Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fall Race Training: Wk2

Another week of Fall Race Training is done! 
9 wks to go till the Urban Cow Half and 18 wks till CIM 

This week was sooo much better than last week --- but with that being said I’m still glad I had a lighter week last week too because I think my body really needed it.  My only regret from last week is that I missed a tempo run.  This week I got back on track and met every single one of my workout goals including an amazing 10 mile run with my husband :)

Its looking like next week will be a lighter week again and I’ll be switching my running days around a bit.  I’ll be running 11 miles next weekend for my long run then the following weekend I’ll be stepping back down to 8 which will be perfect timing since that weekend will be the husbands birthday weekend :)

Wk2:  07.25.11 – 07.31.11

Monday 07.25 ~ Cross Train + Strength

Walk ~ 1.65 in 30:47 with Lucy 

Cross Train ~ 22min stationary bike {3.71 miles} & 23min stair climber {1.11 miles, 53 floors}

Strength ~ 20min

    60 swing squats with 10lb weight
    60 side lunges with 10lb weight, 30 each side
    30 lunges on bench with 15lb barbell, 15 each side
    30 walking lunges with 15lb barbell
    40 resistance band side steps
    40 monster walks
    32 pushups
    40 donkey kicks, 20 each side
    100 russian twists
    39 tricep dips
    30 second wall sit

Tuesday 07.26 ~ Run 8x400 speedwork @ track

Run ~ Speedwork of 8x400 @ 2:24 with 90 second RI

Track Workout:  Wk2 {Fall Race Training}

2.45 / 30:44

2:26, 2:26, 2:20, 2:19, 2:17, 2:21, 2:13, 2:07

WU 15:06 walk/jog {1.04} + CD 27:08 walk/jog {2.21}

Walk ~ 1.62 in 33:56 with Lucy and the husband

Wednesday 07.27 ~ Cross Train + Muscle Blast Class + Strength

Walk ~ 2.07 in 41:53 with Lucy

Skipped my gym workouts and attended the Injury Prevention Clinic held at The Running Zone --- read some of what I learned HERE

Thursday 07.28 ~ Run 5 miles {tempo}

Run ~ 5 tempo miles {1 @ easy pace of 12:10, 3 @ mid tempo pace of 10:50, 1 @ easy pace of 12:10}

Tempo Run:  Wk2 {Fall Race Training}

5.0 / 56:32 / 11:18 avg

11:57, 10:46, 10:46, 10:46, 12:13

WU 10:47 walk/jog {0.70} + CD 20:53 walk/jog {1.39}

Bike ride ~ rode 3.41 in 30:43 while the husband ran

Walk ~ 1.02 in 20:00 with Lucy and the husband

Friday 07.29 ~ Cross Train + Strength

Walk ~ 3.13 in 1:01:14 with Lucy

Cross Train ~ 35min elliptical {2.95 miles} + 35min stair climber {1.99 miles, 95 floors}

Saturday 07.30 ~ Run 10 miles {HMP + 30}

Run ~ 10 miles at HMP+30 {12:08}

Long Run:  Wk2 {Fall Race Training}

10.0 / 1:50:04 / 11:00 avg

11:28, 11:25, 11:30, 11:40, 11:29, 10:48, 9:50, 11:08, 11:05, 9:38

WU 13:15 walk/jog {0.76} + CD 15:57 walk {0.64}

Sunday 07.31 ~ Rest / Walk

Walk ~ 2.26 in 45:57 with Lucy and the husband

Cross Train ~ 65min elliptical {5.22 miles}

Total Miles = 35.94
{Walking the dog = 11.75 + Running = 24.19}
{Not included --- Cycling outdoors = 3.41}

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 12 hrs 45mins
Calories Burned = 5217

Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 68

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Long Run: Wk2 {Fall Race Training}

Yesterday afternoon the husband and I decided we wanted to go run our long run around Lake Natoma {downstream from Lake Folsom} earlier rather than later.  That meant getting up at 4:45 this morning to leave our house around 5:30ish to arrive there around 6am.  So after our standard pasta dinner last night we got all our stuff laid out for this morning, let the SIL know what time we wanted to leave, and hit the sack early.  Unfortunately our power went out around 11:30pm and I was wide awake and sweating until it turned back on about an hour later.  That meant that once 4:45 rolled around I did not want to get out of bed.  After hitting snooze once we were up and getting ready.  Of course I had to rush to be ready by 5:30, the time we told the SIL to be at our place, and I was behind.  We finally got on the road around 5:45ish --- after several extra bathroom trips to relieve my bladder. 

We got to the parking area near the Sac State Aquatic Center just as the sun was coming up.  It was beautiful. Of course even though I went potty several times before leaving the house I had to go again.  So did the SIL and husband so we found a bathroom before starting our run. 


On the plan for today was 10 miles @ HMP+30 {12:08}.  Last week I finished up the 10 miler with an 11:12 average on a flat course.  Today we ran a much harder course with several long inclines and lots of rolling hills. 

During our warm-up I snapped a few more photos of the sun coming up.  It was a beautiful morning and this location is quickly becoming my new favorite place to run --- especially early as the sun is coming up!




During our warm-up we walked over the bridge from the parking area and entrance to the aquatic center to the other side of the river and then started our run on the bike trail.  I love running on the bike trail because you see so many fellow runners, and bicyclists, and I think its awesome!  It gives me a little boost to say hi and good morning to everyone :)

Warm-up:  0.76 / 13:15 / 17:24 avg {walk/jog combo}

The husband has been dealing with some nagging ITBS and knee/ankle pain for a while now.  He actually took a few weeks off and is now starting to feel a little better.  And today he ran with me!  I love running with my husband and today I really enjoyed it after not running with him in sooo long.  He is absolutely the best running partner I’ve ever had!  The SIL went ahead at her pace and me and husband settled in for nice run, taking photos along the way and enjoying the beautiful morning.


Of course almost right away I had to use the bathroom again.  Thankfully the urge was not very strong and I made it to the half way point.  The great part about this particular course is that its an 11 mile loop from the parking lot near the aquatic center {a park and ride parking lot just outside the gated park entrance} around Lake Natoma, over the river and then back along on the other side of the bike trail.  It has a lot of rolling hills and is perfect for CIM training.  We really enjoying running here and it easy to add on extra miles as needed by continuing up the bike trail in lots of different directions.   The first few miles ticked away rather quickly … probably because I had such good company :)

Mile 1 ~ 11:28
Mile 2 ~ 11:25
Mile 3 ~ 11:30


Around mile 3.25 I ate one Clif Shot Blok {orange flavor} and continued to two more, one each 10-15 minutes.  I know that we just heard at the Injury Prevention Clinic to train your body to fuel at the same time always but I’ve learned that fueling sooner rather than later and spreading it out works better for me.  I also was carrying my Camelpak filled with Powerade Zero and water {half of each}.  The electrolytes really help me but since Powerade Zero doesn’t have any calories I still carry gels and chews with me for fuel. 

