Training Tuesday: Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Weeks 7-10

My heart is at the beach right now. I am praying for my family and friends that are there and for safety as they brace for Hurricane Florence. It is also time for an update on how things are going as I train for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon on October 21, 2018. (This post does contain affiliate links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you when you opt to buy through my links.)

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Seven (August 13-19)

It was back to the normal schedule this week in work and personal life. Hopefully, that shows in this training week!

Monday 8/13: 3.5 miles, 11’41″/mile.  An early morning pre-work run is my sweet spot. It is a great time to think but not think. My smile says it all, eh?

Tuesday 8/14 Nada. So much for being back at it. I had a busy day all around and missed CrossFit and yoga.

Wednesday 8/15 2.5 miles, 11’08″/mileTook advantage of the trail and really powered through this one.

Thursday 8/16 Crossfit. 10 rounds. This one was INTENSE.

Sunday 8/19 5.23 miles, 11’10:/mile With the clock ticking to get to church, I was running on a mission! The morning was peaceful, crowds were along the river (at sunrise!) for our local boat races. It was pretty much perfection.

I guess the changes I made in my personal schedule paid off. The next weeks, well…

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Eight (August 20-26)

On a personal level, this week started off sucking. I refuse to sugarcoat it. Sunday night I had been asleep for 45 minutes when my dad called. He never calls late. He needed to get my mom to the ER and I could tell I needed to go along. They came all the way to Kittanning to get me to go with them to Butler. After lots of tests and most of the night in the ER, she was sent home with orders to keep following up with various doctors and a new round of meds. Retirement hasn’t played nicely with my mom and I think that’s part of why I want to be as fit as I can be. Please say some prayers for her healing over the next few weeks.

Monday 8/20: Rest. I got home at 4 AM and couldn’t sleep so fumbled through a work from home day and got to be part of the Twins’ first day of school. Photo because when did they grow up?!?!

I also learned how to make a Keto-friendly pumpkin spice latte right at home. Heavy whipping cream + pumpkin pie spice + a wee bit of Stevia that you whisk into your mug *before* you brew the coffee over it. The cream gets whippy and rises to the top. DELISH. You can get that whisk on Amazon (here) and change up your coffee game, too.

Tuesday 8/21: 4 miles, 11’16″/mile. Running in the rain is my favorite. I tossed the phone on the couch and hit the stopwatch on my FitBit and just ran and ran and ran. Okay, I didn’t start in the rain. The idea was that I was going to try to out run the rain. AccuWeather told me the rain would start at 12:38, but it started more like at 12:28 when I still had a mile to go. I really kicked this run in gear and I’m just gonna say it, it was my favorite run of this training cycle so far yes the bold is needed. Greg met me at the door with a towel and totally captured the drops of rain on my shoulder. Seriously loved this one.

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Another day amazed by what has been given to me. It's been a tough week, my body is off schedule and my brain is on overdrive. I missed writing a #trainingtuesday blog post but my spirit got some things it needed >> time with friends tonight at a Thirty-One party and a mid morning run in the rain. When my brain wasn't clicking as fast as I wanted and the forecast looked clear for 48 minutes, I blocked my calendar and put on my @fusionsportsusa #runningshorts & my @newbalance shoes and left the phone at home for a 4 mile run. 33 minutes in just before mile 3 and in the middle of a prayer for a calming to wash over me, the sky broke and it downpoured for my last mile. Just me and the voice of God out there on the #railstotrails splashing through puddles and get more soaked than I ever have been. It felt amazing and then I conquered the rest of my day. While everything wasn't just washed off my plate, God made it clear that He is in control and I don't need to put so much pressure on myself. □□□ 4 miles, 11'16"/mile #halfmarathontraining #runintherain #runnersofinstagram #myrtlebeachminimarathon #momswhorun #strongnotskinny #nikeplusrunclub #newbalancerunning #fusionsportsusa #fitbitversa #drenchedrunning #fitmomintheremaking #thisthriversjourney #embracemypace #irunthisbody

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Wednesday 8/22: Date and packing. We went to the Pirates/Braves game and I packed up for a girls weekend. I still got in a ton of steps, including almost 1500 before I hit the bed at 1:00 AM Thursday morning. Vacation mode!

Thursday 8/22: 3.1 miles, 11’29″/mileAfter seven hours in the car and with a stomach full of a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Heavy Cream #ketolife, I met up with the Williamsburg Winery Run Club and did a 5K through the Winery property. It was gloriously humid and bug-free. There weren’t medals to commemorate as this is a free weekly run club, but I was happy with my time after sitting so long. The next few days included indulging in pizza, beer, and pretzels (none of which were gluten-free and I felt the pain) and learning that I can’t eat like that and keep training like I am…

Saturday 8/24: 5.0 miles, 11’29″/mile. I think the only reason my pace was three seconds a mile faster than Thursday was that I was motivated to get back to the resort where Missy was waiting for me so we could go swimming. Truth be told, Mollie was very much on my mind and I re-activated my Ripple safety because there I was, awake with the sun in a town I didn’t know and running 2.5 miles away from my resort. A bit scary, but I did it! I did pause with about .6 mile to go and snap a picture just outside of Colonial Williamsburg for the memories. Awkward and sweaty but whatever.

