Spring 1/2 Training: Week 11

Week 11 is now behind me, leaving me with only one more long run before the race. I wish I could say that I feel like I’m going to kill that two hour time goal, but that would be a lie. Instead, I’m contemplating what my other goals for this race can be so that I still feel accomplished when I finish slower than I’d like. 

This doesn’t mean I had a bad week, on the contrary look at all the stuff I did: 

  • Monday: Travel day. I took almost every conceivable mode of transportation (car, plane, shuttle bus, subway, feet – walked, and train), but no running. 
  • Tuesday:  3 mile easy run outside with Jeff. No watch, but I was using the charity miles app so I know it was something under 10 min/mile. Being able to use Charity Miles again is one definite plus to running outside.
  • Wednesday: 45 minute tempo run (treadmill). As far as speed work goes, I much prefer intervals. Ended up with 4.8 miles, so even during speed work I’m a bit shy of that 9 min/mile average I’m hoping for on race day. This is why I have my doubts. Also, stretching and foam rolling.
  • Thursday:  5 mile easy run out to Salem. There were hills and a bridge and beaches and Jeff. It was pretty nice. Ended up around 10 min miles with a tad bit of walking and some stopping for traffic lights. I think it’s key that I start slow at my race. That seems to really help me make it through the run at a decent pace.
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Not a bad view.

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Look I got my finger in both shots!

  • Friday: I did it! I did my pace run, and I succeeded! 5 miles in 44:36, that’s 24 seconds to spare, even! I had pretty much given up hope of succeeding on one of these pace runs.  Silly me. I guess there’s still a chance I’ll get my sub-2 hour half. I just have to keep up that pace for twice as far, and then a 5k. Piece of cake!


Oh, also, I had a pretty impressive dance party after the pace run success. Unfortunately, I skipped spinning in the morning in order to keep my legs fresh for the pace run attempt. 

  • SaturdayI set out on my long run of 12 miles, but decided to cut it short at the halfway point and finished only 6.34 miles.  My legs were BEAT. I clearly should have waited until Sunday morning to try the long run. And I knew that at the time, but mentally I was ready for it, so I went anyways. Oh well. I know I could have finished out the 12, but I just wasn’t having any fun. It was cold and windy and a little wet, and my legs were so tired from running the previous 4 days. I guess this is the beauty of this training schedule I made, it was my second 12 mile run, so I didn’t feel horrible about going home when my legs were done.
  • Sunday: Much needed rest day. Stretching and foam rolling.

This is how I did on my goals last week:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles – Did 6.34 miles
  2. Speed Work – 45 min tempo run Check!
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mileCheck!
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile Check!
  5. Strength – Once – Nope..so, bad at this.
  6. Stretch & Foam Roll – 2 times Check!
  7. Spinning Once Skipped

Once again, I didn’t get all my goals. It’s a high bar I set for myself. 😉

This week I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 13 miles
  2. Speed Work – 10x400m intervals
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile
  4. Pace Run: 3 mile
  5. Strength – Once
  6. Stretch & Foam Roll – 3 times
  7. Spinning Twice


Spring 1/2 Training: Week 10

I can’t believe I’ve been training for 10 weeks. This is a long training plan! I think I made it this way because I was excited to get started. Ha! 

Here’s how week 10 went:

  • Monday: 3 mile easy run followed by spinning. Also, stretching and foam rolling. 
  • Tuesday:  Jeff and I planned to run together tonight, and despite neither of us feeling like it we got all dressed up for intervals at the track. Unfortunately, when we drove over to the track we found it was taken by the high school track team. We then decided to do a short run from home instead. However, we still weren’t feeling it and after stepping out into the wind we quickly headed inside in favor of dinner and a few episodes of Friends. (Am I a bad runner if I find this more funny than guilt inducing?)
  • Wednesday: Did my intervals that I skipped on Tuesday. I REALLY didn’t want to go, but Jeff sort of dragged me with him to the gym. It turned out to be a great workout, so I’m pretty grateful that he didn’t give in to my whining. On another note, I really like intervals. They feel easier than just a regular 4 mile run. Think I can do intervals for the whole race?
2014-03-26 20.09.44

I love intervals!

  • Thursday:  Took the night off to get ready for my weekend trip to Buffalo.
  • Friday: Traveling and visiting with family, no running.
  • Saturday: Baby shower day for my sister, again no running.
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Shower success!