At mile 3.5 we saw one of the husbands co-workers that regularly runs this area.  We knew he was out here, running 15 miles, but we were not sure when we would see him since he started at 5am and we started around 6:15ish.  He ran with us for a little bit then turned and continued on his way.  He was already past the 11 mile mark on his run and wasn’t up to running with us since we still had 6.5 to go. 


For the next mile or so we continue on right along the water with some amazing views!



Right before the half way point we stopped to use the restroom.  Then just after mile 5 we cross over the river on the Greenback bridge, right by where we got married {Lake Natoma Inn}, and then head back on the other side of Lake Natoma. 


CIMG6774The view of our wedding location from the bridge.


CIMG6780    The backside of our wedding location.

Mile 4 ~ 11:40
Mile 5 ~ 11:29
Mile 6 ~ 10:48 <--- surge of energy

Whenever I stop for a minute or two, like to use the restroom or to stretch or whatever, I always end up with a little surge of energy when I get started again.  That’s what happened during mile 6 along the flat bridge as we were crossing the river.  Towards the end of mile 6 we were back on the trail and there was Team in Training runners everywhere.  A few passed us and we decided to try to keep pace with them for a while until I needed to fuel again.  I was still feeling really good and I had the husband keep pace just a head of me.

Mile 7 ~ 9:50 <--- I had a great pacer :)
Mile 8 ~ 11:08 <--- slow it back down speedy

After mile 7 I ate a Powerbar Gel {tangerine flavor} and we slowed the pace back down.  And then after mile 8 I realized that if I kept the pace low, like I had been, I could probably finish around the same time as the 10 miler from last week.  Even though my planned goal for this run was much slower than I was running I was feeling great and really pushed to the finish!

CIMG6785 CIMG6792

Mile 9 ~ 11:05 <--- is an 11:00ish pace really feeling easy to me?!?
Mile 10 ~ 9:38 <--- WOWZERS!!!

I was so excited when I finished and saw that I beat last weeks time by almost two minutes.  And I was feeling GREAT.  I felt like I could have easily ran another couple of miles.  Maybe not at that 9:38 pace but I still had some “fuel left in the tank.”


Check out that overall pace = 11:00!  It seems early to say it but gosh I hope I can keep up this pace and finish the Urban Cow Half in 2:30! 

Overall:  10.0 / 1:50:04 / 11:00 avg
{Goal was HMP+30 @ 12:08}

We were still about a half a mile from the car so we walked for our cool down.  Once we made it back to the parking lot where the SIL was waiting for us we did some stretching and snacking {a banana and raisins for me --- the perfect combo I’ve found to keep me from crashing hard core after a long run} and then hit the road home. 

Cool down:  0.64 / 15:57

This was such a great runI was so happy to run with the husband again.  I gave him the biggest, happiest hug ever once we were done.  He hasn’t really ran with me as my speed had been improving the past few months and I could tell he was surprised about much I’ve improvedAnd I’m so happy he is finally feeling better and able to be out there running again.  I remember what it was like to be on the side lines.  The SIL did great today too --- she had expressed before the run that she wasn’t sure she would be able to keep her planned pace {10:06 average} and ended up finishing with a 10:02 pace overall! 

Thankfully my shins didn’t bother me too much on this run.  A few times they ached a little --- going up hill --- but overall they felt fine and are still feeling fine now, hours later.  I’ve been having a lot of piriformis/sciatica issues the past couple of weeks which have included some groin muscle soreness too.  Today it bothered me a little but not the whole time.  Thankfully before we left the house this morning I remembered to massage the piriformis muscle with my tennis ball and that seemed to help.  I did get some great info at the Injury Prevention Clinic the other night about how to help my piriformis issue and I really need to make sure that I make those exercises and stretches a priority because having this nagging pain and occasional numbness is a pain in the butt --- literally! 

CIMG6797The SIL, the husband, and me --- 10 miles DONE :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tempo Run: Wk2 {Fall Race Training}

I meant to publish this on Thursday evening {07.28.11} but forgot to set it up. 

This morning {Thursday the 28th} I met up with my SIL at the local park to do our weekly tempo run.  We discovered a loop that is partly in the park on the aggregate trail and partly on the sidewalks around the neighborhood/high school that is a perfect 5 mile loop if you run it twice.  This is our go-to loop for most of our tempo runs. 

“The primary purpose of including tempo runs in your regimen is to increase your anaerobic threshold to maintain a faster pace over longer periods of time.”

As always we started with a warm-up walk/jog and plyos.  Actually I’m the only one that does the plyos --- try as I might I just can’t seem to convince the SIL that she should do them too … everybody’s different and she says she is “warmed up enough after a walk” and doesn’t need to continue to warm-up.  Whatever works for her … personally, for me, the more I warm up the less my shins ache :)

Warm-up:  0.70 / 10:47 / 15:22 {walk-jog combo}

Today’s tempo run was 5 miles --- 1 @ easy pace {12:10}, 3 @ mid tempo pace {10:50}, 1 @ easy pace.  I was a little worried about if I was going to be able to maintain a 10:50 pace for three miles and I started off feeling sluggish.  Once I started to pick up the pace in the 2nd mile I was feeling a little better and was able to maintain the tempo pace. 

  • 1 ~ 11:57
  • 2 ~ 10:46
  • 3 ~ 10:48
  • 4 ~ 10:46
  • 5 ~ 12:13

After finishing up mile 4 I took a minute to walk at the start of mile 5 and then when I started running again I got a stomach ache and ended up walking a couple more times during that mile. 

Overall:  5.0 / 56:32 / 11:18

Before the run started I let my speedy SIL know that I was planning to do a longer cool down again and that she didn’t need to wait for me since I knew she would be done much sooner than I was.  Once I finished up the 5 miles I set out for a cool down run/walk.

Cool down:  1.39 / 20:53 / 15:04

Overall I felt okay during this run.  The stomach cramping during the last mile was a little rough but I was able to get past it after taking a few walking breaks.  I am definitely not against walking when needed :)

There are only a couple more weeks before the SIL {and husband} go back to school {they are both teachers}.  I’m not sure if I’ll be switching my Thursday tempo runs to the evenings with the SIL or sticking with a morning run for now since we both run different paces anyways.  Once school is back in session I may not want to do this particular loop because I’d be running right the front of the high school and along the student parking lot.  It might be nice to find a new loop that I don’t have to drive to or switch to running in the evenings with the SIL.  The husband will be running on different week days than me due to soccer season --- he is the men’s coach!  I might stick with the morning run on Thursday, since we’ll be switching our Tuesday track workouts to the evenings, at least until the weather starts to cool off again.

You may have noticed I didn’t blog about my tempo run from Wk1 --- I skipped it and took an extra rest day after my nephew’s wedding.

