A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Marathoner!!

What a week! First off, I had EXACTLY the marathon race I trained for and it was a fantastic time:
Did it!!I’ll post a full recap when we get back from the cruise, but for now, let me say there were happy tears and a great mental race. Also, lots of awkward hobbling in the aftermath which is entertaining my husband a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Truly, knowing you all were cheering for me was SO powerful and part of those happy tears. Thanks so much for supporting me through this!

Brief fly through of the rest of the week: Coming up to the race, my focus was on sleep (sort of successful), drinking well, eating well (pretty good! Remembered that French fries aren’t ideal carb loading) and running enough to keep moving. I didn’t worry about mileage targets but tried to shake things out.ย 

Weekly Workoutsย 

Monday – Walking and stretching (and the movie Moana – which we loved! Downloaded the soundtrack for race day!)

Tuesday – Easy run with pickups (but oh so cold!)

Wednesday – Even colder easy run, which made me REALLY grateful that I wasn’t running 26.2 in January in Nebraska. Brrr!!

Thursday – No running because of unexpected overnight snow, but snow shoveling Thursday morning was workout enough.ย 

Friday – Early morning wake up for our flights, with airport walking, expo walking and walking from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian for dinner. Darrell was amazed at how much walking there was at the Expo – he was over 10,000 steps between the airport and the expo and we did the bare minimum at the expo with no shopping!

Saturday – Lots of rest and reading (and an early bedtime!). As you’ve all heard, the half marathon got cancelled because of the storm (and there was thunder, so it sounds like they made the right call). Loads of people got out to run anyway and we had a great view of lots of costumed runners from our room in the Polynesian. I love the dedication!

Half marathoners

Sunday – Race day! I promise a full recap will come next week, after the cruise. For now, I’ll just say that as soon as Mickey counted down 3, 2, 1 and our fireworks went off, a little voice inย  my brain said “I’ve got this” and I carried that with me for 26.2 miles. Well, 26.92, because I’m bad at running tangents apparently. It was a great experience, even if my feet feel broken today. ๐Ÿ™‚

We're off!

We celebrated after the race with an early dinner at Sanaa, which I highly recommend for the mango margarita and bread service alone (although the butter chicken was also divine!).

Sanaa to celebrate
Now, we’re off for some grown up vacationing on the cruise. Oliver is having a fantastic time with Nana and I’m riding that post-marathon high, so hopefully I’ll be able to relax and enjoy these next few days away from responsibility. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to run this marathon and for the rest that’s in my future. Thanks so much to all of you for your support through this journey!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link-up! I can’t wait to hear all about Holly’s race and her shiny new PR! Congrats Holly!

weekly wrap up

If you were one of the half marathoners with a cancelled race, would you have run it anyway? I think I might have it were my first and there were others out doing the make up run or if it was part of one of the challenges. If I was just here for the half marathon and had done HMs before, I might have taken the chance to have the day off in the parks, I confess. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Five Goals for Marathon Recovery

It’s finally here! Marathon weekend!

Here!

This week, it struck me that in all of my focusing on the race and on getting things ready for O and my mom, I haven’t considered what I will do AFTER the race. I did some reading and came up with 5 goals for marathon recovery:

1: Refuel – That doesn’t just mean the banana and Powerade at the finish, but continuing to support my poor abused muscles over the next few days with high quality carbs, proteins and fruits and veggies for the antioxidants to help with all of that inflammation. I’m going to be on a cruise for the first four days post-race, so naturally there will be some indulgences, but I need to get some healthy stuff in too.ย 

2: Rehydrate – Yes, I’ll be drinking on the course but I can’t possibly drink as much as I’ll be sweating out without seriously upsetting my stomach, so in addition to the pre-hydrating I’ve been doing this week, I’ll need to make sure I’m getting lots of fluids after as well (and not just fruity, boozy beverages on the cruise!).ย 

3: Rest – I’ve always heard that you should take a day of “rest” for every mile after a race like this, so I’d be looking at 3-4 weeks off from hard runs after my first marathon. I mapped out training for my next big running event on my first flight today and I’ve got plenty time to recover from the marathon before I have to start that training plan. Rest doesn’t mean no movement at all, of course. I’m planning on walks and yoga and easy runs that I ease into after the race. Small exception: I will be doing the 5K on the cruise as part of the Castaway Cay challenge. However, I’ll be taking that run very slow and easy, I promise.ย  I suspect I won’t have a choice with post-marathon legs.ย 

