Erie Marathon Training Weeks 1 & 2

Nothing like starting off a new training plan with being sick, having to skip a long run and rearranging your training plan. I’ve combined training weeks 1 and 2 because they were both crazy. I imagined that this would be an interesting training cycle since I am nearing the end of wedding planning, getting married and going on a honeymoon. I didn’t imagine getting sick the first week.

Week 1: Sick and skipped long run 😦

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 30 Minute spin & conditioning
Wednesday: Speedwork, 1 mile WU, 8-400s, 1.5 mile CD. I thought 400s might be easier than 800s and change up my speedwork for a week. I was wrong, they were really hard.
Thursday: 3 miles before work, 4 miles after
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 5K and 1.5 mil WU, ran 2 more miles on the treadmill=6 total for the day

Just about to lose the lead
Just about to lose the lead

Sunday: 6 mile run. Supposed to be a long run and ended up being too sick 😦

Total Mileage: 23.5

Week 2: Sick, spa day and IT band problems

Monday: Rest/slept all day because I thought I had strep throat and was dying
Tuesday: Still sick but ran 5 miles on the treadmill.
Wednesday: Went to the spa after work to use a gift card that was burning a hole in my pocket. Played flag football and didn’t mess up my pedi.
Thursday: 25 min spin before work, 6 mile run, sand vball game.
Friday: 2 mile run in the morning, followed by 3 sets of 10 burpees & 30 second plank. My favorite workout to do last week.

New Workout
New Workout

Saturday: 12 mile run. I wanted to do 14-16 but my IT band was bothering my from mile 4 on so I cut it short instead of making it worse. I followed it up a 2 hour bike ride. We rode our bikes to breakfast on Saturday.

Breakfast at BonBon
Breakfast at BonBon

Sunday: 3.33 mile run by myself, 2.3 mile run with Ryan on some trails, an hour and 20 minute bike ride and lots of kolo dancing. My calves are killing me today!

Kolo Dancing
Kolo Dancing

Total Mileage: 30.63

I’m taking today as a rest day and hopefully making my IT band less cranky and then hitting the track for some speedwork tomorrow. Assuming the IT band behaves itself, I’m planning on running a half marathon this weekend.


Moving On: New Marathon & New Training Plan

Even though I am still in mourning over not being able to finish the Cleveland Marathon 2013, I still signed up for Cleveland Marathon 2014. The prices are hard to beat right now.

  • Marathon: $50
  • Half: $40
  • 10K: $20
  • 5K: $10

Those prices are only until May 31, so register early and save BIG!

I also signed up for a fall marathon. I had 3 on my mind that I wanted to run but finally decided on the Erie Marathon (some refer to it as the Presque Isle Marathon).


Double loop course marathon around Presque Isle but I am looking forward to it. It is a smaller race but with the double loop course I should see a lot of spectators. Also, with the  I will already know what is coming and what to expect on the course. I even “talked” Ryan into driving out there for a practice run of the course.

There are a couple downsides to this race:

  1. It is on a Sunday and I’m attending a wedding on Saturday. (2 hours away)
  2. I will be training throughout the rest of wedding planning, actual wedding and honeymoon.
  3. I have to be careful about tan lines for the first 9 weeks. Hopefully I can run in the early morning or in the shade.

The upside is that I can start training on Monday for a 16 week plan! Starting a new training plan so soon makes me feel like I can get my revenge on Cleveland early.

ErieMarathon2013Since the IT band is behaving, I am moving from 3 days a week of running, to 4 days a week of running. You would not believe how excited I am about that. It may not be listed but I’ll continue to attend yoga and pure barre classes when I can fit them in. I will also be playing flag football and sand volleyball.

Running/Getting Married/Post Wedding/Honeymoon/Anything goes week:

I am doing a long run the day before my wedding and a shorter one on my wedding day. I am not running because “I have to” or to get the training in. I am running because I  love it and I know it will put me in a good mood if I am stressed or over excited. The day after the wedding, I would not be surprised if Ryan and I went for a run. At the same time I would not be surprised if we took a rest day because we have a big family/bridal party brunch that day.