Three Things Thursday

I am a firm believer that you never know what information might help someone else so for Three Things Thursday I’d like to share some information about What I learned at an Injury Prevention Clinic held by Dr. Edward Chu from Elite Spinal & Sports Care.

1.  Nutrition ~  Dr. Chu suggested that you train your body to know that it is going to get fuel every “X” number of minutes.  {He suggests approximately 90 calories every 40 minutes or so.}  He said to always to fuel at that time no matter if you are running 10 miles or 5 miles --- if you go over that time frame, then fuel.  This way your body learns to know that at “X” time it will receive fuel.  So, anytime I’m going to be running for over 40 minutes I should get in the practice of fueling at the 40 minute mark {even if I will be done at 50 minutes} and then every 40 minutes after {if going longer distances}.  Of course, everyone is different so its best to use your training runs to determine when is the best time for you and your body to refuel and what type of “fuel” works best for you.  

2.  Foam Roller ~ He suggested that it becomes your best friend at least three days a week, if not more.  His advice was to roll the entire leg spending about 10-12 minutes total, stopping on “hot” spots for 30 seconds.  He advised that if the pain on a hot spot does not decrease while you are stopped on it then to roll off it after 30 seconds, roll around the area again to find the hot spot and try again for another 30 seconds.  I know I need to get better about using my Foam Roller more often. 

Foam Roller

3.  Strength ~ His best advice was to focus on building core strength and glute strength.  He suggested three core exercises:  plank, side plank, and pelvic bridge.  He said to hold each for 30-60 seconds three times.  He also advised that if 60 seconds feels “easy” then you need to make it more difficult {lifting a leg while in the position} to continue to challenge yourself.  He did also say that if the plank or side plank is too difficult then it is fine to do it on your knees and work up to a full extension --- elbows & toes for plank and elbows & stacked feed for side plank.  He suggested two glute exercises:  clam shells and chair squats.  For the clam shells he suggests that your back/butt and feet are on a wall and you lift your top leg for three seconds then return to start position.  Repeat for 10 reps, three times.  For the chair squats --- he suggests using a chair to maintain proper form and to do 10 reps, three times.  He recommends then exercises to be done three times a week.  The last thing he suggested is to improve your balance.  He made the simple suggestion of standing on one foot, while brushing your teeth, just to increase your balance.  If that is easy, close your eyes. 


Side Plank

Pelvic Bridge

Chair Squat

Clam Shell


*At the end of the session I was able to speak with Dr. Chu for a few minutes about my ongoing piriformis issues.  He advised some “hot” spot areas for me to focus my foam rolling on {the piriformis muscle in the butt, mid hamstring, mid calf and inner groin areas} in addition to the above exercises AND to do deep squats with the assistance from a door knob.

image A Pain in the Butt

Door Knob Assisted Deep Squat

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Track Workout: Wk2 {Fall Race Training}


Yesterday was my second speedwork session of Fall Race Training!  On again I met up with my SIL at the local junior high school track and this week we had 400 repeats on the schedule --- 8 of them --- with a 90 second RI {rest interval} between repeats.

400 Repeats --- “really hard runs” … where “you’ll develop the fast-twitch muscles you need to finish strong.  Fast twitch fibers also give you the strength and power to run faster with less effort.”

We started with an easy warm-up followed by plyos --- as always :)

Warm-up:  1.04 / 15:06 / 14:33 {walk-jog combo}

My projected 400 time is 2:24.  When we did a Ladder Workout a couple of weeks ago I blew my 400 times out of the water.  However, I knew that in order to get through 8 repeats I was going to have to run conservatively and aim for my goal time. 

My stomach was still upset from when I was hungover on Sunday {yep, two days later and this 30-year-old was still feeling the effects of drinking too much} so I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to run fast enough to meet my goal time.  Heck, I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to complete all 8 repeats!  But, of course, once I got going I started to feel better. 

8x400 {goal = 2:24}
with 90 second RI between repeats

  • 2:26   {pace = 9:27}
  • 2:26   {pace = 9:38}
  • 2:20   {pace = 9:15}
  • 2:19   {pace = 9:01}
  • 2:17   {pace = 9:06}
  • 2:21   {pace = 9:26}
  • 2:13   {pace = 8:45}
  • 2:07   {pace = 8:12}

Overall:  2.45 / 30:44 / 12:34
I did some pacing back and forth during my RI, approximately 300 feet each time, which brought my overall pace down

The first two repeats were just seconds slower than my goal time.  I was feeling good, my stomach wasn’t bothering me, so I decided to pick it up and the next three repeats were faster.  The sixth repeat was a little slower as I had to go around a lady walking in the first lane of the track with her two little dogs.  Grrr.  And then as I started my seventh repeat she was right in front of me and not paying attention to her dogs and I almost tripped over their leashes!  Ahhh.  I really dug deep during my last repeat and made it my fastest --- check out my pace, I’ve never ran this fast before and I’m LOVING it :) even if I can’t maintain that pace for long.

My speedy SIL was done before me so she started a couple of cool down laps and I decided to do a couple of extra easy miles for a cool down.

Cool down:  2.21 / 27:08 / 12:15

I really like 400’s because they are quick then you get to recover.  But, they are so hard.  And after running that fast I felt like my 11-minute pace during my cool down was so slow even though that is my normal average pace!  Next week we’ll be doing 800’s --- eek! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recommitted, Week 10

Amazingly I had a loss when I stepped on the scale this morning.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement.  I’ve finally reached the 130’s!!!  Now, I hope I can stay there :)

Week 10 {07.18.11 – 07.24.11}

Beginning Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2
Wk1 = 147.4
Wk2 = 147.2
Wk3 = 145.8
Wk4 = 143.8
Wk5 = 141.4
Wk6 = 141.8
Wk7 = 140.4
Wk8 = 140.4
Wk9 = 140.8
Ending Weight {07.25.11} = 139.8
Wk10 Weight Loss = 1 lb
Total Weight Lost = –10.4

My daily allowance = 29 points
Weekly additional point allowance = 49 points

Monday ~ 27
Tuesday ~ 47
Wednesday ~ 32
Thursday ~ 33
Friday ~ ???
Saturday ~ ???
Sunday ~ ???