  • Sunday: After talking with a few people, I decided to do my long run on the trail by the Niagara River.  Unfortunately, because it’s Buffalo and Spring is not coming this year, there were 3″ of snow on the ground when I woke up. After dawdling as long as I could, I finally forced myself on to my mom’s treadmill for 12 miles. I didn’t really feel like running (theme of the week), but again, once it started, I was fine and had a good time. I even ended up with negative splits!
2014-03-30 08.15.08

Oh, hello there March 30th.

This is how I did on my goals last week:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles Check!
  2. Speed work – 9x400m Check!
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile – 3 mile yes, 5 mile no
  4. Strength – Once – Still have a wrist problem, but shouldn’t be failing so badly at this
  5. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Only once
  6. Spinning Once Check!

This week I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles
  2. Speed Work – 45 min tempo run
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile
  5. Strength – Once
  6. Stretch & Foam Roll – 2 times
  7. Spinning Once

One of these weeks, I’m going to meet all of my goals, but it certainly wasn’t week 10. I’m happy with how I did though, considering I was doing a bunch of last minute baby shower planning and then traveling to Buffalo. In addition to that, my motivation to workout was definitely lacking this week, so I consider everything I did an extra little victory.

Do you ever have weeks like mine, where everything is 10 times harder to do than normal? I tend to give in and skip some workouts, but not all of them. I find that taking it easy on weeks like this can help me get my motivation back quicker, but it’s good to have some workouts to look back on that were hard to start but turned out good. 

Spring 1/2 Training: Week 9

Week nine and feelin’ fine!

  • Monday:  My friend was in town, and it was St. Patrick’s day. We went out to lunch and then to an Irish Bar! Fun times, but no running.
  • Tuesday:  40 minute tempo run, starting at 10 min/mile speeding up to 8:30/mile. I held each pace longer this time, and I think that was a good choice. Also, I got two 24 packs of energy gel – Chocolate Cherry Clif gel and Salted Caramel Gu.
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The box said you win something if you find the “golden yeti”, so of course I dumped the whole box on the floor immediately. Alas, no golden yeti, just normal yetis.

  • Wednesday: 4.5 “easy” run. I put the word in quotes because it didn’t feel very easy. I think my legs were a tad tired from Tuesday’s speed work. 
  • Thursday:  Easy run outside w/ Jeff, my favorite runny buddy. No Garmin, it was nice. Covered just over 3 miles in the fresh air.
  • Friday: Attempted a 5 mile pace run, outside again. I started out slightly above race pace, and then just fell apart. Honestly though, I don’t even care! I am so psyched about passing my test, that I was grinning ear to ear the entire time. Even though I averaged 11 min miles…nothing can get me down today. I passed my TEST!!! Also, it was very windy. 
Can you see the wind?

Can you see the wind? (ooof, this pic is terrible)

  • Saturday: Rest Day w/ stretching and foam rolling
  • Sunday: 11 mile long run. First long run outside during 1/2 training. My pace was a little disappointing (10:38/mile) because I’ve been faster on the treadmill, but I still had fun. I did run/walk with about a 3.5 to 1 ratio. I thought this would be a good idea today because my legs didn’t do very well on Friday and I need to get reacquainted with running on pavement and over hills. I ran the last 2.5 miles without walk breaks and it went well. There’s nothing more encouraging than finishing strong on a long run.
2014-03-23 08.19.09

I don’t want to go outside, but I will, because it’s 32F and that is WARM.

Last week, I set my goals as:

  1. Long Run: 11 milesCheck!
  2. Speed work – 40 min TempoCheck!
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 4.5 mileCheck!
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile – Intentions were there, execution was off – 4 miles not at race pace
  5. Strength – Twice – Big fail*
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Only twice

*I woke up on Tuesday with an unexplained wrist injury. I have a bump, and it hurts to bend it certain ways. I really don’t know what happened. I can’t think of a single thing I would have done on Monday that would cause it. It’s not that bad, but it’s preventing me from doing push-ups, and push-ups are the backbone of my lame at home strength workout. So, I flaked out on the hated strength work. This week, I’ll try to at least do the exercises that don’t hurt my wrist.

This week, I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles
  2. Speed work – 9x400m
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile
  4. Strength – Once
  5. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times
  6. Spinning Once

Again, I’ll miss some spinning this week. I’m traveling during spin class time, and I’ll be attempting my 12 mile run in Buffalo this weekend because I’m visiting for my sister’s baby shower on Saturday!  Woo!

Spring 1/2 Training: Week 8

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t have any plans for celebrating yet, but who knows what will come up.