It will be rather warm where we are honeymooning and for the first couple days of we will not have access to a gym. It costs extra to go to the gym at the resort, $15 a day, so no gym I still plan on going for a run outside but the temperature will decide on the distance. I may end up running 10 miles a day or 3 miles a day. Maybe I’ll run everyday, maybe I won’t run at all and maybe I will swim laps instead. I’m leaving the post wedding/honeymoon week empty so that I don’t feel like I am obligated to follow a plan on vacation.

Anyone follow a training plan while on vacation? (I usually just wing it on vacation but always manage to get solid workouts in)

What do you think my chances of racerback tan lines for the wedding are? (Considering that the temperature is in the 50’s, I’m not too concerned)


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 17: Taper Time

Crazy how fast those 17 weeks went by and now I’m tapering for my second marathon of the year. I’m still thinking about my time goal for this race but overall I am so happy to be healthy enough to run it this year.

I’ve been continuing my 3-4 runs a week and not over doing it. I am close to race day and the IT band is still hanging in there so no need to change anything now. However, after I recover from the Cleveland Marathon, I am planning on increasing my mileage to see what the IT band can handle.

Monday: 90 mins yoga at Prana Bodhi
Tuesday: 3.07 miles in the morning. Speedwork after work. 1 mile WU, 4-800s at 3:15, 3:25, 3:28, 3:27 and 1 mile CD.
Wednesday: 90 mins yoga at Prana Bodhi. Flag football game after that.
Thursday: 3.07 run in the morning, 3.16 after work
Friday: Full Rest Day!
Saturday: 1.5 mile warm up, 5K race, 1.5 mile cool down, 12 miles to complete a long run of 18 miles! Last long run before Cleveland.

Overall winners at the 5K on Saturday. Squinty eyes because allergies attack me.
Overall winners at the 5K on Saturday. Squinty eyes because allergies attack me.

Sunday: Rest Day

Total Mileage: 32.3

Tuesday’s speedwork was comfortably hard. I’ve only been doing 4 800s the past couple weeks so that I don’t over do it and I aim to have them all around 3:30. oops on that first one at a 3:15. Saturday’s long run wasn’t too bad. I normally have a hard time running long after a speed race but this one was comfortable. It got a little warm at the end of my run but I am glad I got to run in the heat a little bit. Makes me feel like I am fully prepared for any weather that Cleveland will have this year.

How is your taper going?



Keeping My IT Band Happy: The Cross Training Edition

I want to tell you that for years I ran, just ran and did zero cross training. However, when I look back to when I first started distance running (7 or so years ago) I didn’t just run. I ran and attended boot camp classes and muscle pump classes at a local downtown gym for about 3 years. However, that gym eventually closed, then I solely ran and did zero cross training. I did not get injured but my running times didn’t get faster. Clearly running more was not going to make me faster.

2010 Perfect 10 miler
2010 Perfect 10 miler

I eventually (2010?) joined a new gym and started taking spinning classes. I fell back in love with cross training. I made sure to add 2-3 spinning workouts a week to my training plans. Nevertheless, I eventually fell so in love with running that I stopped doing cross training. I loved the rush that I felt while running so much that was the only thing I wanted to do. Cross training a couple times a week turned into maybe cross training once a month. I literally had to drag myself to cross train.

2011 Marathon number 9
2011 Marathon number 9

And then in 2012, after having the best training of my life and crushing races, I got sidelined with multiple injuries. All related to the dreaded IT band 😦 Looking back I see that I was doing 2 things wrong, running too much too fast and not cross training.

Do I hate cross training? No. I hate having to schedule and go to classes. I like running because I can do it whenever I want. Can I cross training without going to specific classes? yes. But do I? rarely. Until now.

Once I got healthy enough and my IT band was less cranky I started cross training. I have a spin bike in my living room so I have no excuse not to cross train.

