Bridge to Half Marathon W1:D1

Easy 4

Target: 11:28-12:16 min/mile
Actual: 11:48 min/mile

From here on in, training shall be abbreviated B2HM, because I’m lazy. Just an FYI. At any rate, 4 in the bank. My legs are still tired from yesterday but it’s fine. Schedule said four and I listened!

I also checked out the gym at work today and did a quick lunch hour workout. It’s not terrible in there and I was the only one using it!

10 minute incline walk (15% @ 2.5)

3 Rounds:

10 Hammer Curls (15lb DBs)
10 Bicep Curls (15lb DBs)
10 Tricep Extensions (15lb DB)

2 Rounds:

50 Heel Touches
25 V Sits
25 Bicycles

The only sad thing about the gym is there aren’t any free weights above 15lbs. 2 pounders, yes. 20 pounders, no. Oh well, free gym is free. I plan to use it most lunch hours!

Happy Monday!

Tagged: runblr, .

Half Marathon #15! A 4ish minute PR and I ran the second half of the race faster than the first half! Check out those splits! Sub 2:10 - I’m coming for you!!

Tagged: runblr, .

Apparently we have to go to a Halloween social tonight. I wasn’t aware that it was a Halloween theme until today. We weren’t going to dress up because meh, we don’t really do that. I’m not sure what got into us but we acquired costumes. I think I make a mean Gumby. And Andrew really can rock a wig. Right on, right on.

And in runblr fashion, I did a quick pre-half marathon shakeout followed by yoga. It was only my second run since the marathon, but things felt good! Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Half Marathon tomorrow morning!

Bridge to Half Marathon Training!

I created my plan to get me through to Christmas. Hanson’s half plan will start at the end of December. I upped my paces to reflect a 2:10 half marathon goal. Depending on how these next 10 weeks go, I may keep my half goal at 2:10 or adjust to 2:05. I think I’ll have a better idea after my half marathon on Sunday as to where I’m at currently and where I could end up in the spring.

I’m also going to build in strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on my lunch break. My office has a small gym that’ll do the trick. If not, I can always do strength workouts at home, too.

I feel better knowing I have everything planned out now!

Random Marathon Stats

I decided to look up the results of the Ultra Loony Challenge from race weekend. I don’t really care about them but thought it’d be interesting to see where I finished.

Place: 57/84
Age Gender: 9/15

Not a bad showing for a back of the packer! But I enjoyed looking at how others ran their 5K and 10K races the day before. Of the 27 people who placed after me overall I’m the challenge, 22 ran the 10K faster than me and 17 ran the 5K faster than me. I find this interesting because my goal on day one was to ensure I didn’t burn myself out for the marathon. I wonder if some of these people went out too hard on day one. The weird things I wonder about now that I’m not training!

Also, improvement from overall marathon placing:

2013: 8795/8855
2014: 6398/8852

I’m feeling lost right now without a plan to dictate my every move. I should just work on making my own plan through December. Maybe that’ll be today’s goal. I have to stay on top of being active before the lazies sink in and stay forever.

On a scale of one to super nerdy runner geeking out, I’m off the charts. Eeeee! Nothing good ever comes to Winnipeg - and I just randomly stumbled across this while looking up trail marathons. 

Have I mentioned I’d like to get into trail running? I use the term loosely, as I live on the prairies, but there’s a women’s trail running group starting next Monday. Might be a good filler for fall. And help me decide if I do a trail half in the spring.  I want to, but things like wood ticks make me apprehensive. 

In other I’m-not-training-for-anything-currently news, I bought myself a shiny new running jacket for winter in purple and some apparently really awesome Sugoi tights. They have wind panels and fancy warm lining, but after frostbite last year, I remain skeptical of winter running in less than four pairs of pants. It was in the high 60s today, so hopefully it’ll be a couple months before I can report back on them! 

I also signed up for the final run event of the year in Winnipeg, a 10K in early November. Races become pretty sparse from December to March, so it’ll be nice to close off the year with a race I should be able to PR handily. 

Tuesday - not the worst!

On a scale of one to super nerdy runner geeking out, I’m off the charts. Eeeee! Nothing good ever comes to Winnipeg - and I just randomly stumbled across this while looking up trail marathons.

Have I mentioned I’d like to get into trail running? I use the term loosely, as I live on the prairies, but there’s a women’s trail running group starting next Monday. Might be a good filler for fall. And help me decide if I do a trail half in the spring. I want to, but things like wood ticks make me apprehensive.

