20 Comments

The Taper Crazies!

Monday: 6m interval (2m warm up 9:15/pace, 2 x 1m @ 6:27/pace 4:00 recovery + 1.5m cool down)

Finally! I feel like i’ve been talking about the Indianapolis Monumental 1/2 for such a long time! This might be the first time I’m heading into a half feeling excited to see what can happen!

Usually I go into a taper feeling like my training sucked, I coulda/shoulda/woulda done more, but even as I reviewed every detail of my training log i’m taking the positive notes & keeping those for motivation. I’m not gonna get upset if every speedwork session wasn’t perfect, or on every long run i didn’t make incredible improvements. I’m taking the big, important facts & those will be where I draw motivation to push and do my best this Saturday.

Also, I needed a long sleeved shirt for the race and I loved this new Champion long sleeved top I wore for the last easy 8 miler this past weekend.

20151031_073129

20151030_131850

Important Facts That I Will Be Reminding Myself All Week As the Taper Crazies* Set In!

  1. 7 weeks ago I did the Parks Half Marathon in 1:40:02. Un-tapered legs, 5 weeks into training, this was a great time for me to post at the beginning of a training plan.
  2. I finished training healthy, happy & feeling good!! I’m not burnt out and I’ve loved running this fall.
  3. I had an extra week of training!
  4. I’ve been sleeping well, eating well & drinking a ton of water every day.
  5. I can PR on Saturday. I will not restrict my brain with a pace/time goal. I want to run a race to the best of my ability and do better than I have before. #bebrave

*Taper Crazies- The week or two before a race where you think you’re getting sick or injured, you suck at life, you’re not good enough, your spouse/family or co-workers just don’t understand!, nothing is going your way, you review your training log only to find out you didn’t do enough, your final runs all feel like crap–there’s no way you’ll hit your race goal, the barista gave you regular milk when you asked for coconut milk! NOOOOOO!!!!!

Basically, it’s a stressful time where the runner needs to trust the training, relax and get a race day gear & game plan together. Or do what I do and stay busy in other way besides running. Last weekend Cameron and I did a good job setting up his new studio/office space. My space is coming along a little slower, but I need a few more things before it feels right.

We got his desk from the same lady who sold me the teal antique desk. Kinda wanted to buy everything she had…

20151101_125241

ta-da!

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.53.20 AM

I’m trying to stay busy at work and relax in the evenings.  We went to dinner with friends on Halloween so the only dressing up I did was at work. We’re all super goofy & love an excuse not to wear out normal Gold’s Gym shirts. I didn’t have anything laying around the house other than my Hunger Games shirt, so I went as Katniss, like last year. But i figured it’s more relevant since the last movie is coming out this month! I can’t tell you how excited i am for Hunger Games, but also..Star Wars. <—I literally cried watching the trailer. —> See! Keeping my mind off the race 😉

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.18.33 AM

isaac, adrienne, trey, michele, torre, me, & danni!

and me wearing real clothes on my way out to dinner!

20151031_184540

and one more picture from last week, it was SO pretty out!!

20151030_133203

Week of Oct 26th – Nov 1st

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 9m interval 7:46/pace

Wednesday: 30min lower back/obliques

Thursday: 6.1m easy 8:20/pace

Friday: 6m easy 8:47/pace

Saturday: 8m easy 9:01/pace

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 29.1

How do you deal with the taper crazies?


20 Comments

Secret Weapons for Marathon Week

Before this marathon happens in *gulp* 6 days, I have to get things organized. The day before a marathon should be spent resting and inhaling ingesting carbs. Don’t overwhelm yourself by leaving a ton to do/organize/layout the week and night before.

The week of the marathon (i.e. right now!) I make trips to Target, grocery store or a running store to have exactly what i need for race week/day. Over the weekend, I picked up Gatorade, Honey Stinger gel & chews, bagels. What I forgot was anti-chafe cream. Totally slipped my mind. Another good reason to shop early in the week–you will forget something. Plan on running out to the store 2-3 times for last minute items. I usually make a list and then leave it on the table at home. It’s the thought that counts.. unless your thoughts are left behind, of course.

