Friday, March 28, 2014

And just like that it's the end of March

Wow, this month has flown by! I thought that a training update was in order. I have been enjoying some warmer temperatures and have had some really great runs outside. I actually had one run two weeks ago where it was 50 degrees. I was so excited to go out and run that day wear just Capri tights and a long sleeve running top that my first mile of a 4 mile easy run was 6:58. Oops, not really easy running. I must say though that I feel that the winter running I have done has paid off. When I am outside I am able to hit paces in the sub 8 minute mile and they feel easy.
I had my first 16 mile run outside and it felt great! It was a very hilly course and my legs felt trashed after, but I know that the run helped build strength. I really feel like I am truly in marathon training.

March definitely has been great with the warmer temperatures. I was finally able to get outside to do a marathon pace workout and I was able to hit my paces. Because most of my running is done in the early morning, it is usually dark when I run outside. I have found a route that is near the gym I belong to that is sidewalks and is lit with street lamps. The first one I did was great I was able to hit the paces I needed to. I average between a 7:30 min/mile pace and a 7:40. To run a 3:20 marathon my mile pace needs to be 7:38. I felt really confident after the first workout. The second time I did this workout did not goes as well. The temperatures had cooled overnight and there were patches of ice (I bet you know where this is going). One minute I was running an feeling great and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. I ended up with a large bruise and hematoma on my left hip and some scraps on my face. Lovely.

I will say that the fall has made me more cautious. I decided not to run outside in the early morning if there is ice. I also am being more diligent about proper recovery. I have started taking ice baths after long runs. I also have been icing things like a pro, stretching, taking my vitamins, and making sure to take it easy if I need to on the easy run days. I have to remind myself that the important thing is making it to the start line healthy, fit and ready to run a PR.
Miles this week:
 Monday: 3.75 miles on treadmill (had pain so cut this 5 miler short)
Tuesday: 1 mile on track at the gym and 7 miles of hills on the treadmill. I varied the incline from 1.0 to 6.0
Wednesday: 5.06 miles easy on the treadmill
Thursday: Yoga (I need to do this weekly)
Friday : 8.39 miles in 65 minutes (marathon pace workout) My legs were heavy in the beginning, but felt strong mid way through.
Plans for this weekend:
Saturday : 18 miles (so excited! I love long runs)
 Sunday: 5 easy miles or cross training.
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Marathon training is on!

Hi! I realize now that it has been a while since I have posted anything. Many times I thought, "I am going to write a post tomorrow," which turned into a week, and then another week. Then, all of a sudden almost a month has gone by without a post. My apologies for keeping you in such suspense!

So, here is an update: marathon training is in full swing! I started training the second week of February for the Minneapolis Marathon on June 1st. It feels really good to have a structured plan to follow. I like having a plan to follow rather than making it up as I go along. It takes away some of the mental energy trying to decide what I should do for that day of running. My mind enjoys the break. My plan consists of 3 days of easy running, one day of hill work (to build strength), on day of marathon pace running, one long run, and a rest day. Yes, I said rest day and I am actually taking a day of rest on the day. I broke my running streak, which I promise to tell you about in a future post.

Training so far has been great. The negative temps have made getting outdoors for a run a challenge at times.
It was -6 degrees out this day!

The blizzards have been challenging as well.
A car that was stuck when I was out running (don't worry I did flag down a plow truck to help them out)

What it looks like to run after you get 10+ inches of snow
I have to say I am very thankful for a home treadmill and a gym membership. I have worried that running on the treadmill isn't as effective as running outside. I mean, I don't race on a treadmill after all. However, I have come to the conclusion that I am in the beginning of my training and slipping on the ice an injuring myself is not worth it. Warmer weather is coming!

How is this winter treating you?

Best winter running tip?