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Roller Coaster Race 10K Recap!

A week ago i woke up to run a 10k. If you haven’t noticed I don’t do these often. I’m a half marathon kind of girl. I was invited to run and decided it was smarter to race a 10k, then be tempted by doing another half during full marathon training. I want all my efforts to go to the marathon and so far i’m happy about sticking to the plan.

Sunday the 16th i woke up to my very usual race day breakfast: banana, pb, honey stinger waffle and Nuun.  Coffee was my companion as I drove 30 minutes to the race start. It was a beautiful morning. The sun and huge moon were both out and for a split second I thought that must be what Tatooine is like. Then i realized Tatooine isn’t real and i’m a huge nerd. haha.

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I arrived about an hour and a half before the race started, parking was free for racers, and I picked up a race bib easily. The volunteers were perky and helpful, the DJ had music blaring and everyone seemed to be having fun even though the race hadn’t even started. I had plenty of time to use the bathroom, finish coffee, and get in a proper warm up.

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A mile into warming up in the empty section of the parking lot, I realized I have no idea how to race a 10k. More than likely, i’d go out too fast, struggle my way through and hate the last 3 miles. Well, to try and avoid complete burnout, I planned to take this race as a, “faster than normal tempo, tempo.” I was aiming for 7:15-7:20/pace (normal tempos for me are 7:40-7:50).  I thought this would be a difficult, yet manageable pace considering I had run 16 miles the day before and these final race miles would be closing out a 60 mile week.

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With a plan in hand, the race started.

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I kept telling myself not to go out too fast, the second half i could make up time. I wanted to pass people in the second half of the race and not be passed. The course was winding, with sharp 90 degree turns and changed from pavement to brick, dirt and grass. (photos below are from RollerCoasterRace.com)

6:41. Whheeeeee!!!! That felt good! I was worried it was fast since it was the first mile, so i slowed down a tad, but then I thought, why not!? Go for it, hurt a bit, take a chance and PR the crap out of it! See what these legs can do!

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During the race I pushed myself by picturing the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. Nothing gets my legs cranking than envisioning the last bit of The Race i’m training for. The next two miles went by, 6:54 and another 6:54. Nice and steady.

The 10k course was the 5k course looped twice. I thought i’d hate repeating the course, the second time around felt better since I wasn’t anxious looking for the turns. (There were also a good amount of volunteers directing, but I talked to a few of the elite runners and several got lost.) And the second time around I passed other 5k and 10k runners, lots of which cheered me and gave me a boost! I think i said, “thank you” to volunteers and runners like 100x this race.

Miles 4 and 5 beeped at me, 6:48 and 6:55. I felt good and settled in. I’m still so surprised my legs had that power and giddy up in them to move at that pace. As I was hoping, the second half was strong and I passed each person i saw in front of me (granted the girl who won was 2 minutes ahead and i never saw her! haha).

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The final mile is where the hurt set in. I felt like i was slowing down. I had to pump my arms HARD to keep the legs moving. My breathing started to sound loud, my feet were heavy. You know, the usual last mile symptoms. I kept telling myself the last miles of the marathon are gonna hurt too and you can either deal with it for a little while longer or give up and waste a good race on the last mile.

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The final mile was 6:48. And even though I ran 6.4 miles I don’t think the course was long, I think it was impossible to navigate the turns to properly finish at 6.2 miles. I finished in 43:40 at a 6:49/pace and I couldn’t have been happier with the result or prouder for taking a risk.

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I came in 2nd female overall and got a neat trophy for the shelf 🙂

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I like the 10k distance. It definitely doesn’t hurt as bad as a 5k and doesn’t drain you the way a half or full does. Overall the race was pretty cool. It was fun running through the park with no one there. It’s like a ghost town–and they had Halloween decorations up, so it was kinda eerie here and there. Each person with a race entry got free admission to the park for the day. I ended up going home afterward because I did this one solo, but it seemed like lots of families were taking advantage of the day in the park!

(entry fee for this race was comped, but all thoughts and opinions, as always are my own!)

Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 9:00/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10m 2 x 3 intervals (average pace for intervals 7:20)

Wednesday: 6.1m easy 9:10/pace, 25 minutes shoulders/core

Thursday: Crossfit, 12m tempo (9m @ 7:49/pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10m easy 9:14/pace

Sunday: 10.3m easy 8:37/pace

Total: 54.4

Have you raced a 10K before?

When was the last time you went to a theme park?

 


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Marathon Things – Part 2

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The first time I wrote about marathon training was during week 7, then again at a difficult week 11. Now i’m writing about Week 13. A breakthrough week. The week where confidence begin building and I’ve started to believe I can run a marathon at a speed that scares me.

First, I have to say congrats to all those who ran a marathon over the past 2 weekends. My Instagram feed was full of people who qualified for Boston or ran a SOLID race. This was exciting and got me pumped for my shot at the marathon next month.

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Lauren KILLED her race @breathedeeplyandsmile Congrats again girl!

Pretty sure all the positivity on social media had given me a boost, either way this week was full of so many goodies I can hardly contain myself! Starting with some non-running related things: I won Mario Party! I haven’t won in a while and was super proud. #N64

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If you hadn’t noticed I got my hair fixed and I’m blond again and I love it. My stylist fixed it at no cost and was super cool about the whole situation.

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Now to the running stuff! I finished out the week with a mileage PR of 60.9 miles and raced a 10K earning a new PR of 43:40 (recap coming later this week). The weather finally cooled down a bit, which meant LE got her long walks and I’ve been running much happier without all the humidity.

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Tuesday started with Crossfit at 6:00am and then a 3 x 2 mile workout in the afternoon. I felt strong and the paces felt good. The first speed work session of the week is always mentally tough, but once it’s completed I feel like I can take on the rest of the week with no problem.

But this week was different, the workout I was most concerned with was Thursday’s 9 mile tempo at marathon pace. Most of these workouts have been done on a treadmill because Philadelphia is flat and I live in hills. It’s important I get time on my feet where there isn’t much of a grade change and can get my quads used to the repetitive, flat running. Now, I don’t want to do all tempos on a treadmill because it is different running on a treadmill and having a little help with leg turnover and being able to set a pace and stick to it. Thursday I wanted to take the tempo outside.

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Thursday was a big test. Try to maintain a 7:55/pace on hilly terrain (again after morning Crossfit). Good news – I did it. 2 mile warm up + 9m tempo @ 7:30/pace. Bad news is that 7:30 is too fast. Slowing down on these workouts will be key to pacing myself early in the marathon to avoid the dreaded wall. But tempo’ing on hills is all about effort so i might be ok? It’s hard to tell. Now i’m rambling since I’m questioning the workout! haha.

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hilly tempo splits

Friday and Saturday were both easy, long runs. Friday I logged 10 miles at a 9:05/pace and Saturday was 16 at an 8:52/pace.

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Saturday I had a small hiccup and almost quit 6 miles in because my knee felt a little off. I ran back home for a 5 minutes break, used the foam roller on my quad and did a quick stretch. Pain was gone immediately and I left feeling good about the knee being a freak thing (although I will keep an eye on it). Also noted: the Brooks Launch 3’s feel great and will possibly be the race day shoe.

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water fountains still on: another good thing! (Launch 3s on!)

I got a few fun running photos up on Instagram. I get asked often how I take them – usually i just put a self-timer on and run in front of the camera a few times. That’s it. Not much to it, I don’t drag Cameron along or have any special photographer with me, although one day I should get some professional pictures done!

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The most notable difference this week is finally believing in myself. Mentally i’m tough, but getting work done and believing you can do something are different. I can hit workouts yet still disbelieve I can do a marathon at goal pace. I can mind-karate my way through the toughest Crossfit workout or tempo workout, but somehow at the end of the day still think i’m not a good enough runner and that horrible marathon will get the best of me. This week was different because I’m starting to believe that not only can I run a solid marathon, but I have so much more in me that I might surprise myself on race day and in the future.

The 10k from Sunday was a prime example. I set out at a pace that seemed so far out of reach, yet by the 2nd mile I believed I could keep that pace and told myself to go for it and it worked out.

