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 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 8 of 16

Halfway Point. 7.86 weeks to go. 78.74 miles completed. Average pace, 12’19” per mile. Anyone else love their Nike+ Run Club motivating voice? I used to get so mad hearing it, but am embracing her very much these days. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 8! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 8 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 3/5: 4.01 miles, 12’17” – I keep trying to push myself to do more hills and this route got me lost a little, but I found a good challenging (for me) route that’s a 4-mile loop near the office. This one took me 31st Street Bridge, across and along 28, then around the Heinz plant back to 16th Street Bridge. Frankly, I loved it. I also overdressed for the abundant sunshine we had.

This run leads me to a question – hopefully someone can comment with an answer! What do you do for hydration on long runs? Is it time for me to invest in a backpack like this backpack or find a way to love the hydration belt (similar to this one) I bought in 2013 – would it even still work?

Tuesday 3/6 – Tempo Run 2.88 miles, 12’09” -This day. Since 2000, March 6 is always the hardest day of my year. I lost my best friend 18 years ago to cancer. We were sixteen. I needed to run and was so glad to see that it wasn’t speed work, but a run. I cried a bit on this one because my Wendy was a runner and I wish we were doing this thing together. This run was for her.

This tempo was 10 minutes slow, 15 minutes fast, 10 minutes slow. I am not even sure I did that, I just pushed.

I was so glad that Tuesday evening brought 8 ladies from my church into my home for a study on the Sabbath and finding rest in this crazy world. It got me thinking about what I’m enslaved to – perhaps my pace goal – and I am yearning for our next sessions!

Wednesday 3/7: 2.5 miles 12’17”– I took it easy on myself this run – three runs in a row and I was feeling it. It was a little colder than it had been the two days before, and I dressed the same. Oops.

Thursday 3/8: CrossFit – Fourth day in a row of working out and I wanted to give up. We’d had a long week, Greg and I barely saw each other, he was driving in snow, I had a stressful commute one day, and it just seemed like I had too much on my to do list to work out. He put the carseats in the car and told me I better go, so glad I listened. I tackled that to do list after the WOD, even though I felt like crud doing it.  It was my official “I’ve been cleared to Crossfit” WOD, after all!!!

Strength: 10 Rounds of 10 Floor Press (bella bar, 35#) and 8 Kettlebell Row (20#) – I accomplished 8

WOD: EMOM x30 –

  • 150 m run
  • 12 DB Snatch (12# right, 30# left)
  • 10 cal row (I opted to run 10 cal at 7’30” instead)
  • 15 wallballs (this hurt so I did air squats)
  • 10 box jump overs (I’m still stepping up)
  • 8 overhead squats (bella bar, 35#)

Proof I did it was sent to Greg:

Saturday 3/10: 5.01 miles, 12’20” – I was done with the week and didn’t run until 12:30, usually I’m out there early on a Saturday. My thighs hurt. My stomach hurt (can we talk breakfast? What do other Keto runners do for breakfast before runs? HELP!). I did it anyways, and I told myself not to push for my goal race pace (12’12”). I also ran through some mud and didn’t give up.

Miles 1 and 2 were pretty much the same (with the mud), slow. I dropped 20 seconds off for mile three then had to slow ‘er down for Mile 4 as I climbed a small hill in town. Mile five was straight back home and flat – I took advantage and had a 44 second split from four and pulled an 11’46” mile! No dumping on myself, this was pretty incredible.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 20.69 miles, 12’10” pace
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 7 of 16

I’m starting to feel all kinds of excited and ready! Saturday morning, I even starting telling the kids it’s time to get training for their one-mile run. While I need to stop comparing myself to the 2013, 2014, and 2016 runner, I have lots to be proud of this week. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 7! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

Monday 2/26: 3.53 miles, 12’04” – Something pretty big happened in my husband’s life on Sunday (and as of the drafting of this post, he hasn’t made it *Facebook official* yet, so I’m holding out), and that gave me some physical and mental freedoms that can only be explained as works of God. My shoulder stopped hurting and running was a breeze. I could have kept going on this one!