For now, here’s a picture of Ireland:

Ancient dwelling on the Aran Islands

Ancient dwelling on the Aran Islands

Now sweetly lies old Ireland,

Emerald green beyond the foam,

Awakening old memories,

Calling the heart back home.

And, totally unrelated to the holiday, my weekly recap:

  • Monday:  3 miles easy before Spinning. The run went great, I averaged 9:17/mile and it felt pretty easy. Spinning, on the other hand, was tough! It wasn’t just me either, everyone was struggling with the workout today. I think it was a tougher one than last week.
  • Tuesday:  Rest Day, and bought new sneakers!
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy to break in the new sneakers. 
  • Thursday:  Did my weekly speed work at the gym, 8x400m w/ 2 min rest between interval for a total of 4 miles.  Also, did my at home strength work. It wasn’t as bad as last week, and I got a new push-up high: 28! 50 push-ups here I come!  I also stretched and foam rolled. 
  • Friday: 3.5 miles and Spinning! Also, stretched and foam rolled, again. My legs are sore from the lunges that were part of my strength workout yesterday, but keeping up the stretching and foam rolling should help.
  • Saturday: 11 miles! (Treadmill, but still.) I’m hoping that the simulated hills are going to be enough to get me through a real life half marathon. 
  • Sunday: Thought about how I should be stretching and foam rolling, as well as doing my strength stuff, but didn’t. Bad Amy.

Last week, I set my goals as:

  1. Long Run: 11 miles Check!
  2. Speed work – 8 x 400m intervals Check!
  3. Easy Runs: 2-3 runs at least 3 miles  Check!
  4. Go to spinning twice Check!
  5. At home strength work – 2 times – Just Once
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Close, only twice

This week, I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 11 miles
  2. Speed work – 40 min Tempo
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 4.5 mile
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile
  5. Strength – Twice
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times

Spinning is only a maybe this week. I’ve got plans during both my “normal” spin class times. I might try and go to a different class, but it’s not going to be a priority.

Have a good week!

Spring 1/2 Training: Week 7

Now that I started this last week, I’m going to do my best to keep it going.

  • Monday:  3 miles easy + Spinning, this time I ran 2 miles, went to spinning, and then ran 1 mile. I liked doing the single mile afterwards. It got my legs feeling semi-normal again after that weird feeling they get when I’m on the bike.
  • Tuesday: Did not run, ate pancakes instead.


  • Wednesday: I finally sucked it up and did my at home strength workout. It was  terrible and I hated it awesome, and I beat my current best for push-ups! New high: 26! I also ran 4 miles on the treadmill at an average 9:21 pace. How will I shave 21 seconds off that for 13.1 miles?
  • Thursday:  40 minute tempo run. Built to 2 min at 8min/mile. Average 9:11/mile. Felt like I paced myself correctly for the first time. Probably shouldn’t have run so fast on Wednesday, though.
  • Friday: 3 miles easy + I went to spinning again. I’m starting to really like spin class. I ran 3 miles, then went to spinning, then walked/ran a mile to “reboot” my legs.  That’s what I’m calling it, a reboot. Although, it might really just be crazy, I don’t know.
  • Saturday: First outdoor run in a month, or more? It was..well, not great. Ended up being 6 miles instead of the originally planned 10.
  • Sunday: Rest day. Recognized that today would have been good to do strength exercises a second time, but didn’t.

Last week, I set my goals as:

  1. Long Run: 10 miles – ran 6 miles
  2. Speed Work: 40 minute tempo run Check!
  3. Easy Runs: 2 or 3 runs @ 3 to 4 miles Check!
  4. Go to spinning twice Check!
  5. Do at home strength exercises at least twice – did exercises once

I didn’t get everything on my list done, but I still feel good about everything I did. I’m kind of surprised that I’m not more disappointed about cutting my long run short, but I’m not.  I think it’s because I had just done 10 miles the week before without a problem. I like that I put two of each distance in my long run schedule, takes some pressure off. 

This week, I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 11 miles
  2. Speed work – 8 x 400m intervals
  3. Easy Runs: 2-3 runs at least 3 miles
  4. Go to spinning twice
  5. At home strength work – 2 times
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times (Taking everyone’s advice to get stretching!)

Have a good week! I hope you’re adjusting to daylight savings..blech!

It’s National Pancake Day!

March has a lot of great holidays! You don’t always think of March as being full of them, but it really is. For example, today is both National Pancake Day AND Mardi Gras!

