Wineglass Marathon Training (T-8, T-7)

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How is it possible that my fall marathon is just over SIX weeks away? That seems so close and between a trip to San Francisco for a good friend’s wedding, school starting, potential start of full-time work for me (more on that later), I know the next few weeks are going to fly by.

Two weeks since my last update. Lots of tough but successful runs that are getting me excited to lay it all out there in six weeks. Here are the highlights:

10 mile steady state miles – Getting comfortable at a moderate pace
First steady state run this cycle. Steady state pace is a tough one for me. It’s slower than tempo but faster than an easy run. You should feel a bit uncomfortable the whole run, but not pushing too hard. You want to get a good workout in but not feel wiped at the end. Goal pace was 7:30-7:40. I tried to stay there but found it was easier to keep pace just under 7:30 (I felt like I was actually fighting my body to keep it above 7:30), so I went with it.

The hardest part for me was jumping into that pace. I typically take a few miles to find my rhythm – my first mile is usually between 8:15-8:30 so to start at 7:30 was challenging – and the hardest mile for me. But, I finally settled in and found a good rhythm. 10 total miles – 7:26 pace. Splits: 7:29, 7:29, 7:26, 7:28, 7:26, 7:23, 7:29, 7:22, 7:26, 7:21.

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    Boston Marathon Training (T-10)

    boston week 10-3

    Another successful week of Boston training is behind me…just 10 short weeks until Marathon Monday.

    Last week was my first 60+ mile week in over three months! The last time I was at/over 60 miles was October 20-26! After that week began a small taper for NYC Marathon, recovery from Marathon (~1 week), taper for Potomac River Run Marathon, recovery from marathon (2-3 weeks), taper for Honolulu, flu and tooth problems. I also hit 18 miles for the long run – longest long run in training since October 25.

    I’m definitely at the point in the training cycle where I feel like there is some good momentum behind me. I’ve had some kick-a$$ speed workouts and long runs have been (knock on wood) enjoyable and strong.

    As I mentioned in the post last week about mile repeats, my husband was away for work from Sunday through Thursday night. My parents are usually around and willing to watch the boys so I can sneak a run in outside – but my dad is visiting his mom down in Florida and my mom has had her hands full with my great-aunt who needed surgery. So understandably, I was on my own for running for the week.

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      The Pain of Mile Repeats

      mile repeats

      Mile repeats were on the training plan earlier this week. In my opinion, mile repeats are the most painful speed workout. Running pretty darn hard for ~6+ minutes – with not a ton of rest (2:30) – and then doing it all over again. And again. And so on. 600s and 800s hurt – but I’m only running hard for 2+ or 3+ minutes, respectively. Mile repeats are more of a slow, painful death.

      But despite all this, I kind of love them. I find that I get almost giddy with excitement when I see them on the training calendar. I think part of my love stems from my history with them. I began doing mile repeats when I was training for the 2007 Army Ten Miler (as a member of the Fort Hood team).

      I remember the first track workout we did – 2×1600, 2×800 and 2×400. And I vividly remember my legs shaking uncontrollably by the last couple of laps – where it seemed like I was walking. My split times were not impressive and I am fairly certain I was the slowest girl on the team that morning.

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        Why Do You Run? + 17 miler Success

        outside fun

        One of the questions I get asked most by non-runners is Why do you run? followed by What do you think about while you run? I’ve always gone into a long explanation about how running makes me happy, challenges me, gives me some “me” time.  These are all true. But I never have felt like it’s the complete reason. Something felt like it was missing.

        How can I possibly explain in a sentence or even a paragraph why I run every day? Truth is, running means something different to me each day. One day it might be that hour I need to clear my head after a long day.  When I was deployed it was most often the time I needed to make me a bit less homesick. Another day it might be a stepping stone to reaching one of my goals – a sub-3:10 marathon or completely my first Ironman. The next day it could be that I’m in the mood to sweat and put myself through a bit of pain. Whatever the reason for that day, how do you put that into words for somebody who never experienced it before?

