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Wait, can we go back in time?

I knew the past couple months that the month of March was going to be really busy for me. I prepared myself as best I could but lost my steam pretty quickly. I was prepared to be busy and not have much of a life, I was not prepared to be completely exhausted. Some days I woke up early and got my workout in then. Other days, I was working from home so that I could squeeze in a run during my lunch hour. The rest of the days I was resting because I burnt the candle at both ends and the candle disappeared.

“burn the candle at both ends is an idiom meaning to exhaust oneself, esp by being up late and getting up early to work; to work extremely or excessively hard; to work too hard for good health or peace of mind. Worsened by also “partying hard” on top of working hard

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3/11-3/17

Sunday –  Orange Theory 3.1 miles and 0 splat points, then went to the gym to run 5 more miles on the treadmill
Monday  Rest
Tuesday –  Outside – 1 mile WU, 2×3 miles, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 8.2 miles @8:15 pace
Wednesday – Strength Training and Stretching
Thursday – Inside 7 miles @8:07 pace – I think this was supposed to be a tempo but who knows.
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Outside – 3 Miles easy @8:52 pace

Total Mileage: 21.35

3/18-3/24

Sunday – Outside -20 miles @8:44 pace.
Monday  – Rest Day
Tuesday –  Rest Day
Wednesday – Inside – 3 Miles @8:48 pace
Thursday – Outside – 1 mile WU, 3×2 miles, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 8.5 miles @8:17 pace
Friday – Inside – 1 mile WU, 5@tempo, 1 mile CD 7 miles @8:09 pace
Saturday – Inside – Inside – 7 miles @8:53 pace

Total Mileage: 45.5

3/25-3/31

Sunday –Rest
Monday – Orange Theory – 1.5 miles during class
Tuesday –  1 mile WU, 2×2 miles, .25 recovery and .25 CD – I was really crunched for time this day. 5.5 miles @8:11 pace
Wednesday – Orange Theory – 2 miles during class – I cheated a little in this class so I could get my heart rate up. Instead of the .25 intervals, I did .35. I’m such a rebel! I earned 3 splat points though.
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Rest Day

Total Mileage: 9

So I would like to go back in time to rearrange my schedule. Not to get in all the workouts I missed but so I could get workouts in that are much shorter. I think I stressed about getting workouts in and I think that added to my exhaustion. Looking back at my month, I can honestly say I did what I could, with the time I had and I am happy knowing that. I probably stressed out more than I needed.

I had some scary hamstring issues at the end of last week that I was pretty sure was going to end my spring marathons. I tried really hard to remain calm and took extra rest days. While I may have had to miss getting my last long run in, I do have a much happier hamstring. Sometimes you push through the pain and sometimes you rest.

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Training Recap – I’m done with speed work

Overall, training is going really good and despite a crazy schedule, I am happy with the workouts I am getting in. I’m taking more rest days, at least 2 a week lately due to a busy schedule. I have also reach a point in my training plan where I get a break from Speed Work and now have Strength Work instead.

So what is the difference? Basically, for Speed Work, I am running fast, not all out but definitely exhausting paces. Towards the end of my training plan, I switch to Strength paced workouts which are uncomfortable but overall really only about 10 seconds faster than goal marathon pace. The strength workouts are generally longer intervals so having them slower and not all out is much more manageable and keeps my hamstring happy.

2/25-3/3

Sunday –  Orange Theory but we ran 3 miles of hills during class! and Spin Class
Monday  Strength Work – 1 mile WU, 3×1.5, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 7 miles @8:30 pace
Tuesday –  8 miles @8:34 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – AM Run – 5 miles @8:16 pace, PM Run – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 7@tempo, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:05 pace (14 total for the day)
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Outside – 19 miles @8:56 pace.

I had some really awesome paces during my long run OUTSIDE with some hills, everything felt really good til just after mile 16. The hamstring started to pull and then the abductor so instead of 20 miles I did 19. My last 2 miles were slower and it just wasn’t worth it to keep going.

