Monday, February 23, 2015

Marathon #2 - Training Week 8

The Facts: I've been really damn busy this week in many aspects of life (work, kids off school, kid with stomach virus, family drama, etc).
I'm really not trying to neglect the blogging.  In fact, I have lots to talk about.. but I'm having trouble finding the time - see above.
Speaking of neglecting the blogging, I promise I'm not ignoring anyone.  I'm just really behind.  If I haven't at least scrolled through and skimmed all my favorite blogger's posts already, I will get around to it and comment when I can!
The weather still sucks.
I ran a lot of freaking miles this week - including 2 days in a row on the treadmill and my longest treadmill run yet!
I'm a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!

With that out of the way, let's review my week!

Monday: the very last workout of my strength training plan!  The plan from here was to take the rest of the week off and start again the next week (today, as of this writing).  Overall I liked doing this routine, but I'll be happy to be moving on to something else.  It's gotten to the "bleh this is getting old" feeling.   I followed up the weights with some yoga.

Tuesday:  The plan called for 7 miles at recovery pace with 6x100m stride outs.  I was going to just run it on the treadmill and nix the strides but the sun was gorgeous and I had to be outside!  I got all zoned out again and started my strides off at a weird time, but that's ok.  I did my fastest stride out at 5:47 pace!  And it wasn't even the first one, it was one of the last!  I'm really seeing the "old faster me" shining through more and more all the time and I love it.  I'm glad I went outside for this run because later in the week the weather wasn't so nice.
I did a quick yoga sequence later on that day.

Wednesday:  12 mile medium-long run.  I decided to run the North Park loop in the direction that the Spring Thaw goes because that's not my typical way.  Believe it or not, this way seemed easier to me!  The rolling hills didn't seem as hilly... I know that sounds weird, but was true for me.  And I don't know if I was just having a good day or maybe it was because my heart rate didn't spike up the hills the same or what but my pace was flying from what I usually do at the same average heart rate... It felt pretty easy too!

This happened after I got home from my 12 miler.  Glad I got it done when I did!

Thursday: Rest day!  After the next two weeks my rest day is going to change to be on Thursdays instead of Fridays so I guess this was a little preview.

How Calloway has taken to sleeping on me every single night. He purrs so loudly!  I snapped this pic first thing in the morning before he moved when I got up.  

Friday:  This was the day of my epic treadmill PR.  Previously my record was 7 miles.  Well I had a 10 mile run with tempo miles on the schedule and I was getting them done.  The kids were off school and it was way too cold to safely attempt this outside, so the treadmill at the gym won the day.  Truth:  The first few miles SUCKED.  I was really ready to throw in the towel and just be happy with getting some miles in.  But then something clicked after I cranked up the pace and I felt great!  I finished the whole run as planned (even having to do the timer hop) and was happy with the results.  I did 2 miles of easy warmup, 6 miles at half marathon pace, and 2 miles cooldown.  I've never felt that good on the treadmill before.... maybe I just need to run faster on it and not be afraid of flying into orbit? ha!

Saturday:  5 mile recovery run on the treadmill.  Again, it was way too cold to be outside - even all the running groups cancelled their group runs and I wanted to get this done and over with.  I was happy to have a nice, easy, wonderful feeling run.  Then I came home only to make a clutzy blonde out of myself and fall up my back porch.  It wasn't even particularly icy - it was just a total ditz move.  I have a nice gash on my shin and a big bruise forming.  Of course I'd do this before a 20 miler... why the hell not?  Story of my life!  I put some ice on it and felt better and did a 20 minute yoga video (YWA's newest one).  The rest of my day was pretty much eating ALLL the carbs to practice fueling for my long run. (I actually have a very specific carb loading ritual, which I am planning on sharing in a future post)

Sunday: OH, Sunday funday runday... On the plan was my first of three 20 mile runs.  Don't worry - I have a few weeks in between each so I will NOT be banging out another one next week!  Given the weather and another snowpocalypse situation, North Park is usually the go-to and best bet.  I'm taking to calling it my "winter outside treadmill".  While I much prefer the city trails they're just really unsuitable to run this time of year.  That's life.  So, NP it is.  Usually the park/county has at least the lake loop really clear no matter what the weather.  Well, I guess they decided to take the day off and have a delay of their own because when I got there at 8 something it was awful.  Most people were running in the road because the lake loop was just sloppy slushy garbage.  This didn't help my attitude (which was great before I got there), but I was determined to get my miles in.  The first loop was terrible.  I started off slow until I could get a handle on the slipping and sliding around and running in and out of the road.  All I could think was that my calves were being trashed on loop 1 and I had 4 to do!  After a bad first loop I was really mad at the situation but took on a "kill it before it kills me" mindset and forged ahead.  I think it was just the fact that I settled into/accepted the situation and went with it but my heartrate - which was doing a bounce from high end of range to low due to my slipping and being nervous about traffic, etc - settled into a nice steady rhythm, I found my cadence, and started feeling better and better.  The rest of the second loop, the third, and most of the fourth just sailed by.  I did start getting tired at the end (I'm sure all the sliding/jumping around in that first part drained my legs faster than expected), but I kept going via heart rate, kept a pretty consistent pace the whole way, and finished very strong.  I ended up going 20 miles at a sub-9 minute mile average pace and did it at a lower average heart rate than last weeks 18 miles through the city.  I am really thrilled about this.  My fitness has definitely improved over the last couple of months.  I'm seeing the proof in runs like this.  Today I feel great!  I could run if I had it on the schedule.  I've never felt like this after a 20.
Another thing that really made this run was seeing a few fellow DMers and bloggers.  It's always nice to put a real face/voice to a screen name.  I think it's just awesome how we're all out there working for something and can share in the experience.  It's pretty mind blowing how something so seemingly simple - running - brings people together who maybe wouldn't ever meet before.

