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Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Another Week of Training is done.

This week, went better than last week which gave me more confidence. Many people have said: “you’re in shape” and while I am in shape, I’m not in PRing shape, and there is a difference.  In perfect weather, I could probably run a 1:25 half marathon right now, but my PR is 1:22.  A fast time, but I’m not at the peak of my fitness.  That doesn’t matter much as I haven’t had perfect weather for any long race so far…heck I haven’t even had “good” weather.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes/Hike 4 miles
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s averaging 5:58 pace (total mileage 10)
Thursday: Easy 70 minutes with Alexis
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30.02) + 7 miles for 20 miles
Total: 55isb miles

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, I don’t feel at the height or peak of my fitness and I’m okay with that. My goal for the marathon is to start and finish healthy and I have to keep that in mind. I told a few friends, I would rather be undertrained than over. Overtrained is what burned me out and probably hurt both marathons last time.

This tweet made me feel, a little better. That’s how I feel now,.  I don’t feel ready to run or race a marathon.  I hope the next 3 weeks will fine-tune training and get me there.

My easy runs were untimed and easy, and it was nice to get some miles in with my coworker and friend Alexis.

Wednesday: 12x400s (averaging 5:58 pace) with 400 jog in between

I was actually surprised I was moving this fast because I didn’t feel like it when running. I said on Instagram, but I’ve felt strong but not sharp.  I’m hoping to get more speed on my legs during my marathon training. I’ve felt my best, running-wise when I raced my fastest 5k in 2016.

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon: 1:30.02

Last year, at Crawlin Crab, it was about the same conditions.  I ended up tanking around mile 9, and shuffling home.  This year, the goal was not to do that and I didn’t.  I ran a consistent race ranging in pace from 6:44-6:58.  It was mid to high 70s, humid, and the course has zero shade or breeze.  The day was tough but I made the best of it. I would have loved to get an actual base of where I am fitness wise, but, you must race for the day and who knows…NYCM could be the same conditions.

Next Week:

I’ll continue running and racing and see how it goes from there. My next, and last half, is tentatively the Atlantic City half marathon on October 21st. I hope the weather will be decent, not even perfect, just not extremely hot and humid. I am confident, I’ll be able to finish the marathon but I don’t feel as fit as when I was running last fall into the Spring.

Posts from the Week:
Vital Proteins Gelatin
New Balance 1400 Shoe Review
September Training:
The Dragon Run (19:28)

Questions for you:
How do you recover from training?
Would you rather run in extreme cold or heat?

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NYCM Training: 5ks and Long Runs

NYCM Training: 5ks and Long Runs

I won’t say last week was “the worst” because had I did have both quality runs and races.  However, not everything went as planned and I did have to miss a workout.  Last week, I found myself burning the candle at too many ends. On Wednesday, I was too exhausted and my legs hurt to do very much. Running would have been dumb, and it would have been the time I got injured.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes/ 4-mile hike
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 20 minutes
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Dragon Run (19:28) Total miles: 9
Sunday: 20 miles with 10 at 6:57 pace
Total: 48

Thoughts:

My easy runs were all easy.  I went hiking on Monday and had a short run.  I felt good on Monday, but Tuesday felt incredibly hard.  I didn’t sleep well into Wednesday, and when I woke up, I knew a workout was not happening.  I also knew if I wanted to run the Dragon Run and a long run over the weekend, it wouldn’t be wise to “make it up.”  So I took off.  I usually take Thursdays entirely off because they are a hectic day fbut I squeezed in about 20 minutes of running.

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Starting my day with a walk above the tree line.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Am I completely satisfied with the week?  No but I got what I could in.  It felt as though I “announced” I’m running a marathon and my body fell apart. I am nervous that maybe I’m not cut out for the distance, but once I get a few more weeks of training in, I know I’ll feel more confident.

The Dragon Run: 19:28

For my fitness level, I executed the race perfectly. I ran a 6:20, 6:17, 6:05, race and passed three females in the last .5 to win.  This is my third year running, and also my slowest.  It is, however, my first year winning.  You never know who will show up. It was a good confidence booster for my fitness.

Sunday Long Run:

The 20 miler felt good. I’ve been slowly increasing my long runs, and the 10 miles in between felt solid.