I earned 31 activity points and used all of them
I exercised 5 out of 7 days {for a total of 4hrs, 12mins}
I used all of my weekly allowance points
{My program is set up to use activity points before using my weekly allowance points}

  • I started the week out great after an indulgent weekend last weekend. 
  • On Tuesday I totally ate my emotions.  After returning from the vet {we put one of our cats down} I had no energy or desire to cook, or do anything.  The husband went out and picked us up two personal size pizzas and some cheesey garlic bread from our favorite local pizza parlor.
  • I got back on track for Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Friday I tracked most of the day until we ended up at my mom’s house for dinner {we stayed with my mom for the weekend for my nephew’s wedding} and then we went out to the new self serve FroYo shop in my hometown.
  • On Saturday, the day of my nephew’s wedding, I didn’t even bother to track food.  I had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast followed by a banana and some fruit/veggies for a snack on the way to the ceremony.  At the reception I ate a small plate of food {a roll, some salad with no dressing, some turkey, salami with cream cheese, and some seven layer dip with tortilla chips} and then shared a big slice of wedding cake with my husband.  Probably not too bad --- until the bottles of champagne.  I really have no idea how much I drank, but I had a lot of fun!  I paid for it dearly the next day though.
  • Sunday I was super sick to my stomach, from all the drinking, and was able to choke down some Gatorade and half a grilled cheese sandwich in the morning then a whole sleeve of saltine crackers for lunch.  For dinner the husband picked up a frozen pizza when he did the grocery shopping.  Needless to say, I didn’t track this day either.
  • I’m very surprised to see a loss this week.  I did have two solid runs last week {one 10 mile run where I earned 20 activity points} but I didn’t exercise as much as I normally do.  It was nice to have a step back week with cross training.  I also missed a run over the weekend due to the wedding then to being hungover.  My goal for this week is to track every single day. 

Guest Post ~ Learning to Run

I’m guest posting over at See Michelle Blog today!


Get out there. Get started. Start slow. Run for time instead of distance. Slowly build your speed. Listen to your body. Walk if you need to. Take rest days when needed. Sign up for a race. Find a running buddy. Join a running group. Learn to push your limits.

The best advice I can give anyone who is thinking about becoming a runner is: what are you waiting for?

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." {Lao-tzu}.


Go check out my guest post about Learning to Run then come back and let me know how you became a runner!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Fall Race Training: Wk1

The first week of Fall Race Training is done! 

I had an emotional week and ended up skipping a lot of my planned workouts including all my cross training workouts.  I have been having some groin muscle pain on my right leg {also the leg that is affected by my sciatica} that it was always aggravated by the elliptical so taking this week off from cross training was probably best anyways.  I was able to do two “Suck Less” workouts {I thought I loathed tricep dips … that was until I started attempting to do more pushups too.  Boo pushups.} 

I also ended up having a little too much fun at my nephews wedding on Saturday night and paid for all day Sunday which means I never did my tempo run.  I’m more than a little upset about this but there is nothing I can do about it now except look forward and not worry about one skipped 3 mile run. 

Wk1:  07.18.11 – 07.24.11

Monday 07.18 ~ Cross Train + Strength & “Suck Less”

I woke up feeling exactly like I ate way too much greasy deep fried food at the fair and my stomach revolted against me for the majority of the day therefore I skipped my cross training at the gym and did some “Suck Less” in the afternoon when I started to feel better.

“Suck Less” {13:30min}

  • Tricep dips = 60
  • Pushups = 40
  • Planks = 3x20 seconds
  • Crunches = 50 {+50 Russian Twists}

Tuesday 07.19 ~ Run 3x1600 {speedwork @ track}

Run = Speedwork of 3x1600 @ 10:02 with 400 RI
Track Workout:  Wk1 {Fall Race Training}

3.83 / 43:04 / 11:15 avg

  • 9:45 {400 RI @ 4:24}
  • 9:33 {400 RI @ 4:46}
  • 9:25 {400 RI @ 5:09}

WU 22:35 walk/jog {1.50} + CD 9:30 walk {0.51}

Wednesday 07.20 ~ Cross Train + Muscle Blast Class & “Suck Less”

“Suck Less” + some extra {25min}

  • Crunches = 200
  • Russian Twists = 100
  • Bicycle Crunches = 50
  • Planks = 3x20 seconds each
  • Tricep dips = 78
  • Pushups = 45
  • Squats = 100
  • Lunges = 70
  • Lying side leg lifts = 40

Thursday 07.21 ~ Run 3 miles {tempo} Long Run 10 miles {easy pace}

Run = 10 miles @ easy pace {12:10}
Long Run:  Wk1 {Fall Race Training}

10.0 / 1:51:59 / 11:12 avg

  • 11:25
  • 11:37
  • 11:39
  • 11:24
  • 11:04
  • 10:47
  • 11:18
  • 11:07
  • 11:16
  • 10:18

WU 10:00 walk/jog {0.67} + CD 15:11 walk {0.77}

Friday 07.22 ~ Cross Train + Strength & “Suck Less” Rest

 I skipped all my cross training workout this week.  FAIL.

Saturday 07.23 ~ REST

Rest, my nephew got married!!!

Sunday 07.24 ~ Long Run 10 miles {easy pace} Run 3 miles {tempo}

Someone had a little too much to drink at the wedding and spend all day Sunday paying for it :(

Total Miles = 17.28

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 4:10
Calories Burned = 1822

Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned = 31

Meal Plan Monday {July 25}

What a great weekend!  On Saturday my nephew got married.  The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun.  I spent the day acting as “photographer” and I can’t wait to download my memory cards and get a better look at the photos I took.  I’m still learning how to use my DSLR so I made sure to get lots of shots from different angles using different settings and I think I took close to 1200 photos!  I’ll be busy going through those for a few days {weeks, months --- ekkk}! 

I also may have had a little too much fun at the reception and paid for it all day Sunday.  I definitely think the older you get, the worse the hangover is.  Which means I was stuck laying around all day and ended up skipping a run.  Add that to all my other skipped workouts last week and we’ll just call it a big step down week. 

Since I was laying around yesterday not feeling well the husband created this weeks simple meal plan.  Since I really want to focus on getting back on track this week having a simple meal plan will make that easier. 


Monday ~ Quesadillas

Tuesday ~ Chicken & Rice Bowls

Wednesday ~ Black Bean Tacos

Thursday ~ Turkey Burgers

Friday ~ Spaghetti with homemade veggie marinara sauce

Saturday ~ BBQ Steak with Grilled Veggies

Sunday ~ BBQ Polenta Stackers with Grilled Zucchini


What’s on your menu this week?


*Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover!  There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogger Award Randomness

I was tagged by Heather over at 365 Days of Awesome with the Amazing Blogger Award were I get to answer a few random questions about me :)


1.  Favorite Cartoon Character

Its a tie between Winnie the Pooh and The Cookie Monster

Disneyland ~ December 2009


2.  My favorite thing to photograph

I’m not sure I have a “favorite” thing to photograph.  I love taking photos, capturing the memories.  I almost always have my camera on me.  Since I’m still learning to use my DSLR I like to take any opportunity to practice using it.  As a matter of fact --- I’m at a family wedding today acting as “photographer” and taking photos :)


3.  My favorite thing to cook

I love to cook.  I find it rewarding, relaxing and therapeutic.  I like to create meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients.  But I also enjoying throwing together a quick and easy meal every once in a while too.  I also love to bake.  I enjoy reading food blogs and finding new recipes to try as well as looking through my cookbooks or cooking magazines.  I have a hug binder full of recipes that I’ve tired and loved or want to try someday.  I’ve got a few recipes on the blog but I often forget to take photos so I don’t post them too often.


