and january is done

01 30 2015.

Oh my goodness is it Friday already? This past week has flown by. Heck, this past month has flown by. I realize I haven’t blogged in a while – a healthy combination of being sick, being busy, and of course, being lazy. So here’s what happening.

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Snow. Snowsnowsnowsnow. All of the snow. I take back my confidence in winter running. There is a point where it’s just too much. 28 inches too much! We had a lovely visit our first blizzard of 2015, Juno, on Tuesday, and now we’re getting more snow today.

The Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler is this weekend! It’s snuck up, really. It seems like just yesterday (November 24th, in fact) that I was setting my alarm ten minutes early so that I could grab a spot in the race. At the time I wasn’t even registered for Sugarloaf. Speaking of snow, there’s a very real possibility of the Mid-Winter Classic race (this weekend) being canceled. All athletes received an email yesterday – in lieu of the athlete packet – telling us to stand by. We’ll hear the final verdict today. Technically, I only need 6 miles this weekend, but I’ve kind of thrown the Novice 2 plan out the window. Why?

I’ve got a myself coach! I’ll definitely write more on this later – but the short of it is that I’ve decided to hire a coach to help me train for Sugarloaf. We start Feb. 1 and Kelsey’s going to come up with a whole new training plan tuned specifically to me, my strengths, my weaknesses and my schedule. I’m so excited about this…I can’t wait to start!

Runger. Oh goodness is it real! I’ve been so hungry lately. I’ve stocked up on bananas for the office so that I don’t go for the Funyuns – or whatever stale monstrosity has been sitting on the “to share” table.

Check back on Sunday for another update – or two!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Welcome back to the work week; back to the grind. I don’t know about everyone else here, but I love Mondays. They always seem to fly by, and despite being a tad difficult to adjust to after a weekend, I find that I need the routine of a 9-5 to stay on track.

Because it’s Marathon Monday, let’s talk about running!

Monday: cross training, spin class. Done. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before – I attend this class every Monday. Last Monday’s class was killer. I think everyone left feeling – quite literally – weak in the knees. Starting the week off with a challenge was the perfect introduction to marathon training.

Tuesday: 3 miles. Done. I joined up with my local running store’s Winter Warrior group. All I have to say is shoe screws, people! Tuesday night at run group I got screws put in my shoes! These are life-changing, folks. After a half-mile or so of cautiously testing them out, I’ve determined that they’re amazing. I ran with a great new friend of mine, A, around Back Cove. We did 3 miles – granted, they were at a slower pace due to the snow and ice, but there was absolutely no slippage.

I’m really excited about that run. It was short (3 miles) and cold (face mask required!) but running in 10 degree weather on ice and snow and feeling comfortable was a huge breakthrough for me. I feel like I can run in anything at this point. I hate to admit this, because now it’s going to happen, but I think I’d be okay if it snowed on one of my long runs.

Wednesday: 5 miles. Done. (Excuse the photo, it’s terrible.) I still have a few weeks left of my Wednesday spin class so I decided that I’d get up earlier – 5am early – and use the treadmill at the gym to get my 5 miles in. It was one of my best treadmill runs, actually. Perhaps it was because I was half asleep for part of it or because the gym was nearly empty at the time. Regardless, I enjoyed it and the positive experience set a nice precedent for gym runs.

Thursday: 3 miles. Done. I wasn’t a huge fan of this run. With the Winter Warriors, we ran along the Eastern Prom trail. I came equipped with my screw shoes but it was just slushy. My calves were tired at the end of the three miles because trudging through deep snow/slush is hard. We had been told at the beginning of the program that winter running is less about pace – if you’re running in really cold weather with shady road conditions, you’re going to be going slower. It’s a simple as that. We were also told that a benefit of winter running is that it helps you build strength in your legs. I believe it.

Friday: off. Done. Well that was easy.

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(Photo copyright Maine Running Photos.)

