Week 12: The Best Week (73 miles)

It’s hard to believe there are two weeks until the Phoenix marathon.  Last week proved to me that I’m as ready as I’ll be for this race.  After my short back injury last week, I was extremely nervous going into this week and for the race in general.

My goal for the week was to get one long run and workout in.   

Monday: 10.65 miles easy
Tuesday: 20.16 miles (7:40 pace)
Wednesday: 5 miles extremely easy
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 10 miles easy
Saturday: AM: 5 miles easy
PM: Feel the Love 5k (20:05)
Sunday: 15 miles easy
Total:  73 miles


This week was exactly what I wanted.

Tuesday’s run was the best and the most motivating of the entire training cycle.  I don’t run a lot of miles at a harder pace but I wanted to get a a final long run in. I ran two loops around my area (it was boring but I was easily able to get fuel halfway through). My legs felt good and I felt strong.  I don’t think I could run another 5.1 miles at that pace (hopefully taper allows me too) but I am proud of how it went.

Then on Wednesday-Friday, I took it easy. My run on Friday was one of the most miserable runs I’ve had in a very long time.  It was extremely cold and by mile 3, the wind hit me like a train.  The first few miles weren’t as cold but once the wind hit, it truly felt like the -1 that the weather channel had been talking about.  If I had known how cold it was I would have run inside, no questions asked.  I got to work and was frozen the rest of the day.

Tim got back on Thursday and we signed up to do a team “Feel the Love” 5k on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t know if I would be able to do this race due to my work schedule but thankfully they were really nice and allowed me too.  The race started at the random time 3:30 pm.  I woke up on Saturday knowing that my legs weren’t feeling that great (I would hope not after my workout earlier in the week).  I gave it my best and had a great time along the way.  I ran a 20:05 5k on a tough course.  It had so many turns it was like running on an indoor track (not an exaggeration because it had 12 turns).

Tim and I’s team name was “Planes and Pancakes”.  HA!

feel the love 5k

Sunday was also extremely cold.  I’m to the point that I’m not going to force myself to be miserable while running.  If it feels like -5 outside, I see no problems running inside.  I ran inside and caught up on news and trashy TV.

Cliff notes:

This week was exactly what I wanted and needed for my training cycle.  I got my last long run and workout in.  I got a smaller speed workout and in and I felt good (not injury free).  It’s time to start relaxing and tapering for the next two weeks.

Questions for you:

How do you taper for marathons?

What was your best workout of the week?

Runners You Might See Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about “Five different types of Runners“.   After posting and comments from readers, I realized there are far more different types of runners and people that were left out.  I won’t guarantee this will become a series on LOLZ blog but I will post observations.

Runners you might see

Last year I also posted: People at the Gym  and As seen in My Gym Part 2

1. Strict schedule Samantha
This runner does not get away from their training schedule at all. If the training plan calls for 10.0076 miles, they follow run 10.0076 miles.

No less and no more

While they are consistently getting better, running with them can be a pain since it’s their way or the highway. You can find them double checking their schedule, pace and garmin splits at any given moment.  It is not uncommon for them to bark “we need to run 1 second faster or 5 seconds slower per mile” on a training run.

2. Media Murderer Maurice
Within 2-3 minutes of finishing a run, Maurice has instagrammed, tweeted and posted whatever else about the run.  If you get lucky they might live tweet the run too! Sometimes you question if they are only running to post about it but hashtag inspirational, hashtag get it done, hashtag run4life. I think all bloggers have a bit of Maurice in them, myself included.

running blog meme

3. Toe the Line Tony
Tony knows every race in a 100 mile radius. Not only does he know every single race, he runs every single race. He can be found picking up various age group awards, medals and writing reviews for each race (is he a blogger?  Who knows…). When you are looking for a goal race (or any race) it’s always best to consult Tony first. He will be able to tell you if the price is worth it, the medal and after party are good and the race course statistics.

running meme 1

4. Overthinking Opera
Opera trains very well. Her training is consistent, she always hits the paces on the schedule and does everything to further her running career. However, when it comes to race time she flops almost every single race. It isn’t because she is poorly trained or because she has a nutrition meltdown, it’s because she over thinks the race. You’ve attempted to pump Opera up and give her confidence in racing…but it doesn’t happen.