4.  My favorite way to exercise


Here are all my race recaps and here is my current training schedule :)

2010 xmas card
December 2010 ~ after finishing the CIM, my first marathon 


5.  My favorite movies

My favorite movie is The Sound of Music.  I have no idea how old I was when I fell in love with this movie, but its been my favorite for a long time.  I really enjoy musicals and it is such a classic movie. 


Other close contenders for favorite movie are:  Beaches, Dirty Dancing, 10 Things I Hate About You, Gone With the Wind {that I only recently just watched for the first time and LOVED it} and any and all of the Twilight movies :)


6.  My favorite article of clothing

I have a ton of clothes.  You’d be amazed.  Seriously.  I have more clothes than I know what to do with.  But I also have a hard time getting rid of items, though I am trying to get better about getting rid of anything that I haven’t worn in a year.  I don’t really find myself wearing the same thing over and over … I am totally loving the new pair of capri’s I bought last week in a SMALLER size :)

CIMG6598My share of half of our smaller closet in the master bedroom --- my dress pants and skirts, as well as most of my shoes

I share this dresser with the husband {he uses the top drawer}.  The middle drawer is all my short skirts that can not hang, capri’s, and jeans.  The bottom drawer is all my running clothes {except socks and sports bras}.

CIMG6600 My share of half of the larger closet in our master bedroom. 

CIMG6601 Also on my side of the larger master bedroom closet is that hanging rack on the left which holds race t-shirts, shorts and tank top cami’s.  And that three drawer plastic cart has sports bras in the top with my running socks, tube tops and tank tops in the middle drawer, and bathing suits in the bottom drawer.

CIMG6602 My other dresser.  Socks & undies in the top, tank tops in the 2nd drawer, pj’s in the third drawer, t-shirts in the bottom.

CIMG6603Two storage bins under the bed that currently have “winter” clothes in them.  And that bottom drawer of my bedside table has more pj’s.

CIMG6604  All my dresses hang in half of the guest room closet along with all my sweatshirts {not pictured}.  My wedding dress is also in this closet, awaiting donation {I plan to donate it to Brides Against Breast Cancer}.  My jackets and hoodies hang in our coat closet in the hallway {not pictured}. 

Like I said … I have a lot of clothes!  Its hard to have “favorites” when I have sooo much.  Honestly, I think my favorite article of clothing might be my Urban Cow Half Marathon tech shirt from last years race and my black Nike capri’s that I wore at CIM last year {and wear for most of my long runs}.  Seriously.  Can you say “runnerd”?!?


7.  My favorite flower

Hmmm.  I’m going to have to say red roses. 

jjw321-0561My wedding bouquet --- three dozen red roses :) 
Photo by Debbie Brown Photography


8.  My favorite breakfast

French Toast, Homemade waffles or Pancakes.  Though I don’t make these often enough.  Regularly I have either a bagel thin or a bowl of greek yogurt with fresh fruit or a smoothie.  Sometimes I’ll jazz it up and have an egg white omelet with spinach and feta cheese.  And sometimes I’ll just have a bowl of cereal. 


Now, I’m going to tag:
Michelle at See Michelle Blog
P at Adventures of An Average Athlete

Friday, July 22, 2011

Saying Goodbye

I’m not proud to say that I’ve skipped almost every single one of my cross training workouts this week --- the first week of Fall Race Training

Monday I woke up with a super upset stomach from all the deep fried fair food I ate on Sunday at the California State Fair.  I had ran 8 miles the day before so I just called it a “rest” day and did end up doing some a short strength workout in the afternoon.

Wednesday was a very rough day emotionally for me.  In hindsight I bet a good workout might have helped.  I ended up spending about a half an hour in the evening doing a strength workout while I watched some TV. 

Today … hmmm, I’ve got no good excuses for today.  None.  Zip.  Zilch.  And its early enough to change that … but I have a feeling I won’t.  I’m just not feeling it.  I did run 10 miles yesterday so I think another “rest” day is in order. 

On the flip side, I nailed two great running workouts this week.  Mile repeats at the track on Tuesday & a 10 mile run yesterday.  I plan to run my tempo run on Sunday.  I’ve got a family wedding tomorrow :)

So, why did I have such a rough week?

Well, it all started last Thursday. 

We had a vet appt for our older cat, Lucky, to recheck his thyroid.  He was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about a month ago and was put on some daily medication.  They wanted to re-check his thyroid to see if the meds were working and if they needed to adjust his dosages. 

During his check up the vet found a large mass in his intestines and decided that he wanted to take an ultrasound to check it out.  The ultrasound revealed that is was a mass growing in his intestines creating a blockage and due to the location it was inoperable.  The vet explained that it would eventually create a complete blockage in his intestine and then he would progressively get sicker.  He was already having difficulty going to the bathroom and had been becoming more and more lethargic for a few days before this vet appt. 

We brought him back home and spent the next few days spoiling him with canned food and lots of kitty treats.  And lots of loving.  And on Tuesday afternoon, after watching him try to walk and collapsing several times we knew it was time.  He was suffering; it had been several days since he had been able to go to the bathroom and he was beginning to loose control of his bladder too.  He couldn’t jump up onto the couch; he couldn’t lift himself up.  He was extremely lethargic and looked like he was in pain whenever he tried to move or walk around. 

Saying goodbye was very difficult; and the days since have been difficult as well. 

He was a very good companion and brought a lot of love and joy to my life the last 13 years. 

He will be greatly missed.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Long Run: Wk1 {Fall Race Training}

Today was suppose to be my weekly tempo run but I switched it with my long run due to a family wedding this weekend!  My SIL also switched her days too because she’ll be playing in a soccer tournament this weekend.  We live about 2 miles apart so we both left our houses around the same time and met up to run part of our long run together.  This was my first double digit run of the year and my SIL first double digit run EVER. 

As I ran to meet up with the SIL I used that as my walk/jog warm-up and meet up with her right around her first mile.  Her “easy pace” is definitely faster than mine but she agreed to slow it down so we could run together!  We were running faster than my “easy pace” but I was feeling great so I didn’t worry about it.  Heck, we were going faster than my “half marathon pace” too but that is the norm for me lately so I just stuck with it since I was feeling good.

Warm-up:  0.67 / 10:00 {walk/jog combo}

The first few miles felt good.  I got a little stomach cramp around mile 1.5 but it went away rather quickly.  Since our mileage was not the same on our Garmin’s we planned to head out until the SIL hit 5 miles then turn around and I would make up some mileage at the end of the run around my neighborhood.  I had followed all my pre-run rituals {which I talked about in my Three Things Thursday post earlier} and I’ve learned, from past mistakes, that I need to make sure I fuel sooner rather than later when I’m doing a long run over 1 hour so I ate two Clif Shot Bloks at mile 3.

