Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
- Aristotle

Motivation. Gosh, I wish I was always motivated but I'm not. Sometimes, I'm overly motivated and can't wait to get out there and run or lift etc ... Other days, I just want to lay around and do nothing. 

I've worked out for the last 12 days straight. But I'm seriously lacking any motivation these days. I'm making myself get out of bed in the morning and go. And still, I pushed back a run scheduled for this morning to tomorrow because I just could not go. I don't know what's going on but I feel like crap these days, I'm exhausted and my legs feel tired and heavy every time I run. I've been having to take walk breaks on even my short runs. 

But I'm still going, I'm still working out. I've done the 30 Day Shred for 11 days now and unlike pretty much everyone else who does it, I have no visible changes. Ugh ugh ugh. My body is just stuck. But I'm sticking with it, I'm going to give it everything I have for 30 days. 

After all it's the days we push through, we keep striving that will pay off and make us stronger. So I'll go to bed earlier to try and get some energy, keep eating healthy despite not seeing results, and keep pushing during my workouts because soon I'll have a good run, an easy rewarding run and I can't wait for that. And I'm sure that after that run, I'll be motivated to keep going each day. I just need to keep chipping away and be patient. My energy and love for running and working out will return. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just another boring training plan post

I had a great week of training this past week. I ran five times, for a total of 17.6 miles as I slowly build the mileage back up after my marathon. I did the 30 Day Shred Level 1 everyday. I did my flexibility program once, and did extra core work twice.

My legs definitely are still tired from the marathon despite 3 weeks having passed. I have heard though that it takes a day per mile that you raced, so hopefully by June 25th, my legs will be peppy again. I started half marathon training next week so I need my legs to cooperate. I'm following Hudson's Level 2 Half Marathon training plan for the the Sun Half Marathon (accompanies the Bay State Marathon) on October 17th.

My training plan this week is as follows:

Monday - easy 3 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 1, core workout
Tuesday - easy 3 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Wednesday - 30 Day Shred Level 2, core workout, flexibility program
Thursday - 7 miles total - possibly doing a 5 mile race, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Friday - easy 4 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Saturday - bike ride, 30 Day Shred Level 2, maybe yoga
Sunday - easy 6 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2, flexibility program.

Luckily, I have all this planned out in my Google Calendar as well as a spreadsheet so I'm keeping track of it pretty well.

I realized during my run this morning that I need to be getting up earlier since it's HOT out now. I mean it was only 3 miles but dang the heat definitely was noticeable. I left around 8:25 so I'm going to start aiming to leave between 7-7:30am. Plus, then I'll get started with my work for the day earlier too. I've started a new job working mostly from home this week, so I'm adjusting to a new routine right now. I'm loving the flexibility so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Training Plan for 6/13-6/19

Sunday - Easy 4 miles and Flexibility Program from Advanced Marathoning - Done
Monday - 30 Day Shred and Core - Done
Tuesday - Easy 3 miles and 30 Day Shred
Wednesday - Easy 4 miles, 30 Day Shred, Core and Flexibility Program
Thursday - Easy 3 miles and 30 Day Shred
Friday - Easy 4 miles and 30 Day Shred
Saturday - 60 minute bike ride, 30 Day Shred and Yoga

Total Miles Planned - 18
Total Core Workouts Planned - 2
Total Flexibility Workouts Planned - 2
6 Days of 30 Day Shred
1 Bike Ride
1 Yoga Session

Now we'll see what gets done.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Marathon Training Thoughts

I began training for my first Marathon on January 4, 2010. I originally planned on running a marathon on May 2, 3010. I followed a Higdon based plan with my own tweaks.

January: I was in physical therapy the majority of this month for shin splints. Luckily, I was able to run fine for the majority of my runs despite the shin and calf problems I was having. My long runs were 13 miles, 8 miles, 12 miles, 14 miles. I ran 126.6 total miles.

February: In February, I went gluten free for Lent and noticed an improvement in my running. I used to deal with numbness in my feet, mostly my left foot and it didn't happen while I was GF. I ran a 10K on February 7th and PRed by 3 minutes, in 47:35. I then ran a half marathon on February 28th and PRed with a 1:49:02 (previous PR was 1:56:23). I felt pretty good then and after my half I really began to focus on marathon training.

My long runs in February were: 7.2, 15, 11 and 13.1. My total mileage was 96 miles.

March: In March, I decided to push back my marathon from May 2, 2010 to May 30, 2010. My long runs this month were: 10, 16, 17, 11. I ran 133.6 miles in March which was a new mileage PR.