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Nine (August 27-September 2)

Let all the things crumble. I started to sabbotage my training diet and just spiraled from there. Not even buying new running shoes (my shoe of choice is the New Balance 880v7) motivated me. Truths? Between what I ate last week and what spiraled this week, I gained ten pounds. You can see it in my face as these pics progress. Ugh.

Monday 8/27: 2.5 miles, 11’06″/mile. The only reason this run was “fast” was because I forced myself on the treadmill. It was awful and I was supposed to do four but only got 2.5. I made up the other on the bike but I was crying ugly tears there in the YMCA. Gross.

Tuesday 8/28: Yoga. I thought another day at the mat would help, but all I could do was think about how much further I want to be with my fitness journey. It was not aligned with my intention!

Wednesday 8/29: 3.1 miles, 11’45″/mile. And the demise of my amazing (for me) pace begins. Even trying to be creative with my selfie, you can tell the weight is there. You can see how humid it was before 8 AM. Just rough.

 

Thursday 8/30: CrossFit. I’m not sure why I am smiling in this picture because I slacked off on laundry all week and wore the same shirt (yeah, I’ll say it) and this one was all arms and my shoulder was not happy. I guess the smile is all part of something bigger I am struggling with – the front that I am okay when I am not. (More on that later, hold me accountable.)

Saturday 9/2: 6 miles, 11’57″/mile. Greg’s sister came for a quick visit, so she stayed with the kids while Greg and I headed to the trail for a “run together” before it got too humid. I can complain a lot about this run and frankly I will so you see what I am dealing with. Greg is fast. Like if he could run a full at 30-40 seconds per mile slower than he runs, he’d be a Boston qualifier fast. So we planned a route on the trail that had my anxiety up but worked so we would start together then he’d pass me after my 2 miles and again just before he finished and I headed out to start my 3.5 miles. That fast. That part  worked, but it put me headed toward the bear part of the trail and alone for a long time. Add to it, it was hot as all get out early in the day so we carried bottles of water. Even with my Fusion Sports running shorts with the pockets I had to hold the water and it distracted me (being in the pockets knocked my hips out of alignment). But regardless, the run was done. He’d be waiting about 30 minutes for me and posed like this so I humored him and did it too.

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Ten (September 3-8)

Monday 9/3: 7.0 miles biking. We took the girls on a bike ride because Evan had a sleepover and the humidity was way too high to run.

Tuesday 9/4: 4.06 miles, 12’04″/mile. I tried to get out before the humidity but it didn’t work. The heat in Pittsburgh was real. This was a run from my office to the Point and back before the sun was fully up. I struggled, but think it was because of those 10 pounds + I started Intermittent Fasting so that I can try to drop more before the Half. This was a fasted run on day two of my 16:8 cycle. The legs didn’t love it.

Wednesday 9/5: Early morning CrossFit. This class loves running and jump ropes and situps. I was glad it was a Partner WOD because if it was for my own PB, I would not have cared. My goal was to run as much as my partner and that I did. And why the assault on my arms again?!?!

Thursday 9/6: 3.0 miles, 12’37″/mile. Ouchy. It was so hot. The sun had just come up and it was day four of IF. I literally had to pull my legs up a few times to move forward. I really struggled but when I stepped on the scale and saw a 2.6-pound loss in two days…it was worth it. I’m still working on what IF and Fasted Running needs to be to me – more on that when I do.

Saturday 9/8: 7.0 miles, 11’57/mile. Same exact pace as last Saturday but add a mile and I was ecstatic. After logging the paces I had been, I was down. A lot of negative talk in my head and I figured a 13-minute mile run was ahead. Add to it, I slept in thinking that the rain would hold off and I could get some sleep. Nope. This was seven extremely soggy miles but it was glorious because there was no humidity, I was even a bit chilly! This one included some sloppy sandy sections of the trail, hills, and four miles that were under the average pace for the whole run. I really couldn’t ask for more after the training going how it did the past few weeks!

As I enter week eleven, I’ll spoil and say things aren’t off to an amazing start, but I am lowering my expectations for Myrtle Beach. As long as I get to run it, that’s huge. Two Half Marathons in a year! But my biggest thing now is praying for my family and friends there and their safety. Please join me in that!

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Stay tuned to see what the next 10 weeks bring or check out past posts from this training cycle.

Total Miles to Date:

July: 10 runs, 26.39 miles, 11’33″/mile

August: 14 runs, 48.96 miles, 11’17″/mile

September: 5 runs, 25.32 miles, 12’04″/mile

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Training Tuesday: Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Weeks 1-6

Surely you didn’t think the running stopped after my “incident” with a bear on the trail, did you? Nope, it’s time to start up my weekly training posts again and this time I’m diving into my preparation for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon on October 21, 2018.