Castaway Cay

4: Reflect – I’ve got one running event on the schedule after this, but otherwise I haven’t really settled on what I want 2017 to be for my running life. So much of the last year has been consumed by thinking about and training for this marathon. I’m not sure what I want to come next but I’m planning to spend some time on the cruise reflecting on last year so I can set intentions for the new year.ย 

5: Rejoice! No matter how Sunday goes, I am going to rejoice in all my body and mind have done to get to this point.ย 

ย 

Friday Five 2.0

Conveniently, my to do list was 5 items, so I’ll be linking up with Meranda, Lacey and Rachel for Friday Five! Thanks as always for hosting!

Any special marathon recovery rituals you swear by?

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Marathon Training Reflections

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is all about goals for 2017, perfect for the week of New Year’s. However, as I’m still focused on the culmination of my 2016 work, I’m putting off goal setting until after the marathon (5 sleeps to go!).

Instead, I wanted to take some time pre-marathon to look back at marathon training. One of my favorite quotes to settle race nerves is that “The race is the victory lap for your training.” The amazing thing about a marathon is as much about the weeks and months of training as it is the race itself, no matter how gratifying that medal is.

These are huge wins of training, no matter what happens on race day:

– I started this training cycle with back to back long runs every Saturday and Sunday in the sweltering summer heat. Even when it was miserable and muggy, I was out there pounding pavement. I kept running even through winter and single digit temperatures. For months, I’ve gotten it done.
Quite the winter look

– I ran two half marathons, back to back, which was harder than I expected physically and mentally but I DID IT. Pulling myself through those last few miles of the second half marathon proved to myself that I can do hard things.

Success!

– I hauled myself out of bed at 5 am to run and headed back out in the evenings to run when I didn’t get it all done in the morning. Yes, I wasn’t perfect about getting in mid-week miles, but I got in 75% of them and with my crazy work schedule, that’s amazing.

– I ran longer long runs than I’ve ever done IN MY LIFE. 15, 16, 18 and 20 mile runs – all done on schedule and on target mileage. When it counts, I get it done.

Those are huge wins, no matter what happens Sunday. Marathon training has been surprising in a lot of ways and I’ve learned a lot about marathon training, if I ever decide to try this again.

– It’s a HUGE time commitment. I underestimated how much time it would take and am amazed now that I was able to get it done.

– I missed speed work. My focus was on getting the miles in and I was so worried about doing the mileage that I gratefully chose a plan without speed work, thinking that would be easier. It turns out, a) I get slower when I drop any kind of speed work out of the plan and b) I miss speed work. While the long runs on the weekend were gratifying, I rarely got that thrill of Wonder-Woman “I did it!” awesomeness from easy weekday runs like I did with speed work and hill work in my more aggressive half marathon training plans. IF I ever do this again (big if!), I’d want to incorporate some speed work.

– I’ve always known not to trust the first mile – it always sucks. Turn out, for me at least, during marathon training I shouldn’t trust the first THREE miles. It took that long for things to warm up and settle down, physically and mentally.

– The long runs weren’t so bad. I feel like that’s some shameful secret, because I was expecting them to be much worse. It got boring and tiring and there were definitely times I wanted to stop, but it was more because I didn’t WANT to do it anymore than because I couldn’t. So long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I can do anything.

Frustrating but done

– Marathon training is TIRING, mentally and physically. I nearly fell asleep driving after that first 15 mile run and definitely lost the energy to worry about focusing on my diet or on some of my usual household chores (or blogging, for that matter!). I wish I’d been better about naps and early bedtimes.

We’ll see how Sunday goes. Will I be one of those people who says “Never again!” or will I want to try again to see how I can improve? Regardless, I’m proud of myself for doing this training and for tackling this challenge.
I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s goals for the year. I always find it so motivating and inspiring to read about the plans of others, don’t you? Thanks as always to Patty, Erika and Marcia for hosting our link up!
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Marathon question of the day: Any suggestions for a go-to song I need to boost me in those last miles?
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Weekly Wrap Up: ONE WEEK to go!