I do my running laundry in the middle of the week so most of my clothes are clean. Heaven forbid the night before a race my favorite shorts are dirty and i’m up late waiting for laundry to finish. I just bought these 2 pairs of Under Armour shorts over the weekend, super comfy, and long enough inseam so the thighs aren’t rubbing together–now which color to wear??

20140426_174356

Put a Marathon Playlist together.  This is a big one for me because I love setting the tone of a race to music. This training cycle I listened to a lot of Say Anything, Reliant K, the Starting Line, Jimmy Eat World, The Thermals…So i’m probably not venturing out too far. I have a secret weapon though.. and i’ve wanted to share it for a long time. I listen to this Dj called Pogo and if you haven’t listened to his stuff you need to do it RIGHT NOW. Pogo remixes a lot of Disney music which brings back a ton of memories, makes running feel fun and keeps my legs churning. There is nothing like running on trails listening to this guy.. i swear it will change you.

The week before a marathon is a good time to stress out, freak out, question your training etc.. As i said plenty of times before–i’m working very hard on positive thinking before, during and after a race. A good way for me to do this is not to fine comb my training log and focus on,  well, what I’ll be focusing on during the race. Where will my positive thinking drive from? What do i tell myself when my body wants to quit in the later miles?

My go-to mantra has been “earn the downhill” because most of my races have been extremely hilly. This time around I might use something Shalane Flanagan mentioned in a recent article, her mantra during Boston was something her coach says to her, “don’t lose your shit.” She wanted to keep calm, cool & focused. I don’t have one as of yet, but i’m working on it!

20140426_182324

new shorts, new shoes ❤

So there you go, my secret weapons to have a race day go well, get your fuel & race day items ready way beforehand, get a playlist/mantra together, lay out your exact clothes & relax the day before while your iPod/phone/garmin are charging ;). Also- I have a check list from an old post that I’m going to update below, so if you want to just copy and print, it will help for the week of your race!

Race Checklist 

__Garmin Watch (charged!)

__Ipod/armband/headphones (charged!)

__Sports Bra

__Shorts/Capri’s/Throwaway pants

__Shirt/or Throwaway Shirt

__Socks/Compression Socks

__Running Shoes

__Sandals & after race clothes/deodorant/body wipes

__Anti-Chafe Cream

__Aspirin/pain reliever (for after race)

__Sunscreen/Sunglasses/hat

__Hair ties/headbands

__Gels or Sports Drinks/Water/Nuun/Pre-Race Food (doesn’t hurt to have extra left in your car, hotel, or with family)

__Race Confirmation/Course Map (for friends or family who are attending & for race morning!)

Last Week’s Work

Monday: 6m fartlek 7:26/pace, 35 min biceps/back, 30 min abs

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:10/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

Friday: 30 min TRX full body, 10 abs

Saturday: 3.2 easy 8:50/pace

Sunday: 5.4 tempo 7:44/pace

Total Miles: 30

What is your “power song” or mantra you use during a race?

What else should I add to my Race Checklist??

 


14 Comments

Tapering Thoughts…

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 10m easy 7:51/pace, 15 min abs

I woke up this morning and realized i’m like 9 days out from a marathon. Nine!! I’m so excited that I get to run a marathon (injury free!) to test out my running fitness. I know I talk about qualifying for Boston a lot here, but this race isn’t my ‘A’ race to qualify, however this marathon will give me a good idea of how much work is ahead of me in order to run under a 3:35:00 and qualify. I have a few goals i will be focusing on and have been focusing on during long runs. Tapering always brings up a lot of “what if’s”, goals, racing plans, and craziness.