In other I’m-not-training-for-anything-currently news, I bought myself a shiny new running jacket for winter in purple and some apparently really awesome Sugoi tights. They have wind panels and fancy warm lining, but after frostbite last year, I remain skeptical of winter running in less than four pairs of pants. It was in the high 60s today, so hopefully it’ll be a couple months before I can report back on them!

I also signed up for the final run event of the year in Winnipeg, a 10K in early November. Races become pretty sparse from December to March, so it’ll be nice to close off the year with a race I should be able to PR handily.

Tuesday - not the worst!

Tagged: stuffblr, .
It’s my birthday today! I celebrated by sleeping in (thank you Thanksgiving for giving me the day off work), doing a workout, and walking around Birds Hill Park with my best friend.

Birthday Workout

4 Rounds

10 - One Arm Clean & Press (20lb DB)
10 - One Arm Bent Over Row (20lb DB)
3 min Incline Walk (@ 15%)

3 Rounds

10 - Arnold Press (20lb DBs)
10 - Hammer Curls (20lb DBs)

3 Rounds

10 - Lat Pulldowns
10 - Upright Row (20lb DBs)
10 - Push-ups

2 Rounds

50 - Heel Touches
25 - Bicycles

I’m a little sad that doing Hanson’s over the summer left me little time for weight lifting. But with all my new found free time, I should be able to balance lifting and running better. My next Hanson’s cycle starts in February - using the half program. I would like to lean up another 15-20lbs before I start half training, which means a cutback in my beloved bread and cheese food groups. Sad, but necessary. In the meantime, I should probably have some birthday cake.

It’s my birthday today! I celebrated by sleeping in (thank you Thanksgiving for giving me the day off work), doing a workout, and walking around Birds Hill Park with my best friend.

Birthday Workout

4 Rounds

10 - One Arm Clean & Press (20lb DB)
10 - One Arm Bent Over Row (20lb DB)
3 min Incline Walk (@ 15%)

3 Rounds

10 - Arnold Press (20lb DBs)
10 - Hammer Curls (20lb DBs)

3 Rounds

10 - Lat Pulldowns
10 - Upright Row (20lb DBs)
10 - Push-ups

2 Rounds

50 - Heel Touches
25 - Bicycles

I’m a little sad that doing Hanson’s over the summer left me little time for weight lifting. But with all my new found free time, I should be able to balance lifting and running better. My next Hanson’s cycle starts in February - using the half program. I would like to lean up another 15-20lbs before I start half training, which means a cutback in my beloved bread and cheese food groups. Sad, but necessary. In the meantime, I should probably have some birthday cake.

Andrew Miles #1

Are you wondering what Andrew miles are? If so, read on!

Andrew is my husband. My husband who has always made it clear that he was in no way interested in running. I stopped asking him to join me on runs because I know a lost cause when I see one. I accepted it because my other half doesn’t need to have all the same interests as I do. He was always willing to support me in my running endeavours, which is all I can ask for!

After the marathon last weekend, Andrew started expressing interest in “maybe going out for a run.”  He bought new shoes in Minnesota and then on Thursday asked me where he could buy pants to run in for the fall/winter. On Friday, we went shopping for said pants. And last night, we went out for a run. There were some walk breaks and Andrew listened to his iPod the entire time, but we were out there - running together! And it was pretty damn awesome! It was also my first run since the marathon. Legs are happy to be back on the road!

Also, Fitbit #4 made its debut on Friday. My other Fitbit (#2) crapped out during the marathon (thanks for only counting 19 miles worth of steps!!) and I was too lazy all week to set up and sync my new one. I am loving the new teal band but we’ll see how long this one lasts…

Good luck to all the Chicago runners today! I can’t wait to follow along!

Andrew Miles #1

Are you wondering what Andrew miles are? If so, read on!

Andrew is my husband. My husband who has always made it clear that he was in no way interested in running. I stopped asking him to join me on runs because I know a lost cause when I see one. I accepted it because my other half doesn’t need to have all the same interests as I do. He was always willing to support me in my running endeavours, which is all I can ask for!

After the marathon last weekend, Andrew started expressing interest in “maybe going out for a run.” He bought new shoes in Minnesota and then on Thursday asked me where he could buy pants to run in for the fall/winter. On Friday, we went shopping for said pants. And last night, we went out for a run. There were some walk breaks and Andrew listened to his iPod the entire time, but we were out there - running together! And it was pretty damn awesome! It was also my first run since the marathon. Legs are happy to be back on the road!