If all goes according to plan, by this time next week I’ll have a shiny new marathon medal. Who knows – I may still be wearing it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m fairly certain I can do this, but it will be awfully nice to be done with it and KNOW that I can do it, know what I mean? Thankfully, this week of taper went a little better than last week. It’s good to be finishing this training cycle on a good note. This is definitely the best I’ve ever done in terms of sticking to the taper workouts. Good sign, right?

Workouts

Monday Swimming with Oliver and Darrell, which was more of a workout than I expected! In addition to lots of playing, we had Oliver “teach” us the things he was learning in swim lessons so he could get some practice in. He’s progressing to things like backstroke and breast stroke that I don’t actually know so I’m going to have to look into some adult lessons – or at least YouTube! I did a few laps, which felt good and hard. In 2017, I’d like to get into the pool more regularly to swim some laps. I’m still working on my concrete goals for 2017, so I’ll pin down exactly what that looks like after the marathon.

Tuesday 4 miles, including finally getting to see these particular lights turned on:
Last holiday lightsI’ve seen those lights in the trees all season, but never managed to see them on. They were lovely!

Wednesday 6 miles on the schedule – pushed to Thursday because of work.

Thursday 6 miles, with a mix of treadmill and road miles (because I seriously underestimated the chill in the wind and couldn’t stay out long!), plus an hour plus of a yoga class at the gym with a focus on hamstrings. I felt sore in a different way after yoga, but looser too. I wish I’d been better about going to yoga all through training!

Friday Walking, no run, but lots of self-care time including a facial and lunch alone at a new place.

Saturday I’d planned on 8 miles, but made a really bad lunch choice and ended up with a seriously unhappy stomach all afternoon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Sunday I decided to tack on miles after my 5K to get my 8 miles and it ended up being a great run! My very first 5K was my gym’s Commitment Day 5K on New Year’s Day in 2013 and I’ve run it almost every year since that time. There’s something reassuring about starting each New Year with a bunch of other people crazy enough to head out to run in January in Omaha. ๐Ÿ™‚
Commitment day 2017

It really feels more like a group run than a 5K, despite the fact that we get (boring) t-shirts and bibs. The course isn’t closed, there aren’t any water stops or any fanfare of any kind, but because it was my first, it always feels meaningful for me. There are always kids and families out there too, which makes me smile. I walked for a while next to a 6 year old boy who had been left behind by his family (they circled back), chatting about how cool it was that he was out running 3 miles. Oliver wants to run a 5K next year, so maybe next time I do this race he’ll be with me! There were also Christmas decorations in some of the trees out on the trail, which were a lovely little surprise:
Holiday surprises

After the 5K (during which I was running a good 90 seconds/mile faster than I have been in months with no real effort to do so!), I headed back out for the rest of my 8 miles. Other than scaring Darrell because my phone died in the cold and he couldn’t reach me, it was a great run to end my training with!

This week, I have a few easy runs to shake things out and a big focus on eating and drinking well for the marathon, like I talked about on Friday. Thanks to my anxiety about the race and about leaving Oliver, I’m definitely feeling a little lupusy with mouth sores and sore fingers (yuck) but at least my legs feel okay.ย  I’ve still got a sort of unhappy stomach, but I think it is nerves at this point, not any residual stomach bug. If I stick to healthier foods, it feels better, so I definitely need to resist the urge to dive into french fries and pizza to soothe my nerves!

Fingers crossed, so far the weather looks perfect for travel and for the race. Let’s hope it stays that way!

Any last minute marathon prep advice for me?

weekly wrap up

Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting our wrap up!

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Friday Five: Goals for the last week pre-marathon

It’s a little over a week until the marathon. If all goes well, a week from right now, I’ll be finishing up at the expo. I’m sure I’ll be feeling the same jumble of nerves from anxiety and excitement that I am now, but about a thousand fold more. I took today off for some time to myself and actually ended up picking O up early so I’d have a distraction from my thoughts! So much for treating myself to a day off from mom-dom. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also working on lists. If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of lists. My list of priorities for the next week:

  • Stress less: Save my mental energy for the race. 26.2 miles is going to require a lot of focus, which can lead to mental fatigue as much as physical fatigue. I’m wrapping up some small tasks at work, but don’t have anything huge looming since we’re still going to be into that coming-out-of-the-holidays mode. I’ve got some new books to read and new bath salts, so I’ll be sing those to help me ease into active relaxation mode as much as possible!

