Monday, June 29, 2015

Milwaukee Marathon Training Week 4 - Recap!

And week 4 is done - almost done with a full month of marathon training!

Here's how my week went down -

Monday 6/22 - 3m @ 10:40p. in 71*. 5:45 am, 71 and 95% humidity! Yikes! But I actually felt strong.

Tuesday 6/23 - 6m @ 10:39p in 67*. Very sunny! A few weeks ago this temp and sun would have felt brutal, but maybe I'm finally adapting.

Wednesday 6/24 - 3m @ 10:13p in 66*. Overcast made this run much more pleasant!

Today marked day 8 of my plank streak! Whoo! Still going strong!

Thursday 6/25 - rest! Which really meant no running, because according to my fitbit I still logged over 12,000 steps.

Friday 6/26 - 3m @ 10:47p in 65. Another 95% humidity run. Struggled a little more than earlier in the week, but still pretty happy with this run.

Saturday 6/27 - 11m @ 10:50p in 67. I miss the cooler weather from last week! This was super sunny, but I did okay. It was also weird becuase I had a comedy of errors when it came to gps devices; my son ran down the battery on my garmin without me knowing, so I only had a partial charge. At 4.5m it was done and I had to switch to my phone - but I'm still not used to the new fitbit app which does drain the battery a bit more there, plus it wasn't fully charged so that got me another 4.4m. I had to borrow my husband's phone for the last 2.1 miles! It was hot enough that I didn't mind the couple minute pauses to regroup every few miles.

Sunday 6/28 -  No family walk this week - instead, we went to visit my best friend in Indiana. We walked around the zoo for an hour and then I did some casual swimming in her pool for 45 minutes. I forget how tiring swimming is since I don't do it often!

26 miles run, 2 miles walked around the zoo, 45 minutes in the pool, and another 7 planks on the books. I ran all the miles, I crossed when I needed to, and despite the heat felt stronger than I did the first two weeks of training. Once again feeling pretty good about a sub 5 marathon. I can do this thing!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Milwaukee Marathon Training Week 3 - Recap!

And week 3 is done. Cut back recovery week accomplished - time to level up!

Here's how my week went down -

Monday 6/15 - 3m @ 10:13p. in 70*. Rain run! Finally! Oh gosh, these are great. My son kept me up all night and I almost skipped the run but I am so glad I didn't; these are good for the soul.

Tuesday 6/16 - 5m @ 10:13p in 65*. Patches of sun but mostly cooler with a breeze...except that my stomach was freaking angry and 3 miles in I had to stop for an emergency potty break. Eek. No bueno! But the stop jazzed me up for two 9:30 miles to end the run.

Wednesday 6/17 - 3m @ 10:22p in 57*. Overcast and breezy. I meant to do this at a 10:30-10:40 pace but I realized I math'ed myself into a corner and if I didn't pick up the pace I'd be late getting back to the house to let my husband go back to work so ended with a 9mm.

Also started my #plankaday plank-streak. ....may it last a while! 1:02 to start me off!

Thursday 6/18 - rest! Except of course, my plank-streak. 1:01! I did forearm today since I read that is more challenging for your core. Dang, this is hard! But I can do it. In fact, I can even go for doubles today.

Friday 6/19 - 3m @ 10:13p. Mid 50s, nice and cool. Felt great the whole time. 10:13 appears to be my pace this week. Followed up with a 1:01 plank!

Saturday 6/20 - 6m @ 10:06p. The hot runs killed my last couple long runs, so today I was bound and determined to find temps I could tolerate. It required getting up at 5am, but I got my run in low 50s - totally worth it. It was in fact so nice I went way faster than I should have...but hey.

Plank streak day 4 - 1:01! Had my husband help me with form.

Sunday 6/21 - Today we went for another family walk, 2 miles this week with stops for my 6 year old to climb ladders and monkey bars. Fun walk, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical, and of course, my plank streak day 5!

20 miles run, 2m walked, 1.84m ellipticalled. I ran, I crossed, I felt way stronger, I got up way earlier, and oh yeah, I planked. Next week is phase 2 of marathon training - midweek kinda-long levels up to 6 miles and my long runs will hit double digits! I am ready!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Okay, this isn't running related.

Well quasi running related, because we all know the core is an important part of running. Strong cores = good form, right?


Well, my core was never ace - after my daughter and the unplanned c-section? Pfft. Sit ups and crunches? What-ever! And after my son...well...let's just say with the way he carried, my core is totally shot. Things I could after a year on my fitness journey were no longer possible. I'm struggling through a few sit ups now.

I need to fix that. I owe myself a stronger body. The core is important for so many parts of our normal daily life, and it's something I have neglected because well...running is more fun and it was  zero sum equation for me. But no more.

Starting today, I'm going on a plank-streak with the inspiration coming from #plankaday on twitter. This is my accountability post and I'll be logging it in my weekly training log. Sure, one plank a day may not do a ton for my core, but it's something I can commit to. Baby steps - eventually, it will lead to something bigger.