1) I want to Run Strong. I want to avoid going out fast & fizzling out my energy early. I want to feel strong and in control as long as possible. That means slower, even pacing so that my 2nd half, especially the last 6.2 miles can possibly be a negative split. #tryingtoavoidthefreakingwall

2) I want to Run Fueled. I’ve been practicing eating smaller amounts of Honey Stinger Fruit Snacks (Cherry Cola has my heart!) more frequently through a run. I’ve noticed a big difference in sustained energy and I appreciate all my readers & coach for helping me come to this realization. Also–I’m not a big fan of chewing while running (i’m not coordinated) and i know a lot of you don’t like to either. Lauren told me to just put a chew in the side of your mouth in your teeth or cheek & it will melt away without blocking your airways. This little trick has been coming in handy.

from the trail when my mom  was in town

the trail where the Marathon is going to be held 

3) I want to Run a PR. Who doesn’t? My PR right now is a 4:28:28. Based on my current training & mile splits & years working at the half marathon distance, i imagine this will be easy to break. Then again, a marathon is a different beast and “easy” is not usually associated. Haha When I ran my 4:28 race, i crossed the start line thinking a sub 4:00 marathon was in the bag. I can’t really assume anything with a marathon. But I do know i’m training smart, i’m healthy & I like running a lot more than I did back then.

I don’t usually like posting my time goals, but what the heck, it’s not the race I’m trying to go for the BQ and finishing a 2nd marathon is going to be a huge boost!

C) Anything under 4:28 to PR.

B) Sub 4:00

A) 3:45, I think this might be doable for race day if everything goes well.

 

20140421_153250

Flex Friday!

The remaining runs i have are all 6 miles or under… I can already feel my legs getting antsy & the speed coming out. I thought I was beginning to lose all speed because those high mileage weeks really took all my energy and I felt slow, heavy & slow some more. Once the mileage went down my speed was just where I left it, now I just have to remember to save that speed for the last part of the race!

pigeon pose

pigeon pose 

Until the marathon i’ll be doing the norm — stretching, foam rolling, light cross training, and eating my carbs.

What is a MUST during a taper?

stretching & a shake out run the day before

How many goals do you have for a race?

I always have at least 2 minimum!

 


7 Comments

I’m dating Batman.

Be jealous.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.28.29 AM

I bought him a Batman Under Armour shirt because he signed us up for a Color Me Rad 5K on May 3rd. The 5k runs through a Six Flags theme park and it will be so much fun to take pictures in Gotham while wearing the Batman shirt. The next day i’ll be running a marathon so having a fun, laid back, shake out 5k sounded like a good idea 🙂

I’ve been cheating and looking ahead at my training plan because I received the “final confirmation” email for the Rock N’ Roll USA 1/2 i’m doing on March 15th. I keep forgetting February is such a short month and i’m two weeks out from the race! It’s already taper time!! The rest of my running is pretty laid back with nothing too intense or daunting (other than the race of course haha). I know it’s strange and i’ll take this statement back in about 5-7 days, but i’m glad it’s time to taper. My body feels great, i trust my training and I’m ready to see what I can do after having a really great training period and running my highest monthly mileage!

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 12.33.58 PM

127 might not be a lot of mileage for some people, but this is a big deal for me since i’m not injured, overtraining or burnt out on running. This could be a really big year in running for me. And in other things too. I mean, i am getting married and stuff.

Here’s Cameron rowing for back strength with exercise bands. He clearly has too much fun when working out.

cambands

Has this post been random enough for you yet? I foam rolled the crap out of my legs yesterday and will do it again today. Gotta keep the legs loose and the socks tight <— I need new compression socks!

IMG_20140227_141052

How’s your Friday shaping up?

Anything exciting for the weekend?


4 Comments

The Training Taper and my Workout Summary 11/11-11/17

Our weekend started out pretty quiet. Couch, tv, relaxing. Then we went out to a bar called the Iron Horse Taproom last night and had a blast, i.e. we drank. I loved the fun atmosphere of the bar. They had shuffle board and skeeball and a lot of tv’s playing sports. Apparently it’s a good bar to be at when there’s a Capitals game. Speaking of which, we’re heading out in a couple hours for tonights game. Cameron bought tickets late last night. There’s something about booze and the internet together that just makes you spend money.

IMG_1399

this is the cute one…

This was the funny one, love the demon eyes

This was the funny one, love the demon eyes

I’m actually happy it’s been a laid back weekend. This is a “training taper week” for me. Much more strength training happened and lot less running. I know it might sound strange, but for me to stay healthy and away from injury while building mileage, I taper down about every 4 weeks.