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Heading into these last few weeks of marathon training i’m sure will bring up many more thoughts. Hang in here with me, we’re almost toeing the start line.

Last Week

Monday: 5.3m easy 10:00/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10m interval ( 3 x 2m @ 7:30/pace)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 11.7m tempo ( 2m warm up, 9m @7:30/pace)

Friday: 10.2m easy 9:05/pace

Saturday: 16.1m easy 8:52/pace

Sunday: 10K race (1.2m warm up, 6.4m race)

Total Miles: 60.9

Random thoughts you get during training?

Do you run outside, treadmill or mix it up?


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I’m a Crossfitter

You know how you know a person does Crossfit? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. Do you know how you know if someone’s completed a marathon? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. That joke is old and dumb. People who are passionate about their hobbies and sports will of course tell you! I love talking about my ever evolving fitness!

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My love for Crossfit started years ago when I saw the Crossfit Games on tv. It was a strange competition with people working out in the weirdest, hardest ways you could imagine, but i was sucked in. These girls and guys are the epitome of FIT. And not in the strange, posed, spray-tanned, starved for weeks to make the veins pop, body builder way. They are active, healthy and moving fast. Simply put, they are athletes.

I had a small taste of Crossfit when I used the Crossfit Endurance training plan to work toward a fast 5k. I noticed the strength portion of the book was simple, effective yet tough. It reminded me of how I train clients: varied functional movements at high intensity levels. Crossfit also introduced the rower to me, which was especially important because of a calf strain that had me away from running a couple years ago.

This past spring I finished the Spartan Beast Obstacle Course Race. It was incredible and showed me what the Reebok Crossfit community is about: having a body that can DO things and helping those around you ACCOMPLISH hard things. I finished that race feeling like I could do anything. It proved I wasn’t just a runner and my body was so much stronger than I gave it credit for.

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I’ve had great experiences leading up to actually joining a box (what they call their gyms). It just took a while for me to join because i’m a trainer at Gold’s Gym–it felt a little dirty, like i was cheating on my home gym. But I craved my own, separate place to workout. A gym that no one stops me mid-workout to ask for advice or chat about fitness. In the same way i’ve had a running coach in the past, i needed someone else to program strength workouts. I wanted to take the stress off myself and enjoy being a place where i can concentrate on working out and where I’m treated as an athlete, not a personal trainer.

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Crossfit Silver Spring

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They had me at Beer Mile PR’s

I couldn’t officially start coming to the box for a WOD (workout of the day) until I completed a mandatory Crossfit Elements course (8 classes) at the CF Silver Spring box. Elements teaches the fundamentals and movement patterns of the sport and puts a daily WOD to the test at the end of each hour lesson. I was more than impressed with the level of professionalism and safety in this box.

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So far, I’m in love it. I’m obsessed with it and I can see why people tend to think it’s cult-like. It’s electric and motivating and FUN. As a trainer, i’m learning a lot. As an athlete I’m gaining a lot.

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The biggest misconception i hear about Crossfit is that it’s dangerous. Well let’s put it this way, any sport or intense training program has risks for injury. You need good coaches or trainers (like me!) and you need to use common sense. Also let’s talk about how often I’ve been injured running vs. strength training at intense levels.

Running: shin splints, runner’s knee, piriformis and hip flexor issues, IT band syndrome, bone bruises, calf strain…and these are just the ones I’ve had.

Strength/Crossfit: skinned knee, couple of bruises, maybe i’ll pinch my finger with a weight once in a blue moon. Now you tell me what is more dangerous. I’d put my money on running any day of the week as being more dangerous.

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My coaches Marcos & Katie!

The biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last two months are increased shoulder mobility + strength, glute activation and lat activation. The coaches take a lot of time each class to lead warm ups and mobilize our bodies using foam rollers, massage tools and various dynamic exercises to prep the body for the hard work ahead.

I went into Crossfit nervous because I’ve had issues with my right shoulder since I was 13. (My chiro even told me to stop doing overhead pressing exercises.) Six weeks later I have ZERO shoulder pain and i’m lifting weight over my head. My glutes have been sore and worked every class and i’ve PR’d my deadlift by 30lbs easily. Remember runners – strong booty means a strong runner, especially on the hills. And a strong body equals a powerful runner.

