Friday, September 28, 2012

1 more week

I need to remember this next week.  That's right I am 1 week away from the marathon.  I keep telling myself that I've trained for this and I'm ready so now I just need to do it! I am not going to talk myself out of going for it next week.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tapering.....yes or no?

After the Utah Valley marathon and Ragnar I felt like I was starting over.  I didn't even go a whole week without running but I could barely run 10 miles.  A big part of me thinks it's from the long taper before the marathon and of course 2 events back-to-back didn't help.  So one thing the girls and I are doing different with this marathon is not tapering as much.  We still did our big run (22 miles) 3 weeks before the race but then haven't cut completely back since then.  

I have talked to lots of other runners who I respect and their training is all over the place with tapering.  Some do the traditional 2 week taper, others 10 days and some do no tapering at all.  I found this article The Taper article by Ed Eyestone and I really like it.  It's pretty close to what the girls and I have discussed with a few differences that I will probably do.  

Today's workout:  Tempo Run 7 miles total with 5 miles at 7:45 pace

Do you taper?  How much?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Which One?

I am planning on running the Halloween Half Marathon with a friend. I'm thinking a princess outfit would be a great option. But I'm not sure which one to do. 

What do you think? Aurora or Cinderella? 

P.S. Today's workout was spin and weights.

Monday, September 24, 2012

40 miles for 40 years

Since I can't run 40 miles straight for my 40th birthday I decided to do it for my birthday week.  Luckily it wasn't a huge task since marathon training already has lots of miles.  

So far being 40 is awesome!!  I am in better shape now that I was at 30 (granted I had a 1 month old on my 30th birthday).  Plus being 40 gives me 5 extra minutes for my Boston qualification time :)  

Last week was the last week of big miles and training and now the tapering starts.  I am so ready for the race to be here and to be done training for a while.  I'm ready to run for fun for a bit. And maybe do a few half-marathons.

Today's workout:  8 miles.  Last night when I set my alarm I was so excited to set it for 5:25 instead of 5:00.  The hubby thought I was crazy when I said "yippee I get to sleep in".  Apparently he doesn't think 5:25 is sleeping in :) 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Calling All Running Ladies

As you know I love pink.  I have way too many pink running tops, skirts, shorts, hats, shoes and even socks.  So when I saw these finishers "medals" I fell in love.  I ran the Pink Series half marathon last year.  It is the only women's only half marathon in Utah and it is the best race!

It was a crazy day weather wise (snowed most of the race) but the race is one that you ladies don't want to miss. I got a cute race shirt - that I actually wear on a regular basis.  The swag bag was amazing.  There were cupcakes at the finish line.  And I can actually wear my last year finishers medal (the cute Park City '11). Last years recap found here.

And to top it all off I won a Blendtec and not for running fast just because my number was drawn.  Score.

The course is in Park City so it's not only gorgeous but it's a great place to have a girl's weekend.  I can't do the race this year and I am so sad.  Not only is it the week after the St. George marathon but I have a big work convention all weekend.  Otherwise I would be at this race and no matter what I'm running it next year. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Birthday Run

Today is my 40th birthday so of course I woke up at 5:00 am and went to the gym.  I met T there to lift weights before we ran.  When she got there I was warming up on the treadmill and she gave me this sweet sign to wear while lifting. 

Only one person in the gym said anything and when I told him my friend made the sign for me he asked "is she a good friend or a bad friend?"  Ha.  The best kind of friend of course.  Not only did she get out of bed at 5:00 am to workout with me she made me something.  Love her.

Then on our way out to run she gave me this sweet new running hat and it has an awesome duck tape crown on it. 

When we got outside my van was completely decorated.  Took me right back to the good old Ragnar days of van decorating.  

So many of my running friends showed up to run with me.  It was so much fun and I love that my b-day was enough motivation to get them out on a cold dark morning.  I have the best running friends ever!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running my race pace

I really like this article (How to kick-start your training.) from on marathon training.  I am very interested in how to make sure I am training to be able to qualify for Boston and make my goal "race pace" a reality.  The best part is that as I read it there are several things that I have been doing in my training that he talks about in the article.

One of the best ways to improve your odds of running strong straight to the finish line is by running race pace in a pre-fatigued condition. The best workout for this training stimulus is a marathon-pace long run.
Run your goal marathon pace at the end of your long run. Here are three examples:

  • 20 miles with the last 2 miles at marathon pace
  • 20 miles with the last 5 miles at marathon pace
  • 22 miles with the last 10 miles at marathon pace

Last week on my last long run I implemented this technique without really "knowing" it but figuring it could only help me train better.  The last 2 miles of my 22 miler I was under race pace.