5. Group Run Germas
These runners never run alone. In fact, you have never seen them outside of their group runs. Yet on certain times and days of the week about ten people will take up the entire sidewalk or worse, the road. Group runs are fun but taking up an entire road or side walk is not.

Question for you:
Who would you classify yourself as?
For me, I think I’m a mixture of Maurice and Tony. As a blogger, I do overshare my training and I do enjoy doing as many races as my schedule allows!

Training Week 9: 61 miles

As I mentioned earlier in the week, my calves were tight this week.  This lead to my plantar fascia becoming tight.  I know if I hadn’t taken proper measures, I would have ended up with plantar fasciitis (Proper measures meaning a deep tissue massage and a day off). This lead to my mileage lower then planned but I don’t care since I’m issue free.

One thing I struggle with when recapping each week is I feel like each week is “unusual”.  I always seem to have something pop up that caused my schedule not to go as planned.

This weekend I had a work gathering last night (which means I had to change my long run).  I was up late last night and running 20 miles this morning would have been painful.  (Hashtag: I need my sleep).  Since I don’t live my life to run, I changed my schedule a little bit.

Monday: 5 miles easy recovery
Tuesday: 11 miles
Wednesday: 10.75 miles
1.5 miles jog back from dropping my car off
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Long Run 21 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 10. 75 miles shake out
Total: 61 miles


So was this exactly the week I wanted? No.

Did I get in my long run workout in? Yes.

The runs earlier in the week were enjoyable runs.  I was recovering from last week’s long run and none of my runs were anything unusual.  I had to drop my car off at a repair shop to get some work done so I just ran the mile and a half home.

On Wednesday, I noticed I was feeling overall tight and sore.  My calves were extremely tight and I noticed my plantar fascia misbehaving too. I scheduled a deep tissue massage and it cleared everything up.

My original plan was to do a long run on Saturday.  Just like last week the weather did not cooperate. It poured rain, sleet and snow on Friday night and the roads were dangerous on Saturday morning.  If I had run on Saturday, it would have been on the treadmill. 

On Saturday evening, we had a work party until late.  I also couldn’t schedule a long run the night after a night drinking. My options became running long Friday before work or next Tuesday.  I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday in case something else popped up.  So Friday before work it was!

The run: I ran 10.5 miles at 8:30 pace in my Asics Nimbus.  I came home and ran the second half in my flats around 7:30-7:45 pace.  I always forget how much wearing a heavy shoe plays a role in training.  I didn’t feel like I was working a lot harder in my flats but my pace was almost a full minute faster.  I don’t train a lot in my flats but always notice a decrease in pace when I do train in my flats.

I plan to do one more run before my marathon similar to this.  It gave me motivation and I felt strong during the entire run.  It was one of the workouts I know I’ll look back at for the marathon and say “I’m ready”.

I finished the entire run by 9 am since I had to work by 10.  That’s how it goes.

I rested on Saturday and ran easy today.  It wasn’t anything too exciting but it was smart.

Overall thoughts of the week:

I would have liked to log another 70 mile week but due to the timing of my long run (and extra rest day) that didn’t happen.  I got the main run done which was the most important.

Plans for next week:

I’m going to Rochester, NY next weekend so I don’t have a long run planned next week.  I would like to get a higher mileage in next week.  I’m about 1 month away from race day so it’s time to peak my mileage and taper down.

Questions for you:

What is the earliest you have started a workout?

How is the weather this weekend around you?

We received a small amount of snow and ice.  There is a lot of black ice on the ground.

Fit it Or Quit It

I work at a running store and I love it.  I don’t love every single second of anything but I do really enjoy my job.

I cannot tell you the amount of times it baffles me the amount of people that come into the store and say one of the following lines:

  1. This shoe injured me. It’s the worst running shoe ever.
  2. I hate this shoe. I don’t understand how anyone would ever run in it without getting injured.
  3. I read the reviews to this shoe online and it’s terrible. Me: How did you feel when you ran in it?  Customer: I’ve never run in it.
  4. My feet are the worst or weirdest feet you have ever seen (they aren’t…because mine are).