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon: The Details

First, you notice that guy in the picture with me? We are doing this thing together! Greg is returning to his hometown to run his first ever half marathon. This will be number four for me. I promise you I didn’t have to drug him to get him to say yes to registering…and it just might lead to him joining me on May 5 for Pittsburgh…we’ll see. Probably good to note that as of right now he’ll be finishing about 50 minutes ahead of me, but that’s fine with me!

This 13.1 mile race (a half marathon) will be on Sunday, October 21 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We started our 16-week training plan on July 2 and have occasionally trained together. I’m a bit behind on sharing the journey, so let’s hop to it!

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week One (July 2-8)

Oh boy. It started off bad. We got home on July 1 from our family holiday picnic and had no air conditioning…for three and a half weeks. Neither of us ran until July 5, so the first week was basically a bust.

Thursday 7/5: 2.25 miles, 12’09″/mile. I was feeling the effects of no a/c and eating a tub of strawberry shortcake (aka my feelings). Slugh.

Friday 7/6: Crossfit WOD in 27:37 This one had a lot of running. I sweated a lot. Why is it so hot at 5 am?!?!

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Two (July 9-15)

I can’t even tell you what but my Monday run didn’t happen either, so I had to do two runs back-to-back this week. You think I’d get with the program!

Tuesday 7/10: 2.01 miles, 10’42″/mile. Traffic made me miss running outside so I forced a treadmill run and crushed it. Pretty happy with this one.

Wednesday 7/11: 2.0 miles, 10’38″/mile. It was our anniversary, so Greg and I went to the Y before going to Fogo de Chao to eat all the meat. Having my husband beside me on a treadmill pushes me out of the hamster wheel my mind is known to go to!

Thursday 7/12: Crossfit WOD. Hit the time cap but still pretty proud I was able to get as far as I did.

Saturday 7/14: 3.0 miles, 12’03″/mile. That treadmill needs to be my friend more often. When I hit the trail, I struggled. It was humid and I felt alone. I was even pushing because I had a church event to get to. Struggle bus, but still 1 second faster than my PR for the half. Save racing for race day?

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Three (July 16-22)

This week was pretty tough. I was going away for my Thirty-One Conference at was super pumped up and I was testing out SilverSport clothing; however, I struggled because of outdoor running and a small injury.

Monday 7/16: 3.0 miles, 12’08″/mile. This was a run at home with some trail, some hills, and running by the river. I was pretty happy afterward, even with the slower pace.

Wednesday 7/18: 2.0 miles, 11’41″/mile. Running before work is one of my favorite things to do, but not when I turn too fast and roll an ankle. I hobbled through the rest of the day and was quite excited to get to the chiropractor and get it adjusted. Even though I felt good after, I was definitely treading lightly from then out for the next week.

Saturday 7/21: Recumbent Bike. I was at conference staying at a 3-star hotel and the area wasn’t great. I got almost 20K steps in on Saturday and Sunday but wasn’t impressed with the fitness center in my hotel. Glad I’ve done this a few times before and know the next few weeks are much more crucial for me.

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Four (July 23-29)

The pace is kicking it up! We finally have our A/C back and I think I’ve hit my groove.

Tuesday 7/24: 3.0 miles, 11’29″/mile. Only felt like quitting this treadmill run four times, all in the first mile. I slowed it down compared to other treadmill runs because the ankle was still tender, but still did work. Glad to have my running buddy beside me, too!

Thursday 7/26: 2.0 miles, 11’18″/mile. Proving myself out on the trail! I totally can do this.

Saturday 7/28: 4.0 miles, 11’20/mile. My future’s so bright, I have to wear shades!

No, really. I love this pair of shades from Tierra Sunglasses and am excited to pass a deal on them over to YOU! Look for more info on my engagement with them as an ambassador, but you can save $5 off a pair of running or regular sunglasses when you use code MRSGREGWILLIS5OFF here.

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Five (July 30-August 5)

Have you noticed I haven’t been doing as much Crossfit? Well, as much as I love it, I’m being super cautious not to get another injury so have really scaled it back. Let’s see how that went this week.

Monday 7/30: 3.1 miles, 11’37″/mile. Another work morning run and the ankle was feeling amazing!

Tuesday 7/31: Yoga at the YMCA. I was so happy to get back to the mat! It felt, in many ways, like nothing had changed. I’m going to be doing more yoga this training cycle because I miss the stretch.

Wednesday 8/1: 2.02 miles, 10’32”. Another run with the hubby on the treadmill.

Thursday 8/2: DOUBLE DAY 4.7 miles on a bike. Went for a bike ride at work on the Healthy Ride Pittsburgh Bikes. Counting this because my bum was super sore the next day and I burned a ton of fat calories. Crossfit WOD. This one hurt like you know what. I was a slowpoke and it was only a 22-minute AMRAP. But…it was my first 4-day-in-a-row training week of this cycle and I can tell.