My Spin Bike
My Spin Bike

I spin at least once a week, in the comfort of my living room while catching up on my DVR. It’s great and I love it BUT sometimes I start to slack and run out of motivation to do an actual spin workout. That’s where Psycle comes in. I went to a class with my friend Anna and my friend Beal and I got my spinning mojo back! I feel bad paying to go to a spin class when I have a spin bike in my living room already but I do try to go once a month to keep my spinning mojo up. If you haven’t been to Psycle, it is unlike any spin class I’ve ever been too. It’s freaking amazing!

Pure Barre:
In college, I took a couple ballet classes, I’m a weirdo but I also took some “ballet fit” classes. They were awesome classes for dancers at any level. It was as if you mixed Pilates and ballet together. You did actual push ups, sit ups etc but also turns, jumps and barre work. I have yet to find a class exactly like this but Pure Barre in Avon comes very close. I try to attend these classes twice a month or more. I consider it my strength training when I do go.

From Pure Barre Westlake's Facebook Page
From Pure Barre Westlake’s Facebook Page

Yoga just isn’t my thing. I’ve tried many times and I just can’t get into it. I’m not a very serious person and tend to find yoga funny. Many times I find myself trying not to laugh during “om’s”. Many times, I went to class just for the lavender or whatever oil they put on your neck. (and then I would try to not shower because I really liked the “yoga smell”). THEN I went to a class at Prana Bodhi. Apparently, this whole time I was just doing the wrong kind of yoga! Let’s not get all crazy and say that yoga is my thing or anything but I do enjoy going to these bikram style classes. 90 minute classes where I sweat my guza off and concentrate on different poses (that I have no idea how to pronounce). This is my kinda yoga! If yoga isn’t your thing I encourage trying this class out, it is extremely beginner friendly!

Nike Training Club App:
This app has come in handy so many times. It’s another “no excuses” cross training tool. If you are like me, your phone is attached to you at all times (or within a 2 foot radius). I choose to do the 15 minute workouts that focus on specific body parts. I usually do arms and abs one day and legs and butt another day. Ends up being a 30 minute workout and it’s another workout that I can do while catching up on the DVR!

What are your favorite ways to cross train? Does anyone run and not cross train?

****************If you are looking for entry into the Cleveland Marathon, head on over to Evan’s Blog, Close Confessions, he is hosting a giveaway!***********************


Keeping My IT Band Happy: The Stretching Edition

Hopefully, I will not jinx myself with this post but I do want to share what has and has not been working with my IT band problems. If you follow my training you know I went from running 50 miles a week to 20-30 miles a week. I also went from running 6 days a week to running 3 (maybe 4) days a week. Eventually I would like to get back to 50 mile weeks and 6 days of running but for now I am going with what works and keeps me injury free.

You will be surprised to learn that not only did foam rolling not help but actually made it worse. My IT band was to a point where it was too inflamed and every roll on the foam roller just flared it back up. Think of it like having a scab that you keep picking and then won’t heal. I had to wait months for my IT band to calm down before I could foam roll again. When I do it now I do it gently to loosen myself up, no digging until it hurts. If you do not know how to foam roll just look at some videos on youtube.

self_myofascial_release_itbandSome of my favorite stretches are below. The one of the right I do at work a lot. My coworkers probably think I am a weirdo. Especially because I try to pretend like “I’m not stretching just picking up a pen.”

IT_stretch     TFL_ITB_stretch_1

This is probably my all time favorite one to do at home. It’s looks a little confusing but feels really good.

it band stretchesI’ve been going to Bikram yoga at Prana Bodhi (and shhh don’t tell anyone I suddenly like yoga!!!) But this one particular stretch my IT band has a major crush on.

FYI Mine looks nothing like this.
FYI Mine looks nothing like this.

If you can find someone to stretch you, this one is great. It’s more of a quad/hamstring stretch but it works.


This is another popular stretch for IT bands. Really nice because you can do it almost anywhere.

Super sexy shorts dude

I have a few more stretches but can’t find any pictures of them and it was too challenging to get a picture of myself doing it.

What is your favorite IT band stretch?


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 3: Timeless

I was really lacking a title and so I threw out “timeless”. I wouldn’t say that my training this week was timeless (as in amazing/incredible), I just didn’t really time my runs this week since I did a lot of treadmill running.

