{Monday Motivation} Sunday Mornings

Lately, I’ve been in a real funk with my training. None of my runs were feeling too great and I kept dreading the Sunday long runs. Until yesterday. I had set my alarm for 6 a.m. and woke up to darkness. Instead of wanting to roll over and go back to sleep I was oddly excited. I took it as a good omen that my last 20-miler of Marine Corps Marathon training would go well. Sure enough, it did. I took the first 10 mile super easy and then decided to pick it up for the last 10, running a perfect negative split and a 2-mile fast finish (the last mile was a 8:49!). Runs like that make me remember why I really do love running. Waking up early on a Sunday morning to go run for a few hours is total bliss when all goes well. I hope you had a great long run last weekend and more to come this week!

(Source: Nike Running on Pinterest)

(Source: Nike Running on Pinterest)

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Marathon Aches and Pains

At some point while training for a marathon (or any goal race really) the mileage and workouts begin to take their toll. I was very lucky when I was training for Big Sur because I made it to the starting line injury-free, which is one of the hardest parts of training for a marathon.

However, the training plan I was using was relatively lower mileage and I had hardly any workouts. This time around my mileage is much higher and I have more speed workouts like marathon pace runs, tempos, and Yasso 800s. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing the speedwork and I get sadistic pleasure out of seeing my weekly mileage on Daily Mile increase and increase. But my legs have a different take on this training plan than my head.

For the past week and a half, my lower left leg has been a bit wonky. It started off as an annoying little pain in my shin but then moved to my calf and on Tuesday’s run I was feeling the pain up and down my IT band. I decided to change my plan for the remainder of the week so I’d be able to run my first 20-miler this weekend but I’m still uneasy about how that’s going to go.

I broke the number one rule of injury prevention: If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off. So I took two days off, Wednesday and Thursday, and am hoping my 8-miler will go better today, especially if I take it super easy. Fingers crossed!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Ten

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Trying to stay consistent with strength training.

Week ten of Marine Corps training presented me with a mileage PR of 44 miles. While I’ve been able to get all the miles in I feel like my legs might be starting to push back. A new pain in my left shin has me a bit concerned but I think it should subside if I take it easy on my next few runs.

As my mileage keeps increasing I’m learning the importance of post-run recovery, something I’ve almost neglected a little bit in the past.  To make sure I’m recovering properly I’m taking the five-to-ten minutes post-run to stretch out, as well as icing on a regular basis.

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: Strength Training and 5 miles, easy

Strength Training– 50 minutes

Arms:
3×10 reps of:
Rotational Shoulder Press with 10lbs weights
Alternating Dumbell Rows with 12lbs weights
Tricep Pulls with 15lbs weights
Chest Press on Stability Ball with 10lbs weights
21s with 8lbs weights

3×15 reps Standing Side Leg Lifts
25 calf raises

Abs:
3×1:00 planks
3×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
3×0:45 bicycles
3×0:45 bridge

Run:

It was pretty hot and humid on this run but I waited until after work in the hopes that it would be a little bit cooler. My legs were still feeling a bit sore from Sunday’s long run but once I got a mile or so into the run it felt good to be shaking them out a bit.

Plan: 5 miles, easy
Actual: 5 miles in 43:54 at 8:46/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:31
(2) 8:43
(3) 8:37
(4) 8:48
(5) 8:12

Shoes: Asics GT-1000 2
Conditions: 86 degrees, 80 percent humidity

Wednesday: Double run, 8 miles total

Run One:

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 36:40 at 9:10/mile average pace

I ran an easy pre-workout shakeout run on the treadmill. I had 8 miles on my schedule for today with my first Yasso 800 workout. Since I couldn’t do the whole 8 miles during my normal lunch run I decided to split up the workout with 4 miles easy at lunch and 4 miles at the track after work.

Run Two:

Plan: 4 miles with 4x800m at 4:10 with 400m recovery jog

Actual:
1-mile warmup at 8:54/mile
4x800m-
(1) 3:40
(2) 3:41
(3) 3:39
(4) 3:30
With 400m in between each 800m

Shoes: Saucony Fastwitch 6
Conditions: 90 degrees, 80 percent humidity

This was my first Yasso 800 workout of Marine Corps training and it went very well! I ran them at the track and did a 1-mile warmup to begin. It was extremely hot and humid out so I wasn’t sure they were going to go well but I was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace

So this run went much better than expected. I’m still having a difficult time controlling my paces though and I know I really need to work on that but I felt really, really good during this whole run.