Saturday 8/4: 4.5 miles, 11’30″/mile. Just me, the trail, and peace. It was 97% humidity and I was soaked. Really ideal training for Myrtle, though!

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Training: Week Six (August 6-12)

An interesting week! I was at a work internal training in downtown Pittsburgh and stayed three nights. That meant I got to run with my boss, our CEO, and some other co-workers. Really cool experience, especially since I needed the push. (Check out my Instagram for a few photos from this week.)

Monday 8/6: 3.5 miles, 11’13″/mile. Ran to the Point then over the Fort Duquesne Bridge and back under the Convention Center. It was steamy and another 97% humidity morning but I totally earned sitting the rest of the day.

Tuesday 8/7: 2.0 miles, 11’09″/mile. This should have been a yoga or Crossfit day, but I give in to peer pressure and ran with the group again. I knew when to turn around and am glad I did. The next days would have been even tougher if I hadn’t. Returned to the hotel gym to do some quick lifting.

Wednesday 8/8: 2.89 miles, 10’47″/mile. Another fast-paced group run. We went up some stairs at the Point and I felt it about a mile later trying to go back up through the Convention Center. Had to stop and gain my momentum back. As this was supposed to be 2, I’m okay that I didn’t quite hit three miles.

Thursday 8/9: Crossfit WOD. Again, struggled through four days in a row.

Saturday 8/11: 4.5 miles, 11’16″/mile Truth, this one felt just right. It was humid but I just set my mind to a fast solo run and I did it!

 

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Stay tuned to see what the next 10 weeks bring!

Total Miles to Date: 

July: 10 runs, 26.39 miles, 11’33″/mile

August: 7 runs, 22.92 miles, 11’14″/mile

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Marathon Monday: Week 16 of 16

Where did SIXTEEN weeks of Half Marathon Training go?!?!? It has been an incredible journey, capped off with everything I accomplished on Sunday. I’ll spoil it and tell you that Sunday was incredible, but today’s post is just going to focus on my final six days of training/taper. The Half deserves a whole post itself! Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 16! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 16 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 4/30: 3 miles, 12’22” per mile- This run didn’t start out too tough, which completely surprised me. If you’ll remember from last week’s post, I got sick. My allergies kicked it in high gear on Friday then attacked my sinuses. I was battling a horrible sinus infection and seriously considering how I’d run the Half six days later.

So a taper training run that stayed pretty much in line with my training of recent made me pretty happy. Mile three back to the office was a bit of a struggle, but I did it and even pulled off a negative split from mile 2.

Wednesday 5/2 – 2 miles, 11’55” – Two days of medicine in me, I put the kids on the bus and headed up to the Trail for one more easy run. I didn’t listen to my pace and just ran. The weather was perfect, eh, maybe a little sunny. It was in the low 50s and I gave this run a “let’s do this for fun” attitude.

Even being sick, I amazed myself again. A 12’02” mile one without checking pace and then an 11’47”. That’s another 15-second negative split for the week!

Friday 5/4: Marathon Expo
I spent the entire day dedicated to Marathon Prep. Between packet/bib pickup, dinner finalization for Saturday, and answering logistics questions, I put in a busy day. I needed some time to myself to explore the Expo, so after work, I returned. My timing was incredible…

First, at the Brag Swag, Inc. booth, I bumped into Chelsea. I haven’t seen her in person since PodCamp 2011, I think! We’ve been following each other’s running journeys on the blogs/Twitter/Instagram for years. She is super inspiring and really passionate about making the running community here in Pittsburgh a family feel. Oh, and I had to buy myself a shirt…do you blame me?

Oddly enough, just after I passed my previous employer’s *unmanned* booth, I ran into my old boss! It was nice to see him and his family and get a chance to catch up a little. Hoping his half went well!

Next up was finding pacers. I visited the NuGo pace booth to confirm my sad puppy that there wasn’t a pacer between 2:30 and 2:45. My heart felt like anything below a 2:44 was realistic the way I was still feeling stuffy, but I knew I couldn’t go with the 2:45 pacer. (They were doing run/walk and since I don’t train like that, I would have done poorly for me.)

I decided I should find the SCRR booth and see if anyone knew if anyone would be doing around a 12:30 (that 2:44) that was running and if I could meet the 2:30 pacer just to see who I needed to make sure I stayed behind.

By doing that, I ran into Carla who paced the kickoff training run that had me realizing I had a potential to do around a 12’12” in the first place. I was excited to find out she was pacing the 13’00″/mile for the 5k and decided it would be best to run with her group the next day and see if anyone there was aiming for a time like mine. Huge relief.

Before I left, I got to thank Coach Betsy who helped with my taper plan and encouraged me on that 10-mile run in 76 degrees. If she hadn’t set my expectations for that day, I might have fallen apart after pulling the pace I did that day (12’55”).

Then it was off to home to “rest”…or take care of the four kids and pack everything for the next day. We’d run as a family – me the 5k, Greg and the Bigs the Kids’ Mile, Ava to the Chic-Fil-A Cow, and Isla away from the Chic-Fil-A Cow.