Mile 1 ~ 11:25
Mile 2 ~ 11:37
Mile 3 ~ 11:39

It was right after my mile 4 that we hit the half way point for the SIL and turned around.  Right after we started heading back one of the pins to my Garmin strap popped off and I had to stop and look for it on the pavement trail.  Luckily I found it and way able to get it back on!  For some reason I got a little kick of speed during mile 5 & 6 and maintained it as long as I could.

Mile 4 ~ 11:24
Mile 5 ~ 11:04
Mile 6 ~ 10:47

After my burst of speed in mile 6 I needed to slow back down if I was going to make it all 10 miles.  At mile 7 I ate a Powerbar Energy Gel and then picked the pace back up during mile 8.  I was still feeling good, I knew I had fueled properly and I was enjoying having Powerade mixed into my water in my Camelpak.  Fueling always slows me down a little bit as I try to get it out of my Camelpak or Spibelt and then have to deal with finding a place for the trash afterwards.

Mile 7 ~ 11:18
Mile 8 ~ 11:07

During my mile 7 the SIL pulled ahead a bit to finish up her last couple of miles a bit faster.  After picking up the pace during mile 8 I slowed it back down a bit during mile 9 in anticipation of finishing strong in mile 10. 

Mile 9 ~ 11:16
Mile 10 ~ 10:18

Overall:  10.0 / 1:51:59 / 11:12 avg
{Goal was easy pace @ 12:10}


After snapping this quick photo with my iPhone I started my cool down while eating a box of raisins and finishing up my water and Powerade combo in my Camelpak while walking home.

Cool down:  0.77 / 15:11

This was a great run!  I felt good the whole time --- my shins never bothered me neither did my hips or my sciatica.  I’ve taken a few days off the gym this week because I’ve been having some groin muscle soreness and the elliptical was aggravating it.  I’d rather miss a gym workout than a run workout and that muscle is not bothering me anymore!  My hips were tight when I finished running but that's normal for me and nothing a little extra stretching won’t solve.  Once I got home I did my post run rituals {which I also talked about in my Three Things Thursday post earlier too}.  And, I think I’ll treat myself to a pedicure to celebrate my first double digit run of the year! 

A sweaty mess after 10 miles!

Three Things Thursday

My running rituals :)

1.  I always have to get up between 1hr45min to 2hrs before I’m scheduled to start a run.  Race mornings, its even earlier depending on the time the race starts, how far away it is, and what parking will be like.  My body needs at least 1hr to 1hr30mins to digest my pre-run meal --- actually closer to 2hrs is best for me.  My go-to pre-run meal is a toasted bagel thin with real butter, 16oz of water, and 8oz of half-caff coffee {watered down with more water --- I always water down my coffee, just like my dad}.  If its been more than 2hrs since I’ve eaten my pre-run meal {like on a race day} then I might also have a gel or a few chews before running {depending on how many miles I’m going to run}.  
{I have completely different rituals for afternoon/evening runs.}

2.  I have to stop drinking any fluids at least 1 hour before I run otherwise I’ll have to pee, a lot.  And I usually have to visit the restroom to relive my bladder on average 3-4 times in the last 10mins before I leave my house.  If I’m going to a race then I will also need to pee again before I start running.  I like to tell people I have an “anxious” bladder.  Seriously though --- I have to pee all the time!  I guess that is the norm when you drink half your body weight {or more if its a running day} in water every day! 
{This is only important for morning runs --- for some reason I have a much better behaved bladder in the afternoons!}

3.  After a run I always need to do the following:  cool down with a walk, stretch immediately after finishing my cool down walk, get home and do more stretching on the floor, wash my face, change out of my sweaty clothes, drink and/or eat something {usually vanilla soy milk with chocolate syrup and a banana} then take an ice bath.  My ice bath is either in the tub full of cold water and ice to above my hips {if my hips are hurting or my sciatica is bothering me} or in a 5 gallon bucket for my shins only.  After 10-15mins in the ice bath its usually back to the kitchen for more eats or drinks {depending on how I’m feeling and how far I ran} then to the computer to download my Garmin while I wait for my legs to warm back up before taking  a nice long shower.  Running days are the only days I enjoy long showers otherwise I’m just in and out. 
{This is my post run ritual for regardless if its in the morning or the afternoon or evening.}

What are your “running” rituals?!?

I ran 10 miles this morning so check back later for my first double digit run of the year recap!

Happy {three things} Thursday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Base Building: Week 8

Another solid week of workouts.  Next week starts Fall Race Training!  I wish I would have gotten one more “Suck Less” workout this week … but that’s okay.  I made some progress on the tricep dips though and that’s exciting :)

Week 8:  07.11.11 – 07.17.11

Monday 07.11 ~ Cross Train + Strength

Cross Train

  • 35min stair climber
  • 35min elliptical

Strength + “Suck Less” – 10min

  • Tricep dips = 46
  • Pushups = 30
  • Crunches = 50
  • Squats = 30
  • Plank{s} = 0

Tuesday 07.12 ~Run 3-5 miles {repeats}

Goal = 3-5 miles --- ladder workout {400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 + 400 RI between repeats}

5.78 / 1:05:22 / 11:19 avg

  • 400 = 2:14 {goal 2:24}
  • 800 = 4:38 {goal 4:43}
  • 1200 = 7:09 {goal 7:25}
  • 1600 = 9:39 {goal 10:02}
  • 1200 = 7:09 {goal 7:25}
  • 800 = 4:41 {goal 4:43}
  • 400 = 2:05 {goal 2:24}

WU 16:09 walk/jog {1.13}+ CD 9:53 walk {0.53}

Wednesday 07.13 ~ Cross Train + Muscle Blast Class

Cross Train

  • 30min elliptical
  • 30min stair climber

“Suck Less”

  • tricep dips = 68 + 26 during Muscle Blast Class {total = 94}
  • pushups = 45
  • squats & crunches during Muscle Blast Class = impossible to keep count :)
  • plank{s} = 0 {side planks during Muscle Blast class = 4}

Muscle Blast Class – 50min

Thursday 07.14 ~Run 5 miles {tempo}

Goal = 5 miles --- 1 @ easy pace, 3 @ mid tempo pace {10:50}, 1 @ easy pace

5.0 / 54:22 / 10:52

11:08, 10:44, 10:46, 10:38, 11:02

WU 11:08 walk/jog {0.70} + CD 10:01 walk {0.55}

“Suck Less”

  • planks = 3x10 second on elbow with 10 second rest between + 3x10 second wide in pushup position with 10 second rest between

Friday 07.15 ~ Cross Train + Strength REST

Rest ~ My sciatica was bothering me so I decided to take an extra rest day

Saturday 07.16 ~ Rest


Sunday 07.17 ~ Run 8 miles @ HMP

Goal = 8 miles @ HMP {11:38}

8.0 / 1:30:51 / 11:21

This was a good run.  I felt good overall.  The weather was near perfect {cloudy, upper 60’s, slight breeze --- a little muggy though}.  I wore my Camelpak with a mix of water and Powerade Zero {for some electrolytes --- Powerade Zero does not have any calories though}.  I ate some Powerbar Energy Blast Chews at mile 4 {around 45min into the run} but I’ve decided I would rather stick to Powerbar Gels instead of the chews in the future.  My shins did not bother me at all  but by mile 6 my sciatica started to bother me and my hips tightened up so I walked for 1 minute at the beginning of mile 7 & 8. 

