t gone to the trails, and I”m pretty proud of myself for making it to the trails consistently. I didn’t go today because I figured it was silly to drive twice as long as I’d run, especially since I had a LOT of housework and grading to do. The work has been done now; one more short trail run would probably not impact my race.
Total: 41.3 miles
One week from today, I’ll toe the line at my very first trail race. I wish I’d decided to run it sooner — I’d feel a lot more confident with 16 or 18 weeks of training under my belt instead of 12. But I can’t change it now; all that’s left is to get out there, try my best, and most importantly, have fun. Wish me luck!
Another week of trail marathon training is in the books! I’m loving trail running, but I swear, it feels like an entirely different sport. I feel like I’m training for my first marathon again: every week, I finish a long run and think, “Can I really run another 11, 9, whatever, miles?” I’m enjoying it, though. It’s fun to be learning and trying something new!
Here’s how this week looked:
AM: 9.3 miles: 2-mile warm–up,4×1-mile at threshold pace with 3-minute rests, and 2-mile cool down. I haven’t really done speedwork this training cycle — my hard workouts have all been hills — so this was TOUGH. But the sunrise was pretty.
PM: 45ish minuts strength training
AM: 10.6 easy-paced miles. This was an inservice day, so I didn’t have to be at work as early as I do on school days, and I really enjoyed my last morning-with-daylight weekday run for a while.
PM: 30 minutes of yoga, mostly because my colleague and I talked about yoga that day, and I felt guilty for not having done it for a while. Increasing mileage + not doing yoga + two days of sitting in meetings = very angry hips and hamstrings.
7-mile recovery run with Jaylin
5.2 miles of treadmill hills.I had planned for around 7 miles, but my body didn’t adjust well to the half-hour earlier alarm and I was just dragging. This was the first day with students, so I wanted to be early and just cut it short. It was still a good workout. I also skipped my planned afternoon strength workout. I’m not sure why I bothered planning one at all — I should know by now that the first day of school is always exhausting!
5.5-mile recovery run
Although I really didn’t want to get up early again, I knew I needed to get to the trails to train. Of course, once i was there, I was glad I went. I tried a different trailhead and got to run parts of the race course that I hadn’t been on before, so that was fun. I ran 17 miles, my longest trail run yet.
I was really just trying to take a picture of these deer, not the cyclist. But that cyclist (and his two buddies) and I played leapfrog for a good chunk of my run.
No race can suck too much if you’re looking at this, right?
Rest day. I took a walk and did some yoga to work out some soreness from Saturday.
Total: 54.6 miles
Since the weather is supposed to be hot for at least another week, I’m sticking with morning runs, but I have to start either in the dark or on the treadmill, so I’m hoping I can switch to evenings soon. And on that note, I’m going to post this and get ready for bed so I don’t have another sluggish morning like Thursday.
I decided to go back to posting training recaps on Sundays. I write these as much for myself as for you guys, and now that school is starting again, my life is easier if I follow a routine. My plan is to post on Sundays and Thursdays again, but don’t be surprised if Thursdays don’t happen for the first few weeks of school.
This was my fifth week of trail marathon training. I finally had another 50-mile week, so I feel more like I’m actually training, if that makes sense. Let’s pretend that 50 isn’t where I usually start my training, and now I’m worried because I’m barely hitting 50 seven weeks out…
AM: My plan was to do a long incline workout on the treadmill. At 3.8 miles, I paused it and hopped off to use the bathroom, and when I came back, the incline had stopped working! Not wanting to lose my momentum, I hustled outside and ran three miles at tempo pace, then a cool-down. It wasn’t what I was planning, but it ended up being a solid workout nonetheless. (Side note: I later found out that my treadmill isn’t broken; it just needed recalibrated. Huge relief.)
PM: Basement strength training, per usual
6 miles of sunrise fartleks, followed by core work. I love fartleks.
8 miles easy… although they didn’t feel easy, because it was unusually muggy. I’m sure my southern friends would scoff at my definition of “muggy,” but it was rough for me.
AM: Short hills for 7.2 miles. This road and I are becoming very good friends this training cycle.
PM: Another round of basement strength.
6.3 recovery miles. My training schedule called for another interval workout, but I’d already done three quality workouts this week. Another one, especially the day before my long run, just seemed like a request for injury, so I took it easy instead. And I played with the camera timer…
15.2 trail miles. I randomly ran a few miles with a woman who went to high school with my husband and is training for the same race I am. Small world. I also fell THREE TIMES. Graceful I am not. Don’t worry, I’m not hurt. Just dumb.