Our Flat Family!

Saturday 5/5: 3.125 miles, 12’50” – I used this run to get all the nerves out. I’d been warned I might not be too smart to do this then do the 13.1 the next day, but it was so tempting to get the extra shirt, glass, and two medals as part of the Steel Challenge. The jury is out whether or not I’ll do it again next year…

First up, I met up with We Run Social and took a photo with a bunch of other social media addicted runners (swipe through Steffany’s Instagram post to see the group). It was great to meet some of the bloggers/IG superstars I’ve been following in real life.

Next, I needed to find my pace group and get this race going. I was so excited to get the nerves out that I must not have stepped on the chip reader at the start. My Nike+ app says we did 3.3 and the announcer says we did 3.125, so I’m going with the announcer’s mileage and basing my time off that – we kept it a little “fast” but super comfortable. Frankly, it felt too easy to me and I wasn’t sure if I should run ahead. Good thing Carla is smart about this and said all the right things to make me remember to hold it back today for tomorrow’s big race.

During the race, I realized why this might not have been a good idea. There were people out there going for their personal glory, which I get it. I used to be a short distance runner. But this wasn’t about a time for me. It was about getting the nerves out. There were so many runners out there that were either running their first “big” race or really wanted to beat a clock. Add that to a bunch of potholes and my feeling that I was going super easy and I could have easily gotten hurt.

And crossing the bridge into the city? All the tears. This city has my heart.

Other than not having an official time that matches what I do and not really trusting what the distance of the run was, this one felt amazing and was exactly what I needed – fun!

After my race, the kids and Greg tackled the one mile at a 9’14” pace! I’m so proud of my ‘lil runners.

 

And with that, my training for the 2018 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon – UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon is finished. For the spoiler, follow me on Instagram or else wait until I get the time to put words “to paper” to tell you how amazing Sunday felt.

Total Training Miles of This Cycle: 196 miles
April totals: 72.82 miles, 12’21” pace
March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 15 of 16

It is the final stretch! Spoiler alert – I am sick. A nasty sinus infection has taken residence in my head, so week 16 is not off to a great start. Hopefully, the medicines get to working and I can feel about 90% myself by late this week. Sigh…read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 15! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 15 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 4/23: 4 miles, 12’17” per mile- Hello, sun! I actually questioned wearing the double tank top, but figured I’d be a little modest on my lunch break. Afterall, I was debuting my ghostly white legs in my Happy Puppies running shorts (I got the Mandy and listened to their size guide and perfection).

My loop was a simple one, across 16th Street Bridge, to the Trail, and down almost to PNC Park and back. Everything felt pretty perfect about this one.

Wednesday 4/25 – 3.19 miles, 11’31” – Next year, I run with people to train. That’s going to take dropping a few more pounds and running a few more miles, but I know I can pull it off. This one was a warm one again. Greg and I took the twins out – he pushed the double stroller like a beast – and I talked the whole time. That proves that I should be pushing myself more. Our last mile was just over 11 minutes/mile. Welcome back, early 2014 Becky. Welcome back.

Friday 4/27: 6.28 miles, 11’57” – Well, the warm weather decided to stick around for all three of my workouts (runs) this week. I couldn’t stop smiling on this one, that pace! As of the end of this run, I decided I want to push myself to run with the 12’00” group (if there is one) and aim for a sub 2:40 half. I know I can, I just have to be healthy enough for race day.

So about that intensity decreasing. Sigh. I tried. I really did. Praying for strength – today’s run is done (not as good as any of last week’s but not that bad either, considering I can’t breathe and have a numb jaw and cheekbones). That leaves 2 miles then the 5k on Saturday. Next time you hear from me, it might just be Medal Monday instead! 😉

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

Total Training Miles of This Cycle: 190.92 miles | 5.1 miles remaining
April totals: 72.82 miles, 12’21” pace
March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 14 of 16

Friday of this week’s training plan officially brought me to the taper. Oh, boy is this going to be rough! Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 14! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 14 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 4/16: CrossFit > Final WOD of the Training Cycle- I fully braced myself for this to be awful emotionally. Last year when I hit taper time, I cried on nights I couldn’t go to CrossFit. This year, I don’t think it will be as bad since the nights are going to be filled with soccer and softball for the kids, so I won’t have time to worry about what I am missing out on. Also, I know full well that I can easily hurt myself, and I don’t want to.

So this last WOD. It was a partner WOD and again I am so grateful for Chris who has always been a source of strength and help while I’ve been learning how to do this CrossFit thing. She and I were partnered up and we tackled this bugger:

Instead of rowing, I tried the arc machine but felt like I might fall so swapped over to the treadmill and pulled off 24 calories at a sub-nine one of the rounds – there was no repeating that and I went to a 10 for the second time on the treadmill.

Afterward, I gave these fun compression socks a try. They definitely aren’t as supportive as my Feetures socks, but for an extra option to have on hand they work!