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Total: 51

3/4-3/10

Sunday –  Spin Class
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – Strength Work – 1 mile WU, 3×2 mile, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:11 pace
Wednesday – Orange Theory class but I didn’t keep track of running mileage probably around 2 miles.
Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 7@tempo, 1 mile CD – 9  miles @8:06 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Malachi Race – 3 mile WU, 5 mile race, .5 CD – 8.5 total

Total: 28.5

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Guess who has 4 pairs of Goodr Sunglasses and didn’t wear any at the race.

I had one minor issue with a cranky calf last week but happy that it was an easy fix. It was mostly just really sore from Orange Theory so it’s ready for a pounding this week.

I saw this quote last week and have been obsessed with it.

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I also like this quote because it seems to always be snowing in Cleveland…but I like the snow. Sorry guys!

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Morning running, burnout and a 2 week training update

Many of you know that I run on the treadmill a lot during training but did you also know I do most of my workouts in the morning before work?

Monday – Thursday my alarm goes off at 4:10 am to get up, take the dogs out, get ready and get to the gym before 5. I get there before 5 in the hopes they open up early and I have more time to workout. Lately my Thursday workout has been getting moved to after work due to how long it is. I have to be done with my workout by 6:10 since I leave for work at 6:50! I usually rest on Fridays and on Saturdays and Sundays I “sleep in” til about 6 or 6:30. Really though, I am just waiting on the sun to come up or the gym to open on the weekends.

I get asked a lot of questions on how do you get up early and it’s easy…for me

1.) Go to bed early, this is an easy one and I promise it works. I aim to go to be by 9 most nights.
2.) Start small, don’t aim to get up a full hour earlier, just try for 15-30 minutes. Work your way up to an hour. I used to get up and just run 2-3 miles before work and then would run 2-3 after work. Now I just do the entire workout before work.
3.) Lay out your workout clothes the night before or even just sleep in them. I used to sleep in my clothes when I was starting to workout before work. Now I lay them out but literally try to just roll out of bed and go.
4.) Don’t think about it! Just get up and go. Once you are up and moving you will be awake. If you need to, move your alarm far enough from your bed that you have to get up.
5.) Set a goal that you will work out twice a week before work. Maybe even do it on Monday and Tuesday and get it out of the way at the beginning of the week. Then work on adding days to that. I used to only do it twice a week and now that’s increased.
6.) I usually workout on an empty stomach and that is what works for me but not for everyone else so plan a small snack if you need to. OR plan a snack to eat immediately after.

Even with these tips, working out in the morning just might not work for you and THAT’S OKAY! Maybe your gym is far away or doesn’t open early enough etc. I just thought I would share what works for me and how I got there.

The week of 1/28 training went well and I was happy with my workouts.

1/28-2/3

Sunday –  4 miles @8:33 pace
Monday  Speedwork – 1 mile WU, 3×1600, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 5.5 miles @8:11 pace
Tuesday – Rest day
Wednesday – 6 Miles @8:43 pace
Thursday – Tempo! 1 Mile WU, 7@tempo, 1 mile CD – 9 miles @8:02 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Treadmill – 17 miles @8:32 pace.

Total: 41.5

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Post long run presents
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Ryan and I have slowly been testing out Cryotherapy.

However, the following week I was just mostly mentally tapped out. I think the past couple weeks of “burning the candle at both ends” finally caught up with me.

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So I adjusted my week. I skipped runs, took extra rest days, changed workouts and still ran 32 miles last week. (I think closer to 45 was the plan)

2/4-2/10

Sunday –  1 hour spin class
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Speedwork – 1 mile WU, 7×800, .25 recovery, 1 mile CD – 7 miles @8:22 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – 7 miles @8:30
Friday – AM – 1 mile WU, 5@tempo, 1 mile CD, 7 miles @8:12
PM – 6 miles @8:15 pace
Saturday – 5.1 miles @8:31 pace

Total: 32.1

And guess what? I feel great and refreshed this week! I am so glad I adjusted my schedule last week and didn’t beat myself up over missing runs and even skipping my long run!