Tuesday 2/27: Speed Work – I set out to do 6×400 as fast as I could. It got a little hot and tough in the middle, but I ended up doing a .35 mile warmup then .35 mile cooldown around my 1.5 mile speed. The speed work averaged out at 9’17″/mile, and it showed through the rest of this week’s training!

Wednesday 2/28: 2.5 miles 12’12”– I was warm for this one and it showed a little. It still felt really good, and here I am, right where I want to be for the half. This one took me over 16th and up the trail a little.

Thursday 3/1: CrossFit – This WOD started with strict press for strength. I don’t have that yet, so I just worked on the PVC pipe. The WOD was leg and shoulder intense:

  • 30 Front Rack Dumbbell stepups
  • 60 box jump overs
  • 30 Front Rack Dumbbell stepups
  • EMOM 5 burpees

Guess who actually did about 30 of those burpees real? Yup. I’m getting back!!! The WOD and other 70 were still scaled, but gosh it feels good.

Friday 3/2: 5.26 miles, 12’07” – Amazing. I ran 31st street bridge, Washington’s Landing, Rachel Carson, through the Convention Center (getting lost thanks to some sidewalk construction), then the strip. It was cold but not too cold, I actually overdressed. My music wasn’t syncing, so this was all me and my brain and it felt awesome.

While I say I overdressed, that was in the way of my hat and fleece. I was wearing Fusion Sports USA Hot Pants running tights (that they sent me to try out after my fall a few weeks ago) and my legs felt awesome. If you’ve not heard of these yet, check them out here – I’m eyeing up the shorts because I feel like spring just might be around the corner.

Saturday 3/3: Bubby had a derby car race today, so I was home with the three girls. Friday was my long run instead, but I spent some time making fall plans and I am 99% sure I’ll be doing the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in October. That medal, yo!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

March totals: 5.26 miles, 12’07” pace (and my NRC is finally showing lifetime at 12’59”!!!)
February totals: 38.41 miles, 12’06” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16

It’s official, I am only half crazy. Even with an incentive to switch to the full for free, I know this is not my year. I’m definitely on track for a redemption run this May at the Half and can’t be more excited. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 6! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 6 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

This was another week of weather-what-the. From almost 76 on Tuesday to a chilly 45 and rain on Saturday, I can only thank my prayers and my oils that I didn’t get sick!

Monday 2/19: CrossFit at the YMCA – When you look out the window and it is pouring down rain but the next day promises sunshine and 70, you postpone your run and get some time in with your FitFam. I was glad to be “at the box” instead of outside running, even if I had to scale this WOD like mad. I was happy to spot during the bench and realize that this time off above-the-head lifting has helped my squat get to where it should be. My face might look funny in this picture, but someday I’ll look back and be so proud that I burnt all those calories.

Tuesday 2/20: 3.5 Miles (12’29”) – This one hurt. I told my co-workers they were fast and that there was no way I could keep up with them, but I started out with them anyways. By the time we rounded the corner from Railroad, I knew I’d need to slow ‘er down. Keeping the marketing ladies in my sight, we headed down to the trail toward the Point. Even with climbing a hill to avoid flood mud, I put in a fast first mile at just under 11 minutes. Things had to change there, and they did pretty fast.

The rest of the group made a light change at the Convention Center and I had to wait. I decided not to run toward a bridge but to take some time out of the hot sun and run under the Convention Center and back to Liberty then 16th Street Bridge. The picture below is from my way back across it when I had to come to a complete stop and catch my breath. I thought it was the heat and the fact that I didn’t get my 100 ounces of water on Sunday catching up with me and walked most of the way back to the office, still logging a 12’29” average for the whole 3.5 miles (eep, I was moving early on!). Turns out…I popped a rib out! Thank goodness it was chiro day, too.

Wednesday 2/21: Aqua Arthritis– I was dang sore and knew it, so I found a pool class at the Y and “dove in”. Although it was geared toward those with arthritis, it was exactly what my muscles needed. And mentally, too…I took it in a swimsuit I hadn’t worn in years.