I did feel extremely fatigued at the end.  I know one component I’ve missed in any marathon training cycle is speed work so I’ve been working hard to get it in.

The 10 miles was slightly faster (1 second per mile) than the Air Force half I did a few weeks ago. That gives me confidence that I am in better shape than the 1:31.  Mentally I know that, but it’s a confidence booster after this week.

Another thing I do need to do is sort out nutrition more for the marathon. For both marathons, I ate a full breakfast then took 4 gels during the race.  I didn’t feel as though I bonked and went from 7 minute to 9-minute pace. I also have never felt like I could just “keep running” or on top of the world. I’ve felt tired and like running 26.3 miles is out of the question.

Next week, I’ll be running the Crawlin Crab in Hampton, VA.  Last year, it was one of the hottest and most humid races I’ve ever done.  The goal will be to see where I’m at fitness-wise.  I’m not going to taper for the race but use it more as an extended workout.

Posts from the Week:

On Cloudace Shoe Review

NYCM Training Thoughts

Book It 5k Race Recap

Questions for you:

How do you get over training hiccups?

What was your best workout last week? 

NYCM Training Thoughts

NYCM Training Thoughts

In 2013, I blogged about my training cycle for my first marathon, NYCM.  My first of two, and my best.  In the last two weeks, I’ve read every post I’ve written about the cycle.  Blogging is helpful that way that you can see exactly what you were thinking on some random Wednesday in September.

me running

After scouring old blog posts, I’ve concluded I’m a different runner and racer since then. First, I don’t run “as much” mileage as a few years ago.  Before NYCM the first time, I lived in Virginia, then Texas, and then moved to NJ just before the marathon (yes, all in 20 weeks LOL).

While spending most of the training cycle in Texas, I didn’t have a lot to do, was still relatively new to running, and ended up peaking at 100 miles.  Yes, a 100-mile week.  Just reading that now exhausts me!  With only 5 weeks to go, I can tell you a 100-mile week will not happen.  Realistically, I don’t know if it ever will again.

I’ve learned doing more speed work, races, and fewer miles has kept me healthier and just happier with running.  Running less miles, I have time to live my life without dedicating it to running.  Maybe I’ll never run my fastest that way, but running your fastest is useless if you are injured on race day.

Anyway, as I mentioned on Thursday, my only goal is to start and finish the marathon happy. I haven’t run a marathon in 3.5 years, and I’m not an expert or pro. I’m still a newbie in the distance.  While I don’t have a coach, working in run specialty I’m able to get advice from several knowledgeable people.

This training cycle I do know I’ll be doing a few different things:

  • Racing more: Back then, I just logged mileage in Texas and yes I “ran all of the miles,” my body was just stale and forgot how to run fast.  In the 20 weeks, I only ran 2 or 3 races.  In the next several weeks, I’ll be running 5ks most weekends.
  • Fewer miles: I might peak at 70ish.  Last week, I ran about 60.  70 isn’t a magic number, and I won’t feel bad if my highest mileage never gets there.
  • More Cross-Training/Core: I have more free time in the next 2 months (not because my husband is gone, but because my outside responsibilities have decreased as well…). Instead of being busy many mornings before work, it’s been cut down 2-3 mornings per week. I still plan to cross train (right now I’m enjoying hiking) once a week as well as taking a rest day once per week.  I’ve mentioned my core routine before, but I like the Nike Training Club App on cell phones. You can choose 15-60 minute workouts.

Two Key Races:

10/6 Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, VA  I ran this last year, and it was hot. I’m hoping it won’t be as hot, but in any case, it will be good to see my family in Virginia and friends.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

10/21 Atlantic City Half Marathon: I like the AC half marathon race series, and I believe they do a good job. I think this will provide me with a better idea of time goals. I know I won’t be in 1:22 half marathon shape by then, but I would like to see where I’m at to make better goals for New York.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m not a seasoned marathoner and just thinking about the next 5 weeks both exhausts and excites me. I’ve run close to 50 half marathons and 2 marathons (neither of which I think are anywhere in my top 10 best races).  I am nervous but excited. I have been excited to run a marathon in a long time, which is why I haven’t.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York?  Did you like it?

Do you run your best with more or less miles? 

NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

This was the first week that the weather felt as though it broke. It’s been so hot the last few weeks, so it was nice for better weather. Unfortunately, towards the end of the week life, fatigue, and everything else caught up with me. I was left both exhausted and tired. No big deal and I was still able to get quality races and long runs in.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800s with 800 jog between (total 12 miles)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Book It 5k (2.9-3 miles) average 6:30 pace (total 9 miles)
Sunday: Long Run (18 miles)
Total: 58.5 miles

As I mentioned last week, when I run easy runs for an hour, I just average them to be 6.5 miles. They might be 6.1 or 6.8, but it doesn’t really matter. I just run easy, and the pace isn’t that important to me.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800 with 800 jog in between

I wanted to switch it up from doing 400s so ran 800s.  I do all of my workouts on roads.  It was perfect weather, and while I didn’t feel great, I didn’t feel terrible either.  I was happy with the workout, and with a warmup and cooldown, I ended up with about 12 miles for the day.

Book It 5k:

The Book It 5k is out of the Cherry Hill Library. It’s a great cause, and I enjoyed it last year.

The course was short, and I didn’t feel great but was able to run about 6:30 miles. I think I would have probably finished around 20 minutes which untapered is where I thought I would be. It was my first 5k since June, and I have forgotten how painful they are.  It’s hard to get a good idea of where I am fitness wise with the 5k because that course was short, I felt like garbage, and it was a mix of terrain.

cherry hill book it 5k

I look forward to doing more 5ks under my belt. I probably won’t taper for many, if any, but they will be good workouts.

Long Run: 18 miles
2 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:07).
4 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:05).
4 miles easy.

I would have liked to have been closer to 7 for harder effort, however, I racing the day before that didn’t happen.  I’m happy with the long run and realistically, my goal is to stay healthy from start to finish of the race. It was raining but it felt a lot better than the heat.

Thoughts:  

In all, I’m happy with my week.  I’ll probably plan to have something similar next week.  I don’t plan to do a lot of 20+ mile runs as I don’t want to get injured.  I will do at least 2 more 20 mile runs but I have no plans to run much longer than that (if longer at all).

Posts from the Week:

Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter races or longer?

How was your week of training?   

I Have a Fall Goal Race

And it’s the New York City Marathon…

Sometimes I start to type a post but leave my computer without saving or creating a “publish date”.  Then once my computer goes into hibernate, it posts automatically.  So sorry if you saw this on Tuesday (along with 3 other posts).

Anyway, for the last few weeks I’ve tried to figure out how I wanted to type it out… The race itself, is only 6 weeks away but it isn’t as if I haven’t begun preparing. I ran 20 for the Boothbay Half and I’ve run a few 16-18 mile runs in the last 2 months.

I don’t want to be too prepared but I do want to finish healthy.  I’ve made the mistake of being overprepared which is probably how I tweaked my butt for my last marathon 3.5 years ago. Right now, I strongly believe if I went to run a marathon this weekend, I could finish.

If you are a long time reader, you might know I’ve done two marathons:

My first was New York in 2013.  I ran a 3:17 after moving across the country. I had never run a marathon and had no idea what to expect.

My second was Phoenix in 2015 and I ran a  3:14.59.  I had great training but the week before I tweaked my butt and kind of hobbled to the finish line.  I never walked but it was a positive split and unenjoyable.  I still PRed but Phoenix is a much faster, net downhill course, and I’m far prouder of my race in New York. After that, I decided marathoning wasn’t for me so I took a break.   I raced 5ks, PRed in halves and have enjoyed the shorter and faster stuff.

So this whole marathon thing probably comes as a shock to you.   If you have read training logs with a microscope recently, it might not be “as surprising” (but who does that LOL).  No one runs 17 or 20 miles for fun. Some of my close friends have known for a couple of weeks.  I haven’t hidden it from anyone who asks in person but I’ve been waiting until everything has been finalized.

NYCM is a lottery system and I’m long past the lottery…So how did it happen?

First, I was never in the lottery. About a month ago, I was talking to my boss and store owner at work.  (I work in a run specialty store.)  He was getting ready for a marathon so we were just discussing marathons. I mentioned I wanted to run New York eventually again but couldn’t commit to lottery deadline.  Due to the military life, I don’t really think I will ever be able to commit to a big lottery system without the risk of losing a ton of money.  I’ve risked it and lost and risked it and been fine.  NYCM or big marathons is a lot of money to gamble with. In fact, the first time I ran NYCM, was a week after I moved from Texas back to the East Coast. (Which was 100% not planned).