Rest and relaxation time

  • Speaking of relaxing, I’m going to sleep! I know I won’t sleep well Thursday night before we leave on Friday morning, nor will I sleep well Saturday before the race Sunday. Thus, I need to make sure I get to bed early every other night this week so I can be as well rested as possible coming into this.
  • Focus on fueling: There’s no need to carb load all week or anything, but I will try to keep “fueling a marathon” in mind as I make my food choices for the next week. I’ll be focusing on high quality proteins and whole grains – and avoiding the New Year’s booze. There’s plenty of time post-race for drinking. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Drinking anything but water anyway – there will be definitely be lots of water over the next week!)

 

Important to keep these nearby for warm weather runs!

Important to keep these nearby for warm weather runs!

  • Foam roll and yoga: Yesterday, in addition to my six mile run, I did a yoga class at the gym that was focused on hamstrings. It felt so good to focus on stretching things back out! I’ll try to keep that up for the next week so I get to race day feeling as pain-free as possible.
  • Envision the finish: Every time I find myself getting anxious, I picture the finish line (perk of having done Disney races before – I know what they look like!) and myself coming across it. Even in my imagination I’m honest – I’m slow and I’m hurting, but I do it. I finish the marathon. I picture this over and over again, to have it firmly set in my mind that OF COURSE I’m going to finish the marathon. I have a feeling I’m going to really need this around mile 20 . . . and 21 . . . and every step thereafter. ๐Ÿ™‚

Can you tell I’m talking to myself a lot? All of the things that could go wrong keep circling my brain. It could be miserably hot in Florida. It could be so cold and wintery here that we can’t fly out or my mom can’t get here. Something will happen to my mom while she’s here alone with Oliver, which would be horrible for both of them. Seriously – this one worried me enough that O and I walked through how to use our phone to call 911 today! Thank goodness relaxation is on the to do list. A little reading and a bath every night should help – and maybe a little glass of wine now and then to help settle things won’t be too bad for marathon fueling, right?

I don’t remember being this anxious before my first half, but then again, back then I was more worried about the toe I’d broken on my suitcase right before the race than anything else. Maybe I should add “Don’t break any toes or other body parts!” to my list.

Conveniently, my to do list was 5 items, so I’ll be linking up with Meranda, Lacey and Rachel for Friday Five!

Friday Five 2.0

Any one with big plans for New Year’s? Whatever you do, stay safe!!!

 

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Weekly Wrap Up: Happy Holidays!

I don’t mean to brag, but I’m currently enjoying a quiet, CLEAN house with a napping kid and very little post-Christmas chaos. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve definitely just jinxed myself, but for now I’m definitely enjoying a happy holiday! Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

I’m glad for some peace and quiet after the craziness of the build up to the holidays. It’s funny that there’s always so much chaos right before Christmas, with shopping, work parties, scrambling to finish work before the break and everything else (like my last big marathon training run right before the holiday!) but then the holiday itself is fairly peaceful for us since it is just the three of us and we stay home.
Toys for momWe had a lovely Christmas, with lots of gifts and laughter. Oliver got me superhero toys of my own to add my collection so that we can play together. I also got knee high Wonder Woman socks that I wore out to breakfast this morning:
Wonder Woman!I got lots of new cookbooks as well, that I’ll be sure to share with you guysย  when I try them out. Now that I’m almost done with marathon training (EEK! Less than two weeks until the race!!), I’m about to have a lot more free time on my hands for cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚ Speaking of gifts, Oliver ran across this guy in his stocking and said “Mom, look at this jolly fellow!” We might watch too much BBC.
Jolly fellow

As it is less than two weeks until marathon day, I’m knee deep in planning for the trip. I’ve organized my freezers and pantry so my mom can find things to keep her and Oliver fed for the week. I’m working on gathering things I need to bring with me and printing out all of the papers for the race and the post-race cruise. I’m neurotically over-planning things for my mom because this will be the first time we’ve both left Oliver for this long. I keep reminding myself that she raised three kids so she’ll survive one five year old!

I’ve also taken my marathon shoes out for their first run. Thanks to yet more ice and a pre-Christmas stomach bug, last week wasn’t great for workouts but I did at least get a long-ish run in on Christmas Eve. The training plan called for 12 miles, but I could only get 10.5 in before a fog rolled in that was dense enough that I started to worry about safety and visibility. It was a weird foggy and rainy Christmas, that’s for sure.

