Sunday, August 28, 2016

Marathon Training Week 12

This week has been a little all over the place. I had a couple of good runs and really started to feel like I had made some progress. And then my long run hit and I felt like I would never run well again.

Monday - Cross training

I have really good intentions....

Tuesday - 5 miles

It was actually a little cooler out, with less humidity, so it was a pretty nice run. The blister on my arch from last week's long run was a little tender, but I felt pretty good for most of this run.

5.06 miles @ 9:46 pace

Wednesday - 6 miles

I took an unplanned rest day - I was really tired!

Thursday - 5 miles

I shifted my runs by a day and ran Wednesday's 6 miles on Thursday. I took it pretty easy, but felt good and actually felt stronger on the hills than I have lately. Progress!

My cow friends

6.13 miles @ 10:48 pace

Friday - Rest day

I ran Thursday's 5 miles on Friday. I drove to the gym and ran on the treadmill. It was pretty uneventful.

5 miles @ 9:35 pace

Saturday - 6 miles

I met up with my running group for some trail miles. A bunch of them had a 20 miler to get in this weekend, so they were already 12 miles in when we started at 8am. I had a really nice run! My pace wasn't amazing (it never is lately), but I felt good and had fun visiting with everyone. I also spent a little time with the stick roller and some yoga when I got home!

6.77 miles @ 10:38 pace

Sunday - 12 miles

This was a miserable run. I was walking on the hills after the first 2 miles and I just wanted to go home.

But, I didn't.

One of my blisters from last weekend (on the arch of my foot) is pretty much healed up, but the one on my heel was less healed than I thought it was.

So, that was fun.

I actually ran all the way up the worst hill on my route (it's over a mile long), which I usually end up doing a run/walk trudge on to get to the top. It's a segment on Strava (which I occasionally look at), so I was looking forward to seeing what my time was for that segment when I got home.

I hit 12 miles a good mile and a quarter from the house, but since I wasn't feeling the run to begin with, I walked the rest of the home.

Once I got home, my watch was giving me a hard time about uploading my run, and then it just decided to delete it altogether. I can still see the summary (time, average pace, distance) on the watch, but there's no more specifics available to upload. Guess I won't be checking that segment on Strava after all.

It was one of those runs where you just have to put it behind you, and hope that the next one will go better.

12.05 miles @12:04 pace

Weekly Mileage - 35.01

I still have 6 weeks of training to go since I am doing a longer training plan this year. That means I still have plenty of time to actually feel prepared for Steamtown.

In theory.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Marathon Training Week 11

I started writing this on Sunday, and then I got distracted and forgot all about it. And then I went to bed at 9:30. Marathon training is exhausting!


I ran my highest mileage week ever this week! I'm still feeling ridiculously slow, and unless I miraculously become much faster once this heat and humidity goes away, I don't know how Steamtown is going to go.

I was hoping to break 4 hours (I ran 4:11 last year), but my training paces were much faster at this point last year. We'll see how it goes.

Monday - Cross Training

Lets all laugh together, of course I didn't do anything.

Tuesday - 5 miles

I was definitely still feeling my long run from last week, but managed negative splits. I may throw a party when the wonderful fall running weather gets here.

I had to stock up on some gels. I've been going through them like crazy with all these long runs.

5.01 miles @ 10:26 pace

Wednesday - 10 miles

It was slightly less humid out, and I actually remembered to bring water with me. It only takes a half a dozen longish runs without water for me to learn that I should probably bring water with me. I'm really smart sometimes.

10.06 miles @ 11:18 pace

Thursday - 5 miles

All these miles are adding up, and I had some seriously tired legs, so I took it easy. I also did a little stick rolling when I got home.

5.06 miles @ 10:54 pace

Friday - Rest Day

I'm trying to be proactive so I went to the chiropractor. I pretty much got a gold star - if describing my alignment as "not too bad" counts as positive.

Saturday - 10 miles

I had a total distance runner moment and felt much better after running 10 miles than I did before I left.

I really hate putting everything away after my runs. It just seems like so much extra work!

10.02 @ 11:27 pace

Sunday - 20 miles

I hate waking up early. It's the one crazy runner trait I haven't developed. I got up shortly after 5 and took forever getting organized while I waited for the sun to come up.

Once I was finally out the door it took a good couple of miles before my legs felt mostly normal. It was wonderfully overcast and cooler this morning, which was a nice break from the oppressive heat we've been having.