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          Future Prom Date + 10 Mile PR

          Good Morning!!  I already feel like this week is dragging and it’s only Tuesday :/

          We had SUCH a fun day yesterday!  My girlfriend, Nicole, and her daugther drove from LI to spend a few hours with us (it was her first time on SI!).  Nicole and I met last year through twitter / blogging and were so excited when we found out our due dates were only 4 weeks apart.  It was a blast to go through pregnancy and now motherhood side-by-side with her. =)  We’ve been planning a playdate for weeks months and FINALLY put a date on the calendar! It was so much fun to meet her beautiful daughter, Olivia after seeing pictures of her from the first day she’s been born!

          Our little ones are only one month apart in age – Liv is almost 4 months and Ryan is almost 5 months!  I think they make a pretty cute couple…what do you think? BTW – this picture was totally spontaneous – we didn’t pose them or their hands!

          Nicole brought THE most delicious cookies I have ever tasted.  Seriously…Ever.  They were GF Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Garbonzo Bean Flour (the recipe for this tasty morsels can be found here). I don’t even want to tell you how many cookies I ate yesterday afternoon / evening – I totally blame it on yesterday being my first swim workout for IMLP training (more on that in tomorrow’s post!).

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            Birthday Celebration + PowerBar Giveaway Winners

            Family picture

            I’m still on cloud 9 from this morning’s workout.  As I’ve mentioned (repeatedly) on here before, I’m aiming for a sub-42 10k in a few weeks in order to apply for the Saucony Hurricane Team.  I woke up this morning with the desire to do a tempo run instead of my planned hill workout.  I didn’t really have a set plan of pace or distance, but figured I’d shoot for 4 miles around a 7 min pace.  I finished the 4 miles in 27:33 which comes out to about a 6:53 pace.  Mile repeats are definitely paying off – I felt much stronger and in control than I did when I tried this about a month ago (ran 4 miles at a 7:05 pace).  I needed this run to give me a boost after this weekend’s long run in the wind where I felt like I was barely moving.

            My oldest son turned two yesterday.  Where did the last TWO years go??  It seems cliche to say that time is moving too fast – but it is  – and I feel like it’s multiplied when you have little ones.  There’s so many huge milestones crammed into such a short amount of time for them.

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              What’s better than two PRs in one day?

              Me and my son

              A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I started doing speedwork again (Here is my post in case you missed it).  As of Christmas week, there is a treadmill in our apartment.  It prevents me from making excuses.  There’s nothing getting in my way of what I’m supposed to do now except me. So, for the last 3 weeks, I’ve forced myself to do speed sessions once a week.

              During preseason basketball at West Point, we were timed running miles on the track – my miles were always around 7:00.  When I was on the Fort Hood Army 10-miler Team, we did track workouts 1x/week – my miles dropped to 6:15-6:25.  I got my miles down to 6:10 when I was deployed to Iraq in 2007-2009. That’s been my personal record (PR) until last week.

              I ran my fastest mile ever last Thursday (5:59). This week, I planned to run 5x mile repeats. I woke up tired, sore, and not in the mood to do miles on the  treadmill.  I debated doing them right up until the moment I stepped on the treadmill – I secretly wanted to crawl back into bed for the next hour. But I know myself and knew that I would regret my decision all day…so I got on.

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                First speed workout in a LONG time!

                When I was deployed to Iraq, I began doing my speed workouts on a treadmill – we didn’t have access to a track and I found that running on a road was too dangerous for me.  There was quite a bit of vehicular traffic (and not just “regular” cars – HMMWVS, up-armored vehicles, and other large trucks were primarily what would drive by me on my runs) and I didn’t want to have to concentrate on anything except pushing myself when I was doing the speed workouts.  I got used to doing these workouts on the treadmill and had a very hard time doing them outside this summer/fall when I was training for the NYC Marathon. Truth be told, I didn’t do them religiously enough to see any sort of improvement.

                Well, as some of you know, my husband and I bought a treadmill for Christmas (our gift to each other).  Today was the second day I’ve run on it and I decided to do one of my favorite speed workouts – 3x mile, 3x 1/2 mile, and 3x 1/4 mile repeats.  (*Favorite is a relative term since I definitely don’t enjoy the workout while I am doing it).  After the mile and 1/2 mile repeats, I jog a 1/4 mile recovery and stretch/drink water for 1-2 minutes.

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