  • 11:35 <--- nice & easy to get started, right on pace :)
  • 11:23
  • 11:26
  • 11:10 <--- excited to be half done!
  • 11:46 <--- ate Powerbar Energy Blast Chews, had to slow down to chew them up & get them down
  • 11:30
  • 11:34
  • 10:25 <--- kick to the finish, best pace in the low 8’s

"I would rather kick my goal's butt than adjust my goal and just squeak it in"

WU 10:02 walk {0.53} + CD 12:48 walk {0.55}

Spent the rest of the afternoon walking all over the California State Fair :)

Total Miles = 22.77

Daily Mile Stats:
Total Time = 8hrs, 3mins
Calories Burned = 3756

Weight Watchers Activity Points Earned:  52

Track Workout: Wk1 {Fall Race Training}

The first week of Fall Race Training has begun!  This morning I met up with my SIL at the local junior high school track for our first speedwork session of Fall Race Training.


On the plan was mile repeats!

“Mile repeats are an effective workout because they improve a runner’s max VO2, running speed, leg turnover rate, and running economy all at the same time.  They improve enduring by increasing or raising a runner’s lactate threshold.” 

We started with an easy warm-up walk/jog followed by the regular plyo drills.

Warm-up:  1.50 / 22:35

Its been a long time since I’ve done any mile repeats and I was anxious because I’m still not feeling well after a very indulgent weekend.  I felt slow and sluggish during the first repeat but was happily surprised with my time. 

3x1600 {goal = 10:02}
with 400 RI between repeats

  • 1 ~ 9:45 {400 RI @ 4:24}
  • 2 ~ 9:33 {400 RI @ 4:46}
  • 3 ~ 9:25 {400 RI @ 5:09}

Woohoo for negative splits! 

Overall:  3.83 / 43:04 / 11:15 avg


Like I said, the first mile felt slow and sluggish.  Instead of thinking about the mile as a whole, I approached each lap telling myself what my time should be and pushing on the straightaway's and slowing during the corners.  After the first repeat I started to feel better and focused on picking up the pace.  I really pushed to the finish on the last lap of the last mile and afterwards I still felt like I had a little left in the tank. 

We finished up with a cool down walk and some stretching.

Cool down:  0.51 / 9:30

Once I got home I mixed up my new favorite go-to recovery drink of vanilla soy milk with chocolate syrup along with a banana and then a glass of OJ.  I know I’ll be hitting up the fridge looking for more food shortly.  I also did some more stretching before taking an ice bath for my shins {which were a little sore today but nothing too bothersome}.  I know I’ll be doing some more stretching and Foam Rolling later today too.

Last week after my Ladder Workout I mentioned that my times were a bit faster than my goals and that was the same for today too.  I’ve decided for now that I’m just going to keep beating my goals {instead of readjusting them} and continue forward.  We’ll see how the next few weeks pan out. 

 "I would rather kick my goal's butt than adjust my goal and just squeak it in”
{I really am LOVING this saying --- thanks to P @ Adventures of an Average Athlete --- I’m sure you’ll be seeing me reference it ALL THE TIME.}

Also, I don’t know who this girl is that is running sub-10 minute miles, but I am really liking her :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Recommitted, Week 9

I need to remind myself of this after a very indulgent weekend:  “remember it was not one single event that led to your weight gain.” 

Week 9 {07.11.11 – 07.17.11}

Beginning Weight {05.16.11} = 150.2
Wk1 = 147.4
Wk2 = 147.2
Wk3 = 145.8
Wk4 = 143.8
Wk5 = 141.4
Wk6 = 141.8
Wk7 = 140.4
Wk8 = 140.4
Ending Weight {07.18.11} = 140.8
Wk7 Weight Gain = 0.4 
Total Weight Lost = –9.4

My daily allowance = 29 points
Weekly additional point allowance = 49 points

Monday ~ 32
Tuesday ~ 28
Wednesday ~ 31
Thursday ~ 34
Friday ~ 52
Saturday ~ 52
Sunday ~ ???

I earned 52 activity points and used all of them
I exercised 5 out of 7 days {for a total of 7hrs, 47mins}
I used all of my weekly allowance points
{My program is set up to use activity points before using my weekly allowance points}

  • I had a very indulgent weekend.
    • Friday ~ Sushi Dinner {out to eat} + ice cream from Baskin Robbins
    • Saturday ~ Really good all day then I enjoyed a microbrew before going to see the new Harry Potter movie and at the movie the husband & I shared a small popcorn {no butter} and some candy + more ice cream when we got home
    • Sunday ~ Deep Fried FOOD at the California State Fair + beer + a margarita + chips & salsa and a big veggie quesadilla dinner with refried beans and rice {out to eat}
  • Needless to say I did not count my points on Sunday.  I’m sure I used all my weekly allowance points + a lot extra.  I have been tracking all my food for 9 weeks and I think I just needed a day to take a break.  Of course that meant that I had curly fries, a corn dog, a beer, a waffle cone with vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate, a margarita, and a big Mexican meal with chips and salsa.  Talk about going over the deep end!  And trust me when I say I paid for it with a really bad stomach ache Sunday night when I went to bed that lingered into Monday :(
  • Also, I had another mindless snacking week.  Instead of prepping healthy snacks in the mornings {like I was doing regularly the first few weeks} I find myself heading to the pantry in the early afternoons looking for a salty crunchy snack {which ended up being Wheat Thins lately since we had a HUGE box leftover from the husbands camping trip}.  Thankfully we are all out of crackers and I stocked up on more fruit at the grocery store to get me pas the afternoon snack search. 
  • I’m ready to move past my indulgent weekend and start the new week fresh.  Although I’ll face more obstacles next weekend at a family wedding …


All opinions are entirely my own and are from my personal experiences only!

Meal Plan Monday {July 18}

Is it Monday again already?!?  I may have over indulged yesterday at the State Fair and ended up going to bed last night with an upset stomach that is still plaguing me this morning thus making me skip my Monday morning workout :(

The husband made this weeks shortened meal plan while I was stretching and icing after my long run on Sunday.  We’ve got a busy week and this weekend is TBD due to a family wedding.  We are unsure if there will be a rehearsal dinner on Friday, the wedding is on Saturday,  and we don’t yet know what the plans for Sunday will be.  We’ve got some freezer meals we can enjoy or we can always make an extra trip to the store. 


