Tag Archives: training plan

That Time I “Wasn’t Doing a Marathon this Year”

Remember a month or so ago, when I kept whining because I didn’t have a goal? Remember how I told you that I didn’t want to run a fall marathon because I just had too much going on this summer?

Yeah. About that…

blue sky reg

I signed up for a trail marathon. I might be insane, as I still live in non-trailland. But I want to do this, even if it scares me and will be hard and will be by far the slowest marathon I’ve ever run. Plus signing up for it gives me a reason to get to the trails as much as possible between now and October 4.

This will be me the next three months:
photo 1 (29)
(I found this on Facebook, but the original source is in the bottom corner, so I’m not plagiarizing, right?)

I found a trail marathon training plan on the internet, and I’ll be pretty much following it, but since I don’t have trails to train on daily, here’s my general plan:

Monday: Long hills on the treadmill (because that’s the only place I can run uphill for more than a mile)
Tuesday: Mid-distance, easy pace
Wednesday: Double recovery runs
Thursday: Short hill repeats (done on real hills — the only ones I’ve got)
photo 2 (26)
That road and I are going to become very good friends.
Friday: Recovery
Saturday: Long, on trails as often as possible
Sunday: Rest

Monday and Thursday will be interchangeable, depending on the weather and my schedule, and when the race gets closer, I’ll move my long run to Sunday, but that’s the general idea. I’ll also keep strength training 2-3 times a week and do core work 5-6 times.

Last Saturday, since I’d committed myself to this thing, I got up at no o’clock in the morning and drove to Devil’s Backbone near Loveland to train on trails and, as that’s part of the race course, see just what I’d gotten myself into.

photo 3 (22) photo 4 (13) photo 1 (30) photo 2 (27)

Yeah… definitely not regretting this choice. At all. I do need to learn how to run on this stuff,
photo 3 (23)
but my Instagram friends assured me that all it takes is practice and accepting that I need to slow down.

I’m nervous and anxious, but mostly excited. Here’s to new challenges!

What’s your next big goal?

What’s the last thing you did that scared you?

Lincoln Marathon Training: Week 9 and a Change of Plans

I made a decision this week. I didn’t even waffle much, so I’m pretty sure it was the right decision. That decision was to switch training plans, even though I’m at exactly the halfway point of training.

Here’s why: I love to run, and I love to train hard. But running is my hobby. I’m an okay age-grouper, sure. But I’ll never be an elite or even a sub-elite. This will never be my job. And the time commitment required by the plan I was following was simply too much for me right now. I have a career, and a husband, and commitments outside of running, and they were starting to be neglected in favor of my hobby. Something is wrong with that picture.

Starting tomorrow (well, really, starting yesterday, but we’ll get to that soon), I’m switching back to the McMillan plan that I’ve followed for my last couple of marathons. My peak mileage will still be around 70, but it’ll be more spread out over the course of the week. Rather than having a 15-miler Tuesday and a 5-miler Wednesday, for example, I’ll have an 11-miler Tuesday and a 9-miler Wednesday. That difference may not sound like much, but trust me, it’s MUCH more manageable.

That’s the new plan. Here’s how last week on the old plan looked:

AM: 6-mile recovery run. I had the day off for President’s day, but woke up early (of course) and decided to just crank it out on the treadmill.

PM: 4-mile recovery plus 45 minutes strength training. I ran 3 miles, lifted, then ran the mile home. It was a bit on the chilly side, but not bad.
photo 1


14-mile run.


5-mile recovery run, finishing with the sunset.
photo 3

Followed by some core work, stretching, and foam rolling.


AM: 45 minutes strength training

PM: 11 miles with 6 at tempo. I warmed up outside, then did the tempo portion and the cooldown on the treadmill. I can’t wait for the time change!


6-mile recovery run, core, and stretching. i’d hoped to get home in time to run outside, but ended up chatting with some colleagues for too long. Whoops.


Earlier Saturday morning, I’d reworked my training plan and switched to the new one, which said 16-20 miles. Since the old one said 20,I figured I’d just finish out the week on schedule and switch Monday. Nope. I felt pretty crummy the entire run. The RD said my stomach stuff might get worse before it gets better. Well, she was right about the “worse” part, at least. That, added with the head cold I’m fighting and the snowstorm moving in, made the run pretty darn miserable. I decided 16 was just freaking fine. I regret nothing. photo 2

At least the pond was pretty.