Tuesday 4/17 – 5.16 miles, 12’11” – I am seriously not sure what to expect for race day weather. At this point, I’m convinced it will be snowing as much as I’ve trained in it. The temps were just over freezing but I couldn’t put on all the layers because how did we drop 40 degrees in four days??!?! Keeping a little chilled for my “recovery miles” seemed to work. I needed a redemption from Satuday of last week and I sure got it.

The only thing is that I started to worry about my pace. For awhile, it was consistently 12’30” which made me mad – I wanted to do a 12’12” half. Adding that extra 18 seconds adds a few minutes to my overall time, and just when I was content with that, I pull of this and it felt so good (and actually slow). I keep tossing around the idea to just stay between the pacer for the 2:45 half and the next slowest pace group and see what happens and where I’m able to kick it in. You’d think that my third half would be all figured out.

Wednesday 4/18: 3 miles, 12’18” – I was like a kid at Christmas…it was the day my FitBit Versa arrived and the temps were back in the 40’s! For this run, I wanted to test out my new technology, but since it doesn’t have a built-in GPS, it argued with my Nike+ which I was running to check the results. Oops. Luckily the map matched my work, but I spent more time than I meant to fussing with my watch.

Friday 4/20: 11.29 miles, 12’12” – When I looked back at last year’s 11, I realized it didn’t happen because I had a stomach bug. Knowing that my longest run was 10 last year and I did it just fine without the eleven. That totally took the pressure off me, which shows in that pace!

For this one, I wore my running belt and carried an extra bottle of water. I drank it all. It was in a way another dress rehearsal, I wore a lighter pair of capris and the work running shirt. If temps are like they were Friday (high 50’s), I might be okay but still a little hot. Just have to keep hydrating!

For this one, I started at my office and then did the route from Saturday’s run plus a loop up 16th Street to East Ohio then down to Stanton and around the Commons Square and back a few blocks to pass the Warhol before starting the North Shore trek over to West End Bridge. I stopped to take it all in on West End Bridge and praise God for how much better this run was going at about six miles in.

The Station Square section of this run flew by, but going up the steps to Smithfield Street Bridge, I knew I’d need some leg rest that night. Surprisingly, I got back to the office and looked like I’d barely broken a sweat. What a great one!

And now to taper. I’m already struggling – how to decrease intensity when the mileage is shorter and the days are warmer!??! More to come on that in next week’s post.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

April totals: 60.34 miles, 12’26” pace
March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 13 of 16

This week, I turned 35 – I’m now five years older than I was for my first Half Marathon. It is really starting to sink in that I really changed my life in my thirties, and it sure feels good! Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 13! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 13 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 4/9: CrossFit > BIRTHDAY WOD- With two WODs left until I enter the taper, of course it is a good thing that one of the two was my birthday WOD! While we were *cursing* my being 35, it sure was a good one. The heat in the annex was a bit unbearable, but I didn’t know it was about to prepare me for something really unbearable later in the week.

Thank you to my FitFam for celebrating with me!

Tuesday 4/10 – 5 miles, 12’25” – I ran for tacos. Not lying. The LA Taco truck is in Ford City on Tuesdays, just a little over 4.5 miles from my house. Perfect! I decided to run there (and a little past) then have Greg meet me there to get tacos (keto for me) and drive me home. It was sort of breezy and I was feeling being alone (not in a good way). What a good run for my mentality!

Wednesday 4/11: 4 miles, 12’14” – It was another breezy, dry dusty day in the Strip District, pushing me to do my best. Knocking 9 seconds a mile off my previous run? It sure did work!

Saturday 4/14: 10.02 miles, 12’55” – This one might just be the run that makes my training. I set out to run with Steel City Road Runners after a class on “the taper” (eek), but there weren’t pacers for my goal pace. Because it was hot, they advised running 30-60-90 seconds slower than you’d set out to. I heard, but I am not sure I listened. I set out with a group that had goals of 12-13 minutes per mile and did a speedy 12:17 first half mile and could feel it. I backed off a little and did a little over 1.5 miles with another runner then kept meeting up with others at stoplights. We hit the West End Bridge and had to do some steps. We made it through the heat of Carson Street. We navigated downtown. Then after the Seventh Ave Bridge…I lost everyone.

If I’d been smart, I would have stopped at the garage (mile six) and grabbed some water. I only had 12 ounces on me and the heat was rising. I had this feeling if I stopped, I’d stop for the day and only get 6 in, not 10. I’m not sure which would have been the bigger mistake…okay…stopping would have been now that I know how it went.

So at mile six, I was all alone, navigating my “home base” of the Strip District. I got to Liberty and realized I was simply too hot. Water. Nope, didn’t work. Tried to pull my shirt up a bit, still not enough. I was steamy and had to start to walk. By the time I passed my office, I had 2.5 miles left and started walking every other block until I got to 31st Street Bridge. I power walked that half mile up and over the bridge then tried to take the downhill back to the trail. At this point, my fingers were so swollen I was scared.