(And hopefully a stronger core, too!)

So here's day 1. You heard it here first, folks...this is my declaration of WAR. Weak core - out the door!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Milwaukee Marathon Training Week 2 - Recap!

And week 2 is done. Where did it go? I'm already at my first cutback week, sheesh!

Here's how my week went down -

Monday 6/1 - 3m @ 10:05p. in 65*. I shouldn't have gone this fast, but I felt like it!

Tuesday 6/2 - 5m @ 10:59p in 65*. More humid than yesterday, I felt much more tired than the day before. Could be a sleep issue though.

Wednesday 6/3 - 3m @ 10:38p. Treadmill run in my non-temperature controlled garage. It was 87* and sunny outside - I didn't have the sun but wow did I have the heat. Holy heck!

Thursday 6/4 - rest! Whew.

Friday 6/5 - 3m @ 9:59p. Umm, I felt like going fast again? 59* and overcast - if only all my runs could be at this temp!!

Saturday 6/6 - 9m @ 11:29p. Ugly run. I was expecting 65 and overcast, but it turned out to be low 70s and brutal sun with a real feel of 80 and high humidity. I was beating myself up over this feeling worse than my 81* long run last week until I saw the revised weather forecast. Brutal confidence buster!

Sunday 6/7 - Cross training! 2.5m walk with the family and 30 minute of elliptical

23 miles run, 2.5m walked, 2.7m ellipticalled. I ran, I crossed, I mostly felt stronger than last week, and I had a heck of a mean long run. Here's to cutback weeks!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Milwaukee Marathon Training Week 1 - Recap!

I can't believe week 1 is over and on the books already. I feel like this week flew by - I kind of hope the rest of training does too, but at the same time, where did the week go?!

Here's how my week went down -

Monday 6/1 - 3m @ 11:04p. in 55*. A perfect day for a perfect recovery run after my long run the day before.

Tuesday 6/2 - 5m @ 11:08p in 68*. It's amazing how much warmer this felt, and I got to do it in full sunlight, too! I figure hot runs are good for acclimating for the rest of the summer...right? This was slow, but I finished feeling strong and like I could go a few more miles, so called it a win.

Wednesday 6/3 - 3m @ 10:44p in 70*. Eep, woke up late and almost didn't get this run in - ran hard and still only managed a 10:44p!

Thursday 6/4 - rest!

Friday 6/5 - I was supposed to run 5 today, but I felt off and decided to skip it. I decided to run Saturday and long Sunday, skipping cross. Just not my day!

Saturday 6/6 - 3m @ 10:41 in 71*. Hot and sunny! Felt okay - decided to keep it at 3.*

Sunday 6/7 - 8m @ 11:31p in 81* (and 90% humdity). Who decides to run their long run at 80+ degrees?! But my husband slept late and I couldn't get out while it was under 70 and rainy, so it was gut it out or skip. I didn't want to skip my first long run, so here I am. Five letters for this run - B-R-U-T-A-L. Most of this run was around 11, but the first mile was 12 1/2 and my pace just never caught up. To be honest as much as I feel funny this was so slow, I am just glad I made it through. I don't think I could have gone another mile and I definitly couldn't have gone any faster - the last mile was 10:55 and that was definitely pushing it!

So there's week 1 - I ran 22 miles, rested twice, and skipped cross training. Oh well - onwards and upwards!

*I have been torn between Hal Higdon's Beginner 2 and Intermediate 1. On the one hand, I'm ysed to running 5-6x a week. On the other hand, Intermediate 1 gets really high mileage for me and this is only my second marathon training cycle so part of me wanted to see what I could do on Beginner 2. In the end I decided I'd compromise and sort of follow neither - I'll still run the day before my long run like Intermed 1 recommends, but I'll cut the mileage down a bit. I feel good about this call and hopefully time proves me right!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

And so it begins!

...marathon training, that is.

I'm feeling weirdly introspective; yesterday was my first official run for the Milwaukee Lakefront training cycle. It was a gorgeous day for a run, an easy 3 miles in mid 50s...perfect start, especially since it was June. I kept it slow since I'd just run my long run the day before and just enjoyed it to the's funny to be here because last year I didn't think I'd want to do this again. I was so frustrated with the way things played out that I was like, nope not after "wasting" last year. But a year later, I know the truth - I'm too competitive with myself not to want to see how I can really do when it's just me and my training.

I feel a lot smarter going into this; I feel stronger and fitter, too. Maybe a little wiser, since I know that I'm not going to like all of this. I know there are going to be hard runs and slow runs and tough runs and runs that make me want to quit.

NSFW, but I think this is kind of gonna be my anthem. It's a weird song, but it goes with "Embrace the suck" right?

But I know there are going to be great runs and surprising runs and beautiful runs, that I am going to prove I have a deeper well to dig from than I know. I know the prize is worth it.

Bring it on, Marathon - I am ready!