Let's take a hypothetical runner whose goal is to run a 3:45 marathon—or 8:35 per-mile pace. If this runner is running 40 miles per week at the peak of her training, she could do up to 20 to 25 percent of her total volume at marathon pace—or 8 to 10 miles of marathon-pace running. Alternatively, if she was doing intervals at 5K pace and a tempo run, she should not do more than about 15 percent of her volume at these increased intensities.

I love this "hypothetical runner" because that is right around my goal and the mileage I'm running weekly.  Now I have to remember if 8-10 of my weekly miles are at my marathon pace.  I think I'm pretty close to that.   

I love this quote.  Today during my run I was tired, out of breath and very sweaty.  And tomorrow I'll probably be a little sore :)
Today's workout was speed work - mile intervals.  I did a mile warm up then my first interval at 7:19 pace.  Then jogged for a half mile.  Did my second interval at 7:13 pace.  Third at 7:08 pace and for my last one I decided to do 1.5 miles instead of 1 and I did it at a 7:00 pace.  Then I jogged another 2 miles to make it an even 9 :)  

Monday, September 17, 2012

22 Miler

After the run
It's been a few days but I wanted to make sure to document my last big training run before STG.  We did an out and back up the canyon to try to simulate the course a bit.  What I know about the marathon course is that it has a good uphill at mile 7 and is more flat and uphill for the first 13 miles then it is a nice downhill for the second half.  So Saturday we ran 22 miles.  Up and back in the canyon.  It was a gorgeous crisp morning (low 50's at the start) and the run went great.  The last few miles I felt strong and we came down the hill towards my house at a good pace.  I did a Roctane w/caffeine at mile 5 and mile 17 and a normal GU at mile 11. 

I am now officially ready for the marathon!!

We are supposed to start tapering now but I feel like I tapered a bit too long before Utah Valley so this week is a normal running week then we will taper.  Today was a normal 9 mile run on a Monday.  Then speed work on Wednesday, recovery run on Thursday and 16 miles on Saturday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

New workout clothes

One of the reasons I workout is for my kids.  I want to be active so I can play with them.  I want to live longer for them and most of all I want to be a good influence on them when it comes to fitness.  I like having my kids at the finish line of races so I can see the people who are most important to me and so they can see how hard I've worked.  

Last week the girls ran errands with me.  First we went to Runner's Corner to get some gels and *maybe* I picked up a new shirt.  Isn't it so cute? My girls loved it so I had to get it! 

Then we went to Sports Authority because I had a 25% off coupon that I *had* to use and really you can never have too much workout gear.  I got a new white running tank and the girls talked me into getting them some new workout clothes.  They both got cute running skirts.  They don't run or workout but the skirts are cute and they seem to be able to find places to wear them.

Since she had PE at school she needed to wear her new running skirt

Going to the babysitters house with her running skirt and Gatorade.

I love it that my girls want to be fit and that they love buying workout clothes as much as I do.  You can decide for yourself if that's a good or bad habit to pass along :)

Tomorrow is my last long run before the marathon.  We are running 22 miles.  Bring it on!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More Band-Aids Please

It is not my week for running.  Today's workout was speed work.  I ran 10 miles total and by the last few miles my toe was bugging me.  When I got home and took off my socks I saw why.  My stupid toenail isn't even that long!!  I swear I have used more band-aids than all 4 of my kids combined this week. 

P.S. I apologize for my hideous toenails (this picture inspired me to repaint them). 

As for today's workout.  I did a warm up mile at an 8:40ish pace.  Then did 7.5 miles at tempo (I did the first 4 miles at an 8:00 pace then sped up for the last 3.5 miles and finished my last half mile at a 7:30 pace).  Then I did another 1.5 mile cool down to get to 10 miles total.  I was only planning on running 9 miles with 7 at tempo but the zip fizz kicked in and I put on my iPod for the last couple of tempo miles so I kept going.  

Yesterday's workout was spin and weights and tomorrow is an easy run with weights. Hopefully I can get through tomorrow without any blood.

Monday, September 10, 2012


This morning started out like any other Monday morning.  The problem is that now that fall is here it is so dark at 5:30 am.  We thought we could still run our normal 9 mile loop.  The loop goes on a small road with no street lights and no shoulder but there is usually little to no cars on it so running down the middle seemed like a fine idea.  We had to move to the side a couple of times and after one of these times I was on the edge of the road and didn't see the hole on the side.  I stepped into it at a bad angle rolled my right ankle and went down pretty hard.  I was so stressed about my ankle being rolled with the marathon only 4 weeks away.  I got up and started to walk it off.  My left knee and leg and both hands have a road rash but my ankle was feeling fine.  I told the girls to go ahead and keep running....but like that good running partners they are rather than let me go back down the dark road alone they stayed with me.  We were 2.5 miles into the run and since we had to head back anyway we started to run.  Hooray my ankle felt fine!!  We headed back to the neighborhood just in case but I finished the 9 mile run without any other issues.  I was nice and dirty and a little bloody but soooo happy to not be injured.  