The first three statements are blanketing a running shoe.  The most important factor for running shoes is the way a running shoe is designed and your foot.  If a shoe is designed for a neutral gait and you overpronate, the shoe is not a good shoe for you.  Of course you are going to get injured with it.  It isn’t a bad shoe but it’s a bad shoe for you.  For instance, The Brook’s adrenaline is a great shoe but not a great shoe for me.

If the shoe is too small, it’s not an appropriate shoe for you.

If the shoe is a minimalist shoe and you are injury prone, it’s probably not appropriate for you either.

The minimalist trend has got to stop.  Running shoes are not designed to injure you.  We all cannot be as light on our feet as Meb or any elite (other wise we would all be winning Boston).  The Nike free, The Go Meb Sketchers might work for Meb but they don’t work for the majority of the population.  Are they bad shoes?  No but they aren’t appropriate running shoes.  Minimalist shoes are great for those they work for but unfortunately that is not most of the running population.  Most need a little bit of cushion and support to run.

I think describing a running shoe as bad is a poor idea.  I think a better idea is describing a running shoe as not being appropriate for you.  Although I do work in a running store, I think all runners should go to a running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes.  That way they know they have a proper pair of shoes for them.  They know that running in the wrong shoe wasn’t  the reason they missed their first race.

Yes it is a bit more expensive then buying last year’s clearance model online but you know the shoe is working for you.  The deductible you pay insurance for a stress fracture x-ray is more expensive then a pair of running shoes anyways (believe me I know).

There is something invaluable about having personalized attention on your feet and making sure you have the correct pair of shoes.  It’s not just about a wider foot or high arches, there is a lot more including gate and knowledge of actual shoe design that goes into the process.  Do you need a shoe with a fuller toe box?  Do you need a thinner trimmed shoe as well?  Did you know you actually wore a wide with mild stability?

I’m not harassing everyone to go get fitted for the proper pair of shoes (or visit me at work), I’m just saying as a runner you should know what shoes truly work for you and what kind of gait you have.  You shouldn’t base your choice on what was on super clearance online and think it is the magic shoe to end your problems.

Question for you: What kind of shoe do you run in?

Marathon Training: Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved

I normally begin writing my training posts on Monday.  Each day I fill in my workout and then glance over it the morning before.  It’s just easier for that way and I feel more motivated to actually talk about my training.  However, life got in the way this week and I never recorded anything.  Now I’m sitting here trying to remember how long I did run for.  All I remember from this week is that I ran 100% injury free.

But here I am on Sunday am (killing a bit of time) before my long run.  I had no idea how this week of training would go.  Last weekend I ran my longest run, then immediately after I was rushed to get to work.  Work was extremely busy and I found myself on my feet for another few hours.  As I said on Friday, running is a 24-7 sport so I found myself more tired that evening and sore (versus if I had laid around the entire day).  Long story short I was extremely exhausted.

On Monday morning I expected my arch to be in a lot of pain.  I had essentially spent 10 hours (including my long run) on my feet…but on Monday morning I woke up with no arch pain.  My arch pain left as mysterious as it came. 0%  I planned a rest day on Monday because it would be dumb not to (after a long run and being so exhausted).

On Tuesday I ran.  My foot felt 100% better…the same went for Wednesday-Friday.  I knew the real test would be on Saturday.  I did my first race since June.  The mile race went better than expected.  I finished it injury free and in 5:50 (I’ll recap the day on Tuesday.  While that is 20 seconds off my PR, I was more than elated to see friends and run injury free.

So where does this take me?

Today I’m going to do a long run (2:30-2:45 in length) and continue to build up my miles.  Next weekend I’m hoping to do a 20 miler.   If I can continue to run as I have been I don’t see a reason that I cannot do well for myself in the Wineglass Full Marathon.

So in cliffnotes version this is the first week since June I’ve had no nagging, niggles or arch pain.  I’m hoping next week will be the second week as I continue to build up my miles.

Edit to add: I did, indeed, have a successful (but hot) long run.  Too bad I haven’t done anything else productive since. 

Questions for you:

What was your best workout of the week?

When is your favorite time to write blog posts?