Monday ~ BBQ Chicken Sausages with Corn-on-the-Cob and Grilled Zucchini

A quick & tasty grilled dinner :) YUM-O

Tuesday ~ Refried Black Bean Tacos

I’m still using dried beans and I’m still working on perfecting mashing them into refried beans.  Any great tips to share?!?

Wednesday ~ Spaghetti

Simple yet delicious!

Thursday ~ leftovers

Leftovers are always good, especially spaghetti leftovers :)

Friday-Sunday ~ TBD


What’s on your menu this week?

I’m linking up at Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday {hosted by SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen this week}

*Don’t forget to check out the links … you never know what you might discover!  There are some GREAT food blogs & recipe websites out there :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fall 2011 Race Training: Urban Cow Half & CIM

July 18th – December 4th
11 wks to the Urban Cow Half Marathon
20 wks to the California International Marathon

I’m injury prone, especially in my shins, and I’ve decided that the best way for me to avoid future injuries is to run only three days a week.  After I discovered that my body performs better with one or two days between runs I decided it was best for me to build my training schedule around a three day a week running plan.  So, I decided I would read Run Less Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr & Ray Moss to gain some insight into to a three day a week training plan.  I really enjoyed this book and although I’m not following the training plans outlined in the book exactly, I did use their plan as a starting point for building my own plan to better fit my needs. 

When building my training plan for my fall races I first decided to extend it to 20 weeks for the marathon {and 11 weeks for the half marathon --- but in reality I’ve been building up my long run mileage slowly to anticipate a shortened half training plan so that I’ll be right on track with my long run mileage when it comes time to start “training”}.  Last year I was already deep into training for the Urban Cow Half when I decided to extend my training and run the CIM too {which only gave me 13 weeks until marathon race day but I had already built up to a 13+ mile long run}.  I suffered from multiple injuries, and set backs, last year when training for my fall races and I want to avoid that as much as possible this year.  Four weeks after I decided to extend my training last summer and run a full marathon, I ran the half marathon I had been training for {setting a new PR but not having that great of a race} and shortly after that my training started to fall apart and my goal became just to finish training, make it to marathon day, and finish the race in under six hours.  Last year I endeared too many setbacks; this year I can look back and learn from my mistakes

I’ve been diligently cross training weekly for three and a half months; I’ve dropped some weight; my running has improved; my speed has improved; my endurance has improved; my shins have improved.  I’m excited for this upcoming training cycle and I’ve got high expectations for myself to train smarter and finish both the Urban Cow Half and the CIM as a strong and confident runner. 

The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) in the Run Less Run Faster book is based on a “3 plus 2” program consisting of three quality runs {track repeats, tempo, and long run} and two cross training workouts.  The plan also outlines very specific paces for the three weekly runs that are described as “somewhat faster than other training plans” based upon the premise that if you are only running three days a week then you should be well rested for each workout. 

The FIRST marathon training plan


After deciding to extend my training to 20 weeks, I decided that I wanted to tackle the 20 miler more than once this training cycle and even extend it to 22 miles at least once.  I also made sure to include step back weeks {something my training lacked last year} and to max out my mid-week “tempo” run at only 8 miles {instead of the 10 in the FIRST training plan}.  Once I knew the basics of what I wanted my training plan to look like, I was able to start building it. 

My Fall 2011 Race Training Plan

jesse fall race training plan image

I was able to use my 5k PR {31:55} from May to determine my pace goals for my three key running workouts per week.  I used the the charts on the FIRST website for paces for runners who run a 5k in 30-40 minutes {speed work paces, tempo paces, long run paces}.

Speed Work Paces

  • 400’s = 2:24
  • 800’s = 4:43
  • 1200’s = 7:25
  • 1600’s = 10:02

Tempo Paces

  • Short Tempo = 10:35
  • Mid Tempo = 10:50
  • Long Tempo  = 11:05
  • Easy Pace =12:10

Long Run Paces

  • Half Marathon Pace {HMP} = 11:38
  • HMP + 20 = 11:58
  • HMP + 30 = 12:08
  • Marathon Pace {MP} = 11:58
  • MP + 10 = 12:08
  • MP + 15 = 12:13
  • MP + 20 = 12:18
  • MP + 30 = 12:28
  • MP + 45 = 12:43

One thing you’ll notice that my training plan lacks is hill repeats.  Due to my reoccurring shin splints I decided it was best to avoid hill repeats at this time.  Instead our long runs will be run on routes that have rolling hills and we may even run part of the CIM course during our training.  The Urban Cow Half is not hilly but but it does have a few ups & downs.  However, even though the CIM is a net downhill course it does have quite a few hills in the first half and a lot of smaller rolling hills in the second half.  Hill training is one more aspect that my training lacked last fall because after a few sessions of hill repeats my shins splints flared up and then I stuck to mostly flat routes with occasional hills {overpasses on long runs}. 

I plan to cross train on Monday – Wednesday – Friday and rest Sunday {although I tend to have less soreness if I move a little the day after a long run so light cardio or walking might be best for me to continue on Sunday’s unless my body tells me otherwise}.  I will continue to listen to my body and REST as needed and when needed.  

I’ve learned over the past few months how critical cross training is to my running and how much my endurance has improved.  Cross training is also key in helping me to continue on my weight loss journey and continue to shed some more pounds to reach a healthy, and happy, weight for me.  I’ve learned when to take it easy and when to rest and when I can push it during the past few months.  I plan to continue to approach each workout {running or cross training} on a daily basis and adjust my goals/planned workout based upon how my body feels and what I think I am capable of on that given day.  I am determined to stay injury free {and to keep my shin splints to a minimum} during this training cycle.  I believe I’ll reach race day {both for the Urban Cow Half in October and the CIM in December --- plus a few other planned races too} happy, healthy, and ready to have the best race possible on both days. 
Other priorities I plan to keep during this training cycle:
  • Healthy eating habits --- which also coincide with my weight loss goals and continuing to follow the Weight Watchers plan {During training last fall I tended to let my healthy eating slide way too much and indulged obsessively in junk food – while I believe indulging is okay, I also believe that overindulging often is not.}
  • Pre-run warm-up walk/jog with plyometric dynamic exercises and stretches before each run
  • Post-run cool down walk followed by stretching then an ice bath for my shins
  • Continue to focus on core work and general strength training for overall fitness

I think that sums up my training plan and my goals for my fall race training.  I’ve spent a lot more time the past few months doing a lot of reading and researching and determining what is best for my body, and my goals.  I’m eager to start training and looking forward to training smart and staying injury free!

I also created a page that shows my current training :)