Total: 50.3 miles
Five down, seven to go.
Have you ever fallen while running? Did you feel as foolish as I did?
Teacher friends: when do you (or did you) go back to school?
I’m now into week five of training for my first trail race. That means I’ve got just over seven weeks to get ready to run 26.2 miles on trails. So far, the farthest I’ve run on trails is a little over 11. Gulp.
The last two weeks of training were a little different: I did a (very) small taper for Chase the Moon, and the following week was a cutback/recovery week. Here’s how they looked:
6.4 miles of hills. This is why I need to write these recaps weekly: now I can’t remember if they were long treadmill hills or short real-life hills. My training log just says “hills.”
Tuesday: AM: 7 miles easy.
I love Fitsnap. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see my overuse of Fitsnap almost every day!
PM: Strength training in my basement.
6 miles easy. My friend Jaylin, who originally got me into this whole distance-running thing, ran together. We’ve had a hard time getting our schedules to align very often, so it was great to get together!
6 miles with fartleks (still my favorite workout)
30 miles over 12 hours at the Chase the Moon relay. I guess I’m just gonna have to write that recap, as I haven’t seen any sign of official pictures.
Rest; we did a lovely 5-mile, easy hike.
Total: 56.4 miles
4.1 miles at recovery pace, just testing my legs and making sure they felt okay after the weekend.
AM: 7 miles easy
PM: Basement strength work
6 miles easy, again with Jaylin. Two weeks in a row is pretty great for us! With school starting, we’re not sure if we can keep making it work, but we’ll try.
5.3 miles easy. I intended to do another strength workout in the afternoon, but I went into work to start prepping my classroom, and I came home with a killer headache. I took a nap instead of a workout. I regret nothing.
We were headed to my in-laws’ for the weekend, so I took advantage of the last Friday of summer break and headed up to Devil’s Backbone for a “long” run of 10.3 miles.
This is where I get to run a marathon in seven weeks. I don’t mind those views!
I also saw a mama and baby deer. This was the best picture I could get with my phone, even though they let me watch them for quite a while.
6-mile recovery run
Rest. We spent over 8 hours pulling weeds. I would’ve much rather been running.
Cutback week total: 38.7 miles.
This is lower mileage than I’ve run before in marathon training, but all my runs are scheduled by time this round, and since trails and hills are slow, my mileage is lower. We’ll just see how this race goes, and plan future trail race training schedules accordingly. Because I can already tell you, there will be future trail races.
This week, I’m back to a more normal week, with several quality runs, so hopefully I’ll keep getting stronger and faster. Stay tuned to see if this training is sufficient to keep me from dying during a trail race.
What does your typical week of training look like?
Remember when I signed up for a trail marathon, even though I live in the flatlands, because I’m crazy awesome?
One nice thing about having a race scheduled and a training plan is that it gives me something to blog about. I usually write these recaps on Sundays, but it’s still summer for 2.5 more weeks, so I’m rebelling against even self-imposed schedules.
I’ve never run a trail race, so this is a new experience for me.I wasn’t (am not) sure how to train for a trail race, as opposed to road races, so I found this trail marathon training plan online and modified it (somewhat). My goal here is to have fun, try something new, and learn about trail running, while still prioritizing other parts of my life (like my family and my job), so if you’ve followed me long, you’ll notice that my mileage is lower than any of my other marathon training cycles, and that’s okay (or so I keep telling myself). I’m trying not to take myself too seriously and just enjoy the training and, eventually, the race itself.
Since this is a 12-week plan, training officially started the week we were on vacation, but I’d been working to build my mileage and I hit 50 miles the week before, so the first week of training was actually a bit of a cutback — perfect, since all of my vacation miles were run on a treadmill or in tiny circles around the boat. (This was also when my phone’s camera broke, so sorry about the lack of pictures).
Week 1: July 13-19
Monday: 7 miles of “hills” on the treadmill
Tuesday: 5 miles easy (boat circles!)
Wednesday: 5 miles of “hill” intervals
Thursday: 7 miles. 63 circles. This was not my favorite thing ever.
Friday: 5 miles easy
Saturday: Rest — travelling allll day.
Sunday: 6 slow, easy miles, back at home. I was super tired, since we got home after 2 A.M. and my body thinks it must wake up no later than 6:30, regardless of circumstances.
Total: 35 miles
I didn’t strength train at all on vacation, aside from a couple of short core workouts and some lunges on the track. The tiny boat gym was packed every time I tried to lift, so I gave up because I’m super motivated.