At about mile 11 I realized the heel of one of my socks had slid down and my shoe was rubbing directly on my heel. And I could definitely feel the start of a blister on the arch of my foot. Since there wasn't much I could do about either, I fixed my sock, and kept going. The last mile was really unpleasant, but my impressively large blister was (fortunately?) still in tact when I got home.

I drank all the water in my pack - 2 liters! And at no point did I get that sloshy feeling. It's possible I was a sweaty mess by the time I was finished. I can't wait for fall running weather!

20 miles @ 11:54 pace

Weekly Mileage - 50.15 miles!

Scout "helped" me stretch. And by that I mean he climbed in my lap and made any stretching impossible.

He's cute though!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Marathon Training Week 10

The weather has been terrible this week. Hot, humid, horrible. The one decent weather day, I really didn't want to run and cut it short. A couple of other days were cut short because of the heat. I keep trying to remind myself that sticking it out through these days will make fall running feel amazing - I just wish the cooler weather was here already!

Monday - Cross Training


Tuesday - 4 miles

I didn't want to run at all. I spent a bunch of time at the laundromat (which doesn't have air conditioning) and it put me in a really bad mood. I compromised and ran 2 quick miles rather than doing nothing at all. My second mile was a 7:59!

2.04 miles @ 8:55 pace

Wednesday - 9 miles

The humidity was crazy. This run was miserable and I cut it short.

6.04 miles @ 11:30 pace

Thursday - 4 miles

I didn't want a repeat of Wednesday, so I took to the gym for my run. Podcasts, air conditioning, people watching, yes please!

4 miles @ 9:27 pace

Friday - Rest day

I'm the best at rest days.

Saturday - 9 miles

I drove down to meet up with my weekend running group. It was already 80 degrees and ridiculously humid when we set out at 8am. Several people had gone out early to get their long runs in, and we were all dragging. I knew my long run was going to be brutal on Sunday, so between that and the weather, I didn't push for any extra miles on top of our usual run.

6.4 miles @ 11:07

Sunday - 19 miles
A photo posted by Becky H (@ddreamb) on

The things we look into when we're marathon training! I checked the time of the sunrise, and what the weather was going to be like before I set my alarm on Saturday night. I knew the humidity was going to pretty much be terrible regardless of time since it has been all week.

I was up at 5am (one of my least favorite things is waking up early), had a cup of coffee and a piece of this strawberry rhubarb tart thing we bought at the grocery store, and tried to organize my hydration pack. I had a brief debate about how full to fill the bladder of my hydration pack (water is heavy!) and then decided that carrying a little extra weight was better than running out of water.

I managed to get out the door shortly after 6am, which is super impressive for me. I'm so bad about morning runs.

For about half of the run I wasn't sure if I was going to hit 19 miles. I figured as long as I had water I could keep going, and had my phone to call Tom for a ride home if I did run out.

I didn't run out of water.

I did:

  • walk more than I wanted to
  • make a few pathetic whining sounds
  • listen to Catching Fire on audiobook
  • end up with a bunch of little bug bites around the tops of my calf sleeves
  • hit 19 miles
Considering the humidity this week (not to mention the heat), I'm really happy with how this run went. I'm not terribly happy when I look at the pace, but I decided that pace doesn't count on days like this.

19 miles @ 12:15 pace

Weekly Mileage - 37.48

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Escape Artist

The "real feel" hit 103 here today.

No thank you.

I drove to the gym for my run. Days like today are why I signed up for it in the first place.

It's fun to people watch at the gym. The number of people who get on a treadmill and walk/jog/run for less than 10 minutes confuse me. Are they just doing a warmup? Did they forget that they don't like running?

One older man was going around turning tvs off on ellipticals that no one was using.

A woman across the gym was doing some very, jerky/aggressive moves with a cable machine. I'm hoping she doesn't injure herself.

Before I left for the gym I went out in the yard to locate Scout. He was over the fence in the neighbor's yard! I grabbed a leash and went to get him. Fortunately he doesn't play the keep away game that Buddy likes to play when he gets out.

It turns out there was a spot in the fence that was high enough off the ground that he could slip under. When we put up the fence we only had Buddy, and there was no way he could fit under there. I have no idea how many times he has gone on adventures on the other side of the fence, but Tom fixed it so he can't go visiting the neighbors on his own anymore.

He's a cute little escape artist at least.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Marathon Training Week 9

You guys, how is it already August? I'm pretty sure it was just March, so that can't be right.

