TC Marathon Training – Week 13

Made it through another big run! Can check 18 miles off! Was a little nervous going into this run because my left Achilles has been bugging me on and off the last couple of weeks. I switched up a couple things last week because of it, but I think it paid off.

Not a ton to say (or show) about my workouts early in the week. Pretty standard and some great weather for running.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 5.03 miles (9:58/mile pace)

It was a gorgeous day for a run – 72 degrees and not a could in the sky!

Wednesday – 4.03 miles (9:56/mile pace)

Thursday – 9 miles 38 minute elliptical and 21 minute walk

So 9 miles was on the training plan, but with my Achilles acting up, I decided to skip the run and do cross-training instead. This decision was also helped by the fact that I had about a 10 hour work day and running 9 miles did not sound fun at all.

This is the first training run I’ve missed. It was hard to skip it as I get into these peak weeks, but I figured this is really the time to skip that run if I need to. I still have 5 weeks before the marathon and I don’t want to make what could be a small injury a big one by overdoing it.

Friday – rest

I took advantage of the rest day by running a bunch of errands after work and then having dinner with a friend.

publickandb dinner

Saturday – MN State Fair walking

I’m counting walking around the MN State Fair all afternoon as my cross-training for the week. I wore my good tennis shoes to have extra support.

We ate lots of food and wandered into a bunch of different buildings.

statefair

While I did get to eat something on a stick…

pronto pup

…I didn’t do a ride. I had put that on my Summer Bucket List. Not sure I’ll be going back to the fair, so that may have to wait til next year. I had a lot of fun hanging with my sister and friends though, so it was definitely another good year at the fair!

Sunday – 18.1 miles (10:06/mile pace)

My allergies kicked in hard-core on Saturday night after being outside and around dust, animals, etc. It took me a long time to fall asleep with a stuffed up nose, so getting up on Sunday to run was a little tough, but I made it to the lakes about 8 a.m.

Doing cross-training on Thursday meant I’d had 3 days of no running. I had been stretching and icing in the previous days as well. I was hoping that rest would help my Achilles and that I’d be able to get through this 18 mile run, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. One other thing I tried was some kinesiology tape. I’ve never used it before, but I know some people swear by it and I had a sample pack. I watched a video for how to put it on and figured I could always take it off it if bugged me. (Luckily it didn’t.)

I mentally prepared myself to start out slow with a lap around Lake Harriet and see how I was feeling. If it got around and it was really bad, I was gonna stop. I felt a little soreness/tightness as I got started but it went away fairly quick. My legs were a bit tired from walking a lot the day before, so the slow pace to begin was good. I got around the lake and was feeling good, so I made my way to Lake Calhoun to continue on. After eating a couple chomps around mile 4.5, my pace started to pick up.

I got back to Lake Harriet to finish up the last 5 miles. I did a loop (about 3 miles) and needed to just do part of the lake to finish. Those last 2 miles felt like they took twice as long as they really did. My legs were tired, but I powered through to finish the just over 3 hour run. Can’t believe I made it 18 miles!

18miles

As I walked back to my car, I took note of any odd aches or pains. I had the usual soreness, but my Achilles was actually doing ok.

I don’t know if it was the rest, the icing, the tape, or a combination of everything that helped it feel better. My plan this week is to continue to take it easy if I need to. Not sure yet if I’ll swap a run for cross-training or take an extra rest day, but I will if I have to. I’m aiming to do my 20 mile run this weekend, which is a week earlier than on the training plan, but I’ll be out of town the following week and didn’t really want to do 20 while on vacation. I will if I need to postpone it though – kind of nice to have that cushion, actually.

Can’t believe I’m in these peak weeks and it’s almost time to taper!

Have you ever dealt with Achilles issues? What’s your favorite thing to do/eat/see at a state or county fair?

