Fall 2016 Race Training Goals

June is the runner’s unofficial start month for fall marathon training. Usually every June starts with an abrupt wake-up call when the first 80+ degree day hits and I begrudgingly realize that sleeping in is no longer an option if I want to escape the heat and also that 16-18-20 weeks comes quickly. While my training for the New York City Marathon (omg!) doesn’t technically start until the first week of July, I’m already sort of looking ahead to what I want out of training this year.

While I’m never truly out of training– I feel like I always have something on my plate that keeps me on the trails– my approach to running is sort of like turning 30. Continue reading “Fall 2016 Race Training Goals”

How I Ran Two Marathons In One Week

Everyone knows two things about marathons: a) because they are hard on your body, you should probably only run one or two per year maximum, and b) you can’t tell marathoners what to do. Am I right?

When I started out training for the 2015 Baltimore Marathon, I didn’t realize that about halfway in, when I moved to an apartment less than a 10 minute walk to the Marine Corps Memorial, I would get a serious longing to run the Marine Corps Marathon again. I hadn’t entered the lottery, so my only option was to enter the race through a charity and raise money– not my strong suit. Plus, more importantly, the Baltimore Marathon was only 8 days prior to the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a lot to consider. But the more I did consider it, the more I thought, “Pffft, I can do that!” I mean, why not? I would have the opportunity to give back to a good cause and I remembered a time when running a half-marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday for the Goofy Challenge was out of my league, but in 2013, I did just that. I wasn’t trying to take on too much here, but I couldn’t see a reason why I shouldn’t do it. So I registered. Continue reading “How I Ran Two Marathons In One Week”

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 Fifteen/Fourteen: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

WE DID IT!!!
WE DID IT!!!

Fundraising Update: I’m at 100% of my goal with $600.20 raised for Team TAPS!  Last week, at this time, I was at $330 and 55% of my goal. I cannot believe how much that increased in just a week! Thank you to my very generous donors. I can’t believe I met my goal, and all it took was a simple ask for help. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

It’s Peak Week. Week Fifteen. After this week, I have three weeks of tapering before the big day. My strategy for getting through Peak Week is this: Get through one run at a time; don’t think about tomorrow’s run. Get as much rest as I possibly can. Eat foods to recover. No ditching runs— if I have to wake up super early to get one in, I will get up super early to get my run in. No backing down when I am on the trails– if I am tired, I will power through. I will not let my problems off the trail interfere with my runs. I will foam roll and plank and foam roll some more to keep my achy leg issues at bay. I will not let my past successes scare me out of creating new successes. There will be no doubt in my mind that I am strong and that I have prepared well enough to do what I have set out to do. And I will treat my last long run of the training season as my dress rehearsal for the race. Overall, I will rise above and be amazing. Continue reading “Week Fifteen/Fourteen: 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 Eleven/Ten: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 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.

I think I’ve decided to stop panicking and re-evaluate my training schedule. I’ve been panicking because I feel like I’ve missed some critical pace runs and have been running a little too easy too often. No, I don’t think that I can run a 4:00 marathon in Baltimore and then run Marine Corps a week later, but I would at least like to try for one or the other to break my 2013 Rock ‘n Roll DC Marathon PR of 4:38. That, I feel is possible. But I also can’t help but wonder what would happen if I practiced race pace a little more… Continue reading “Week Eleven/Ten: Baltimore and Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Ten/Nine: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training

Fundraising Update: I’m at 25% of my goal with $150 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.

At the end of my last post, I realized that I had about 5 weeks before I start tapering for the Baltimore Marathon. I really wish I had thought that way all along. I’ve been saying for weeks that I need to be above 30 miles, and the last two weeks, I came in at 29. My longest run thus far is 15 miles, and I had a successful Leesburg 20K. Cross-training with stand-up paddle-boarding is becoming an invaluable asset as I am starting to see my paces drop and they are starting to feel easy. It’s hard to want to run when I’d rather work through some things going on off the trail; the kind of things where stillness is what I need so I can think. But this is literally when things need to be heating up, so I can’t back off now. I’ve got to get things done. Continue reading “Week Ten/Nine: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Eight/Seven: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training

Eight weeks down. Ten weeks to go.

Photo Courtesy: TAPS for America

Like the name change of my posts? I can’t believe I’m going to run two marathons within a week of each other.

By now, I realized that I was getting annoyed with myself. It seemed that I was missing too many weekly mileage goals. I missed some for a good reason, like last week’s open-and-shut injury cases, but others I missed because I was just having a bad day or I didn’t plan well enough. This week, I knew I really had no choice: it would be 30 miles a week from here on out. No excuses. Continue reading “Week Eight/Seven: Baltimore/Marine Corps Marathon Training”

Week Four: Baltimore Marathon Training

How I wish moving was as simple as Merlin made it! Photo Credit: Disney.com
How I wish moving was as simple as Merlin made it! Photo Credit: Disney.com

After two and a half weeks of successful marathon training, in week four, I’ve come to what I hope is my only bump in the road. For weeks, I’d been anticipating a move to a new apartment just 10 minutes away from where I currently live in Arlington. I’ve moved during marathon training before– I moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to Arlington, Virginia during marathon training at about this same time last year. To me, as far as marathon training, this move from Crystal City to Rosslyn would be a piece of cake in comparison. I was wrong, and the impact colored my week. Continue reading “Week Four: Baltimore Marathon Training”

Week Three: Baltimore Marathon Training

Heading into Week Three, I realized the honeymoon phase of marathon training was quickly ending. I’d experienced lagging motivation last week to and the quick realization that I needed to be doing more strength and core work. My TFL on both sides and my hips were sore from a heavy weekend of running. I wasn’t alarmed by this, but it was a reminder that injury will plague me if I don’t do better on my core work.

I am also in the process of moving to a new apartment and I’m experiencing some associated nerves about the new change. I’m really excited to move into my new home and relieved that I will have a better commute to and from work, but moving into a new place brings more baggage with it than you realize. I love change; I thrive on the possibility that comes with change. But it also reminds me that my life is uncertain, too, and I’m not where I thought I would be not that long ago. Maybe that’s why I run and train so much: right now, training is the only thing in my life that I can count on. Well, marathon training and God, but I always consider him to be a given. If I am training for something, I am the only person in charge of the outcome and even that has some element of chance. Moving nerves and uncertainty are nothing I can’t get past, but it does expend some emotional energy when right now, I need all the energy I can get. Continue reading “Week Three: Baltimore Marathon Training”