Monday: Rest Day!
Tuesday: Speed Work. On the treadmill. 1 mile WU, 7-800’s and 1 mile CD.

I love my treadmill
I love my treadmill

Wednesday: 40 min spinning, NTC 15 min abs and arms and Vball double header
Thursday: 7 mile treadmill run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 14 mile run. I did 7 on the treadmill because it was dark and super cold outside when I started (6:40am). Finished the last 7 outside. It was cold, snowing, icy and I fell twice. And then I had to go sit at a baby shower for a couple hours. #babypalooza2013

Sunday: 3 mile run, 35 mins cross training.

Total Mileage: 23?

I’m really excited for week 4 training because it will be warm on Tuesday! Hoping to get some speedwork done, on a track, without a million layers on. Sadly, it looks like it will be pretty  cold again just in time for my long run.

I fully admit to being a “soft runner” and taking my runs inside when it is cold. However, I’ve been getting outside A LOT this year. Lately, the only reason I run inside is if it is below 20 degrees or too snowy and icy outside.

What do you do when the weather messes with your training? Anyone take ice baths after being outside in 20 degree weather? Oh just me, I thought so.


Cleveland Marathon Training Week 2: Wow that went by fast!

I cannot believe how fast the past week went and that I am already blogging about week 2. I guess the weeks go by fast when you are marathon training, planning a wedding and have 12 FRIENDS who are all expecting a baby in the next 6 months. How crazy is that? I guess it kind of makes sense since I was attending 10 weddings, a year, for 2 years.

Monday: Supposed to be a Rest day….but instead I did Nike Training Club (NTC) 15 min abs, 15 min arms and 15 min legs.
Tuesday: Speedwork on the track!!! 1 mile WU, 6-800’s in 3:14, 3:25, 3:22, 3:28 (barefoot), 3:21, 3:22, CD was barely half a mile. I worked so hard that I had nothing left in the tank and couldn’t get a whole mile in for the CD. I was super exhausted. I also had some weird pain in my foot or maybe it was a rock.  I got so frustrated I took off my shoes and I ran my 4th 800 BAREFOOT! It was weird and hard, you feel so many different muscles. Don’t worry, I’m not switching to a barefoot runner but I found it interesting.
Wednesday: 15 mins spinning (it was a very busy day and that’s all I could squeeze in in the morning) and volleyball double header.

Crazy awesome vball players at this place.
Crazy awesome vball players at this place.

Thursday: Tempo Run to my friends Julie’s apartment! She’s a Stella & Dot Stylist and was having people over to see the new Spring Line but I needed to get my run in so I ran to her place. I am pretty bad at tempo runs and my paces are usually all over the place but I am happy with this one. 4.5 miles in 37:04. My paces were 8:56, 8:31, 7:52, 7:35, 8:15.
Friday: Rest Day. Took a true rest day and went to dinner with 2 of my bridesmaids. My plan was to demolish some nachos at the Winking Lizard (it’s a staple with my friends). However, I failed at that demolishing part, the picture below was my leftovers. I swear I put a dent in them.

WInking lizard
Tip: Ask for a side of mild sauce with your nachos. AMAZING

Saturday: I was dreading my long run because it was so windy out. I set a bunch of small goals to get myself through the workout. 1.) run the 12 miles close to what I ran them in last week. 2.) don’t go out too fast. 3.) take GU! 4.) run the first 7 miles in an hour and the last 5 miles in under 45 mins. 5.) run a slower more even pace. The last 7 miles were pretty windy but the last 4 were even worse. I still cranked out the 12 miles in 1:41:21 (about 2 mins slower than last week. Not bad with the wind) and a 8:27 pace.
Sunday: 30 mins of P90X pylometrics. 40 mins of ab, arm and leg work.

Total Mileage: 22 miles

Anyone else have a crazy amount of friends having babies this year? Love all my friends and cannot wait to see and spoil their babies!

Favorite Nacho Topping? Mine is sour cream and mild sauce.