Getting in the shower hurt (that's when I came close to tears washing out all the gravel).  Now that it's been several hours I'm feeling weird aches and pains in a few spots but nothing too bad.  One of the worst is the bruise on the end of my left thumb!  Weird. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

A long post about getting faster

For some reason I'm really into reading articles on running and how to run smarter and how to run faster.  I found this article: 8 Tips for Running an 8-minute mile on pinterest.  It's a good one.  I do most of the things on here but instead of doing fartleks I do speed work (intervals or tempo runs) once a week.  Maybe I could add in a fartlek as one of our speed workouts after the marathon training is over.  

So here is a little history on me and my story on how I have gotten faster.

I have run off and on since high school.  I ran cross country for 2 years then quit when my big sis graduated because for me it wasn't as much fun.  Back then I was around a  6:00 min/miler - oh the good old days. Then in college I would run anytime I had a roommate who wanted to run.  And it was all just for fun.  Never knew how far or fast we were going I just ran to keep in shape.  

Freshman year
When I first got into doing races was after I got married.  I had gained weight and needed something in my life that was just for me.  So I started doing triathlons.  I consistently ran at a 9:30 min/mile pace for those first few years.  About 5 years ago my running partner and I decided to kick it up a notch and see if we could run a 5K at an 8:00 min/mile.  So we incorporated "fast Fridays"  into our workouts.  We would jog a half mile then run 3 miles as fast as we could then jog a half mile.  I remember being so out of breath and feeling like I was going to puke by the end of the 3 miles and they were at an 8:00 min/mile pace.  However we did the freedom festival 5K that year and I finished in 24:43 with a 7:58 pace.

My 2 sisters and I at the Spudman in 2001 - My first tri

Then after my last baby (4 years ago) I decided it was time to really step up.  We signed up for a half-marathon and then I ran my first full marathon.  It was at this point that instead of just working out or being a triathlete I became a "runner".  I focused on my training.  What did I want....distance, speed, both?  How did other people do it?  Then started really training.  I have gotten faster consistently over the past 4 years.  As a matter of fact last year I ran the annual Turkey Trot and took first in my age group with a 7:30 pace.   

First Marathon 2009

So here are things I personally focus on as I've been trying to get faster.  

1 - Speed work.  I think it is so important to incorporate faster running into one run a week.  For me it's usually a shorter distance run and I put a lot more effort into the run.  I usually have music to block out my heavy breathing and I can't talk anyway.  My personal faves are mile intervals and tempo runs.

2 -Know where you are.  I wear my garmin when running outside and I love using the treadmill for speed work so I know exactly where I am running on fast days and slower days.  

3 -  Tracking my progress.  I love my blog for this exact reason but I've also had notebooks and apps on my phone to help me see where I was and where I currently am. 

4 - Downhill runs.  I think running down the canyon is a great way for me to feel my legs moving fast.  It forces a faster pace but doesn't kill me as much as if I tried to do it on a flat run.  There is something to getting your muscles used to moving fast.

5 - Uphill runs. Where I live there are no runs over 4 miles that don't include a hill of some sort so I run up and down on pretty much every run I do.  I know that powering uphill is the best way to get stronger and faster.  The goal with the hill is to just look at the ground and get to the top.

6 - Spin.  I love making my legs go fast on a spin bike.  I think this has helped my fast twitch muscles.  I like to find a fast pace and then hold onto that tempo for 3-5 minutes straight. 

7 - Fast Running Partners.  A few years ago we added a new gal to the mix who happened to be faster than us.  It rocked.  She naturally has a quicker pace than I do and it totally helped me just pick up the pace instead of going to my usual pace.  After running with her for a couple of months my daily runs were already at least a 10 second faster pace. 

I'd love thoughts on other things to incorporate to continue getting faster.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Putting the rule to the test

After reading the 25 Rules of Running yesterday I decided to give the tempo-pace rule a try today.  

The Tempo-Pace Rule

Lactate-threshold or tempo-run pace is about the pace you can maintain when running all-out for one hour.

This pace is about 20 seconds slower per mile than your 10-K race pace, or 30 seconds slower per mile than 5-K race pace. "The key benefit of this pace is that it's fast enough to improve your threshold for hard endurance running, yet slow enough that you don't overload your muscles," says Daniels. The ideal duration of a tempo run is 20 to 25 minutes.

The Exception: The exact pace is less than 20 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for faster runners and slightly more than 30 seconds slower per mile than 10-K race pace for slower runners.

