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 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 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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Marathon Monday: Week 4 of 16

While most people who are training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon are starting today with 12-week plans, I am so happy that I got an early start and am four weeks in. There is nothing wrong with starting now (in fact, I didn’t start until after this for my first Half – and I’d never done an actual 5k at that point!). For me, these four weeks have been helpful in baselining and dreaming of that PR. Read on to hear about my Half Marathon Training, Week 4! // This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Marathon Monday: Week 4 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)

This weather. Can it please make up its mind? I am hearing 50’s next week (week 6), but I am not sure I believe it. This week was all about adjusting and going with the flow of what the week brought. Golly.

Monday 2/5: Unintentional rest day. There was ice. Enough said.

Tuesday 2/6: 3 miles (12’06”) – This run was my first run in my New Balance 880v7’s. It felt incredible, but I found myself still being cautious. Ice. Sidewalk bumps. Feeling all things new in the shoes. I am pretty darn pleased with it and my shoes!

Wednesday 2/7: CrossFit – We got 5 or so inches of snow dumped on us, so a lot was cancelled. The commute. The Bigs’ school. Church. It was like I wasn’t supposed to do back to back runs, so instead I got to be part of Clint’s 37th Birthday WOD. Although I scaled it, I got my speed work in – 400’s at 10:00/mile and 9:13/mile where the others rowed. Boom!

Thursday 2/8: 2 miles (12’21”) – Have I mentioned I am over the snow? I decided to run a bit on Railroad Street which at lunchtime was super busy, so I headed to the Railroad Building and ran in the front of the warehouse back and forth twice. It worked, because it wasn’t snowy or windy. Running back to the office was frigid!

Friday 2/9: Rest and Chiro – I am healing, but still not 100%.

Saturday 2/10: 2.56 miles (12′ 12″) + 2.68 recumbent bike – If there is one thing I hate more than snow, it is the treadmill. Unfortunately, I was supposed to do four but when I saw ice all over the sidewalks + rain + cold, off to the Y I went. I couldn’t stay focused, even though I was listening to Peak Performance. At 2, I thought I should quit because my collarbone hurt so bad. I walked a 1/4 mile then got on the bike. My brain still wouldn’t shut off that I needed to do four, so back to the dreadmill I went. Another 1/4 mile and it was clear I didn’t need to be on it. My feet and body kept moving and that’s what’s important. I left the Y thinking #iwouldratherbelifting. Sigh.

Never fear, I am still 100% in it to do this thing. Sometimes I struggle, and that’s normal. If running a Half was easy, everyone would do it, right?

Follow me on Instagram to see how this week goes!

February totals: 11.07 miles, 12’00” pace
January totals: 20.63 miles, 12’40” pace
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