One interesting thing about this training plan is that all the runs are measured in minutes rather than miles. The McMillan plan I’ve used for my last few marathons measures easy runs in minutes, but long and speed/tempo workouts in miles, so this is new. The first week’s “long” run was 60 minutes — hence the lower overall mileage and the seven miles of circles.
Week 2: July 20-26
Monday:AM: 5 miles of long, slow climbing on the treadmill (the only place I can do long, slow climbs around here)
PM: Bodyweight/dumbbell strength training. I’ve been using this routine from Runner’s World. Why am I not going to the gym, you ask? Because The Bachelorette. (Don’t spoil it for me; I still have to watch the finale. I despise both guys who are left, though, so I’m not that concerned about spoilers).
Tuesday: 10.1 easy miles. I wasn’t sure I’d get in the 90-minute run scheduled this weekend, so I figured one double-digit day couldn’t hurt.
Wednesday: Double run: 5 miles in the A.M. and 5.1 in the P.M., both at recovery pace.
Thursday:AM: 5.7 miles of hill repeats — real ones, albeit short ones. At least real hills have downhills, even if they’re 0.5 miles or shorter.
PM: Another Iron Strength workout, followed by some foam rolling
Friday: 5.2 miles easy
Saturday: My future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party was this weekend in Beaver Creek, so I got to run on some beautiful trails — and I got a new phone (thanks, Apple!) on Friday, so I could document it for you!
Not bad, right?
This was, of course, another “by time” run. I ran 8 miles in 90 minutes (i.e. two miles fewer and in more time than Tuesday’s road run), which makes me nervous about actually finishing this trail marathon… and also makes me think that I should spend more time running and less time photographing (or at least pause my watch when I have a photo opp). But the race has a 9-hour cutoff, so I WILL finish it, even if I have to crawl.
Total: 44.1 miles
Two weeks down, ten to go. Gulp.
Experienced trail runners: Any tips for getting faster?
Marathon day is one week from today, and taper madness is setting in hard. I feel “puffy.” I feel eight hundred little niggles that I’m SURE will be an injury (and that go away in a second, because they’re imaginary anyway). I’m obsessively checking the weather (right now, it looks perfect for race day. And I really hope I didn’t just jinx it…). Here’s how the training portion of my taper madness went this week:
5 miles easy, plus core work
6 miles of fartleks, then some upper-body and core strength work. Leg work is done until post-marathon.
5.1 easy miles, then core. I took a selfie because I was trying to show off my Skirt Sports gear for the giveaway (which you should enter if you haven’t!). I ended up having to take a mirror picture instead, but you can’t have a training recap without awkward selfies, right?
Confession: I tried for an embarrassingly long time to take a cool jumping picture like Christy always has, but I couldn’t time it right. I had more than one that looked like I was about to use the bathroom, and so I gave up.
3 x 2000m tempo intervals with 400m recoveries. With warm-up and cool-down, a total of 7 miles.
Since I was moving my long run to Sunday, I took Friday off from running. I did 45 minutes of yoga and called it good.
6.2 easy miles and a quick core workout. I saw a post on Instagram the other day that said, “Never trust a girl who wears pink workout gear.” I thought that was stupid, so I posted this post-run shot as my rebuttal.
Thunderstorms kept me up most of the night and were still going strong in the morning. I don’t do lightning (living is my favorite), so I took to the treadmill for my last “long” run: 12 miles with the last 6 progressively faster.
I should’ve waited a few hours; it rained all day, but the lightning stopped not long after I finished running. Oh well. At least it was only 12 and not a long-long run.
Total: 41.3 miles.
And now, I enter the hardest (mentally) week of marathon training: race week. Let the antsyness begin!
How do you deal with taper madness?
What’s your reaction to thunderstorms? I hate them. Hate, hate, hate.
And so it begins: Taper. The first week is not bad; I still ran 57 miles this week, so my sanity is okay. This coming week and the following will be a different story. But the good (?) news is that I’ll have lots of grading this week to keep me busy.
Here’s how the first week of taper went:
7 miles of fartleks in the wind.
The trees were pretty, anyway. I did some core work when I got home.
AM: Bodyweight/dumbell strength workout in the basement. I said goodbye to the (relatively)heavy weights until after the race.
PM: 8 miles easy
I had 10 miles at goal pace on the schedule, and the wind was blowing a steady 35 mph and gusting up to 50. I knew I couldn’t even come close to goal pace in that, and I needed the confidence boost that would come from holding the pace, so I did it on the treadmill (plus a mile warm-up). I kept the incline between 1-2% in hopes that it would closely enough mimic outside.