The original workout was 8 or 9 miles with 5 miles @ an 8:00 pace.  I decided to shoot for time instead of distance to see if I could do it.  So the plan was to warm up for 10 - tempo for 60 and cool down for 10. I might have missed the line that shows the ideal duration being 20-25 minutes and read this as running tempo for 60 minutes.  Oops.  

Anyway, it was a great run and very hard.  I warmed up for 10 minutes with a bit of walking then a slower paced run then ran at an 8:00 min/mile for 60 minutes (actually the last 10 minutes I sped it up and got down to a 7:00 min/mile by the very end).  Then I cooled down with a slower paced run for another 10 minutes.  My total mileage was 9.25 in 80 minutes. 

It felt great to push my body hard and then at the end to know I did it!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

25 Golden Rules of Running

Today I saw this posted on pinterest - 25 golden rules of running.  These are from Runner's World and I love these rules.  There is a lot for me to learn from these.  Here are some that really spoke to me.

1. The 10-minute rule.  I'm really bad at doing an official warm up.  Once I hit start on the garmin it's time to go.  I'm always slower my first mile, but I don't really treat it like a warm up. 

2.  The Race-Recovery Rule.  Obviously, I don't follow this rule.  I ran Ragnar 6 days after my marathon....not 26 days later.  No wonder it hurt so bad and I ended up taking weeks off after Ragnar!

3. The Heads-Beats-Tails Rule. This made me feel much better about my marathon since it says a headwind adds 15-25 seconds to each mile.  And boy did we have a headwind that day!

4. The Conversation Rule.  No problem here I'm a group runner and we love to chat for the majority of the run (except when we go uphills and do the tough stuff).  I rarely run with music when training because I'd much rather talk :)

5. The Seven-Year Rule.  I had no idea that runners improve for 7 years.  I wonder when my official start as a "runner" is for this?  Hopefully I have a few years left before I taper off.  I have run off and on for years and years but I didn't really start training hard until a few years ago.  And so far I've gotten faster each year for the last 3 years.....I'd love to have 4 more years in me.

6. The Sleep Rule.  I tend to sleep a lot but I didn't know you need one extra minute per each mile you run every week.  I guess I need a bit more sleep.  The funny thing is that as my mileage increases I have to get up earlier to get my miles in so I probably get about that much less sleep instead of more.  Ha.

7. The Refueling Rule.  I'm pretty good about this.  I love my protein shake and it has a good amount of carbs in it too.  I need to check if I'm a 4-1 ratio on my carbs to protein.

8. The New Shoe Rule.  I knew this rule but I think my shoes have been wearing out faster than 400-500 miles.  I usually go through 2 pair for every 500-600 miles but maybe that's because they are such light neutral shoes.

9. The Speedwork-Pace Rule.  If my max training is 20 seconds faster than my 5-K pace I should do my speed work at a 7:00 - 7:15 pace. 

10. The Tempo-Pace Rule.  So for tempo runs it says I should be going 30 seconds slower than my 5-K pace which would put me at 8:00 min/mile.  Exactly where I am on pace - but it says to run this for an hour.  I've been doing 5 miles which is 40 minutes.  Can I do it for an hour?

11.  The Long-Run Pace Rule.  This isn't something I'm good at.  I've read over and over that you should run long runs slower than your race pace and it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  I'm definitely not running my long runs 3 minutes slower than my 5K pace.  They are slower and I don't mind stopping to take my GU's or grab a drink on these runs....but my overall pace is more like 1 minute off my 5K pace.

12. The Finishing-Time Rule.  If this rule holds true I can achieve my goal of qualifying for Boston.  With the chart listed my marathon time should be 3:39:42.  We shall see if this holds true for me next month.

I heart fall

Since yesterday was Labor day I didn't have to work so we decided to do our run in the canyon.  The leaves are starting to change and I love running South Fork canyon in the fall.  I didn't realize just how cool it would be and it took me a couple of miles to get warm since I only wore a tank.  

The canyon did not disappoint.  It makes me happy to look up and see the sun coming over the mountains and all the colors in the trees.  I ran 9 miles down the canyon then walked an extra mile.  I love the cool crisp air.  Fall is definitely my favorite season for running!!  

Today I taught spin and lifted.  For spin I did my "add-on" class.  

1 - active recovery
2 - fast flat
3 - hill sprint
4 - high tension (seated)
5 - isolations
6 - hill sprint
7 - standing run
8 - fast flat
9 - high tension
10 - jumps

You do each one for 1 minute starting with 1-5 then each time you add one on.  Until you are going 10 minutes straight.  It goes by fast and is a great workout.  It's easy to wrap your head around 1 minute at a time and I can really push myself when I'm only going for 1 minute even though you don't really get any breaks.

What is your favorite time of the year to run and why?