Here’s an example: week one- 20 miles, week two- 24 miles, week three- 27 miles, week four -22 miles. Then week 5- 24 miles, week six- 28, week seven- 30, week eight 25 (taper week).  These numbers are just examples, but basically you build mileage slowly for 3 weeks, take an “easy” week then start building again. I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and it works for me and keeps me from burning out and literally running myself into the ground.

I take taper week to do a lot more strength training, stretching, foam rolling, compressing, maybe a visit to the chiropractor– so i’m ready to run the next stretch of training weeks fresh. I think of it as giving my body a tune up.

Taking a break from TRX'ing

Taking a break from TRX’ing & of course wearing my Pro Compression socks

Weekly Workouts! 

Monday: 5m easy 8:11/pace, 15 min TRX Core workout

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:12/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 8:08/pace, 12 min leg/shoulder killer workout, 20 min abs

Thursday: 15 min abs

Friday: 50 min TRX full upper body

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Weekly Mileage: 14

**My goal mileage for the next 3 weeks are 21, 25, 27, then i’ll have a taper week around 20 miles. I’m hoping to having my weekly mileage base between 30-35 by January, we shall see!

How do you make sure you stay injury free while running year round or training for a specific race??


1 Comment

Tapering and why it generally sucks. Part I

Friday’s workout: 5.6m Tempo

Saturday’s workout: 6m Easy

During a taper, about 2 weeks prior to a race, your supposed to cut down your mileage, cut down the intensity and let your legs do more resting than running. Cutting back just before a big race feels like pure torture. All the extra time NOT running is spent in the following ways:

  •      Worrying about the race
  •      Reviewing every detail of your training log, and then panicking when you can’t come up with a secret formula for your race.
  •      Becoming a hypochondriac. Seriously, what is this the twinge I just felt in my ankle? Is it broken!?!? Did I really just sneeze? Great, now i’m gonna be sick for the race :/
  •      Lots of self doubt, self hatred and pure disappointment in the workouts I should have put more effort into. If i had a few more weeks of training!

That’s tapering, a lot of extra time to worry about things that can go wrong. I have friends and family that will gladly tell you what a brat monster I can be right before a race. I thought my world was falling apart, i would stress over every little thing and snap on anyone who questioned otherwise…but after the race I was back to normal. Usually.

So what are some ways to battle the dreaded taper? Start by not over analyzing your previous workouts and focus your energy on resting your legs. Fact: You will NOT lose speed or endurance during your taper. You can however, overdo it by trying to squeeze in those last few hard runs leaving your legs tired or sore on race day. I generally add tapering weeks into my training. For example, i increase my mileage for 3 weeks and cut down the 4th week by about 20%, then begin increasing again. This has helped me stay away from injuries and also gets me used to cutting my mileage down without going insane.

I’m going into my final week of tapering and had my last tempo run yesterday with Matt. He helped pace me pretty well. We did a total of 5.6 miles- 8:18, 7:47, 7:37, 7:46, 8:07 with a mile warm up and a little over half mile cool down. 5 miles is a short run for me, so a few quick miles won’t leave me fatigued next week, but this will be the last time I run near half marathon pace until race day.

After my tempo, sweaty & happy

Today I ran 6 easy miles with my friend Laura. I forgot to take pictures of us! I know, internet rules: no picture = never happened. I swear it did though, cause i remembered to take a selfie as I waited for her to roll up. We had a great time even though her Garmin died a mile in and I forgot mine at home. Sometimes running without all the gadgets feels good 🙂

IMAG1550

Things to do during a taper:  take your vitamins & drink plenty of water. Sleep extra hours, stretch, ice, foam roll, compress & eat carbs in moderate amounts all week (instead of binging on a box of pasta the night before). Create a list of things you need to do or buy before race day or traveling to a race and take care of it. Start laying out your race day clothes, shoes etc, so half the packing will be done. Take a few minutes with the race route map and familiarize yourself with the course and where water stations & toilets are located. Finally, think positive about the race. When you find yourself doubting whether or not you can finish the race or hold a certain pace try and remember all the hard work you’ve done during training and pray to the Running Gods that the weather and race conditions will forever be in your favor.

IMAG1546

Pro Compression socks, baseball & a Summer Shandy, gotta enjoy it while it’s around!

Have a nice weekend!