TC Marathon Training – Week 12

Week 12 was another step-back week which I tried to take advantage of because I can definitely feel the soreness and some aches and pains as my mileage continues to increase.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.09 miles (9:49/mile pace)

After a pretty frustrating and overall bad day — for a number of reasons — I could not wait to get home and go for a run. I needed some running therapy like none other.

frustrationrun

It was cloudy and had been raining all day. I intended to just get on the treadmill, but right as I walked in the workout room someone got on the second treadmill. I think that was some divine intervention for me to just go outside. There was still some very light rain, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t wearing my Garmin, so I wasn’t paying much attention to pace. I worked out my frustration with a 9:36 mile 1 and 9:40 mile 2. After that, I went back to my normal pace. Felt good except I got back home and my left calf felt pretty sore and tight. Whoops. I did some stretching and foam rolling to help.

Wednesday – 8.02 miles (10:01/mile pace)

The weather this week had been much cooler that the previous weekend. Dare I say it: It kind of felt like fall. The temps were in the 60s when I headed out for this 8 mile run. I felt pretty good initially, but my left calf was sore and tight again as I got about halfway through. I stopped around mile 5 to stretch my leg a little which did help finish up the run.

8mile

Thursday – rest

With that sore calf, it was nice that I was planning on Thursday for a rest day, and I met some friends for happy hour after work

Friday – 4.06 miles (9:53/mile pace)

I got up for a morning run on Friday. It was nice and cool as the sun came up along the river.

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I was technically supposed to do 5 miles, and even though my calf was feeling better, I decided to cut it a little short at 4 miles and use the extra time for some foam rolling and stretching before work.

Saturday – 35 minute elliptical, 1.51 mile walk

I got my cross-training workout done first thing in the morning before heading to a baby shower.

babyshower

After the shower, I got to grab a delicious lavender latte with an old friend that was in town. We had a great time catching up and reminiscing.

lavender latte

Sunday – 12.05 miles (9:59/mile pace)

For this step-back week, I decided not to head to the lakes to run and went with a different route. It was cool and cloudy again. It was also WINDY! Some sprinkling, spitting rain fell near the beginning, but nothing too bad. The wind and rain were probably good practice – you never know what it’s gonna be like on race day!

The wind was right in my face for the first 5 miles of the run, then at my back for the next 6, and in my face for the final mile.

After my run, I met friends for brunch at a restaurant that I’d been wanting to try for a long time. I was really excited to try the breakfast sandwich and thought it would be the perfect post-run meal.

publickandb

It was good, but unfortunately service was a bit slow and the food came out warm at best. I’ll be giving the place another try for dinner, and hope that the second chance is worth it!

After brunch we made an impromptu trip to the farmers market. I got some cucumber, tomatoes and zucchini as well as some pretty flowers.

fmflowers

We’re at 6 weeks and counting! Gearing up mentally and physically for the 18 miles that are on tap for next weekend!

How do you deal with soreness and small pains during training? Ever been disappointed by a restaurant you were really excited to try?

TC Marathon Training – Week 11

Another milestone week! I’ll definitely have more of those as training goes on, but it never gets old. I not only had a milestone for longest mileage, but a pretty good accomplishment with my pace for my long run.

The weather was pretty hot and humid all week, but I’m looking forward to this week when it’s supposed to be cooler.

I had a good week of training, but did end up skipping one of my 4 mile runs with other things going on. Not a bad thing and still got a shorter workout in to replace it.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.02 miles (9:58/mile pace)

On Monday I got a new pair of running shoes, so I wanted to start slowly breaking them in. They’re the newest version of the same shoe I’ve been training in, and if all goes well these will be the shoes I run the marathon in!

Wednesday – 4.96 mile walk

I met a friend at one of the lakes for a walk. I thought I might do my 4 mile run after, but we ended up doing two laps around the lake for an almost 5 mile walk. After that, it was getting dark and my legs were tired, so I called it a night. I counted this as my cross-training for the week.

Thursday – 8.03 miles (9:59/mile pace)

It was a fairly steamy evening but cloudy, so that helped for a slightly longer run. There’s a bridge crossing the Mississippi that I’d been wanting to run for a while, and this was the perfect distance to add it in my route. The hazy clouds makes it hard to see, but downtown St. Paul is in the distance.