Oh July “Training”

July has always been my favorite month of the year. It’s my birthday month, it’s in the middle of the summer and there is an overall abundance of joy. I can say with full confidence, July has been my least favorite month of 2014.  I can also say it’s been my worst month for running so far this year!  Wahoo, to have a best month, you must also have a worst month.  So I’m glad to hopefully get this out of the way.

With being injured and not having any clear answers, of course it’s not going to be my favorite month. I like to keep consistent and blog through the best and also worst of times. This is by no means the worst of times (in the end, it’s still just running) but isn’t a joyful and glorious tale of a great great running in July.

Scratched Races:
July 4th Firecracker 5k
July 13th: Boilermaker 15k

I could have run through those races but it wasn’t worth it to me.  I had been looking forward to Boilermaker for the last 2 months.  Oh well.

Paces: All my runs (100%) were (and will continue to be for a while) untimed.

Despite being injured, I’m continuing to progress towards being healthy.  I do believe I am getting better. It’s hard to tell because I’m around my injury so much.  When I went out to run the last day of June, the pain was so sharp it stopped me at a quarter of a mile…I’m now running with no pain and it feels like a soreness, not pain.  When I physically type that out, it seems stupid to think I’m not slowly getting better.  I don’t have a lot to say about this month but I did keep my cross training up and I’m hoping 2 months is still plenty to train.

I said I was making up my mind about continuing to “train” for my marathon in October.  My new plan is to wait until my results of my MRI (scheduled for Monday) come in and decide.  At the current state my foot is sore not painful.  It almost seems like a waste to get an MRI.  It will be nice to have an exact problem to work with and an answer.  Who knows, my foot could be one deep tissue massage or ART from getting better.

As I said yesterday, I’m having a hard time explaining my injury.  There is something that isn’t quite right in my foot.  I can feel it when I run.  It’s not a sharp pain, nor does it change my gait cycle at all…but it is there.  One thing I’ve wondered a lot is if I’m being a baby.  At one point (early in the month) the pain was too sharp to run.   As time continued, the pain became less and less so now it’s a noticeable awareness.  Is it even a “pain”?  Am I being a baby about it…it’s so hard to compare pain tolerance.  I digress but long story short I don’t know what the MRI will tell me.  I’m just glad I have insurance that is allowing me to get an MRI.

Since I have no idea what they’ll tell me, it’s silly to make any August plans now.  To be honest, if there is something seriously wrong in my foot that I should absolutely not be running…that would be okay too because I would have direct answers.  I doubt that will happen, but in my life there are always surprises.

Questions for you:

How was your training and workouts for July?

Do you run through dull aches and pains? 


A Boring Training Week

This week has been a cut back week.  It’s been nice because I’ve been busy and waking up at 5:15 daily to run has not appealed to me.  That being said the week went exactly as planned and today is the Atlantic City half marathon.

Monday OFF  
Tuesday 12.5 untimed
Wednesday 13.2 8:20
Thursday 11.7 Tempo with Tim Overall 7:24
Friday OFF  
Saturday 6 untimed
Sunday Race  
Total: 60ish…  



After logging my first 80 mile week in a while, 60 miles feels a lot lighter.  I felt good during all of these runs.  Tuesday’s run was easy and untimed.  Wednesday was also uneventful.

The tempo on Thursday I ran with Tim.  I almost never run my “harder” runs with anyone because I like to focus on myself.  I also don’t like to run with people when I do worry about that pace.  It doesn’t make the run (in my opinion) as enjoyable.  I was really tired and didn’t think I would get out the door if I did not ask if he wanted to run with me. (I was lucky he had the day off actually).  I’m glad I did make it out the door and the run felt good.  Those runs are the ones I know give me confidence for a good race.  I hate the hour before but after I feel 10 times better.

I posted this is on my facebook page, but this is truly what I felt like after mile 5.  HA!


I would normally like a faster overall pace (going into this half) but I also take into account I was talking through a good portion.

I did an easy, untimed six yesterday and today (Sunday) is the Atlantic City half marathon.  It’s hard for me to believe it’s time to go.

This is rather short training post because I have less runs to talk about.

Questions for you:

Are you racing this weekend? 

Good luck to everyone doing Cherry Blossum.  Maybe next year for me.

What is your biggest confidence booster run?


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