Saturday: 8 miles. Done. Except that I did 10. In preparation for the Midwinter Classic 10-Miler, I joined up with the Winter Warriors again that morning for a preview run of the course. I feel so good about that run. I started off running at my own pace by myself, around 8:30min/mile. About a mile into the run, a woman caught up to me, introduced herself (“E”) and told me that she liked my pace. I was happy to run next to her and chat with her – but I knew that my conversational pace is a bit slower than I was running. Still, I was interested in her stories, so we continued to talk throughout the entire run. A girl (“C”) who had been running slightly ahead of us the whole time fell back to join and we did the remaining 5 miles as a team. We talked and talked and talked and I didn’t glance at my watch until around mile 8 because I completely lost all sense of time and distance. I was amazed to find out that we were running around 8:20min/mile while talking constantly. And I was comfortable! I feel really confident about it. I’d love to break 1:20 at the race itself (we did 1:25) and after that training run, I think it’s totally possible.

Sunday: off. Two rest days in a week is more than I’m used to – especially when the rest days fall over a weekend. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet, I feel so lazy! In the future, if I decide to make plans some weekend, I’m sure I’ll be glad for it. I ended up trying out a 40-minute yoga video that kicked my butt. It was a Jillian Michaels video – so I don’t know what I was expecting but holy crap I was bending and balancing and shaking and crying.

Week 1 of marathon training is done!

Here’s how this week is looking:

Monday – cross, spin class

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – off

Saturday – 9 miles

Sunday – off

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Can you believe it!? It’s time to start training for the Sugarloaf Marathon! Training officially starts today as Monday was technically a rest day. I’ve decided to sign up for session 2 of spin classes for Mondays, so I’m moving my Sunday cross-training day to Monday. Sunday will now be rest or long-run if – for whatever reason – I’m unable to do the long run on Saturday. First off, here’s a look at this week’s mileage:

Monday – cross, spin class

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – off

Saturday – 8 miles

Sunday – off

I’m psyched and I also have a feeling that these next 18 weeks are going to go by really quickly. I know that I need to start experimenting with long run nutrition because the last thing that I want to do is rely solely on shot bloks on race day.

Tune in for these next few months for some significant race recaps, training updates and healthy recipes!

2015: happy new year!

01 06 2015.

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! This has been such a busy time for me – baking and prepping gifts. My Christmas lasted through the new year with another family party!

I always get so excited at the thought of starting another year. Though there’s not much of anything about last year that I plan to leave behind as we delve into 2015, there’s a lot happening in 2015 that I hope to accomplish.

In my previous post reflecting on 2014, I named it the year of new adventures. Over the next few days, I’m aiming to figure out a single word that will represent 2015. It’s not an easy task to find an all-encompassing word that is both generic and specific. So far I’m loving the words reach and discover.

I also wanted to sort out some marathon goals of mine. I’m setting these goals before my training starts, that way I can aim to train for these goals. (Training starts a week from today!) I have three levels of goals and I categorize them as such:

Goal 1 is what I believe to be attainable based on my current fitness/ability level. It’s a goal that doesn’t require aiming high for, though I could still fall short! (I consider goal 1 to be kind of a backup goal. It’s the one that I’ll most likely hit if I fail to achieve the other two.)

Goal 2 is the next step up on the challenge scale. A bit more tough but still realistic.

Goal 3 is my pipe dream. I’d have to work really really hard to achieve this. All of the stars would have to be aligned, my nutrition would need to be on point and I’d have to be feeling super stellar that day to achieve this goal. That being said, if I did ever achieve it, I’d probably cry a lake of happy tears.

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Goal 1:
A sub-4:00 marathon. I believe that I can run a sub-4:00 marathon based on my half marathon PR of 1:54. I’d have to maintain a constant 9:09 min. pace the entire time which I believe to be doable.

Goal 2:
A 3:48 marathon. This time is essentially my half PR time x2. While I’m very much aware that a marathon is a completely different ball game than “two half marathons back-to-back,” I think that this goal is appropriate for a more challenging goal.

Goal 3:
Qualify for Boston. 3:35. Yeah that’s a stretch. That’s roughly an 8:12 pace for 26.2 miles, over a minute faster per mile than my goal 1. It’s a huge goal, it’s my “aim for the stars” goal. The chances of me qualifying for Boston are slim. Not impossible, but slim. I’d love to qualify. I can think of no other greater (fitness-related) goal in my life than this. I put this on here simply because I can’t get the idea out of my head and I don’t want to exclude it out of fear of failing.

If all else fails, I just want to finish. Finishing my first marathon, even if over 4:00 will be something I’ll never ever forget.