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Friday – rest

I met some friends for happy hour at Hola Arepa. We’d been wanting to get there for a while, and finally made it — when it was open. :)

The black bean & queso fresco arepa was really good! I will definitely be back to try more!

HolaArepa

Saturday – 1.15 mile run (10:30/mile pace) and 12 minute walk

I got up early so I could volunteer for Ragnar. I don’t know how the teams managed to run the 200+ mile relay race this year — it was hot! Friday and Saturday were in the 90s with high humidity. The heat definitely slowed teams down, so it was slow at our exchange throughout the morning. But, I did get to see my friends come through and they rocked it!

Ragnar

Later in the afternoon, I got on the treadmill for a very short workout in my new shoes to keep breaking them in.

Sunday – 16.14 mile run (9:55/mile pace)

Sunday run day at its finest! I woke up early to beat the heat and hopefully some potential rain. Thankfully, it was cloudy but never rained. No sun was great, but it was still humid.

I started to make my way around Lake Harriet. My legs were feeling pretty good after almost two days of rest, but I could feel that I was starting out slow. After a mile or two, I had resolved that this might be a slower run. But, as I got going my legs warmed up and I kept a pretty steady pace. Actually, it was a faster pace than I anticipated. Around mile 13 I realized that I was consistently keeping a sub 10 minute per mile average pace. That kind of lit a fire under me to see how long I could keep that going. I wasn’t sure if I could get through all 16 at that pace given how my legs felt during mile 14 and 15 of my run the previous week.

The last three miles were my final lap around Lake Harriet. I comfortably made it through mile 14 in 9:48. Miles 15 and 16 were tougher as my legs felt the fatigue, but I still managed to knock them out in 9:51 and 9:54 respectively. In the end, I had a sub-10 average pace for my 16 mile run!

16miles

It felt great to not only hit a new distance milestone, but to do it faster than I thought I’d be able to!

The next week is a step-back week, so I’ll focus on getting in all of my runs and recovering before tackling 18 miles in two weeks!

TC Marathon Training – Week 10

I had an awesome running milestone this week! Keep reading to see what it was. :)

Week 10 was another great training week. Some solid runs and lots of non-running activities to keep me busy.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.03 miles (9:58/mile pace)

Wednesday – 7.05 miles (9:57/mile pace)

I finally had a good weekday longer run! The heat and tired legs have made that last couple of weeks a bit rough. It wasn’t crazy hot after work on Wednesday, but I wanted to test out my fuel belt, so I wore it anyway. It was kind of annoying at first, but then I got used to it and it wasn’t too bad. It was actually nice to have the water with me whenever I wanted it instead of having to wait for a water fountain. I have my hand-held bottle, but the belt is good for being able to carry more.

fuel belt

Thursday – rest

I took my rest day on Thursday because meeting a friend’s new baby was way more important than running!

Friday – 3.05 miles (9:54/mile pace)

I headed out for a quick 3 mile run after work and then hopped in the shower to get ready for an evening out. My sister, two of our friends, and I did a patio tour in St. Paul. We made it to four patios, and it was great weather to enjoy some time outside with food and drinks!

patios

Saturday – 36 minute elliptical 

I was planning to do my long run on Sunday, so I got up to do some cross-training on the elliptical before running a couple of errands. My parents were in town for the weekend, so I met them in the afternoon to explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Artist-Designed Mini Golf, and the Walker Art Museum.

spoon&cherry

Sunday – 15.08 miles (10:04/mile pace)

On Sunday morning I got up a little earlier than normal to start my long run. I headed over to the lakes again — they’ve become my favorite long-run spot this summer.

I had 15 miles on the training plan. The air was cool and it was cloudy, so I was feeling good about getting started. As I started to make my way around the lake I could feel the humidity, though.

I made a loop around Lake Harriet and then over to Calhoun, then broke off to head to Lake of the Isles.