This week, I have three weekday runs (plus an afternoon at the pool today for cross training!) and 8 miles on Saturday. The Commitment Day 5K is on Sunday, so I’ll have that as well. That race holds a special place in my heart as it was my very first 5K several years ago. I’ve run it almost every year since then (missed one because I was on call) and can’t believe I almost missed registering for it this year! The weather this week isn’t too super cold and looks dry for the most part, so I should be able to get these runs in without too many hurdles barring more stomach issues. Finger crossed!

Speaking of weather, I’ve entered the phase of pre-race, pre-travel obsessive weather watching. My biggest concern is us getting out of town and my mom getting here. So long as we stay free of ice and serious snow, that should be okay. Of course, once we appear to be in clear that way, I’ll start worrying about how hot it is in Florida this winter and how miserable that’s going to be race day. I keep reminding myself that I don’t have a time goal – I just need to finish. If it takes the whole time the course is open because it’s 80 degrees in January, so be it. I suspect all of these pre-race worries are going to get really out of hand now that I don’t have Christmas as a distraction!

How do you handle pre-race worries? I hope you all had a great weekend and a great holiday!

 

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Three Weeks to Go!

As of this morning, I’m officially in taper for my first (and likely only!) marathon. Less than 3 weeks until race day! Even better, despite the brutal winter conditions, this last peak week of training was one of the best weeks I’ve had this training cycle. Great note to end on! Now, I just need to stay injury free until race day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Workouts

This week called for two 5 mile runs and a 10 mile run during the week. Like I said last week, there’s just no way I can do ten miles on a weekday with my schedule and my pace, so I set 8 miles as my target instead.ย  We had temps in the 5-10 degree range every day this week, with wind chills below that, but thankfully no ice so I was able to head out anyway. With lots of layers, I can handle super cold for less than an hour but longer than that gets into unsafe territory.
Quite the winter look

Wouldn’t those frosty eyelashes be a cool holiday party look? I’m super proud of how successful I was with my weekday runs despite the cold! Per the plan, I got in 5 miles Tuesday and 8 miles Wednesday. I was supposed to get 5 miles in Friday, but could only get in 3.5 miles before the ice showed up. I did at least get the last 1.5 miles as walking indoors since I couldn’t run outdoors. I think this was my best run of weekday runs all training cycle!

All week, I was nervous about the looming 20 mile run. This would be furthest I’ve ever run at one time and naturally, it would come up during the worst winter weather we’ve had all season.
Brrrr!

This was what I was facing Sunday morning. Even for all of my layers, that was more than I could safely do outside for 5 hours, not to mention the ice. Know what that means? That means the gym and the treadmill. For 20 miles. Know what else? I did it! I got bored, but my legs could definitely do it and I finished confident that I could go another 6.2. It’s amazing what putting one foot in front of the other can do!
Frustrating but done

The worst part was that the treadmill kept stopping at random points. It is far less satisfying to finish 20 miles with 0.12 miles on the wrap up instead of the badass 20 miles I know I’d run. Fortunately, I was prepared for this possibility and snapped pics of every stop screen so I could keep track of the miles.

One perk of the treadmill was that it gave me an opportunity to test out my race clothes. I can pretty much guarantee that the temperatures in Florida are not going to be the single digits I’ve been running in here lately. Happily, other than occasionally tugging the legs down of my Wonder Woman Sparkle Skirt, I had no chafing and everything else worked well. I also ran with just water and my salted caramels gels, as I don’t want to carry my usual Nuun and know I won’t be drinking the Powerade on the course (stomach doesn’t like it). Everything worked like it should, with no significant aches or pains and today, I’m moving pretty normally. I think I might be ready!

Aside from great runs this week, I also feel like I’ve gotten enough major work/school related things done to really take a breath and enjoy the holidays. This lovely invitation played a large role in the holiday feeling:
Lovely!

Isn’t that awesome? Our gingerbread house was definitely less fancy than some of the others, but we had a great time together. After the gingerbread party, we went to see Santa and for the first time O wasn’t afraid. He left excited and awed! I also got my Christmas cards mailed, all of my packages mailed and all of my shopping done. I’m ready to relax and enjoy the holidays with my boys now!