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This dog is so bad but so darn cute!

Less than 59 days til the Boston Marathon, Ryan is running, not me.
Less than 65 days til the Glass City Marathon, that marathon is for me.
Less than 94 Days til the Cleveland Marathon, that marathon or half marathon is for me. Ryan is pacing the 3:25 pace group again this year.

I have a Cleveland Marathon race entry giveaway in a few weeks but if you just can’t wait, I have a code for you. JMCLE10

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Luck of the Injuries – 2 week Training Update

It’s that time of year for old injuries to come back! Granted, I have been dealing with hamstring and adductor pain for over a year now. Thankfully I have those under control which is allowing me to run 40-50 miles a week consistently. However, my old friend plantar fasciitis came back after my 16 miler.

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2/26-3/4 – 53.3 Mile Week 

Sunday – Easy 4.8 miles treadmill at 8:41 pace
Monday – 8.4 miles treadmill  at 8:24 pace
Tuesday – AM – 8 miles treadmill at 8:48 pace
PM – 4 miles outside at 8:16 pace
Wednesday – Easy 5.1 miles treadmill at 8:50 pace
Thursday – Tempo – 7 miles treadmill at 8:18 pace, (1 mile WU, 5@tempo, 1 mile CD)
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 16 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Total –  53.3 miles

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Spotted: Rare moment in real clothes post Winter Warmer event.

3/5-3/11 –  40.8 Mile Week 

Sunday – Strength Training
Monday – Elliptical
Tuesday – Speed work – 8.5 miles treadmill at 8:17 (1 mile warm up, 1x3mile, 3x1mile, active slower runs between repeats and 1 mile CD)
Wednesday – Strength Training
Thursday – AM – Tempo – 8 miles treadmill at 8:16 pace (1 mile WU, 6 miles at tempo, 1 mile CD)
PM – 4 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Friday – 10.3 miles treadmill at 8:44 pace
Saturday – 10 miles all outside! (2 mile WU, Malachi 5 miler, 3 mile CD)
Total –  40.8 miles

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When someone takes your picture and says “let me know if it’s ok, I took a couple just in case” and you assume it’s ok since they took a couple but you end up with multiple pictures with a finger covering the lens.

I felt great for that first week of training with 53.3 miles…until my long run. The last week I have been very cautious and only ran 4 days. I have been to the chiropractor to get work done on my foot and have been wearing the dreaded boot a couple hours at night to stretch that foot more. And obviously icing and massaging on my own. But the best thing I have done to help my plantar fasciitis is to switch shoes!

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The Hoka Clifton is my all time favorite shoe and I run almost all my miles in it. However, this is a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion but no arch support. Cushion sounds amazing when you have a plantar fasciitis problem. But I didn’t need cushion, I needed stability and support. I switched over to the Hoka Arahi and it’s amazing the improvement I have seen already. It’s also amazing what the wrong shoe can do to your body. Hopefully, I can go back to the clifton at some point but I’m not in a hurry.

HokaArahi

I am beyond thrilled with what the Cleveland Marathon is putting together for the 40th anniversary race this year. I’ve been a part of this race since 2008 and that means next year will be 10 years of Cleveland Marathoning for me! Well not 10 consecutive marathons since I ran the half a few times, the marathon a few times and dropped out due to injury and illness twice but I’ve been attempting to race every year since 2008.

How many times have you been a part of the Cleveland Marathon festivities? If it is your first year, what are you looking forward to the most?

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New Plan and 3 Changes

So looking back at my last 2 weeks of training, it really wasn’t that bad. However, it felt bad. Nothing hurt physically (well except for the normal aches and pains from my hamstring) but it just felt hard all the time. My easy runs felt hard, my hard runs felt hard (well duh) and my long runs which I love felt hard. It really didn’t make sense to me. So I have decided to make some changes.