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I was worried I wouldn’t be able to train for a marathon comfortably with these tough workouts, but hey, it’s not interfering, it’s helping make me a well-rounded athlete. I haven’t had any issues juggling the running and Crossfit schedule. If anything i’ve felt stronger with each run because my strength training is on point.

What it comes down to, is I found a place and people I can put real effort and energy into to see results. When I’m working out I have people supporting me, shouting, “Go CORI!” I have coaches fixing my form and giving me expert tips to make me a better athlete. It feels fantastic being surrounded by people who want you to succeed, to be stronger, faster and better than ever. I hope everyone out there has a place like this, a gym or a trainer or coaches that can help push you safely to the next level to reach your goals or get you out of your comfort zone.

Last Saturday was the first time I felt the complete and utter exhaustion that comes from giving your all in a workout. The workout that makes you lay down on the floor afterward and create a sweat angel. The elusive Crossfit sweat angel. I achieved it and I want it again and again and again. Even if it means running 10 miles before class…

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If you have any questions about Crossfit please – ask away. I’m by no means an expert, but i’m all about new experiences to make you a better runner, weightlifter or get-in-shaper. This has quickly become my home away from home, my home away from the marathon course and the home that supports and motivates me all week long.

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Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

Tuesday: 10.5m intervals (4 x 1.5m @ 7:03/pace)

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:29/pace, 20min shoulders/lats

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 12m MGP tempo (9 @ 7:50/pace)

Saturday: 10m easy 8:50/pace, Crossfit

Sunday: 9.9m easy 9:17/pace

Total Miles: 54.4

What’s your favorite type of workout besides running?

Have you ever had a coach or personal trainer? 


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Phone Dump Friday #10

Tuesday: 10.5m intervals (4 x 1.5m @ 7:03/pace)

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:29/pace,  20min shoulders/lats

Thursday: Crossfit

More from Shenandoah:

 

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Pulled an old one off Cameron’s phone. My life: sweatpants, confused, on the floor with the dog, blogging.

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Another gem from his phone. This is also pretty normal. *cough shelovesmemore cough*

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And one more set of oldies- I found Le’s adoption photos from the website. Look at how small and scruffy she was! These were the photos that made us jump on getting the chance to see her! If you want to read about her adoption you can do it HERE.

Okay, back to more current pics: Rehoboth, DE – gotta document the abs when they decide to hang around.

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And a few leftover from the wedding…

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Cameron went to happy hour last night…and so did I. Got the Altra Torin 2.5 & Brooks Launch 3s. Went based soley on feel and not what I’m used to. I’m still gonna rotate my Saucony Kinvaras in the mix, but it should be interesting switching up brands. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Shout out to Van 2 Crew #HustlinHookers RaganarDC 2016

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And another BIG THANK YOU to all the friends and family who donated to the 50K ultra I did over the summer. I (we) got a very nice letter in the mail, so I thought i’d let you guys see that your donations help make a difference. Thank you all again! (you can read about the ultra here and here).

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OH and it’s Friday people. Here’s a virtual cheers to beers as big as my head!!

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Ever switched shoe brands in the middle of marathon training?

What are your weekend plans, running and non-running!?


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Week 11, You Were a Jerk.

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

I’ve been waiting for it to happen. Waiting patiently for the week of training where it felt hard, unachievable and where tears would roll. Up until now marathon training has been going almost too good to be true. Every pace, every workout, every strength session, better than the last. Recovery has been second nature, I’m sleeping like a dream, eating well, foam rolling, early AM wake ups, all on point. Then came Week 11.

It took long enough and now hopefully it has passed and I can move forward. But not before giving you guys an inside look cause all the instagram pics and happy-go-running status updates aren’t always as they seem.

This was my highest mileage week ever. I topped it off at 58.9 miles and finished the month at an all time high as well, 218.6. The picture below is actually from a long run 9 days ago, not last week. It’s the only one i found of me smiling. Like hey, look at me the distance isn’t killing me at all right now.