My goals for this week are to keep up with my training runs and to eat for my marathon rather than falling too far down the cookie-hole. I have a bad habit of stopping running all together when I enter taper time and I have a hunch that would be a bad idea this time. This week, I’m supposed to run 5-8-4 and then 12 on the weekend. It’s going to warm up a bit into the 20-30s, so things should melt enough to do these safely outside. I’m also done with holiday parties (thankfully) and home for dinner every day this week, which should make it easier to make healthy choices to get things in better shape before the marathon.

I got my corral assignment this week (corral I), so I did the math and based on the usual corral release times, I’m going to have 7.5 hours to complete this. While I have zero time goal for this race (FINISHING=WINNING), my training runs have me completing 26.2 miles well within that time. I find that very reassuring. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is feeling very real! After a good last week of training, I feel ready for this. The fact that the 20 mile run went well, just like the 16 and 18 before it, was reassurance that I really have trained for this. I really do have fitness beyond anything I’ve ever had before, even if lupus and weight gain have me slower than I’ve ever been before. I need to hold onto to this feeling of optimism as I’m sure I’ll be swamped with worries and doubts again over the next few weeks!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our weekly wrap-up!

weekly wrap up

What’s the furthest you’ve ever run on the treadmill? I feel like I should get some kind of badge of honor for this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekly Wrap-Up: FOUR weeks to go

Last night, as we recovered from our cookie party, Darrell was running through our next four Sundays: “Next week, there’s nothing and then, it’s Christmas, then New Years and then the marathon.” First I corrected him that next Sunday isn’t nothing – it’s 20 mile day (yikes!) and then FOUR WEEKS hit me (double yikes!).
New favorites

Thank goodness I had these guys to soothe my nerves. LOL. This realization was a definite kick in the pants. I have been so busy that this has definitely been a less than ideal training cycle. My weekend long runs have been good for the most part (except this weekend – oops) but the weekday runs have been very hit or miss and there’s been no speed work or anything like that (intentionally with the Hal Higdon plan). I’ve learned a lot with this training cycle for sure. I cannot run 10 miles on a weekday with my pace and my work schedule. Really, running 3 work days at all is dicey for me. I need to factor that in to future training choices.

I also need to reconsider how I factor call weeks into my training plan. I always schedule my on-call weeks as “empty weeks” where any running I get done is a bonus. However, I’ve found that after the last couple of on-call weeks, it’s taken me another week to get back on track because I just get so wiped out. Darn lupus. I need to factor in a little on ramp to get moving again, but that allows for the serious fatigue I fight in these post-call weeks. It added a whole different level of stress this week to be trying to fit everything in (work, mom-ing, workouts, etc) and to be struggling with that sense of guilt that I didn’t get in 9 miles on Wednesday. I need to stop setting myself up for failure and make that first week post-call a little easier.

Every training cycle is a learning opportunity. Lets just hope the fact that most of my long runs have gone well will serve me in good stead in four weeks!

This week wasn’t ideal from a workout stand point. Of four runs, I got exactly ONE “right.” I was still too wiped from call to run on Tuesday. I ran on Wednesday, but three miles not 9. I got my five miles done on Thursday and felt vindicated that I finally got a run RIGHT. The fact that my “feels like” temp was near zero makes those 5 Thursday miles count extra, right?
Brrrr!

I looked like I was a mugger, but at least I got it done.

It was icy on Saturday, so I couldn’t run outside and Sunday, I ran out of time before our cookie party, so I ran 8 miles instead of the 14 on the plan. At least I ran some, right? I confess, I had a little more Christmas sangria than I planned so there was no heading back out to finish up after the party!
Cookie party!

We had my entire division over for a cookie decorating party Sunday afternoon. It was my first official party in my life, I do believe. Everyone seemed to have a good time, especially the many children running screaming around my house. None of this is a good excuse for shorting my long run, but we had a great time. ๐Ÿ™‚

With four weeks to go, not only do I need to get my training back on track to finish strong, but I also need to get my food back in shape. Sunday afternoon’s cookies and booze were lots of fun, but definitely not optimal marathon fueling. I have a few weeks to finish strong!