1.) Coconut Water – It was recommended to me by a muscle specialist to maybe try and increase my potassium and Coconut Water has a ton of it. Way more than bananas if you are wondering “why not just eat a banana?” However, I do love bananas, so I am trying to snack on those more often.

coconutwater

2.) More Meat – I noticed I barely ate any meat the past 2 weeks and almost no iron substitutes. Lots of salads but not enough protein or iron. I went to the store today and purchased enough ground beef to last the next 2 weeks.

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This Pork Ramen from Mason’s Creamery was probably the extent of my protein last week. So good though!

3.) A new training plan. I was following the Pfitzsinger plan but it really wasn’t doing anything for me except allowing me to run higher mileage. Which I am absolutely loving. Ryan is using the Pfitzsinger plan, loving it and crushing his training. However, it just wasn’t for me at this time. I would love to come back to it next year. I have jumped back to my beloved Hansons Plan. I have modified it a little bit but already feel better with these changes.

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If you are wondering why my training plan stops in April it’s because I was planning on running the Athens Ohio Marathon. However, I don’t feel very confident in my training and don’t feel like I will run well. My first 20 miler of the training season was awful. Could I run a marathon? Yes. Will I run it well and enjoy it? Probably Not.

I am giving my self 1 more week to decide if I still want to run the Athens full, switch to the half or skip it altogether and run something more local that weekend. I was planning to run the Cleveland Full as well but last weekend I even questioned that!

51.5 Mile Week – Mostly Outside!!!!

Sunday – 5 miles at 8:47 pace
Monday – 8.5 miles at 8:42 pace
Tuesday – 10 miles at 8:34 pace
Wednesday – Rest Day?
Thursday – 8 miles treadmill at 8:46 pace
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – 20 miles at 9:46 pace
Total – 51.5 miles

40.6 Mile Week – Almost all OUTSIDE!

Sunday – 5 miles at 9:32 pace
Monday – 8 miles at 8:21 pace
Tuesday – Stomach Flu
Wednesday – 6.1 miles at 8:09 pace
Thursday – 11 miles at 8:59 pace
Friday – 5 miles treadmill at 8:42 pace
Saturday – 5.5 miles with Hills
Total – 40.6 miles

This crazy warm weather had me outside so much!!!!!! I didn’t expect that for February!

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The boys are missing the heater kicking on.

Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone! I stopped by Colozza’s yesterday for Paczki and they were amazing!!!!!! The bakery had so much to offer. I will definitely be back to try some more of their baked goods.

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Cleveland Marathon Training Week 17 and 18: Race Week is Here

I can’t believe race week is finally here. It’s so crazy to think about training from January-May and to see that the race is just days away.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been pretty nervous all week for this race. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely excited but definitely more nervous than past marathons. You would think after 15 marathons I would have the nerves thing figured out.

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At least I know what I am going to wear!

Training Week 17

Monday – 1 Hour Elliptical and arms and abs strength training.
Tuesday –  1.25 mile warm up, 7x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1.25 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 1 Hour elliptical
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 7 miles at 7:47 pace, 1 mile cooldown
Friday –  Rest Day
Saturday – 10.13 – 1 mile warm up, 8 at marathon goal pace, 1 mile cool down
Sunday –  Rest Day

Total Mileage:26.13

Training Week 18

Monday – 1 hour elliptical

Tuesday –  1 mile warm up, 3x800m repeats, 400 recovery, 1 mile cooldown
Wednesday – 3 mile easy run, 20 minute elliptical and strength abs and arms
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday –  Rest Day but light abs and arms strength work
Saturday – Rest Day – Watch the 5K, go the expo and eat carbs
Sunday –  RACE DAY!

3 Reasons this week is the worst:

1.) Running Less: The past week has been one of the hardest of my training cycle. Running and working out so little is really tough. Especially after all those weeks of hard workouts. I mean, I really missed my tempo run this week. Who knew I would grow to love tempo runs!

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Less running but more cuddles from these dudes.