I'm halfway through my training plan now, since I'm doing a longer (18 week) plan this time around. I'm glad I opted for the longer plan, especially since my first few weeks were spent just trying to get my running groove back. My pace is still not where I would really like it to be, but at least I'm running and able to stick to my training plan distances at least.

Here's how this week went:

Monday - Cross Training

I actually did some yoga on Monday! I have been a lot better about stretching in general this week, but also spent 45 minutes of quality time with Adriene. She's still the best.

Tuesday - 4 miles

My stride rate was back up to 180! I was really excited to see that number, since I feel like I haven't been able to get my legs moving very quickly lately. It was pretty humid out, but it pretty much always is at this point in the summer.

4.02 miles @ 9:49 pace

Wednesday - 9 miles

My mid-week run is getting long! I think the longest one I'll have is going to be 10 miles, which just takes a bit more planning on my part. It wasn't super hot out, but for some reason I was really struggling on this run.

9 miles @ 10:36 pace

Thursday - 4 miles

This turned into a rest day. I was really tired and just not feeling it.

Friday - Rest day

I ran Thursday's miles on Friday. I actually felt stronger/faster than I have been lately. My pace wasn't anything to cheer about, but it was nice to feel like I'm making progress. Summer running post-injury is not the best for my confidence.

4.01 miles @ 9:42 pace

Saturday - Rest day

My training plan wanted me to take an extra rest day and then race a half marathon on Sunday. I did neither.

I drove down and ran with my weekend running group. The people I usually run with were in the middle of their long runs when they met up with the group, so we ran a little slower than usual. I was totally ok with that since the humidity was out of control. Miles always go so much faster with friends.

6.24 miles @ 10:26 pace

Sunday - Half Marathon

I ran the half marathon distance, but it was definitely not a race. I left from the house (much later than I should have), and listened to my audiobook (I'm re-listening to The Hunger Games) as I trudged around the neighborhood in my snazzy LEGEND compression sleeves. (This is an affiliate link - also, use promo code AmbFriend2016 to save 15%!)

Ok, that's not entirely fair. I actually felt really strong for a lot of this run, but by the end I was too hot and tired to feel positive about it. My watch informed me that the total elevation of my run was 1328 feet, which makes me feel a little better about how hard it felt.

Also, my long run pace has been improving overall, so that's promising!

13.12 miles @ 11:29 pace

Weekly Mileage - 36.39

And as usual, bonus dog pictures:


Monday, August 1, 2016

Marathon Training Week 8

I have been mentally all over the place with my training this week. It has ranged from extremely motivated to thinking it wouldn't be so bad if I just cancelled my hotel reservation and lost the race registration fee. I'm not even kidding.

Monday - Cross Training

As usual, I didn't do anything. I have the best intentions, but I just haven't managed to get any consistent cross training in this training cycle. I spent the afternoon at the laundromat instead.

Tuesday - 4 miles

My cadence is finally starting to pick up again. This was a really good run overall, and I actually had a sub-9:00 pace mile at the end. I haven't seen anything faster than 9:00 pace in a long time!

4.01 miles @ 9:38 pace

Wednesday - 8 miles

The weather was brutal, so I drove to the gym for my run. Since the treadmill at the gym automatically goes into cool down mode after an hour, I had to split my run up. Fortunately, my gym is never very busy, so no one cares if I hog a treadmill.

We're pretty sure Scout was stung by a bee (no one witnessed it), because his left eye was swollen almost all the way shut. He had a vet appointment the next morning, so we gave him a Benadryl and aside from the swelling, it didn't seem to bother him. It was better by the next afternoon.

8 miles @ 9:37 pace

Thursday - 4 miles

This was another treadmill run. Fairly uneventful, I believe I watched Food Network while I ran. Does anyone else do that? For some reason that is my go-to channel when I'm at the gym.

4 miles @ 9:29 pace

Friday - Rest Day

I'm so good at rest days.

Saturday - 8 miles

I did not want to run. At all. I was full of excuses and almost didn't go at all. I did manage to drag myself out the door for 6 miles, and of course it wasn't terrible once I was out there.

6 miles @ 9:57 pace

Sunday - 17 miles

It was supposed to rain pretty much all day, so I didn't bother waking up early to run. The humidity was ridiculous, but the rain held off until after I got home.

I felt stronger on this run than on my long run last week.

This was after getting to the top of a killer hill that I pretty much always have to walk part of. It's at mile 14 and it is over a mile long. It's kind of terrible. 

17.01 miles @ 11:41 pace

Weekly Mileage - 39.02 

And because I know you need more dog pictures: 

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