AM: More bodyweight work in the basement
PM: 8 miles easy, again on the treadmill, this time because my insides were acting up and I was scared to venture out too far.
7 easy miles on the treadmill. My stomach was still upset, but I wouldn’t have gone outside anyway.
I’ll run in rain (though I don’t like it), but when it’s accompanied by thunder, lightning, and tornado watches? Heck no.
I also did some core work.
16-mile fast-finish long run. It sucked. A lot. My guts were still on the unfriendly side, and my legs refused to move quickly. This was not what I was hoping for two weeks out from race day. At least I finally got to get back outside.
On the intestinal front: I went back to the RD on Friday. She’s having me cut waaay back on fiber (max of 15 grams a day… which is really hard) until the race. Then, she wants me to get a test for bacterial overgrowth, but she said not to do it before the race. If that’s what it is, they’ll put me on antibiotics and a low-carb diet, which is, of course, the opposite of the diet I need to eat before a marathon.
I was really hoping this would be straightened out before the marathon, but as my mom pointed out this weekend, things could be worse. *End of pity party*
Rest day. It was a busy weekend — my parents came over to Denver to celebrate my mom’s birthday, so we all got together at my brother’s house yesterday. Today was my best friend’s baby shower (one best friend just had a baby and the other is due in July, if you’re getting confused by all the baby news) and lots of errand-running. A rest day was perfect.
Total: 57 miles.
Let the taper madness begin!
If you’re a runner/athlete, how do you deal with the taper crazies?
Last time I posted (two weeks ago), I wrote about how I was going to get better at blogging and that Spring Break would give me so much time to write. I’m a liar sometimes. Sorry. BUT I do actually have a post written and ready to go up Wednesday, and I have a REALLY EXCITING (so exciting it deserves capslock) giveaway coming up next week, so please don’t leave me.
Wednesday’s post is a catching-up-on-life kind of post, so tonight, I’ll catch you up on training the last two weeks. I got a little overzealous in clearing pictures off my phone, so I have nothing from last week. Oops.
AM: 45 minutes strength training
PM: 7.6 miles of fartleks
5.3 recovery miles, then some core work
Yasso 800s for a total of 10.5 miles. I did them on the treadmill, which is kind of cheating on Yassos because it sets the pace for you, but I had meetings in the evening, so I had to do a morning workout. I felt good, so that’s a good sign.
AM: 45 minutes strength. The only thing that got me to the gym was knowing that this was the last early-morning wake-up for over a week.
PM: 5.4 easy miles
5.2 easy miles to celebrate the start of spring break, then some core work
18-mile fast-finish long run. You probably know that fast-finish runs are my nemesis, but I nailed this one. I felt really, really good about it.
Rest. I did 30 minutes of yoga.
Total: 52 miles
I rolled out of bed before 7:00 because that’s sleeping in when you’re an old lady, and I hit the gym to lift. It was delightfully empty. Later, I ran 12.5 miles easy, in the middle of the day because it was spring break and I could.
9.1 miles easy and core work
J and I went to the Capitol to gripe to our legislators about students being overtested and underfunded, and then we headed up to Fort Collins for the State Science Fair (J had a kid competing. I had a desire to mooch his hotel room and play in Fort Collins). When we got there, I headed out for 10.2 miles with 7 at tempo — the best tempo run I’ve had this whole training cycle. It was encouraging, to say the least.
Funny story: I’d e-mailed Heidi and Logan, who both live in Fort Collins, to see if we could get together for a run. Heidi and I planned to meet at 5:30 on Thursday, so I got up all early, got ready… and waited in the lobby for quite a while. Turns out, Heidi meant 5:30 P.M. For whatever reason, I just assumed she meant A.M. So I got up early for no reason. Communicating is hard. I lifted in the highly mediocre hotel gym until it got light, then headed out for 9.1 miles, again enjoying the heck out of Fort Collins.
On Thursday, I bought trail shoes, so I was dying to try them out on Friday. Logan and Heidi had suggested a certain natural area, so I went out there. I’d run/hiked those trails a bunch of times in college, and had no idea they were part of that natural area. I am smart. I’m also not in good trail shape. It was hard, and I was secretly glad that neither of the other gals could meet me, because I would’ve been quite embarrassed by my lack of trail fitness. Funny how I can run 70 miles a week and still feel out of shape. But look, pretty.
I turned around once I hit Horsetooth Reservoir. So many swims I took here (where you’re not supposed to swim) back in the day.
I went 8.5 miles, and decided that after this marathon, I’m doing hill repeats like crazy so that I can at least kind-of handle hills next time I make it to a trail.