Also, Fitbit #4 made its debut on Friday. My other Fitbit (#2) crapped out during the marathon (thanks for only counting 19 miles worth of steps!!) and I was too lazy all week to set up and sync my new one. I am loving the new teal band but we’ll see how long this one lasts…

Good luck to all the Chicago runners today! I can’t wait to follow along!

Tagged: runblr, .

Twin Cities Marathon 2014

I don’t even know where to begin with this recap.  So let’s break it down.  

Pre-Marathon

We all have certain race day rituals.  Mine include showering the morning of a race, and blow drying my hair (and yes, straightening my hair if time permits, which it did not).  Feel free to make fun of me.  It’s fine.  I also ate breakfast, and Body Glided every square inch of skin.  Susie was gracious enough to offer to drive myself, my running partner, Johnna, and Andrew to the start line.  Susie showed off her impressive “I can get you closer to the start line” driving skills by parking maybe 100 metres from the start of the 10 miler race.  After watching the 10 miler, catching Heather and Johnna run by, Ryan and I headed off to the marathon start line.  I lined up with Jordan and Loren in Corral 3, just behind the 4:45 pacer. And soon enough…we were off!

Miles 1-4

I said goodbye to Jordan and Loren right at the start line.  I planned to keep the 4:45 pace group within sights for the entire race.  And then, 1 mile into the race, my plan was foiled.  This fool, yes, this one right over here, forgot to double knot her shoes and the laces came undone.  I could barely re-tie my shoes, my hands were shaking so bad from nerves.  Fortunately, I didn’t really lose that much time, and a few minutes later my 4:45 group was back in sight.  I got closer to the 4:45 group and stayed with them around Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.  The 4:45 group had an amazing leader named Marie who had the group counting dogs to pass the time.  The crowd support was amazing for this first stretch!  I ate my first pack of Honey Stingers @ Mile 4 - there was a couple near me who chuckled when I declared out loud “Snack Time!”  I really do run for food.  

Miles 5-8

These miles flew by so fast!  I abandoned the 4:45 group near Lake Harriet (mile 6, I think), because they took a walk break up a hill.  I had no intention of walking (it breaks up my rhythm too much), so I decided to build up a bit of a bank for the big hills later in the race.  The crowd support was still amazing - cool drummers under a bridge, various bands, neighbourhood block parties.  I ate another pack of Honey Stingers at mile 8.  I was right where I wanted to be.  

Miles 9-13.1

I saw my support crew (Andrew, Susie, and Melissa) just before Mile 9.  I was supposed to pick up a pack of Honey Stingers from crew, but in my excitement, I simply pointed to my watch and yelled out “I fuckin’ got this.” It was probably a bit premature to be making statements that early in the race, but there was no better way to summarize how I was feeling.  I just knew that I was going to get that 4:45.  The amazing crowd support continued, and I saw the best dancing old man with a foam “You’re #1” hand.  I saw my favourite marathon sign during this stretch: “I hear St. Paul is lovely this time of year” - in case you aren’t familiar with the course, the race starts in Minneapolis and ends in St. Paul.  It made my heart smile a lot.  I ate another pack of Honey Stingers and hit the half marathon point at 2:20:50, which is my second fastest half marathon time ever.  

Miles 14-21

I was actually really surprised how good the crowd support was through this stretch.  I remember a lot of desolate patches last year along the Mississippi without many spectators.  I saw my support group around Miles 17/18, and I ate some more Honey Stingers.  There was a guy handing out hot dogs at mile 18.  Not really ideal marathoning food.  I was back with the 4:45 group around mile 19, and I stayed with them over the Franklin Bridge and into St. Paul.  I heard the pacer say she had banked a few minutes for the upcoming hills - just like I had done!!  I saw Susie, Melissa, and Andrew right before the mile 21 marker and got more fuel.  I was seriously so over Honey Stingers by this point, I just choked down this pack and wished I had one of those mile 18 hot dogs.  And with that, we were at the hills!