 

Thursday 2/22: 2 miles (12’14”) – This one was cold and rain clouds were ominous. I somehow beat the rain, but forgot my socks and had my “old” shoes so my new ones didn’t get wet. My feet didn’t love me (or the puddles) but I did it!

Saturday 2/24: 4.5miles (12′ 26″) – It might have been 20 seconds a mile slower than last week’s 4.5, but this one felt so good. I saw another “runner of Instagram” post about having your long run not have to be at race pace, so I listened. And for the first 2.5 miles, I listened to the rain too. It was pouring and I was out there, getting work done. The rain let up for about 1.5 miles before starting back up at the end, but I was so happy to log these miles. If it rains on race day, I’ll be out there!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

February totals: 34.16 miles, 12’10” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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Marathon Monday: Week 3 of 16

So excited to tell you about this week of training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. This was week three, and if it proved anything to me, it was that this run is going to be a true redemption run. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 3! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 3 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

It was another week of feeling good and inspired. The weather wasn’t awful, but it was cold. It was a pretty trying week for me, however.

Monday 1/29: 3 miles (11’52”) – Oh boy. This run was going so well. Mile 1 finished at 11’20”. It was a whole minute faster than the average of my last seven runs. I felt amazing and thought this was going to be the run that would change things for me.  Well, it did, even if it wasn’t in the way I hoped.

Imagine the way you’d feel if you peeked at your watch and you were set to run your fastest 5k since starting your wellness journey over. You’d feel amazing, right? I bet you’d dig in and find a way to hustle, right? Well, that’s what I did. The training plan called for a 3-mile run. At three, I dug in to add .1 mile and at a fast speed. The problem? I literally dug in. My left foot, in BRAND NEW SHOES, tucked oh-so-nicely into a bit of cracked Liberty Avenue sidewalk and down I went. There was nothing slow about it, but somehow I guarded my right shoulder and took the brunt of the fall on my right knee. My pace above includes about 30 seconds of me crying out to Jesus that this wouldn’t end my running journey.

Both of my knees have war wounds- bruises in a block shape about 3-by 4 inches and both will scar. The left is pretty much scabbed up, but as of writing this, the right is wide open and raw. (I quickly became friends with these wound covers.) It is sort of refusing to heal, but maybe it’s because I am refusing to rest it. I took Tuesday off running and then…

Tuesday 1/30: Rest. I was one with the couch, no shame.

Wednesday 2/1: 2 miles (12’33”) – As crappy as my knees felt, I wanted to get out there and try again. So I laced up the shoes (which have now been retired for CrossFit only – more to come on that) and hit the same path on Liberty Avenue again. This time, I didn’t fall. There was a decent amount of ice out there, so I was a bit cautious. I only wished I’d worn my knee sleeves because I could feel the fight between new skin and wound and muscles that hadn’t gotten quite enough rest. Ouch.

Thursday 2/2: Rest – Greg took one look at my right knee and said no. I napped!

Friday 2/2: Rest and Chiro – It was my 4-week eval, and while I don’t know the results, I feel so much better than I did that first visit.

Saturday 2/3: 3.52 miles (11′ 58″) – I woke up and headed out to the UPMC Sports Medicine Complex on the South Side for the official Half Marathon Training Kickoff Run (basically, if you’re doing this thing, you should be in training now!). The sponsors brought in Steel City Road Runners coaches to pace 3, 5, 7, and 9-mile courses. I joined up with the 12:00 pace group and took the 3-mile option (looping the parking lot and a quick up the trail to grab another half mile and meet my training plan goal).

I’ve never run with a pace group before. My mind was always like, “I’ll hold them back” or “they’ll hold me back”. This time, it was exactly what I needed. The pace ranged from 11:45-12:15 and we were running at a run and talk pace. It felt incredible to be supported by others doing this thing who have similar goals as me. I didn’t think about the hills or the cold, and when we hit that three-mile mark, I was wowed.

When I was done, I took in a deep stretch (so cool to do so on the indoor training center for the Steelers) and had some moments of feeling grateful for this journey. I might have obsessed with running thoughts the rest of the day.

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes! Love running? Make sure you enter this giveaway, too!

February totals: 3.52 miles, 11’59” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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