My boss said he might be able to get a bib for a brand rep and I said I wouldn’t turn it down if he did.  A few days later, he called and said if I wanted to run NYCM, he had a bib for me. It took me a second to even process it. Me? Marathon? I mean…I said I wanted to run it again didn’t I? I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Whether it’s moving, job, running, or even kid I don’t think there will ever be an ideal time. So I said yes.

After running two trail races and being on my feet longer than ever before (longer than either marathon), I thought another marathon was doable.  Right now, the only marathon I wanted to do again was New York.

Sure I could run another marathon like the Philadelphia or more likely Richmond but New York still intrigues me.  I don’t want to run a marathon for the sake of “running a marathon”.  I don’t need to feel cool, or a real runner, by running marathons each year.  I feel as real of a runner when I slog through a 3-mile training run as a finishing a marathon.

So why New York?

New York is a brutal course.  It’s hilly, often times windy, and you have to be up before the light to get to the start.  Like the trail races, it’s not easy.  The crowd, the people, and the experience make it worth it.  I loved my experience at NYCM in 2013.

Running the NYCM 2013

That is why like the trail races:

My only goal is to start and finish the marathon healthy.

Since marathoning, I’ve run PRs in every distance. I’ve run a 1:22 half and I’ve run a 1:22 half in Carlsbad, CA as well.  That equates to well below a 3-hour marathon but I’m not a marathon expert or pro.  After taking over 3 years away from marathoning, I’m treating this as my first one all over.

I will, however, be in the sub-elite corral.

It’s crazy but it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity. I might be running most of the race alone, or I might spend the entire race getting passed but I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll get the chance again. Heck, I might even come in as the very last sub-elite finisher and you know what?  I’m okay with that because someone has to be!

I have no shame if I’m the very last person in the corral. I’ll be lining up behind the elite men (not with the elite women who go off much earlier LOL).

This is the first time I’ve been excited to run a marathon since Phoenix. I wouldn’t involve myself in something running related, I’m not excited to do.  2018 has brought a lot of: OMG, I never thought I would be doing this races…but here we are.

Questions for you:

Have you run NYCM before? Will you be there? 

Setting Goals

I was asked by Becca if I thought it was a wise idea to make a goal time for a first marathon.  To make this sound less awkward I’ll just rewrite the question like it’s an interview.

Do you think it’s a good idea to make a concrete goal time for a first marathon?  Do you regret it?

First, I regret not looking at what the NYC marathon course actually consisted of.  I regret not knowing that there were big elevation changes outside the bridges and not realizing that gradual uphills would be the death of me.  If I had known that I probably would have changed my goal to 3:15.  (Who could predict wind).

I think your primary goal for any road race (especially when you don’t know the distance) is to finish.  Finishing a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 8k, 5k, ect injury free is a huge accomplishment.  Never take it for granted.

I don’t regret making a goal time though.  The marathon is like any other road race just longer.  It involves more training but if you train appropriately you will finish.  A 5k requires more training then finishing a 100 meter dash.  (notice I said finishing).  When I completed the marathon a wide range of emotion went through me. While yes I successfully completed my first marathon I don’t feel like it changed me.  I don’t feel like some new women who only has to do marathons.  I don’t feel like I had a life revelation and now can become inspirational.  I feel exactly how I did before running the race.  My opinion of running hasn’t changed.

When I first signed up for the NYC back in May I did it on my terms.  I would have been able to train for a marathon 1 or even 2 years ago…but I didn’t feel like it.  I didn’t see the point.  I still felt like a runner whether I have run a marathon or 500 marathons.   I didn’t feel pressure to sign up or that everyone is running a marathon so me too!

Will I run another marathon?  Yes and maybe that marathon will give me the soul searching or new women experience others had.  For now I’ll continue resting and recovering with hopes to run next week.

If you have any questions feel free to ask or email me at lolzthatswim(at)gmail

Questions for you:

What is your favorite running distance?

How did you feel after your first marathon? 