Miles 22-26.2

Damn, those hills.  It’s not that they are steep, it’s that they seem never ending.  And when you are at the top, you are exhausted.  And then you still have another 3 miles to go.  This was definitely the hardest part of the race.  I knew I could finish, but I needed to not give back too much time.  I saw Sheila and Bob at Mile 23, with Ella.  Sheila really scared the crap out of me as she ran out to give me Honey Stingers, but I was so happy to see familiar faces.  Not too much further up, I saw Melissa and Johnna. I was really starting to hurt by this point and just wanted to be done.  I wasn’t in a bad place mentally, per se, I just was tired.  I saw Heather at Mile 25.  I needed to see Heather at that moment.  I was tired and pushing, but having her tell me how much I was killing the race motivated me to finish strong.  I thought about how much she helped me last year.  I saw Susie and Andrew with less than a mile to go, and I told Andrew I just wanted to be done.  One of the amazing things about the race is when you round the corner on Summit, you can’t see the Cathedral, which marks the downhill finish to the State Capitol.  It’s very sudden that the Cathedral appears, and then you can see the giant America flag hoisted up by the fire trucks, and further on, the finish line.  I picked it up into high gear, and knew that I was going to hit my time goal.  I was beaming as I ran down the chute, with fist pumping.  4:43:55.  I did it!  1 hour, 16 minute, and 15 second PR!

A few things to note about this race:

  • I ran the entire race, only slowing through water stations (up until the end of 2013, I was taking walk breaks, so this is pretty exciting!)
  • I did not listen my iPod during the race.  I thought about pulling it out around mile 24, when I was exhausted, but decided it would be too much work to do so.
  • Considering the 4:45 pace group was up to 422 counted dogs around mile 21, I was surprised I only saw 1 Boston Terrier.  
  • The experience of running a 4:45 vs a 6:00 marathon is very different - the crowd support is more prevalent, and I was always around other runners.  At times, especially around the lakes, the course almost seemed too crowded!  It was strange!
  • I heard a lot of different music on the course, but PTL, I only had to hear “Born to Run” once.  That song ranks right up there with my love of “Roar”.  Ick.  
  • My running partner, Ryan, ran his first marathon in 4:08 and change.  So awesome!!

So What Made This Marathon a Success?

The work for this marathon didn’t start 18 weeks ago when my training plan started.  The real work started the day after the marathon last year.  I got serious about leaning up.  I lost weight, I lifted weights, and I did a lot of core work.  I weighed 23 pounds less this year at the marathon compared with last year.  I always hated when people would say I could get faster at running by losing weight, mainly because it was true.  

Using Hanson’s Marathon Method was also a defining factor in my marathon success.  I used Hal Higdon plans in the past, with little success.  Hanson’s laid everything out.  Here’s what you do, how fast, how far.  I’m good at following rules.  I picked a realistic goal and stuck to it.  I consistently hit my target pace for easy, long, tempo, strength, and speed runs.  I missed only one 10 mile long run, and 2.5 miles of an easy 5 mile run.  I did not alter the schedule, minus a couple of races in the early stages of the plan, and the last day of training (due to the Ultra Loony Challenge).  Hanson’s not only made me a better runner, but it built mental fortitude.  Running 6 days a week was hard work.  There were many days when I didn’t want to, but I knew that I had to follow the plan exactly to get the results.  Sometimes my legs just ached.  I had blisters and chaffing.  But I was never injured.  And that meant that I could always run even if I didn’t feel like it.  I honestly believe without this training plan, I wouldn’t have hit my time goal.  I can’t recommend this plan enough.  I really believe it elevates your running.  If you are looking to PR, think about picking up the book (for the full or half).  At the very least, it’s an interesting read.  I’ll definitely be using the half plan for my spring half.      

In case your wondering how much I improved over last year, here’s a mile by mile comparison of Twin Cities Marathon 2014 vs 2013:

This is the exact same course - one year later.  My slowest mile this year, wasn’t even slower than my fastest mile last year.  Also, look at my consistency - I used to be all over the place!  I think I may need to run Twin Cities again next year, just to get a three year comparison.  Of course, I’ll never have as epic of a PR ever again, but I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish down the road!

TCM 2015!  Only 361 days away!!

I just wanted to post a huge HUGE thanks to everyone who has sent me messages and kind words leading up to, during, and after the marathon. I’m still having a hard time believing what transpired on Sunday. I’m settling in to LAH (life after Hanson’s) and promise a recap in the next day or two. 

Thanks again! Tumblrs really are the best!!

I just wanted to post a huge HUGE thanks to everyone who has sent me messages and kind words leading up to, during, and after the marathon. I’m still having a hard time believing what transpired on Sunday. I’m settling in to LAH (life after Hanson’s) and promise a recap in the next day or two.

Thanks again! Tumblrs really are the best!!

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