As tempted as I was to run more trails, I didn’t think my flatlander legs were ready for a long run on them — especially since I’m three weeks out from a flat road race. So I headed back to the bike paths for 22 miles. It felt harder than usual, but I enjoyed myself as I ran through my old stomping grounds.
45 minutes of yoga, then some foam rolling.
Total: 71.4 miles
Now, I’m technically tapering, though this week will actually probably be higher mileage than the week before last. Three weeks ’til race day! And… back to work tomorrow. I have a hunch that these last few weeks of school are going to FLY.
Anybody have any races/events coming up?
What activity are you not in shape for? I can’t even imagine how I’d do swimming…
Remember how I used to post more than training recaps? Yeah, sorry about the lack of anything else lately. I’ve been both busy and uninspired… my life is not that exciting, really; I just work and run, and I can’t blog about my job because blogging about your job as a teacher is a good way to not have a job as a teacher anymore. But we’ve got one more week until Spring Break, so hopefully I’ll get a big dose of inspiration and have the time to write then.
Anyway, on to yet another training recap. This was a peak mileage week, and I felt good and strong on almost every run. That’s a good sign.
AM: Strength training at the gym for 45ish minutes
PM: 8.1 miles easy. I had a meeting that ran longer than I thought it would, so I rescheduled the 90-105 minute run that my schedule said to do.
Tempo intervals: 4 x 2 miles with 4-minute recovery. This was a tough workout, but the wind played nice and didn’t blow a billion miles an hour while I ran, so that was good. 11.4 miles total, including warm-up and cool-down
9 miles easy. This was one of those runs that just felt good… probably because I needed to burn off a significant amount of standardized test stress. I followed the run with a quick core workout at home.
It had rained off and on all day, and the sky was gorgeous by my evening run. My little iPhone camera couldn’t really do it justice.
AM: Strength training, again! At the gym! I’m on a roll…
PM: 12.5 miles. This was the run I switched with Monday’s.
Still working on the running selfie. Still struggling.
8 miles easy. My legs were pretty tired from Thursday’s two workouts, so I took it nice and slow, then did some core, foam rolling, and Sticking after the run.
23 miles. I normally cap my long run at 22, but I wanted to run one that would have me on my feet longer (time-wise) than the marathon. So 23 it was.
I headed out to my favorite hilly country roads for part of the loop. Everyone who knows me knows I don’t love living on the plains, but days like yesterday remind me that the plains can be pretty, too.
Rest. I didn’t even do yoga. I cleaned my house and graded instead. (See, not exciting.)
Totals: 72 miles, about 2 hours core and stretch
Just two more hard weeks, and then it’s taper time. I can hardly even believe it.
Is your life exciting (or more exciting than mine…)?
Wow, week 13 of training is already over. That means just six weeks to race day. Gulp. Last week was a stressful and frustrating one (for reasons that shouldn’t be discussed in detail on the interwebs), so my training was as much therapy and sanity-saver as it was solid marathon training. Luckily, those goals overlapped nicely. Here’s how it went:
AM: Strength training at the gym
PM: 8.4 miles of fartleks (and warm-up and cool down). It was suuuper windy, so the fartleks were based on effort, not pace.
Does anyone else love the “intervals finished” song that Garmins play?
8.2 miles easy. Windy again.
10 miles with 5 at tempo. The wind played nice and didn’t blow a billion miles per hour, which made for a much less frustrating tempo.
9.1 miles easy. I had planned to get up and lift in the morning, but I was so. stinking. tired. So I slept.
8 miles at recovery pace
16.4 miles, the first 10 at easy pace, the last 6 progressively faster. If you’ve followed my blog through other training cycles, then you probably know that fast-finish long runs are my nemesis. I struggle every time. So I’m thrilled to let you know that while this one was certainly tough, I hit all the splits I was hoping for. Score!
This is my “Yay! A good run!” face.
After I ran, we got our taxes done and had to pay a bunch of money. So, at least one part of the morning was good.
Rest day. I did this horrible 30-minute yoga video I found on Amazon Prime Instant Video… yeah, it was bad.
Total: 60.1 miles.
I definitely slacked on strength and core work and stretching last week, so I’m making that a priority this week. With six weeks until race day, I can’t afford to slack off. This week will be another stressful one (again, I won’t get too into it, but it starts with a P and ends with an ARCC), and it will also involve a bunch more running in the wind, because that’s what spring does around here. But since I’m training for a May marathon in Nebraska, I suppose a windy race day isn’t out of the question, so I’d better train for it.
How do you feel about running in the wind?
I’ve been a slacker in the blog world lately. What have I missed?