This week, my goals are simple: Run my miles, drink more water (and less booze!) and eat fewer holiday treats. I’m going to run 5 miles Tuesday (which means going to bed at 9 pm tonight so I can wake up at 5 to run) and 5 miles Friday (5 am). My training plan calls for those runs on Tuesday and Thursday, but I have a 7 am to 7 pm day Thursday, so I know a Thursday run won’t happen. The training plan calls for 10 miles Wednesday and I’m going to be honest with myself – that isn’t happening. However, 8 miles can happen. I’ll wake up and do 3-4 miles and then run the rest in the afternoon before and during O’s swim lessons at the gym.

Twenty miles is looming for my weekend. We have plans Saturday, so I’ll be doing twenty miles on Sunday, no matter how I have to get them done. If it is icy/slippery with snow, I’ll go to the gym and run on the treadmill but I REALLY hope that doesn’t happen. I really need to get this done in one chunk for the mental aspect as much as the physical training. Thus, the whole family knows that nothing is being scheduled on twenty mile day, no temptations and no distractions. Wish me luck (and dry roads!)!

I confess I’m nervous about twenty miles. I keep reminding myself that 16 and 18 miles both went well. I can do this.

Do you have a low temperature at which you just won’t run outside? Darrell is not thrilled with the idea of me running twenty miles in single degree temps this weekend, but I’d rather do that than run on the treadmill for twenty miles!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Thanksgiving (and 18 miles!) survived!

As much as I love visiting family and all of the other stuff that goes along with Thanksgiving, it does feel a bit like something you survive, doesn’t it? Thankfully, we had smooth and easy travel (a holiday miracle!) and Oliver loved getting to see his family. It may take my stomach a little longer to recover from all of the unhealthy food and my body longer to catch up on sleep, but it was worth it.
Gingerbread men

We decorated gingerbread men at my sister’s house and started putting up holiday decorations here at our house, so it’s definitely starting to feelย  like Christmas. This is a time of year where we just fly from one “big thing” to another. Throwing a couple of really big runs in there as I finish up marathon training (5 1/2 weeks until the race!) definitely adds to the schedule. Thankfully I was able to shuffle my schedule around to get my 18 miler done in the midst of Thanksgiving chaos, so now I just have a 20 miler to go.ย It still sort of blows my mind that 18 and 20ย  mile runs have become part of my workout dialog!

Workouts

Monday Rest day, with just some walking. I did 12 miles on Sunday and knew I had 18 miles coming Tuesday, so I took it easy Monday and just tried to stretch things out.

Tuesday 18 miles, with awful weather. I took off a couple of hours early on Tuesday so I could do my 18 miles before the Thanksgiving holiday. While you’d think a 4 day weekend would make it easier to get a long run done, it really didn’t in my case since we were traveling. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy. Even walking across campus in the cold and rain earlier in the day made my poor hands get sore and swollen, which was definitely concerning. Stupid lupus. I spent the whole day watching the weather and trying to decide what to do. When I got home, it was drizzly but not awful so I got dressed to head outside. I opened the door, hit the sidewalk and the sky opened up. It was raining so hard you couldn’t see. Sigh. I gave up. There are definitely perks to running in the rain (especially since this could happen on race day), but it would be a safety risk to run in visibility that bad and the damp and cold would flare my lupus so much I’d be useless the rest of the week. I didn’t have time to wait for it to clear, so I headed in to change and hit the gym. I decided to commit to only listening to my audiobook, like I would on a normal long run, rather than watching a movie, to at least replicate the mental aspect of 18 miles outside. I ran 17 miles on a treadmill you guys. It’s amazing what happens when you just keep going (and when your gym has enough treadmills so no one minds you tying one up for hours). I did my run / walk intervals I’d use on the road, fueled like I wouldย  on the road and took the opportunity to test out the new tank I’m considering for race day assuming Florida is warm. I also maintained a pace about a minute faster than my 15 and 16 mile long runs had been, which was ego soothing. I stopped at 17 miles to go home to give Oliver hugs and kisses for bedtime. I feel like I deserve an extra medal for heading back out in the rain after than 30 minute break to get that last mile – and even more so for running it rather than just walking it to finish my miles for the day! I won’t lie – after stopping for a little time in the car, I was stiff, but I did it! Thank goodness it was dark and rainy and no one could see my shuffling. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Amazingly, I felt fine! My body has held up well to these long runs. I was only occasionally stiff if I sat for very long. Lots of walking today, with work and packing, that ended up in a pleasantly uneventful flight down to Houston. I was a naughty mom and took the opportunity to upgrade for first class for free, leaving Darrell and Oliver in coach. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thursday My goal for today (well, my running goal – eating goals got kind of blown out of the water) was to get in my 9 miles in the afternoon. I knew the odds of getting in all 3 runs left on this week’s training schedule (4, 5, 9 miles) were slim during this trip because of family activities, but I wanted to get the 9 done if nothing else. I headed out in the afternoon to run through my sister’s suburb and was immediately reminded of why I enjoy the holidays so much in the Midwest. Houston is still green, warm and muggy!
Green Christmas

