Weekly Workout Recap 1/9 – 1/15

16 Jan

weeklyworkoutheader

Monday – 5 miles easy in the AM, GRIT Strength + 30 minute BodyFlow in the PM

Tuesday – BodyPump in the AM

Wednesday – GRIT Strength + CXWORX in the PM — I was supposed to run in the morning but we got hit with an ice storm so my running group had to cancel (it was super unsafe to even drive, much less run outside). I could have run on the treadmill on my own but my motivation was just not there, so I hung out in bed instead.

Thursday – BodyAttack + BodyPump in the PM — I thought of making up my missed run this morning but I was feeling pretty tired and opted to sleep in. Sometimes you just gotta listen to your body you know?

Friday – 5 miles easy in the AM with my running group. I was so glad to get back to running and it was a nice easy comfortable paced run with a killer hill at the end.

Saturday – BodyPump 100! If you’re not familiar with Les Mills programs, they do a new “release” of every program every 3 months. This means that there is new music and routines released to keep the programs fresh. Saturday was the global launch of BodyPump 100 which means the program has been around for 25 years!! Gyms across the world did the new release on the same day, which made for a lot of excitement and fun.

Sunday – 9 miles running in the morning. This run felt REALLY hard. My legs were tired from BodyPump the day before, the route was pretty hilly (though super scenic) and there were ice patches we had to dodge. My running group did a 5 mile loop and then 2 of us continued on a 4 mile out and back to hit a total of 9 miles.  The pace felt tough and there were many times I wanted to stop and walk. Luckily it didn’t happen, thanks to the fact that I was running with others. Despite it feeling tough I was super surprised when I hit stop and saw a 10:20 average for the run. No wonder it didn’t feel easy! Sometimes it really pays off to ignore your watch and just run by “feel” – you don’t psych yourself out if you are running “too fast” or “too slow.”

201170115_run

In summary…

Running miles: 19

Corework (CXWORX): Check!

BodyFlow: Check!

 

Resolution Run 5k (race recap)

15 Jan

On December 31 2016 I ran the local Resolution Run 5k. This was my 7th time running the race and though it’s usually freezing cold, I always love starting off New Years Eve with a nice community-based 5k.  My finishing times for this race have ranged from over 40 minutes (in 2013 when it was really icy) to 30:48 last year, and everything in between.  There are a lot of variables that can effect your time in this race – the weather, the amount of ice on the streets, and also the huge crowd that turns out for it.  Last year when I came so close to 30 minutes I thought that maybe I could eek out a sub-30 minute 5k sometime in 2016.

I sort of lost sight of that goal since I didn’t do a ton of 5ks this year, and focused more on training for the Route 66 marathon.  However, I did PR in the 10k (twice), Half Marathon (twice), and Marathon this year, so somewhere in the back of my head I knew I was becoming faster and stronger as a runner. In mid December I ran a 5k with a couple running buddies and finished in 32:38 and felt really good and strong despite some nasty hills on the course. After finishing I told them both that I was thinking of going for a sub-30 minute 5k, and after one agreed to pace me, it became a new goal to finish out the year.

The day of the race I was feeling pretty nervous. Not only had I committed to a crazy fast pace but I had pulled in my running friends too – I didn’t want to disappoint myself or them! But I also knew that the weather could play a factor so I tried not to put too much pressure on myself – hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  When I left home around 5:30, my husband said “see ya soon sub-30 min 5k runner” and my response was a sigh and “okay we will see.” I felt mentally prepared to be uncomfortable for 3 miles, since I know that racing a 5k hard really involves practically sprinting the entire way. I was psyching myself up, and trying not to psyche myself out!

The weather ended up being pretty good – it was in the mid-30s (which is kind of warm for this race).  There was also no ice on the roads.

There was a ton of people running, so I lined up towards the front with my friend/pacer and another running buddy who agreed at the last minute to help pace me.  I knew that they would watch the time for me so I wouldn’t have to – I just had to push push push.

When the race director yelled go I took off.

Mile 1 – 9:15 – The first mile of this race has a pretty horrendous hill that’s about half a mile long. I have run it before and knew to expect it to feel sucky, and it did. But I kept pushing. I knew that once I got up the hill it was smooth sailing for a bit.  Once we got to the top I use the flat as a mental recovery but tried to stay at an uncomfortable pace.

Mile 2 – 9:04 – There is a short downhill and then a pretty tough gradual uphill sort of flat portion. I knew this would be the toughest part for me mentally, and it was. My friends were talking to distract me, though I literally could not speak in coherant sentences. My dad and brother had come out to watch the race and I saw them part of the way through this mile and yelled to them “I feel like shit!” haha. There is a second hill towards the end of this mile that is short but steep. I honestly felt like I was going to puke at one point while running up it and am so grateful I had two friends there who were running right in front of me so I didn’t want to stop. My one friend kept chanting about how we needed to get up the hill and the other was counting our steps, and it was so helpful to have something to focus on besides how much I was hurting.