April: A big month of training. I dealt with one week of being injured this month too. I feared a stress fracture but luckily it was not. I'm still not sure what it was but it was definitely metatarsal pain that ended up just going away. It was close to a neuroma location, so that's possible too. My long runs were: 19, 20, 12 and 22. 155.9 total miles for the month.

May: May was an up and down month. I ran a 5K PR on May 8th - 22:53. But maybe I shouldn't have pushed it during the 5K because I paid for it the next few weeks. My long run the day after was my worst ever, it should have been 20 miles but ended up being 17.7 miles. I hurt all over and was so slow. Then the week after my knee started giving me fits and I had to basically take the week off, two weeks before my marathon. Ugh. Was not good but I pushed through. Ran 17.7 and 8 miles as the two long runs I managed for the month. Then it was time to taper. My taper was pretty extreme because of the knee. May mileage before the marathon was 73.1

Total mileage for the 5 months was: 585.2. I ran 85 times, for an average of 6.88 miles per run. It was a total of 22 weeks of training for the half marathon followed by the marathon. I averaged 26.6 miles a week for those 22 weeks.

What will I do different next time?

I'm running a goal half marathon in October 2010. Then I'm hoping to run the Houston Marathon in January 2010 but it's gone to a lottery system so hopefully I get in. For my half marathon cycle I'll be following a Hudson half marathon plan. I'm debating between Hudson or Pfitzinger for the marathon training cycle. I'll definitely be running more miles, more speedwork. I also plan on being more diligent with cross training (weights, core and stretching). I'm starting Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred today and will continue doing it when HM training starts. I'll also do the core and flexibility workouts from Advanced Marathoning 2x/week each. I'm also scheduling in yoga and bike rides. After 30 Day Shred, I'll do a strength training routine 2x/week.

Also, I'm going to be focusing on my nutrition and recovery for the upcoming cycles. I'd like to lose 10-15lbs and eat much healthier. I also need to get more sleep and spend more time focusing on recovery. Luckily I will only be working 25 hours a week and mostly from home, so I should be able to get more sleep than I was at my last job which required a commute and long hours.

So we will see how the next cycle goes!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon Race Report

It's taken me almost a week to sit down and write this report. I haven't been blogging recently but there's been some changes in my life recently (quit my job, will be working part time in my new job etc ...) that mean I will be able to blog more hopefully, which means that for my next marathon cycle, I'll have a good record of my training and such.

Anyway, on to my first Marathon race report.

We left for Burlington, VT on Saturday around 9:15 after I had run 2 easy miles that morning and packed basically my whole life. I have a major packing problem, it's bad. We got to VT around 1pm and headed to the expo. I picked up my race packet and then watched a video of the course with my boyfriend and mom. Then we walked around the expo for awhile, I got a very nice sweatshirt and a few other things. After the expo, my mom decided she wanted to figure out where to park the next day so we drove down to the start and played around with the best place to park, the easiest way to get there avoiding traffic etc ... I wasn't sure if they'd drive me in the morning or if I'd take the shuttle from the hotel but we wanted to figure things out. Headed to the hotel to check in after. They had an indoor pool and hot tub so after we got settled in, we headed down there for awhile until my aunt arrived from Canada. My aunt got there around 4ish and we headed over to the mall and did some shopping. My mom was worried about me walking too much but I was fine.

Next up was dinner at UNOs as they have a good gluten free menu and I had been eating gluten free leading up to the race. I got a salad, gluten free veggie pizza and mashed potatoes. It was very good and I ate a lot which is usually really hard for me.

After dinner we had to stop at Kmart as I had forgotten peanut butter for my brown rice toast in the morning and we needed a cooler since our hotel rooms didn't have fridges. Then it was back to the hotel to relax for the night. Just hung out watching the Red Sox, some lacrosse and Roy Halladay's perfect game. I started trying to sleep around 9:30 after having a little crying spell about being nervous. I slept restlessly for the first 2 hours as our room had 2 double beds and the boyfriend and I tried to share one but it sucked. We ended up separating and then later switching so that I would have the better bed. I finally slept continuously from about 11:30pm-5:45am which was good.

Sunday morning, I woke up, tried to force down 2 pieces of brown rice toast and peanut butter (I only managed about 1 piece) and then I got dressed, put sunscreen on, drank gatorade, body glided etc ... We left the hotel around 6:40, parked easily and got to the start area by 7ish. I immediately used a porta potty and then we walked around some, just trying to stay relaxed and focused. Took some pictures (I'm with my mom in the first one and my aunt in the second).