While I made it back, this one was tough. My splits were all over – mile six (all alone out there) was my fastest – 12’12”, into the 13-minute miles. Eep. But still, I made it, 25 seconds slower than my goal and 30 seconds faster thatn 2017’s Half. I think I have this, and this run sure did teach me some lessons.

This week is my final long run, eleven. I’ve got this, and you do too. xoxo

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

April totals: 36.88 miles, 12’33” pace
March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 12 of 16

This week, those of us training for the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend hit the one month mark until race day. It’s so hard to believe how close we are! Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 12! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 12 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 4/2: CrossFit – This was a partner WOD, and due to Rubens and I working through some injuries/me starting to taper, we partnered up and found a good balance between wanting to workout like usual and playing it safe. I’m so thankful he understood and pushed *just* enough. Good work, friend!

PS: Can I talk about the fact that I am a mom of four and the youngest two, twins, turned three this day? Pretty proud of how far I’ve come on this journey!

Tuesday 4/3 – 5 .12 miles, 12’21” – Just like last Tuesday, this run started (then ended) in rain. I wore my jacket and got super sweaty so off it went midway through. Took the same path as last week (Liberty to 16th to the trail then past PNC Park and back).  It was less muddy and I slowed down to enjoy this reminder…

Wednesday 4/4: 3.5 miles, 12’24” – Who else ran in the wind? I tackled 31st and 16th street bridges and my abs still hurt on Friday morning from that. Fighting the wind (I hear it was 21 mph + gusts?!?) and some flurries, I’m pretty stoked about this one.

Thursday 4/5: REST! – Because the forecast said there’d be snow Saturday, I took a day off out of schedule so I could do my long run a day early. This might have been one of the best decisions of my training plan.

Friday 4/6: 9.22 miles, 12’33” – Another one in the sun and some warm weather! There was less wind than Wednesday, but still a lot of dust flying about and some struggles when I was headed south. I mapped out a run that would challenge me – Penn to Butler to 40th Street Bridge then to 31st, Liberty, 16th and out past PNC again and back to work. Super proud, and pretty sure 2:43:45 is my goal (12’30” and a 9 minute 10 second PR for my 3rd half).

After this run, I am a little fearful my toe is broken again (just like it’s done in all but one of my past distance runs). =( Spent some time in my Feetures compression socks and hope that will help!

This week, particularly Wednesday and Friday, proved to myself that I am a Runner of Steel. Sure, I have a medal rack with 10 medals hanging on it (3 of which are Pittsburgh Marathon medals + 2 EQT 10-miler ones, all saying I am a Runner of Steel). Sure, I figured out a running shoe that worked for me. Sure, I have plenty of running clothes that say I am a Runner of Steel. But this week, it hit me.

I’ve run all but five miles of this training cycle (over 120 miles) alone. I let nothing stop me – stomach issues, back injury, snow, rain, wind, being alone. It is grit, passion, and steel. This year is so redemptive for me, and I hope I’m able to keep this up until my littles can start to join me!

I’m already dreading how I’ll feel with tapering, but my plan calls for a 10 then an 11 before that. Can’t wait to see how those turn out!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

April totals: 17.84 miles, 12’28” pace
March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 11 of 16

While last week’s training for the upcoming Half Marathon didn’t go as planned, with five weeks to go I am feeling so ready!  Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 11! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 11 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/26: CrossFit – Mondays are always tough, but when they are a birthday WOD they are even tougher! I was still recovering from 5 days of not really eating, so finishing was a pretty big thing for me. I also was able to split jerk 75 pounds in the strength portion – yay for healing vertebrae!

Tuesday 3/27 – 5 miles, 12’46” – It was pouring down a cold rain, but I needed this run mentally and physically. Things felt pretty good! The path was Liberty to 16th to the trail then past PNC Park and back. Things were still a bit muddy/floody, but it felt good to be one of the few out there getting lunchtime miles in.

Wednesday 3/28: 3.66 miles, 12’14” – I was ready for a break and just as I did, out came the rain again. This one was warm enough for the tank top. Something was up with my running app, so I went a little farther than I had planned. Love coming back from a run and the twins greeting me with, “Mommy? You go for a run?”.  I sort of hope the weather is like this on race day – 50’s and a light mist. Nothing to soak the feet, just something to keep it cool.

Thursday 3/29: CrossFit – This was the WOD that made me decide only three more until Half. My knee popped out of place at one point and I had to scale way more than I would have liked. It’s for the best, but still a little heartbreaking. So close, no sense getting hurt!