Mile 3 – 9:05 – Once we made it to the top of that hill I knew the rest of the race was smooth sailing. It is flat and then followed by a GLORIOUS downhill. The downhill is long, steep, and you know you are almost to the end. I used the first bit of the downhill as a recovery and tried to let me legs just go with gravity. I knew I was going to be really close to sub-30, I just couldn’t give up now. Towards the end my friend got in front of me and said “okay Becca, chase me.” We turned right onto the main road and I saw the finish line.

Mile 3.1 – 1:02 (8:08 pace) – I could see the clock and I knew it had a 2 in front of it, and as I got closer I saw it was 27 something. I was amazed and so happy, I knew I would come in well under 30. I gave it everything I had and crossed the finish line feeling so strong (but more than ready to stop running so fast!!!)!

Official time: 28:30 – 9:12 min/mile average pace. Also good enough for 9 out of 23 in my age group!!!  This is a very competitive race – there are a lot of really fast local runners – so getting in the top 10 of my age group is an accomplishment I am super proud of.

After I finished I was in shock that I had managed to pull it off with so much time to spare. I am so thankful for the wonderful ladies who paced me and pushed me. It ends up being about a 2 minute 5k PR but what I am most proud of is that I finished with a 2o-something minute time on the clock. I don’t think I ever thought it would be possible, and yet here I am.

This race was the perfect way to cap off 2016 – and it was amazing to complete a PR in the 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon in one year.

Weekly Workout Recap 12/26 – 1/8

11 Jan

weeklyworkoutheader

Hey there!!! I hope 2017 is off to a good start for you! It’s always a nice feeling to have a fresh slate isn’t it?

Today I’m recapping my last week of 2016 and my first week of 2017 – I kinda thought it would be neat to put them in a post together (maybe I’m weird..).

I had the last week off 2016 from work, so I was really able to focus on and maximize my workout time.

Monday – 5 miles easy in the AM

Tuesday – I wanted to try running a 5k in under 30 minutes, and I DID IT. In 29:30!!!

img_0869

Wednesday – 5 miles easy in the AM, GRIT Plyo + CXWORX in the PM. As I’ve talked about, I HATE GRIT Plyo with a fiery passion. So I have been really dreading this GRIT class for months.  It was hard but I survived and that’s what matters right?

Thursday – BodyAttack + BodyPump in the PM

Friday – 3 miles easy, along the route for the New Years Eve 5k the next evening to get a feel for the course!

Saturday – Resolution Run 5k – 28:30!!!!! I finally sub-30ed a 5k!!!!!!! And ended the year with another PR!!! Saying I was thrilled would be an understatement. I’ll have a recap of the race soon.

Sunday January 1st – REST DAY. Boy did I need it. But wow is it tough to have a rest day on January 1st when everyone is posting about their runs and workouts and starting the year off right!

Monday – My last day off from work! 6 miles easy in the AM. This served as my first “long” run of my next training cycle. The race is in February so it’s time to bump the mileage up!

Tuesday & Wednesday – Unplanned rest – Unfortunately I got hit with a cold/sinus infection on Monday night, and had to take Tuesday off of work, and Tues and Weds off of anything fitness related – especially since I attend a group fitness gym. The last thing I wanted to do was spread my germs. I ended up taking Tuesday off of work which wasn’t the way I expected to start the new year, but what can ya do!

Thursday – Back at it! BodyPump in the AM, BodyAttack in the PM.

Friday – 5 miles easy in the AM, 30 minute RPM + 30 minute BodyPump + CXWORX in the PM.

Saturday – GRIT Cardio + 30 minute BodyFlow

Sunday – 8 miles easy. This run was COLD. It was under 10 degrees. Luckily once we got moving I warmed up! I loved the hot shower post-run too!

Well, that was cold!!! 8 miles ✅ #run #running #training #halfmarathon #instarunners #instarun

A photo posted by Becca (@beccarun) on

 

Runner’s World Marathon For Mortals Plan Review

5 Jan

When I signed up for the Route 66 Marathon back in March I had no idea what type of training plan I would be interested in tackling. For my first marathon I used a Jeff Galloway runDisney plan (since I did it as part of the Goofy Challenge) and for my second, I used the Run Less, Run Faster plan. I felt that the Galloway plan really did prepare me to simply finish my first 26.2, and the RLRF plan helped me to feel stronger and a little bit more comfortable for my second. But for my third I really wanted to get a lot faster, and wanted the race to become less about finishing and more about conquering. I looked at all the usual marathon plans provided by Hidgeon, Coach Jenny, Galloway’s non-runDisney plans, and looked at a more advanced RLRF plan. They would get the job done but none of them made me excited to train.