NYCM Carbohydrate Depletion and Loading Review

Before I began the process of carbohydrate depletion and loading I wrote a post about it.  I promised I would write my thoughts and review but thinking about it I don’t have a lot to compare it too.  I’ve only run one marathon and during that marathon I still hit a wall and hit it hard.  That being said I will still review my thoughts.  I left my diet and nutrition to simmer for a week because I wanted a little bit more time to recover and think about it.  Though I cannot really say my diet this week is anything to blog about…

Carbohydrate depletion (Sunday-Tuesday).

From Sunday through Tuesday, I focused on having minimal carbohydrates.  I wasn’t strict about it but instead of having pancakes for breakfast, I opted for eggs.  Instead of having a sandwich for lunch I opted for a protein rich salad.  I made little choices.  I didn’t severely limit my carbohydrates and I didn’t limit my calorie intake at all I opted to chose protein and fat rich food versus carbohydrate rich food.

Wednesday was a normal day for me as I transitioned into carbohydrate loading.

Carbohydrate loading Thursday-Saturday. 

This was about the complete opposite. I consumed no salads and minimal vegetables.  Since I am not a fan of pasta I lived off of a lot of diner pancakes while traveling and a lot of rice and bread at home.  I didn’t find it too difficult but I did notice with just having more carbohydrates and less fat and protein I was a lot more hungry all the time.  I have a feeling with my drop of exercise, I overate but I was hungry and I would rather not be hungry at the starting line.

During the process thoughts:

Since we were traveling and the diner pancakes were good (ha), I didn’t find carbohydrate loading as hard as I thought it would.  For someone who prefers a 1 pound steak versus a big bowl of pasta I thought that would be my biggest struggle.  When I was carbohydrate loading I was constantly hungry and thirsty.  I held about 5 additional pounds of water weight.  (If you don’t hold water weight you aren’t doing it right).

I will say holding that additional water weight made me a little bit nervous but I knew it was for solid preparation.

Race thoughts:

I felt like I had a lot of energy but I did not feel like I had an amazing energy boost.  The combination of being up at 3:50 and the race not starting until 9:40 made for a long morning already.  I consumed pancakes at 4:00am and also a bagel at 7:30am.  (I had roughly 800 calories before the start). Then I had a gel at mile 8, 14 and 20.  (I had Gatorade at mile markers not directly before the mile I had a gel).

Would I try it again?

To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure.  I am comparing oranges to apples but I have run my fastest half marathons on not carbohydrate loading and eating normally.  My dinner before any of my half marathon PRs has been a salmon salad from various restaurants (each time I know has had about 600-700 calories.  I like my dressing.  I have a more indepth list that will qualify it for a good prerace salad then qualifying gas station coffee).   That isn’t to say I don’t consume a lot of carbohydrates (or cut calories) but I do have a lot more protein normally.  Another point of interest was that my body was not used to eating that many carbohydrates. Due to a rare medical condition that my body fails to absorb sugars correctly, this probably came as a shock.  Since the primary factor keeping me at a normal blood glucose level is lifestyle choices (IE diet and exercise) I should have known that it wouldn’t work as well but I tried.  It was a lesson I would rather learn on my first marathon then 10th.  When I did change my diet to 80% carbohydrates, looking back I know my body didn’t absorb it all.  It honestly was a bit upsetting because for the last year I have felt normal (it hasn’t really effected much training so it’s unnecessary to talk about) but this was a reality check.

Next marathon, I think I will try something different.  I am going to eat closer to my normal meals until closer to the marathon (2 days before) and then eat a lot more carbohydrate rich food and see how my body reacts.  I thought my glycogen stores were full during the race but looking back I’m not entirely sure.  I think now I was completely depleted of energy at mile 20.  While that could have been a combination of a late start, no speed work, my body not used to running that quickly for 2 hours but it also was probably from a not having my storage completely full.

After looking back at nutrition I will be making a lot more changes before my next marathon.  I’m hoping to find a marathon that does not require a lot of travel or that I could stay at a friends or my family (not really possible my family since I don’t want to do the Shamrock full or the Norfolk Freedom full…) house to prepare food that I know will work better for me.   I think finding a marathon closer to home where I don’t have to be up and awake 6 hours prior and provide me a easier race logistic wise.

Questions for you:

Have you ever carb loaded for a race?

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