Plan: 8 miles with 5 miles at marathon pace (9:10/mile) with 1 mi warmup and 2 mi cool down
Actual: 8 miles in 1:09:46 at an average of 8:43/mile
Splits:
(1) 9:19 (2) 8:51 (3) 8:43 (4) 8:35 (5) 8:24 (6) 8:30 (7) 8:45 (8) 8:37

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 68 degrees, sunny, low humidity, a bit windy though

Saturday: 5 mile shakeout

It took me awhile to get out the door this morning but once I did I felt really good. Something has been going on with my left shin/knee though and I’m not really sure what that’s all about. I’m going to keep stretching/foam rolling/icing to see if it starts to feel back to normal again.

Plan: 5 miles, super easy
Actual: 5 miles in 44:56 at 8:59/mile average
Splits:
(1) 9:34
(2) 8:52
(3) 8:56
(4) 8:53
(5) 8:38

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 61 degrees, overcast, windy

Sunday: 18 mile long run

This long run went really well. I ran the first 10 miles with our RW Half Training Group led by Bart Yasso. We took it super easy which was really good because lately I’ve been pushing a little too hard on my long runs. After the 10 miles was done I finished the last 8 on my own. My left shin was giving me some trouble again which accounts for the crazy pacing here but overall I felt pretty good.

Plan: 18 miles, long slow distance
Actual: 18 miles in 2:54:33 at 9:39/mile average
Splits:
(1) 10:29 (2) 9:57 (3) 9:47 (4) 9:50 (5) 10:02 (6) 9:58 (7) 9:55 (8) 9:39 (9) 9:35 (10) 9:37 (11) 9:56 (12) 9:16 (13) 8:55 (14) 9:04 (15) 9:38 (16) 9:48 (17) 9:32 (18) 9:33

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: 50 degrees, sunny

Weekly Mileage Total: 44 miles

See all training recaps here.

Marine Corps Marathon Training: Week Nine

Why you startedIt’s been a couple weeks since I last posted about my training for Marine Corps. One excuse for this is the last two weeks of training were kind of messed up due to running Hood to Coast and a surprise thunderstorm that completely ruined one of my long runs. But the real reason for not posting was I wasn’t really feeling all that into my training. Everything has been going well, I’m hitting my paces (even my new paces) and I’ve been following my schedule but for some reason I just wasn’t that excited. However, last week’s training went extremely well, I had a fantastic long run, and I’m starting to feel much more confident in my training.

Everyone hits that point in marathon training where you just feel tired and you start to question why you’re spending so much time and energy on training but you always have to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. For me, I’m running Marine Corps to better my marathon time and to experience a race I’ve heard so many great things about already. I also want to prove that I can get better at this whole marathoning thing and MCM will be the perfect place to make that happen. Besides, there really is something addicting about running 26.2 miles!

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 4 miles, easy

Last run at home around my town. I took it really easy because the heat and humidity is absolutely killing me. Felt pretty good though.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4 miles in 35:21 (8:47/mile)
Splits: 
(1) 9:13
(2) 8:45
(3) 8:35
(4) 8:40

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 80 degrees, 60 percent humidity

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo

This was my first tempo ever and I have to say I was pretty proud of it. Since I changed my time goal for MCM I wasn’t quite sure what my tempo pace should be. According to my old plan (marathon goal pace of 9:47/mile) my tempo pace should have been a 9:05/mile. However, now that my goal MP is 9:05/mile, obviously my tempo would be faster. I decided to shoot for 8:40/mile and see how I felt.

Plan: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo pace (8:40/mile)
Actual: 6 miles with 3 miles at tempo (8:20/mile)
Splits: 
1.5 mile warmup at 9:30/mile pace
3 tempo miles in 25 minutes (8:20/mile pace)
1.5 mile cool down at 9:30/mile pace

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19

Core Strength-

3×1:00 planks
2×0:30 side planks
3×0:45 supine planks
4×25 crunches
3×0:45 bridges

Thursday: 45 min. Strength Training

I’m vowing to get back into the swing of strength training so I made up my own workout.

Abs:
3 x 1:00 planks
3 x 0:30 side planks
3 x 0:45 supine planks
3 x 0:45 bicycles
3 x 0:45 bridge

Legs:
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Jackknife
3 x 0:45 Stability Ball Hip Extensions
3 X 15 (each leg) Standing Side Leg Lift

Arms: 3 x 10 of all
Rotational Shoulder Press
Alternating Dumbbell Rows
Tricep Pulls
Chest Press on Stability Ball

3 x 21s- 7 x forearm lifts, 7 x bicep curls, 7 x overhead press

Friday: 6 miles with 4 miles at Marathon Pace (9:05-9:10/mile)

It was incredibly beautiful outside today so I was finally able to run during lunch again. I went running with my roommate and told her I had to run 6 miles with 4 miles at marathon pace (9:05-9:10/mile). Well, we ran one of the miles at MP but the rest were faster.

