Thursday, December 31, 2009

Training this week

I've been pretty good about training this week. I missed my 5 mile run, but I made it up today, and decided to skip the second 3 mile run. I'm also suffering from another injury. I have a weird pain behind my left knee. It hurts more when walking then running. I think I may have pulled a muscle on my 8 mile run on Saturday. It seems to be getting a little better. Since I'm staying up late blogging tonight, I'll take the day off tomorrow and hopefully it will be feeling better for my 8 mile run on Friday. Can't wait!

Anyway, on Monday, I did 3 miles in 25:45. I think this was my fastest yet.

Today I did 5 miles using Yasso 800s, and ended up in 46, and that included walking the last .1 mile because I set the timer for 45 minutes by accident. I've been doing the run part of the Yassos between 6.7 and 7.0, and the jog part between 6.0 and 6.2 miles/hour.

My mom recently got an elliptical, and she gave me her treadmill! I'm excited to be able to workout in my house instead of always going to the gym. It will be great for easy runs, or to do some cross training (walking) on non-running days.

Although I love the snow we've been getting, I'm also looking forward to warmer weather so I can run outside. Treadmills are BORING!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Next Week's Training Schedule

Since next week is Christmas, I'm sure the gym won't be open on Friday for my long run. I'm also sure it will be too cold to run outside that long. Not to mention my girls will probably take all day to open Christmas presents. So this is my plan this week:

Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: cross train
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 8 miles

Keep your fingers crossed that I'll stick to my plan this week!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Two More Workouts

Yesterday I hit the gym later in the evening after Stephen got home from work for a 5 mile run. I can't remember my time - maybe 47 minutes? This was supposed to be done on Tuesday, but I've been slacking off again. I'll blame it on the holidays. But I did get it done.

So I skipped the 3 mile run that's supposed to follow it, and did the 8 miles today. It was tough! I haven't ran that far for a couple of months. It could have been tough also because of running 5 miles the day before after being such a slacker lately. Running on a treadmill also didn't make it any easier; I think it's easier to run outside and enjoy the scenery. I did the 8 miles in 74 1/2 minutes, then cooled off for another quarter-mile in about 3 1/2 minutes.

So tomorrow I'm going to take my dog for an easy jog instead of going to the gym and cross training. She was so sad to see me put on my running shoes and head out the door without her today. She also really needs the exercise, so I'll take her for a little run tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Back!

I made it back to the gym this morning! Obviously, I'm a member of Planet Fitness. It was great to get back, actually. The ankle seems to be close to back to normal. I feel fantastic today after getting an easy workout in before the rest of the day started.

I'm using the same training schedule as last week.

Since this was kind of a test run for the ankle, today I jogged an easy 3 miles. Usually I try to do about 3.1 miles in 27 minutes. Today I completed the task in 29:30. It actually felt really good just to pace myself and not push for that higher speed. While I won't always let myself off that easy, I will try to maintain a similar pace on my middle-of-the-week and long runs. I have a problem with pushing myself too hard too early, and not having enough gas in the end. Hopefully I can solve that issue!

I also didn't do an incline at all, since I didn't want to add anymore stress on the ankle. I usually try to do a .5 to 1.0 incline, or higher if I'm not running for long. My brother recommends running on a treadmill with at least a 2.0 incline. Since the Ogden Marathon is mostly downhill, I'm not too concerned about the incline. Does anyone have any recommendations on this?

I mentioned in my last post that I'd be posting some tips to training and racing. Sorry - it ended up being a busy week! This week isn't much better. But eventually I'll get those tips in! If any reader has some great tips, let me know and either I'll post them or you can be a guest blogger and share your knowledge!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This Week's Training Schedule

This is how I'd be training this week if I wasn't injured.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: 3 m run
Tuesday: 5 m pace
Wednesday: 3 m run (full of Yasso 800s)
Thursday: rest
Friday: 8 miles
Saturday: Cross train (I'd probably use the elliptical machine)

Hope you can all train without me!

How's It Going?

Training has been slow so far. I confess, I've been staying up to late and not getting up early enough to go to the gym. Maybe once the TV finale's are over in the next week or so, I'll get better. Scratch that, I'll start going to bed earlier right away! I promise.