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The mileage really wasn’t getting to me, it’s mostly everything else that happened on top of it. I had sinus headaches all week and the allergy meds I was taking made me super tired and loopy.

Then Tuesday at Crossfit, I basically took a swan dive into a box and skinned up my shin pretty bad, on the first box jump 😦 You know how people say “the mind gives up before the body?” Well, not always, cause my mind and right leg were on top the box and lefty just wasn’t recovered or ready to jump. Stupid, unbalanced, left side.

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I felt the skinned up, bruised to hell left leg days after, especially while running. Every step was a reminder that my shin was sore. I was barely holding onto g0al paces during speed work. I couldn’t get my head into the run and wished each day was a rest day.

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But when the rest day (Wednesday) came, my legs were so tight i think it hurt more not to workout that day. Exhaustion set in hard this past week, every easy run felt labored. I needed a 1-2 hour nap every day before heading back to my evening shifts at the gym. Probably because of a mix of the allergies and workouts.

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she naps with me often

I drank about half a bottle of wine one of the nights because i was super stressed all week for no reason. The wine did not help the anxiety. I slept awful almost every night, not sure if it was because of sore muscles or the naps, but either way i was getting about 5-6 very interrupted hours a night, which is NOT good for me.

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Then just as the week was ending I had one last hard run left. 16 miles. The weather called for rain/thunderstorms all morning so i decided to head to the gym for the treadmill. Not fun, but neither is running in wet weather for 2.5 hours. Even though it was only misting at the time, i figured i’d still be soaked and wasn’t into it. Of course, it never rained. 16 miles later, i probably could have ran outside. Dammit.

Next on the list was a haircut and dye job. You try running for 2.5 hours and then sit in a chair with patience for five more. It’s tough and to make a long story short i love the cut, hate the color.

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I’m basically a redhead on top and a grey/green (ashy blond) on the bottom (you can’t see it, but after one wash it happened). And i’m not looking for compliments, I asked for this:12106068_1664601663751478_1576883465_n

So yeah, i did the girl thing: came home and cried and complained about everything to my husband. The exhaustion and allergies, the missed box jump, the shitty sleepless nights, the not-so-great runs, and finally spending ALL THE MONEY on hair that I don’t even like! And then crying because i have nothing to cry about! These “problems” are hardly problems, I was just overwhelmed because everything was happening all at once. Week 11, you bastard. Cameron lovingly reminded me i’m allowed to be upset and frustrated by all those things, fed me candy and took my mind off of all my adulting with some video games.

The next day I had a run date with a few Ragnarian’s along a trail in Arlington. This was a big turnaround for my week. I got to run in a new location and catch up with friends. The best part was running finally felt easy! It was fun again and i relaxed for the first time in over a week.

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Steve, Me, Normailed, Nick

Steve and his fiance were nice enough to have us over their house after for a cook out, beers and hot tubbing. I needed this. The tub was so relaxing, the food was great and I needed beer! It was a super cool secluded house too, felt like a mini-vacation spot.

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So, i guess one Instagram picture was honest. The one with the woods in the background. “Keep me outside, keep me happy.” I meant that. I’m a solar powered machine and I need nature to stay happy.

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I cropped that picture from this one, because I look like a third wheel. Haha.

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Monday’s easy run went well. It felt similar to Sunday’s. Effortless and so fun. It just goes to show that when you have a bunch of crap runs, a good one is just around the corner. Most of the time I run for those days, but I wouldn’t notice them unless I knew what the hard ones felt like.

Bye Week 11!

Last Week

Monday: 10m interval (6 x 1m repeats @ 7:13/p)

Tuesday: Crossfit, 9.5m easy 9:20/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Crossfit, 10m tempo (MGP 8m @ 7:51/p)

Friday: 7m easy 9:00/pace, strength circuit: 25# single arm db snatch + weighted box step ups + butterfly situps

Saturday: 16m long 8:25/pace

Sunday: 6.4m 10:00/pace

Total Miles: 58.9

How do you get through the tough weeks of marathoning?

What’s your happy place?