Then I received Runner’s World’s July 2016 issue and noticed they were advertising a 16-week marathon training plan, and immediately turned to that page.

runnersworldjuly16

“A plan for the modern marathoner” – designed for someone who runs 20 miles over 4 days of running. It incoporates aspects of training recommended by McMillan, Coach Jenny, Bart Yasso and a few others and sounded PERFECT. Enough mileage and work to feel strong for race day, but not enough to cause burn out or feel like I lost my whole life to training.

The plan is structured as follows:

  • 4 runs per week, 16 weeks total
  • 2 easy runs per week, that start around 4 miles each and peak at 6.
  • 1 hill/speed workout per week, that I adjusted to fit my schedule (I’ll talk about this more in a bit)
  • 1 long run that starts at 8 miles, builds by 2 miles per week (and cuts back every 4 weeks), and includes 2 16-milers, 1 18-miler and 2 20-milers. The week before the race is a 10-miler.
  • Weekly mileage starts at 20 miles, and goes to 30+ miles per week starting in week 6. From there it continues to build, and peaks at 40 miles per week at week 13, before tapering.

modernmarathonerplan

My thoughts:

  • Overall, I loved this plan and enjoyed it.
  • It 10000% improved my marathon performance, helping me to cut at least an hour from my last marathon time and finish in under 6 hours.
  • I did not feel burnt out until around week 12 & 13, the last two peak weeks of the plan. I was ready to be done, but the mileage was high. I am very thankful I had friends to run with during this time. Looking back, it is understandable that my body felt tired and ready to taper – I was running the highest weekly mileage I had ever run.
  • I enjoyed that this plan was “only” 4 runs per week – for me, that seems to be the sweet spot that prevents me from getting injured and is enough to build fitness.
  • For the first half of the plan I stuck with the speedwork and hill work. After that, I traded in speedwork for tempo runs where I ran with some faster runners. This worked well for me, but meant I didn’t follow the plan to a T.
  • I incoporated races whenever it made sense:
    • Week 6 I ran the Harrisburg Half Marathon in place of a planned 14-miler.
    • Week 13 I ran the Niagara Falls International Half Marathon with a 7 mile run beforehad to cover my second 20 miler. I managed to PR the half marathon so this strategy seemed to work for me. It also made that last 20 miler feel much less daunting.
    • Week 14 I ran the D&L Heritage Half Marathon in place of a planned 14-miler. Again, I PRed, so this really worked well for me and gave me confidence going into the marathon.
  • I traveled a LOT during training – I only ran maybe one long run on an actual weekend! This plan offered enough flexibility for me to move things around and still fit everything in.
  • For the most part, I continued core work, BodyPump and occasional spinning classes through training. I was able to fit them in when I could, and made sure I’d always have one complete rest day a week. This is something my body is used to so it worked fine. Though, if push came to shove I always priortized the planned run over cross training.  In the end, I only missed 2 planned runs throughout the entire training plan. The flexibility this plan offered really helped with my consistency.

So there ya have it! Overall, I loved this plan and would absolutely use it again and recommend it to any “average” runner who runs 4xs a week, around 15-20 miles a week before starting!

Route 66 Marathon Race Recap

29 Dec

On Sunday November 20 I ran the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (We also ran the 5k the day before.)

The race started at 8am, so my dad and I started walked from our hotel around 6:45. We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to attend the Half Fanatics/Marathon Maniacs VIP meet up and not feel rushed getting to the corrals. It was only a 10 minute walk to the start area.

The VIP meet up area was great and it was so fun to meet up with other Fanatics. They offered a bag check, tents to sit under, free coffee and water, empty and clean portapotties (!!!) and this awesome photo spot. img_0425

The race organizers also took a group photo of the group — there was a TON of representation!

IMG_0438.JPG

(Not my photo, it’s from the Route 66 facebook page.) I promise you my dad and I are in there somewhere!

Once we checked our bags (where I stashed an extra long sleeved shirt for after the race), we left the VIP area to make our way to the corrals.

It was cold (right around 30 degrees), but the temperature was expected to rise to the mid-50s by the time I would finish the race. I wore capris, my half fanatics tank, arm sleeves that I could remove, and a throwaway zip up sweatshirt. It was windy and chilly!  We did our best to stay warm and before we knew it it was 7:45 and time to find our corrals.

I ate my honey stinger chews as we lined up and heard the national anthem.

Corral A started right at 8am. The cool thing about this race is that they celebrated each corrals start with confetti and fanfare!

My corral (C) started about 15 minutes later at 8:15.

My plan was to run as slowly as possible for the first half of the race. My dad ran the first 6 miles with me as we left downtown Tulsa and headed out into some scenic neighborhoods.

