Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15
Did Hurricane Joaquin cancel your race this weekend? Sign up for the Annapolis Running Classic! Get 10% off with this code: SABREF15

Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS!  Thank you to my very generous donors. You can still make a donation to help the families of our fallen heroes through TAPS’ programs for grief counseling.

Ahhhhh, hello taper week. I know a lot of runners get freaked out by the “T” word, but I don’t. I love tapering time. Perhaps its the subconscious realization that I may never be an ultra-marathoner because running super long distances is, for me, very hard and borderline un-enjoyable, or perhaps it’s more that I know I need to rest and recover and allow myself the rejuvenation that comes with 3 weeks of fewer intense runs and less mileage and getting psyched for a big event that you’ve been preparing for. Think about it– not many big important events in life have a taper time. I certainly never see brides at their calmest the three weeks before their wedding. High schools and universities don’t schedule finals week three weeks before graduation. Marathons practically require tapering, so it’s definitely the best part of training for 26.2 miles. Some runners freak out and get cranky; I don’t. Continue reading “Week Sixteen/Fifteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Fourteen/Thirteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Photo Credit: Capitol Hill Style
Photo Credit: Capitol Hill Style

Fundraising Update: I’m at 55% of my goal with $330 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Last week, at this time, I was at $196 and 32% of my goal. I cannot believe how much that increased in just a week! Thank you to my very generous donors. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

Also, my friend Sarah is hosting a Jamberry nail wraps party through September 28– ONE WEEK LEFT!! 10% of proceeds will go towards TAPS. Access the party here, or at tinyurl.com/TAPSJamberry to place an order by September 28!

I ran 35 miles last week. I’m ready to take that into 40 this week. I have a lighter long run to get through; it feels do-able to get over 40 miles done.

My Planned Training Schedule: September 14 – 20

  • Monday: 5 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
  • Tuesday: 9 medium effort miles (Goal Pace: 9:07 – 9:35)
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 8 pace miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 12 long run miles (Goal Pace: 9:36 – 10:36)
  • Sunday: 6 easy miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
  • Total Weekly Mileage: 40 miles

Part of setting yourself up for success is identifying potential pitfalls. That’s why Wednesday will be a rest day, unless by some stretch of fate and determination I wake up early enough to get in a decent run. This week’s long run will thankfully only be 12 miles. After having bumped up from 16 to 18 to 20 in the last three weeks, I am due for it. Continue reading “Week Fourteen/Thirteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Thirteen/Twelve: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 32% of my goal with $196 raised for Team TAPS! Make a donation today and help the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. Check out my post about why I am running for TAPS. Thank you to all who have contributed! I can’t do this without your generosity and support.

This week, I started out with a feeling of being ready to re-commit to training. I have to remind myself that no one is making me do this– it’s all my idea and my desire that has put me in this spot. But life happens during marathon-training, whether it’s something big or it’s the compounding of daily life that stacks and builds up. This week wasn’t a great one for me, but so it goes.

Haha, maybe not, but some days....
Haha, maybe not, but some days….

My Planned Training Schedule: September 7 – 13

  • Monday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
  • Tuesday: 7 medium effort miles (Goal Pace: 9:07 – 9:37)
  • Wednesday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
  • Thursday: 4 easy pace miles (Goal Pace: 10:37 – 11:00)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 20 long run miles (Goal Pace: 9:36 – 10:36)
  • Sunday: 6 race pace miles (Goal Pace: 9:06)
  • Total Weekly Mileage: 45 miles

This week was a little on the high mileage side, but I tried to cut down where I could since I was looking at one beast of a weekend long run. I haven’t run 20 miles in over three years. In 2013, I trained for the Run for the Ranch Marathon up to 18 miles (during which I turned around at mile 9 on a day that was somewhere in the negative wind chill range) and in 2014, I also only trained up to 18 miles for the Chicago Marathon (having just come off an injury). There is always one glorious 20-miler that I ran back in the fall of 2012, when I was training for the Goofy Challenge, that I remember well. Very well. I ran it with an average 9:56 pace and a sinus infection. When I stopped, I remembered that I just wanted to keep going. That’s how I wanted to feel after this run. That’s the kind of runner I want to be again. I would LOVE to have another 20-mile run like that one. Continue reading “Week Thirteen/Twelve: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Twelve: Chicago Marathon Training

Last week’s training ended on a perfect note. I ran 13 miles all the way through at race pace with no pain and, for the first time, felt like I wasn’t just talking about my goal to run my fifth marathon in Chicago. I knew that a perfect run also presented some physical as well as mental downsides. Physically, would this hip injury thing creep up on me again and how bad would it be? Mentally, can I keep a surge of relief and accomplishment from turning into pride and complacency? Week Twelve would reveal that to me. Continue reading “Week Twelve: Chicago Marathon Training”

My Reading List: August 18 – 22

One of the most beautiful post-storm skies I’ve seen. And yet, I didn’t want to go swimming….

1) My legs are going through marriage counseling right now. Once I read Competitor’s article “Single-Leg Drills For Balanced Running,” I decided it was time to face the hard truth that my legs are going through a rough patch and need time to focus on themselves.

2) Right before I moved back to DC, I traded in my mahogany Fender electric-acoustic guitar for a ukulele. I’d had that guitar for nearly two years and I could barely strum a chord because my fingers hurt so bad when I pressed the strings and my hands were too tiny to wrap all the way around the neck. I decided a ukulele would keep my dreams of learning a string instrument intact with the added benefit of portability right before a big move. To aid me in my musical adventure, I downloaded the book Ukelele Mastery Simplified: How Anyone Can Quickly Become a Strumming Chords and Melodic Uke Ninja. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but any book cover that has a picture of a ninja strumming a ukulele on a white sand beach is immune to this rule. Continue reading “My Reading List: August 18 – 22”

Taking a Break From Running

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I have a confession: with the exception of a treadmill 3-miler turned 1.5-miler when I realized that my very sunny gym was over 70 degrees and I was getting dizzy, I haven’t run for almost 3 weeks. My last marathon was 3 weeks ago, and it was an exhausting one. It was also at the pinnacle of a very exhausting year– not to mention I was training during the holiday season and in bitter cold winter temps that I haven’t been exposed to in five years. Overall, I think my emotions were split all over the place. It’s not that I’m a basket case– running is as mental and emotional as it is physical, and I just couldn’t focus on running when I’d have rather been still and quiet to absorb the shock from a  crazy year without trying to cover things up with a Band-Aid 5-miler. I needed to hear myself think without counting cadences or monitoring my breathing. Continue reading “Taking a Break From Running”