Around 7:30 I used the porta potty again and then headed to the start line around 7:45 and found the 4 hour pace group. I talked to some of the other runners hoping to run around 4 hours and then we were off!

Mile 1: 9:39 - A little slow but it was crowded at the beginning and slightly uphill to start. I felt good, was talking and relaxed.
Mile 2: 8:54 - Made up the time, still going through the town with people out cheering.
Mile 3: 9:05 - On pace, feeling good.
Mile 4: 8:53 - I think this was a downhill heading out of town to the beltway which was so boring.
Mile 5: 9:03 - Just running along
Mile 6: 8:46 - A little too fast, which will hurt me later on. Took a GU Roctane at the end of this mile. I was also carrying a water bottle with Nuun and a propel packet in it.
Mile 7: 8:52 - Still too fast, out on the beltway.
Mile 8: 9:00 - Slight uphill, still feeling good and relaxed.
Mile 9: 8:45 - Back into town, tons of cheering. My mom got a picture of me
I was waving and smiling when I saw them here. I felt good.
Mile 10: 9:32 - Started feeling not so good, I got goosebumps, was freezing, felt out of it and started freaking out. I also had to pee really badly. Lost the pace group on purpose this mile since we were banking a little too much time I thought and decided I'd just use my own pace band that I had made.
10 Mile split - 1:29:52
Mile 11: 9:45 - Finally saw a porta potty just as I was about to pee my pants, also took a salt packet during my pit stop thinking it would help me.
Mile 12: 9:26 - Things continued to go wrong and I walked a little up a hill. Feeling really worried about how I was feeling and if I could do it. I was playing a mental game with myself already! Ugh, the lessons I will learn from this.
Mile 13: 10:08. Still not getting back to where I needed to be. In the woods now I think, with less support. Throw my water bottle away and start using aid stations and walking through them. Trying to tell myself to man up here.
Half marathon split - 1:59:40 - still on pace for a 4 hour marathon but slowly losing it. I'd be happy with sub 4:30 the way I was feeling.
Mile 14: 10:08. I could just not get it together.
Mile 15: 10:42. Included a huge hill on which I spotted my boyfriend, mom and aunt and started crying since I was feeling so defeated (my mom took the picture below before she realized I was crying, it's hilarious to me now). I wanted my gatorade from my mom and she didn't have it. They just told me to go don't stop. Apparently they felt awful because they just pushed me away but I needed it and started to feel better soon although I was doing 4 min run, 1 min walk for awhile after.

Mile 16: 10:56. Feeling better although not great, this part was mostly neighborhoods.
Mile 17: 9:57. Same.
Mile 18: 9:56. Still through neighborhoods, feeling okay, know that I can push myself to finish now and that I'm going to do it.
Mile 19: 9:48.
Mile 20:10:07
20 mile split - 3:10:06. I tell myself now that I can run 6.2 in an hour and will finish sub 4:15 and I'm going to try to get sub 4:10. I also stop walking as much. My right piraformis is killing me but whatever.
Mile 21: 9:47 - hard downhill into the bike path during this mile I think. It killed my quads.
Mile 22: 9:46
Mile 23: 10:06 - ok only about 5K left, I can do this.
Mile 24: 9:52
Mile 25: 10:03
Mile 26: 9:12 - Trying to finish strong, come into the finish area with tons of spectators. See my mom and aunt and go crazy.
. 2 miles: 1:48:22 (8:36 pace)
26.2 miles: 4:10:47 - almost sub 4:10 but not quite. I'll take it though.

Immediately start trying to walk through an incredibly crowded finish area. I wanted a diet coke and got that and then we started walking back to the car as I could not handle the crowds, it was not well organized at all IMO. To get to the car though we had to go up a few hills which sucked but the walking was good for me.

We got back to the hotel and I took a freezing ice bath and then a nice warm shower. We went to the Outback and I ate a ton of bread since I could finally eat gluten! Tasted soooo good.

Spent the rest of the day hanging out, had some Ben and Jerry's, relaxed and then had a restless night of sleep before we headed home Monday. I was sore until Wednesday and did my first post marathon run on  Thursday.

So my first marathon is in the books and although it was full of ups and downs, I'm thrilled with it and can't wait to do another. I also have some reflections on training etc ... that I will try and post tomorrow.