Darrell said my mother was very worried the whole time I was gone and kept asking if it was normal for me to be out alone so long. She called me around 8.5 miles and I had to promise her that I was okay and on my way back. I can’t imagine how she’d have handled me being gone for 18 miles.

Friday – Sunday Know how I said I doubted I’d get all three runs in? That definitely turned out to be true. The 4 and 5 mile runs never happened. I have been really good this cycle about the long weekend runs, but definitely less diligent with the weekday runs! However, I did loads of walking and other activities that definitely count as workouts.

I’m grateful for safe travels and as much as I made some not-great food choices over Thanksgiving, my NSV is evident in the amount of not-worth-it foods I left on my plate. I love my family, but they’re definitely a binge trigger for me so not eating all-the-things is a big win.

This week, I’m on call so I’ve built it into my training plan as a do-what-you-can week. I was at work for 13 hours yesterday and worked more at home, so workouts get tough in these weeks. My goal is 10,000 steps a day and 10 flights of stairs a day, even if I can’t get in runs. There’s also no excuse not to fit in at least a little strength training and yoga in the mornings as well before I enter the last stretch of marathon training. I have two weeks left of marathon training (12 miles, 20 miles) before taper, crazy as that seems!

While I probably won’t get a lot of workout time this week, there’s no excuse for not getting back on a better diet track now that Thanksgiving is behind us. I have a bunch of holiday parties this month, but I find it easier to stay on track through a bunch of parties so long as I have my normal home diet in between. Getting back on track will be enough of a goal during this busy week!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link-up!

weekly wrap up

Did you have a good holiday weekend? Anyone else still feel a little hungover from Thanksgiving food?

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Weekly Wrap-Up: A lighter week

In the Hal Higdon novice marathon training plan, there’s a step back in mileage every few weeks and this was one of those lighter weeks. I’m a little entertained that a 12 mile long run is now a “light week.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah, the quirks of marathon training.

Workouts

Monday Walking to stretch things out after a long run, plus some body weight strength training.

Tuesday Running 3 miles in the morningย  – it was supposed to 4 and I confess, I never made it back out to get in the last mile, but something is better than nothing.

Wednesday 8 miles total for the day: I ran a little over two miles in the morning and then got back out to finish up late Wednesday night. I have to say, that night run felt better than I’ve felt running in weeks! Free and easy, with no aches or pains or tightness. It was odd because night runs are normally much tougher for me. I think it was a) the sense of accomplishment for getting back out there and b) the Christmas lights. I love running in the dark this time of year.
Snowflakes

Thursday Meetings before and after work, so no run, but I did get in a walk at work and strength training at night.

Friday I intended to run 5 miles, which would have been my other weekday run for this week, but just couldn’t get it done. Fail, but I did do some much needed yoga and foam rolling.

Saturday No work out at all today, even though I should have at least done some cross training. I can’t regret it too much though, because I instead spent all day with my favorite guys, snuggled together watching movies and old Batman episodes. Sometimes things are more important than workouts. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m grateful for my glorious lazy day with my boys.

Sunday I got in twelve miles for a “short” long run and it felt great. I used the interval timer for the first time in a long time and it felt both faster and easier than a long run has in ages.
Longish run

This week, I have a dilemma. It’s Thanksgiving week and because of holiday obligations, I need to do my long run (18 miles!!) before Turkey day. The day that works in my schedule for 18 miles is tomorrow. I’ve taken the afternoon off from work to get it done. I’ve had my schedule blocked for weeks so I could get this run done. Naturally, now the forecast calls for rain. So, do I run 18 miles in the rain (40 degrees, windy) or on the treadmill? Neither choice is particularly appealing.

Which would you choose? Sadly, running on a different day isn’t an option.

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

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