IHOP created National Pancake Day in 2006. They give you a free small stack of pancakes and ask for a donation which they give to children’s hospitals. I haven’t participated in IHOP’s version of Pancake Day, but I’m making pancakes for dinner tonight!

How this all affects my running: I’ll be doing speed work on Thursday instead of today because, obviously, pancake day is a day for being with FAMILY.

2014-03-04 07.29.57

Got my ingredients ready…10 hours early 🙂

I haven’t made the pancakes yet, so you get a picture of the ingredients instead.  Just think how lucky you are because now you know my secret ingredient! Hint: It’s the seltzer water. If you use seltzer instead of regular water, the pancakes are fluffier. (At least that’s what the box says.) Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m going to use a box of waffle mix to make the pancakes. Don’t worry, this is not a mistake. Just remember, the most important part about choosing a pancake mix isn’t that it says “pancakes” on the box; it’s that you only need to add water.  Who can predict when you’re going to have eggs, milk, or oil on hand?

Since you can see I’m well prepared for pancake day, you’re probably wondering what I have in store for Mardi Gras. Unfortunately, I don’t really know what you’re supposed to do to celebrate if you live outside of New Orleans. I think stuffing myself with pancakes is appropriate (after all, Mardi Gras = Fat Tuesday). The only other idea I have is that my friend Mike (from Louisiana) gave me a mix CD of Mardi Gras music, which I can play during our pancake party. Sorry Mardi Gras, pancake day is overshadowing you.

Check out the rest of the March Holidays:

  1. March 4th – National Pancake Day
  2. March 4th (sometimes, including this year!) – Mardi Gras
  3. March 14th – Pi Day
  4. March 15th – Ides of March
  5. March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day
  6. March 19th – St. Joseph’s Day
  7. March 29th (only in 2014) – Beth’s baby shower
  8. March (sometimes, but not this year) – Passover
  9. March (sometimes, but not this year) – Easter
  10. March (sometimes, but not this year) – Dyngus Day

Did I miss any? What’s your favorite March Holiday? Are you celebrating Pancake Day?

Spring 1/2 Training: Week 6 Recap

When I first started this blog, I was hoping to use it to document my marathon training. I then proceeded to make only two entries the entire time I was training for the marathon, not talking about training in either post, and then I never even made a race recap of that race. That was a major fail.

Since then, I’ve become MUCH better at updating my blog, and I’m having a great time doing it, but I realized the other day that I’m still not documenting my training in an even semi-organized way. I didn’t even post about my training plan until I had been using it for 5 weeks!  I want to be better at this. I like reading other runners’ recaps from training, and hopefully reading those will keep me on task.

So here’s what I did last week, week 6 of 1/2 marathon training:

  • Monday: Easy 5k, set the speed at 10 min/mile and didn’t allow myself to go faster. Having a time goal for this race has made me VERY bad at doing slower, easy runs.
  • Tuesday: Speed day – 7 x 400s at 5k pace w/ two minute slower running between laps. Including warm-up and cool down, this came to around 3.75 miles. I ran under 8 minute/mile pace on the 400s which is awesome, but I should probably slow down a tad because that is not 5k pace for me.
  • Wednesday: Rest day, instead of Monday.
  • Thursday: Skipped. Felt like playing board games and watching Friends instead.
  • Friday: Spinning! Then ran 3 miles easy (around 10 min/mile pace) at zero incline, my legs were tired! (Note: Friday is supposed to be a rest day, but wanted to make up for skipping on Thursday)
  • Saturday: 10 miles! Set program to rolling hills level 4. The “big” hills were very hard this week. Probably because (like a crazy person) I did spinning and then ran the day before. I managed to still finish w/ my pace slightly under 10 min/mile, so I was happy about this run.  Then I mostly just sat on the couch for the rest of the day. 🙂
  • Sunday: Skipped.  Legs were tired. I’m contemplating making this an official rest day and running Mondays instead, because Sunday runs just aren’t working out for me this time around.

I did nearly 20 miles this week, and tried out spinning! Woo! My goals for this week are:

  1. Long Run: 10 miles
  2. Speed Work: 40 minute tempo run
  3. Easy Runs: 2 or 3 runs @ 3 to 4 miles
  4. Go to spinning twice
  5. Do at home strength exercises at least twice

I think #3 and #5 will be the hardest for me to complete, but having posted it here should help. I don’t want to have to tell you next Monday that I missed my goals!

Now, off to have a productive Monday that will include studying, spinning, washing a mountain of dishes, and knitting a blanket for my soon to be niece or nephew.  Enjoy your day!