Total Miles Ran: 54.48 - another distance record!
Total Running Workouts:  5 - 1 recovery with striders, 1 recovery, 1 tempo, 1 medium-long, 1 long.
Total Strength Workouts: 1, as planned.
Total Yoga Days: 3, but I'm getting unsure of how to answer this so I might nix this in the future blogs.  Sometimes if I'm feeling tight or off, I might get down into cobblers pose or hero pose or whatever and breathe for a bit.  If that "counts" as a workout, then I do yoga every day or a couple times a day.  I don't know.. take it for what you will.

Nutrition this week:  LOL.  Ok... I didn't do too bad.  This week started the Lenten season, and while I'm a pretty crappy Catholic I still am one so here comes the traditional "Fish Fridays" in addition to other fish I may eat that week.  I usually prefer baking fish (one thing I can guarantee my kids will eat is my lemon pepper cod or tilapia), but this week I was really hungry for beer battered fish so that's what we got.  Hello runger cravings!  But I also made some really good salsa chicken in the crockpot that I had over salad fixings one day and in a wrap the next. I picked up some frozen cherries for one of my favorite protein smoothie recipes and had that too.

Here's the big confession, though:  As you may or may not know I get a kick out of watching competitive and freak eaters (yes, I'm a freak for watching it).  It's hilarious and I subscribe to several YouTube channels on the topic.  Anyway, one of my favorites is Wreckless Eating and during a recent segment of "Ice Screamed My Pants" (yes, actual show name) they reviewed the ice cream flavor "Coffee & Donuts".  They all hated it and thought it was gross, but I thought it sounded good.  My husband introduced me years ago to a concoction his grandfather made called "Coffee Soup"... it's pretty much just stale donuts soaked in a cup of coffee.  Well, I thought this ice cream sounded like it would taste just like that so I sent Nick on a quest to find it.  Well needless to say he found it... and we loved it... and we are now on our second container of it in the house.  hahaha.

But really, I do keep good track of my macros and calories and eat accordingly.  Running 50+ miles a week is making me hungrier and I do eat a lot on a normal basis to keep up with my activity.  People always seem shocked when I mention how much I eat (it's not uncommon to plow back 3000 calories on long run day).  Usually the question is "Where do you put it", but I promise it all gets used.

Well, this was a good week.  I'm still feeling strong and confident and looking ahead.  This coming week is the Spring Thaw and mostly recovery miles otherwise.  Hey, at least I'll be getting a medal and hat and gloves for my long run this week! Win!
He gives Meatball snuggles too. 


  1. Impressive 20 mile run. Glad you were able to get out and get it done. NP always does a decent job on the roads so it's nice you can always go there even when we get blasted with the snow

    1. Thanks! I can't wait until I can pick where to run just based on preference of the moment, not what the weather dictates! Hurry spring!

  2. Great job this week!! Nice job on that double digit treadmill run! You're doing a great job!!

    1. Thank you Steff! You've been inspiring me with your epic treadmilling! :)

  3. Your recaps are really convincing me of the benefits of high mileage with a lot of low intensity as the foundation. Your plan is definitely working for you. You are improving every single week! You especially get a gold star for your 20-mile Sunday run in the messy slushy slop, that ended with you feeling awesome. Really nice! Now I'm curious which way the Spring Thaw race goes. I usually run the loop the same way, but we did it the opposite way once and it did feel different! Also, I'll be interested in your post about carb loading. I've started to eat more carbs after reading the Racing Weight book (which I'm also going to post about). It's funny how we tend to think of carbs as a sin but they're actually so important when training!

    1. If you are already signed up for Spring Thaw, they sent out an email detailing the course detour/directions. It'll be interesting that's for sure!

  4. NICE WEEK!! I agree with Jennifer; I'm really interested in the high mileage/low intensity training. It's something to keep in mind, for sure! NP was a total nightmare on Sunday...I'm hoping it's a touch nicer for Saturday. I finally registered for the Spring Thaw, so hopefully we will run into each other!
    My fat cat, Peanut, ALWAYS sleeps on my pillow. He has a nightly ritual that involves climbing onto my pillow, plumping/playing with my hair, and then purring into my ear for hours. Often times he actually lays on my head. I can't tell if he is just snuggling or trying to smother me with his 20 lb body...

    1. haha why is it always the big cats that decide to do this?? One night I woke up gagging because Calloway was seriously laying across my throat of all things and I thought he was going to strangle me. He even got all mad when I pushed him off of me. I don't know what he expected.. I mean I have to be alive in the morning to feed his furry butt!
      Well the part of the loop (just the Lake Shore side) I ran today was crystal clear, so that's a good sign.