Saturday 3/31: 8 miles, 12’30” – This might just be my new goal pace, or at least the group I’ll stick with for most of the Half. It felt right, but I know I can push harder. There was a lot of wind and brilliant sunshine. I ran 4 miles to Ford City and back, encountered a few other runners along the way. I had my running belt but didn’t hydrate, which was a lesson I needed to learn. I guess if I didn’t feel thirsty I was okay? My keto breakfast of sausage and pickles just might be my race day meal, too…

Through the week, I gained back about 4 of the 8 pounds I lost while sick (which in my book is good). Week twelve is going to be a challenge – there is snow in the Pittsburgh forecast!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 59.06 miles, 12’24” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 10 of 16

This was my toughest Half Marathon Training week ever in the course of three Half Marathons. Ugh! Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 10! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 10 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/19: 1.5 mile + CrossFit – The CrossFit WOD called for 6 400’s which I thoroughly enjoyed. The rest of that workout was crazy and I needed to scale due to current limitations of not being able to do pull-ups. I still beat the 40-minute limit by about 5 minutes, phew! What I didn’t know was this was going to be my best workout of the week.

Tuesday 3/20 – 4 miles, 12’29” – I almost didn’t do this run. A snowstorm was rolling in and it was icy rain. What haunted me about this one was Greg’s words to me – you want to PR, don’t you? So I hit the pavement and headed out around the Strip and across 31st Street Bridge for a frigid four. This one hurt, but I thought it was just because of the cold hitting my lungs. What I didn’t know was the next four days I’d be down for the count, battling some type of sickness. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that it was viral (whole family is okay) and I lost 8 pounds while fighting it (meh). Let’s hope it doesn’t put me back too far in training.

Sunday 3/25: 4.35 miles, 13’54” – To be honest, I shouldn’t have done this. Sunday was the first day I felt like I could eat, but I ran this on only an egg and two pieces of bacon and about 8 ounces of water. My goal was to run home from church, and while I didn’t run it all, I wanted to at least get part of the 7 I was supposed to. Two miles in, I took my first sip of water and it hit my stomach like a brick. I had to stop and breathe and tell myself not to lose it. This was rough. I then started walking and would jog every so often. A mile later, the trail got super muddy and even snowy/icy, so I was okay with this change in plans. When I got back to town, I probably logged half a mile of running in the last little bit, but it definitely didn’t feel good or normal. Miles, even if slow, are still miles, right? It was home to hydrate and nap!

Let’s hope my modified plan (to get back to eating and training) in week 11 works out.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 42.39 miles, 12’20” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace

January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace

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Marathon Monday: Week 9 of 16

When I see there are less than two months to go until race day, I don’t panic. I am so excited for this day, maybe to the point of obsession. So happy that I’m a day into week ten as I type up this traning recap!  Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 9! // This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!

Marathon Monday: Week 9 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/12: 1 mile + CrossFit, 11’00” – Can’t remember why, but I needed to do my WOD on Monday this week, so to the Y I went. It was a partner WOD and it went a little something like this:

2 miles, when Partner 1 is running Partner 2 works on their share of 100 Bear Complex…then when you’ve finished, 15 minutes of Max Wallballs. 

Since I’m in training for the Half and my partner was too, we decided to do longer runs and split the 2 into half miles each (twice). I totally threw on Nike+ and grabbed a selfie because I knew I’d push myself knowing my partner was waiting. And push I did. 1 mile, 11’00” added to the training miles this month. Boom. (for me)

Tuesday 3/13 – 4.07 miles, 12’15” – My legs felt the bear complexes and this run was what it was – but still amazing for me. I honestly don’t remember too much of it because I was in the zone. So much I forgot to snap a selfie until I got back to my desk. This week, I wore black every day I think.

Wednesday 3/14: 3.28 miles 11’50”– I cracked my screen protector and my phone was doing all sorts of silly things, like telling me I wasn’t to my first mile until I’d completely crossed the 16th Street Bridge and was up behind the Sarah Heinz House and dialing people while I was running. I was pretty miffed but kept running until I was almost midway between East Ohio Street and 31st Street along 28.

When I turned around, I knew I’d been moving it and was so mad to hear my “halfway point” about halfway back to 16th Street. This one had to be mapmyrun’ed because GAH. But that pace makes me happy! I know I can do this thing.

See my confusion?!?!

Thursday 3/15: CrossFit – Thursday is one of the best WODs because you know the week is almost done. I also got to work out with one of my first CrossFit friends and she pushed me through our Partner WOD. I had to scale the 200m runs to 175m because whoa fast. And the burpees. I am still not ready for those. Sigh. My rib might need another adjustment after this one. Eek!

Sunday 3/10: 6 miles, 12’02” – I was so glad to see “abundant sunshine” on the forecast, so I held out for my long run to Sunday afternoon. The plan was I’d run home from church then go a little further, but things happened. Our van broke down again and it kinda was a crappy weekend. I tried to stay positive and went for my run. Greg met me at three miles with water but it was a bottle and I didn’t gulp it right. That sat on my crossfit rib and I slowed things down in miles 4 and 5 but there was no stopping me in mile 6. And the twins ran about half a mile of the trail as Greg worked to meet me again after my 2nd turnaround. Ava is a runner – check out some sweet pics of the three them over on Instagram. (My older runners were with Pappy and Grammie.)

Next up? Week TEN!!!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 34.04 miles, 12’07” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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