The last time I ran was Saturday in a hotel gym while in Las Vegas. I did an easy 4 miles. I should have done 8, but I felt guilty leaving my husband with our 2 daughters in the hotel room alone. So I just did what I felt I could.

Which brings me to an important point. You do have to have ample time to prepare for a marathon. Especially a 2 to 3 hour block of time one day a week to do a long run. And if you have young children as I do, you need an incredible support system to watch your children while you run. My husband is my biggest support. I've tried to get him to run, but he just isn't into it. He's a golfer, not a runner. But he'll still let me get out when I need to to accomplish your goal. If you don't have that support, find it. It doesn't have to be a spouse; it could be a trustworthy friend or relative who is willing to watch your kids for a while. You can run with your kids in a jogging stroller, too. I've never done it for more than 3 miles, but I've seen people (mostly men!) doing it! I remember in the 15k Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run last July 4 a guy ran with a stroller the entire way. He'd have to stop to give them snacks or make adjustments, then he'd pass us again.

Back to how my training is going. So I stayed up too late on Sunday and Monday nights and skipped the gym for more bed time. Then on Tuesday I stepped wrong off of a neighbor's porch and felt incredible pain shoot up my right leg.


Seriously? I just decide to run a marathon write this blog about my training, and this happens? I walked it off, and it felt okay, but I knew it would need a day or two of rest. Last night before bed (I stayed up late again, knowing I wouldn't be going to bed anyway and having lots of Christmas presents to wrap), it was starting to hurt and swell. The pain was great enough by 3 am to wake me up. But today it feels better, although still slightly swollen. To be on the safe side, I'll take the rest of the week off, and I'll get back to training on Monday.

But keep checking my blog this week! I have plans to post about what to wear during training and running (I've learned this the hard way!) and ideas on what to eat and drink before, after and during (yes, I said DURING!) running to help you improve your performance.

Please comment about how your training is going! Also let me know if you have any questions about trainng. I probably won't know the answer, but I'll enjoy researching it for you!

Training Schedule

So what am I doing for training? I found an 18-week training schedule (I'm doing Novice 2) by Hal Higdon. I have more than 18 weeks to train, so until January 1, I'll just keep doing the same first week over and over. Then I've added a couple weeks in the middle, too, but I'll tell you about those when I get to them.

I also switched the days of the week slightly, so my long run is on Friday and I rest on Thursday and Sunday.

If you're not ready to do a start at week 1 of the Novice 2 training schedule right now, you have a few weeks to get ready! Really, before you know it you'll find that 3 to 5 miles is an easy run. Some might find this hard to believe, but it's true! When you're running 10 or more miles for your long run, 5 is a piece of cake. Just do what you can for now. Higdon also encourages walking.

One of my running companions emailed me another style of training called Yasso 800s. I'd like to do the full marathon in 4 1/2 hours, so I think I'll try this method, too, and work 800s into replace my Wednesday run.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Is It

This is it. I've made my decision. May 15 is my deadline.

This is my Year of the Marathon.
So I need some accountability, and this blog is it. Now I need some running partners - even if it's virtually.
This is my second year running races. Before I had my second child who is now almost 2, I was running a little. When I was in my first trimester with her, I was up to 8 miles. That was the furthest I had ever ran.

Last April, a friend of mine told me she was training for a half marathon in Rexburg, Idaho. At that point, I was a little behind a regular schedule, running about 5 to 6 miles on Saturdays. So I caught up to a training schedule, and on May 30 ran my first race in Sun Valley, Idaho. My brother ran the half marathon distance, winning his age group, while I ran a 12k (strange distance, I know). I ran the race in 1:13:52. My time averaged 9:55, and I got a nasty blister. But my goal was 10:00, so I was satisfied. I also found out later that I placed 2nd in my age group - yeah, not that many people ran the 12k.

June 13 arrived, and with it my first half marathon, the Teton Dam Run in Rexburg, Idaho. I ran the majority of the race with my good friend, until she had to walk at mile 10. I don't usually walk at all while running (a technique I'm planning on changing to get this higher distance). I somehow dug in and ran the last 3 miles in about 27 minutes. My total time was 2:06, a 9:14 pace. What a dramatic improvement over my previous race 2 weeks prior! I was thrilled. I also couldn't walk for a couple of days.