Plan: 6 miles with 4 miles at MP (9:05-9:10/mile)
Actual: 6 miles in 53:08 at 8:51/mile average
Splits: 
(1) 8:55
(2) 8:38
(3) 8:55
(4) 9:09
(5) 8:48
(6) 8:43

Shoes: Asics Kayano 19
Conditions: PERFECT

Saturday: 4 miles, easy

I felt AMAZING on this run which was really surprising because I may have had one too many beers last night. My legs felt so fresh and I just felt like flying. I was supposed to run super easy to shakeout before tomorrow’s long run but I just decided to go with it.

Plan: 4 miles, easy
Actual: 4.04 miles in 33:46 @ 8:21/mile
Splits: 
(1) 9:14/mile
(2) 8:14/mile
(3) 8:15/mile
(4) 7:44/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 73 degrees, sunny, 42 percent humidity

Sunday: 16 miles with 2 miles fast finish

This was my first actual long run in two weeks due to scheduling/racing/surprise thunderstorms. I was pretty nervous it wasn’t going to go well but I think this was the best long run I’ve had in my MCM training cycle. I felt really great the whole time, my fueling was on point, and my breathing was good. My paces look a little all over the place but that’s because this is an extremely hilly route I run. I decided to try for a 2-mile fast finish and nailed it. So happy!

Plan: 16 miles LSD
Actual: 16 miles in 2:30:25 at 9:24/mile average pace
Splits: 
(1) 9:50 (2) 9:11 (3) 9:25 (4) 9:37 (5) 9:47 (6) 9:48 (7) 9:29 (8) 9:17 (9) 9:37 (10) 9:25 (11) 9:19 (12) 9:32 (13) 9:33 (14) 9:17 (15) 8:54 (16) 8:21

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: Started off kind of cool, 68 degrees and overcast but warmed up to 75 degrees with 66 percent humidity and full sun by the end.

Weekly mileage total: 36 miles

See all weekly training recaps here.

Marine Corps Marathon Training Week Six

I mean, basically.

I mean, basically.

Last week I came to a crossroads with my training. I was concerned about my pacing on my runs because I was running much faster than the prescribed pace. I wasn’t sure if I should adjust my goals for Marine Corps and maybe set a more aggressive time goal, or if I should scale back and stick with the plan of breaking-4:15. While I haven’t really decided yet on a more aggressive goal, I have readjusted my paces to accomodate my more comfortable, faster running. I know I still need to take it down a notch with my “easy” runs but I’ve decided to run my marathon pace runs at 9:05/9:10-mile instead of 9:44/mile. So far so good!

Monday: Rest/XT day

  • 50 minutes of Vinyasa flow yoga

Tuesday: 6 miles, hill workout

The schedule called for a hill workout today so I decided to run up 10th Street at work and my roommate joined me. I haven’t done this workout in a few months so I was fully expecting it to be pretty rough. While the 1-mile hill ascent was pretty rough and very slow I was surprised that it didn’t feel completely impossible.

I did this workout almost once a week when I was training for Big Sur and it definitely helps to build speed, strength, and improve form. While Marine Corps isn’t even close to being as hilly as Big Sur I think it will help to build more speed.

Plan: 6 miles, hills
Actual: 6 miles in 56:14 at 9:22/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 8:54/mile warm up
(2) 9:59/mile hill ascent 500 ft elevation gain
(3) 9:22/mile more hill
(4) 9:19/mile
(5) 9:04/mile
(6) 9:36/mile cool down on the trail

Shoes: Asics Gel Flux

Wednesday: 4 miles, easy

It was insanely gorgeous out today: 70 degrees, sunny, and zero humidity. I was supposed to run an easy 4-miler but I was feeling so good that I made it into a progression run instead.