My garmin was off on my total mileage so there’s no point in sharing the splits but I kept my pace as slow as possible and was feeling as good as I could hope!  There were tons of people out in front of their houses partying and sharing beer and jello shots (though I didn’t take any), and at one point we ran through a shopping area that had a an entire spinning class on their bikes outside cheering us on! It was awesome. I stuck to my routine of eating a Gu or 100 calories of Swedish Fish every 45 minutes, and walked water stations to make sure I was drinking enough.

Since I ran the 5k the day before I knew that the marathon was going to be anything but flat. But I felt confident and prepared, becuase all of my training has been on hilly routes. Around mile 8 I decided to start walking up any significant hills. My goal was to conserve energy and feel good for the entire race. This slowed some of my splits down slightly but nothing that I was concerned with.

Around mile 9 we ran along the Arkansas river, then made a left to do a quick out and back under Route 66! Obviously I had to take a photo.

img_0430

I went to take my swedish fish and suddenly my body did NOT want them. The texture and taste was horrible and I almost threw them right up. I knew right then that I had to change my fueling strategy and luckily I had stuck a couple of extra Gus in my spibelt.  From then on, I took Gu only, and luckily it worked out just fine. yikes.

After crossing under Route 66 we were back into downtown Tulsa. Until this point the half marathon and marathon courses were the same, and I was honestly a little bit nervous about how I would feel when the half marathoners turned off towards the finish line as I turned away from the finish to continue on.  When we got to that point, you could literally heart Bart Yasso annoucing the finish line, but I didn’t for a second wish I was finishing. I knew I had another 13.1 in me and was feeling really strong and confident.  According to the official results I hit the half marathon mark in 2:44:16.

We again left downtown Tulsa, and headed for a series of pretty substantial hills. The marathon leaders were passing us on the other side of the road so I knew we would be coming back this way as well. I just continued walking up, running down, fueling.

Around mile 19 we entered the University of Tulsa’s campus. It was really pretty and a nice change in scenery. I started to feel like I had to go to the bathroom, so I took my only portapotty stop around here, and as inconvenient was it was, I knew that it meant I was well hydrated.

I was starting to feel a little bit fatigued – mostly, my feet were tired – but I really felt good and told myself I was strong enough to conquer this.

I hit mile 20 at 4:14:00 according to the offical results.

Heading back up those awful hills the second time was worse that the first. I did more walking than I had on the way out and lost a little bit of time. But I never hit a wall. I felt strong, despite being fatigued. I told myself to just keep on going. One foot in front of the other.

Around mile 25 I saw my dad and was really excited to see him (he had run the half, walked back to the hotel, showered and came back to find me).  Shortly after I saw him, I saw the sign for the Center of the Universe Detour!!! I had been waiting to experience this since I first signed up for this race. By taking the detour (that runs through the “Center of the Universe“) you add .3 miles onto the marathon, receive a commemorative medallion, and can say you ran the worlds shortest ultramarathon!

img_0431

I took my time here, stopped to see my dad again, took a photo, and really took it all in. I was so close to finishing the race that I wanted to enjoy the moments I had left.

I turned a corner, I saw the finish line, and ran and ran and ran. I have never felt stronger. My dad was yelling for me, spectators were clapping for “the half fanatic” and Bart Yasso was cheering me on, saying I was from his home state.

585581_244302352_medium

It is a moment I will never. ever. forget.

I crossed the finish in 5:45:20 for a total of 26.5 miles. And I felt great! Yes, I was tired, yes I was grateful to stop running. But my legs didn’t feel like jello, I wasn’t hurting, I wasn’t ready to collapse into a heap on the ground.

img_0434

I have never felt better at the end of a marathon. I met up with my dad, picked up my gear check bag from the Half Fanatics tent, checked the official results and got my medal engraved. I’ve never had a medal engraved before but decided I had to celebrate a 1+ hour PR and sub-6 hour marathon by doing it.

I hit every single goal that I had going into this race:

Goal 1: Have fun, feel strong, enjoy the 26.2 mile victory lap. CHECK!
Goal 2: Participate in the Center of the Universe Detour. CHECK!
Goal 3: PR the Marathon. My last marathon time was 6:44:48CHECK! I’m not sure what my exact 26.2 mile time was but I can guess it was around 5:40 or so, which means I PRed by more than an hour. 🙂
Goal 4: Finish 26.2 in under 6 hours. CHECK! Not only did I finish the marathon distance in under 6 hours, but I also finished the entire thing under it. and saw a 5 hour time on the clock as I finished!

My third marathon was a wonderful adventure, and I am positive it wasn’t my last time conquering this distance. I am looking to 2018 for the next one…

As for the Route 66 race series, I love love loved the races. Well organized, great crowd support, and overall just a really great, accepting, wonderful, party atmosphere! I’m not sure I’ll be back becuase it’s not local to me, but it was great checking Oklahoma off the list with this race!!

img_0442