An hour of yoga. I followed this video, and I really enjoyed it. Holy hip openers.

Total: 62 miles.

I’m definitely looking forward to this week and the not-so-life-consuming training schedule. Especially since I need to rest up and shake this wanna-be sickness before next Saturday, when I get to stay up late chaperoning a high school dance. SO FUN. (SO SARCASTIC.)

Have you ever changed training plans mid-cycle?

What’s your trick for preventing the sniffles from becoming full-blown colds/flu? Normally, I drink green tea and Airborne like it’s my job, but Airborne is off-limits for now.

So, What’s Next?

Hi friends! Thanks for all the sweet comments on my last post! You guys are the best. Seriously.

Now that my goal 10k is over and spring has officially arrived, it’s time to think about what comes next. Actually, I’ve been thinking about what comes next for a while, so it’s time to start what comes next. And I’m excited for it!

My next race is the Run to the Shrine 10k in Colorado Springs in May. I wrote about this race in my favorite Colorado races post, and of course I’m excited to do it again! It’s incredibly challenging and incredibly fun, and the top three finishers get the most unique medal I’ve ever seen: It’s made of poop (freeze-dried and sealed in plastic). The first year I ran, it was elephant. The next year, it was rhino.

(image from the race website linked above)

I’m not sure what it is this year, but I WANT ONE. That’s weird, I know. But I don’t care.  I was fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2013; I want to be third or better in 2014 and get that medal.

Anyway, now I’m on a poo-medal ramble when I meant to be telling you about my training plans for the next several weeks. Back on track now. I have a few main goals:

  • Build mileage. Marathon training will start the week after Run  to the Shrine. I want to have completed several weeks in the 50+ mile range before starting training, so it’s time to build back up!
  • Run hills. So many hills. The first four miles of Run to the Shrine are on an average 8.5% grade. Hill training needs to happen. I’ve been doing some hill work, but now it needs to be my focus instead of a supplement.
  • Build strength, especially core. Past years at Run to the Shrine have shown me that a strong core is really beneficial for pulling the ol’ body up the massive hill. You should’ve seen the abs on last year’s women’s winner. Whoa.
  • Shed a little body fat. I almost didn’t share this goal, because I feel like goals like this are touchy in the healthy-living blog world, especially if the blogger is already at a healthy weight (I know I am. Don’t yell at me). But remember when I wrote about trying the Paleo diet, and I mentioned that I’d gained a few pounds on it? Well, those pounds are still hanging around, and I’d like them to go away. To clarify, I don’t think a few extra pounds are big deal, but if I gain a few pounds every year, suddenly it’s not a few anymore, and then it’s a problem. And also to clarify, I’m not doing anything drastic — just keeping a closer eye on my intake and gradually upping mileage.

    (I don’t really know the relevance of that image, but I like it.)

Last weekend, I wrote up a training plan for the eight weeks between now and Run to the Shrine. It’s nothing fancy and is flexible, but it should get me better prepared for the climb and get my mileage back up safely. I won’t bore you with the week-by-week details, but here’s an overview:

Monday: Easy + core
Tuesday: Short hills + strength
Wednesday: Easy + core
Thursday: Long hill climb + strength
Friday: Easy + core
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Rest and maybe light yoga (because that’s the only kind I do.)

So that’s two hill days a week to start. In a few weeks, I’ll also start taking my long runs out to the only decent hills near me, but I’ll give my legs some time to get used to hills before I do that.


Since the aforementioned hills are neither all that long nor all that convenient, my mid-week hill runs will have to be treadmillers. I made those double days (run a.m., strength p.m.) because it’s a lot easier to commit to the treadmill when it’s early and dark than when it’s after work and sunny. Then, if it’s nice out in the evening, I can either walk or easy jog to the gym to lift and still get in some of my beloved Vitamin D.

So that’s the plan, Stan. (If I have a reader named Stan, you now get bonus points).

What do you think of my plan? Any pointers?

What unique race medals have you seen/ do you own?