Plan: 4 miles, easy (10:32/mile)
Actual: 4 miles, progression, in 33:35 at 8:23/mile
Splits:
(1) 8:53/mile (2) 8:24/mile (3) 8:21/mile (4) 7:57/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 70 degrees, zero humidity, sunny

Strength Training- 1 hour

Arms:

3×12 reps of rotating overhead presses (10lb weights)
3×12 reps of rows
3×12 reps of tricep extensions
3 sets of 21s- this is a workout my cousin showed me where you do 7 forearm raises, 7 bicep curls, and 7 overhead presses, with no rest in between

2×20 sec of isometric chin-ups

Abs:

2×45 seconds of:
Bicycles
Planks
Side Planks
Bridges
Supine planks

50 crunches

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 6 miles, with 2 miles at marathon pace (9:05/mile)

After going back and forth about what my goal marathon pace should be I decided to try out a new pace on today’s MP run. Last week I ran this same run with my two MP miles at 8:45/mile which is completely unrealistic because I won’t be able to hold up that pace for 26.2 miles. This week I tried for 9:05/mile and felt great but it’s still significantly faster than my plan’s goal MP of 9:44/mile.

Plan: 6 miles with 2 at MP (9:44/mile)
Actual: 6 miles with 2 at new MP (9:05/mile)
Splits:
Mile 1 and 2- warmup at 9:31/mile pace
Mile 3 and 4- MP at 9:05/mile
Mile 5 and 6- cool down at 9:31/mile

Shoes: NEW Asics Gel Kayano 19

Saturday: 4 miles, pre-long run shakeout

Running in the Poconos is tough! Went for a very easy early morning shakeout with my roommate. The route we took was extremely hilly and hard but it was very quiet and relaxing.

Sunday: 18 miles, long slow distance

This run was a bit tougher than I thought it was going to be. I think it was mostly because of my lack of sleep this weekend and I forgot to take my allergy meds before the run. Then, halfway through the run it started to downpour which really sucked at first but once I got going it wasn’t too bad. My roommate ran the first half with me for her training and I have to admit I was pretty jealous she got to finish at 9 miles. Overall it wasn’t a terrible run but I was zonked at the end.

Plan: 18 miles, long slow distance (10:32-11:00/mile pace)
Actual: 18 miles in 2:52:27 at 9:34/mile pace
Splits:
(1) 9:27 (2) 9:30 (3) 9:22 (4) 9:17 (5) 9:30 (6) 9:43 (7) 9:45 (8) 9:47 (9) 9:44 (10) 9:43 (11) 9:26 (12) 9:31 (13) 9:17 (14) 9:31 (15) 9:59 (16) 9:50 (17) 9:44 (18) 9:22

Shoes: New Asics Gel Kayano 19
Conditions: 64, humid, rain – Ran on a gravel rail trail

Weekly mileage total: 38 miles

See all training recaps here.

When Should You Get a Running Coach?

(source: Pinterest)

(source: Pinterest)

I’ve been mulling over the idea of getting a running coach for a few weeks now. I’ve seen progress in my running over the past year but I know that’s due in part to my inexperience- every race is a PR or close to it. So I thought I’d ask, to improve, should I get a coach?
  1. To get a running coach or not get a running coach, that is the question. Thoughts?
  2. Tons of people were pro-coach…
  3. @FitHappyGirl get one! I love having one and have improved tremendously. Ex 2:03 half from oct 12 to 1:49 this April
  4. Some people said it depends on your goals and finding the right coach (but were mainly pro-coach)…
  5. @FitHappyGirl So important to find one who’s the right fit, philosophically and personality-wise. Otherwise you lose a lot of benefits, imo.
  6. @FitHappyGirl But great to have someone monitor your performance, give advice, and adjust personalized training as you progress!
  7. @FitHappyGirl Absolutely, but a running coach should help you as much with what not to do as pushing the envelope at the right time.
  8. @FitHappyGirl If you haven’t met your goals on your own, try a coach. Make sure he/she works FOR YOU. Then take a leap.
  9. @FitHappyGirl If you have the right coach you’ll love running even more!
  10. @FitHappyGirl i hired @SpeedySasquatch for speed work! so mainly on my own but needed guidance for certain aspect! #justathought
  11. Then there was this…
  12. And you can count on Jason to be the odd man out (just kidding!)…

Luckily I work at Runner’s World so I have plenty of resources here but it might be good to have an objective person (who I don’t work with every day) as a coach instead. I’m nervous it might be too closing to the start of MCM training to get a coach now but maybe not. I’m also wondering about in-person coaching vs. online. I know plenty of people have had success with online coaching but the main reason I want a coach is to have someone push me, especially when I tend to sell myself short. I’m going to keep doing some research into it and see what I come up with.

Tell me, have you hired a running coach? Was it in-person or online and did you see improvements?