2.) Carb Deplete/Reload: This past week is also rough because it’s carb deplete week/reload week. A lot of people skip the carb deplete part of carb loading. I mean who really wants to go through that. However, I love torture so I definitely do it. What does it mean? Long story short, after my last long run, I cut back majorly on all carbs. I basically cut back to less than 50 grams of carbs a day. It’s pretty rough. I basically eat lean meat, cheese, eggs and pork rinds for days. However, when it is over I can start carb loading and your body will retain more carb energy…or something like that. This article sums it up much better than I do.

3.) Negativity: I am a very positive person. I like to look on the bright side of most things. Who wants to live their life as a downer? The answer is, most Clevelanders. Sometimes I can’t blame them but man do Clevelanders like to complain about everything. Maybe it’s the weather, the Browns, the marathon (course is too shady or too sunny or too hilly or not scenic enough, etc.). And maybe that’s how some people deal with nerves. It’s Cleveland; what do they expect?! It’s still a relatively flat and fast course and besides downtown, what scenic sites do you want to see? For me, I like to focus on the positive. My training went great even with injuries. I can’t control the weather but it’s shaping up to look very comfortable, if not cold. And I get to run a marathon with 20,000+ of my friends.

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What are your favorite carb loading foods? What are you looking forward to?

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Lake Erie Waterfest Splash & Dash Sprint Tri

After the Huntington Sprint Tri I contemplated retiring from triathlons. This may be the first time I have said that out loud. The swim was so bad for me that I couldn’t imagine swimming 1.2 or 2.4 miles in open water. I was going to throw away my Ironman dreams. The entire drive home I was very disappointed and Ryan and I had to have a conversation on what to do next. I decided I could either give up OR get back out there and train harder.

Obviously I got back out there and kept working. I also signed up for another race as soon as I could so I could get back out there and prove to myself that I could swim in open water.

I got to this race early and set up my transition area while trying to remain calm. I was doing good until I saw the water. There were a lot of waves. Fairly big waves, at least to me but it looked like the big waves were close to shore and where you could still stand. The farther out you went the water flattened out. I think that’s probably the best scenario I would have hoped for.

The Swim – 14:54

The swim  was a literally straight out and back course. I’ve never seen that in a triathlon before but I actually really liked it. I did good for the first couple strokes and then I started to freak out. I did a really good job of staying calm and just doggy paddled til I calmed down enough to start putting my face back in the water. After I put my face in the water I just tried to breathe on every stroke. I did ok but still had to doggy paddle to remain calm. When I got to the turnaround buoy, I told myself I had to swim normal all the way back. And I did! Finally felt good on the swim! Minus the fact that I had a full sleeve wetsuit on and it was a little warm.

T1 – 1:37

I’ve never worked on my transitions but I really good at getting ready quickly and especially  changing quickly. Seriously, if you ever go shopping with me, I am really fast at changing in the changing rooms.

The Bike – 41:12

My goal was to do the bike in under 40 minutes but I came up just a bit short. This was the first time I really hammered the bike. And by hammered I averaged 17.5 mph. Really not that fast but I was happy with it. I probably lost a little time going through the cud-de-sacs and close to an intersection I had to wait to pass some ladies to avoid drafting. I don’t even know if there were draft rules in place but better to be safe.

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T2 – 1:19

Another fast transition. Not mad about it.

The Run – 24:15

My watch timed the run at 23:20 but I’m happy with a 24:15so I won’t complain. Plus who knows where the timing mats were and I may have started my watch late. After hammering the bike I was pretty sure my legs would be useless but I was still going to try for a 25 minute 5K. It took my legs less than 1 minute to find their running legs but after that I took off and picked off runners as I went. The best part about triathlons is with a running background I get to pass a lot of people during the run. It’s nice to be able to make up some time in the sport you excel at. Especially when the swim and the bike are so bad.

Look at that stride!
Look at that stride!

Overall Finish Time: 1:23:20

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In case you need a reminder, I did the Huntington Triathlon just a few weeks before this in 1:37:19. Took well over 10 minutes off my sprint triathlon time. It was exactly the confidence boost I needed to continue with Ironman training. Felt good to be back on track and even better to place 1st in my age group! This was my first time placing in a triathlon.