I had such a runner's high from the experience, that I decided to plan another half marathon for that summer, and chose the Top of Utah Half Marathon, since the finish line is conveniently located just down the street from my house and I could easily do practice runs on the course itself to lead up to the big race. But I didn't know what to do to train for it. I didn't want to go to a training schedule that put me back at 3 mile runs, so I just kept running as much as I could.

I also got some running companions who pushed me to improve my time, and also helped me to keep a consistent pace, something I struggle with. It was great to talk to someone on my long runs, as my playlist was starting to get a little tiresome.

My two main running partners and I trained for the Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run held, of course, on July 4. This was a great training race for me, as it was a 15k held about 8 weeks before my next half, and followed much the same course of the half. I averaged just under a 9:00 mile, my fastest time yet. I think running with someone who could keep me on pace really helped. My big lesson from this race was the importance of spandex. I tried to look stylish in some looser shorts, and ended up with nasty chaffing that caused a great deal of pain for several days following the race

My next race was the most fun and fittingly titled the Caribou County Fair Fun Run. My brother and I ran this race in 40 degree temperatures with rain pouring down in August. For some reason, that made it fun. He won the race, I placed second in my age group (again, not many runners!). I was clocked at just under 27 minutes for the 5k, but I don't think it was really 3.1 miles. And we were soaked. Once I stepped outside and saw what the weather was like, I wouldn't have ran the race if I hadn't already registered for it. I just couldn't let that $8 go.

I continued running up to the August 29 Top of Utah Half Marathon. My running partners bailed on me - one ended up out of town that weekend and the other had to stop long distance running due to knee problems. I had been doing a few runs with another friend who was training for the full TOU marathon in September, but her pace was slower than what I wanted to run. So I was running this race by myself, and I was worried about keeping pace. But the first half of the race was a downhill course, and I'd ran it a couple times. I knew it was easy, and blew through the first 7 miles in 60 minutes. Really fast for me. The next 2.6 miles are a flat road that runners complain about. It hadn't seemed like a big deal to me when I ran it. But as I continued to hear runners groaning about when the horrible road would end, I couldn't keep up my fast pace. Then came the little itty bitty hill, around mile 10. My legs started to cramp, something that's never happened to me during a run before. I tried walking, but it only seemed to make it worse. Somehow I struggled to the finish line in 2:02, still my fastest time yet.

Ten minutes after I completed the race, the runner's high kicked in and I thought about running in the TOU marathon 3 weeks later. My brother and common sense talked me out of it. I hadn't trained properly for that distance. So I instead finished out the season with a 10k fun run in Wellsville on Labor Day with my training partner, and finished in about 56 minutes. Then I took a break from running.

It's cold in Utah now, and I don't care much for running in the cold. So I'm back in the gym on the treadmill now. It's already getting a bit monotonous. I have been working on speed an inclines. I can consistently run a 5k in 27 minutes on a flat, or with a slight .5 or 1.0 incline. I have some work to do.

I'll finish this post by saying I'm not a "runner." At least, not the typical runner with long, graceful yet powerful legs and a tiny waistline. I'm a bit chubby and my legs get chaffed from rubbing together if I don't wear the right type of shorts. I run to keep my sanity from being a stay at home mom. I run to stay healthy. I run because my brother who also runs has MS, and if he can do it, so can I. I run because I want my family see that it is important to me to stay fit. I run because I enjoy the runner's high. I run because I like to impress people by saying that I'm training for a MARATHON.

So run with me! Unless you have a physical ailment like bad knees, you CAN do it! It won't be easy, I promise you that. All the training leading up to it isn't even that much fun. Especially if you're doing it alone. So let's do it together. I'd love to have guest bloggers telling about their own training and racing experiences and how they overcome the mental block that makes you think your body just can't do it. You don't have to be training for the Ogden Marathon, or even a marathon at all. Maybe you're just going for your first 5k run. Or perhaps you're a seasoned marathoner, and you're ready to run another, or even to take your next step to do an Ironman Triathlon.

Whatever it is, leave a comment telling me what you are planning or would like to do, and if you'd like to be a guest blogger. Let's motivate each other! I know I'll need your help and encouragement to accomplish this goal!