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After Isles, I made my way back to Calhoun to finish that loop and head back to Harriet. That three-lake route got me to just over 10 miles. I made another loop around Harriet to get to 13.

I’ve done half marathons and did a 13.1 mile training run a couple of weeks ago, but this time I kept going. I continued around the lake keeping an eye on my watch for it to hit 14 miles. At that point, I turned around to finish up the last mile. In front of the Lake Harriet Bandshell, I hit 15 miles — the farthest I’ve ever run!

Those last couple of miles were definitely a mental challenge. My legs were tired and heavy. It was tempting to stop and walk, but I knew I would not start again and I just wanted to get the run done. That’s the other thing, those last 2 miles felt like they took forever. But, with all that, I powered through! It felt so good to be done and to set a new running milestone for distance!

16miles
Tired, but happy legs!

After my run, I headed home to get cleaned up and met my family for some fun at the Irish Fair. We saw some Irish dancing, pet some cute Irish dogs, and ate some Irish-inspired food. I had a Guinness pulled pork sandwich.

IrishFair

It was a fun, but tiring weekend! I could feel the soreness in my legs the rest of the day and on Monday.

What’s your latest running milestone?

TC Marathon Training – Week 9

It was a busy week! Lots of fun stuff packed into another week of marathon training. But I’ve made it halfway through training! Excited for the second half of training to kick off and jump into uncharted territory when it comes to mileage.

Week 9 of marathon training looked like this.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4 mile run (10:00/mile pace)

I got up for a morning run. Storms were going to be rolling through, so I opted for the treadmill. Time moves sooooo slow on the treadmill! I’m so used to running outside that 4 miles felt like 8. At least I had an episode of Friday Night Lights to keep me distracted.

Tuesday night was about Shania Twain and Gavin DeGraw! It’s a bit of an odd pairing since Gavin DeGraw isn’t a country artist, but he is one of my favorite artists, so I jumped at the chance to see him live again.

gavin1   gavin2

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I had a blast listening to all of Shania’s hits! I forgot how many good songs she has. She still looks and sounds great, so it was a really fun show.

shania1

shania2

Wednesday – 1.55 mile walk (33:37 minutes)

This was kind of an active rest day. I met Hyedi for a bite to eat after work and then we took a walk to enjoy the nice summer evening.

Thursday – 7.03 mile run (10:03/mile pace)

Ugh. that’s pretty much the only word that can explain this run. I was expecting my legs to feel great after not running the day before, but the busy week had apparently taken its toll because my legs felt super tired and heavy. I kept expecting them to loosen up, but it never really happened. They felt a little better after a couple miles, but it was still a struggle.

Friday – 3.02 mile run (10:03/mile pace)

I still needed to get in a 3 mile run for the week, so I did a nice, leisurely run after work.

Saturday – 10.22 mile run (9:59/mile pace)

It was another step-back week, so I had 10 miles on the schedule. I had planned to go to Lake Nokomis to run, but got there to find an event going on which was closing roads and made parking a mess. I decided to just head over to Lake Harriet again to make things easier.

harriet

I started out with a loop around Harriet and then made my way to Lake Calhoun. I got part way around and saw the sign for the trail that goes to Lake of the Isles. I’ve never added that lake in before, so I decided to explore. I made my way over to Lake of the Isles and did a lap around. It’s a nice lake (a bit smaller than the other two) but not as much shade. I headed back to Calhoun to finish running around the lake and ended up finding a $20 on the path! See, it pays to work out ;)

20

I kind of feel like an official Twin Cities runner now that I’ve done the full Harriet, Calhoun, Isles route!

Sunday – 1.9 mile walk (1.25 hours)

I got up really early to head to the start line of Fifteen’s 5K to volunteer with CCFA. We directed the runners/walkers along the course. It was a nice, cool morning and fun to get to cheer on some racers.

volunteer

Later in the morning I met a couple friends to explore Open Streets. They close down the street so people can walk, bike, skateboard, etc. and explore the shops and restaurants and a lot of them had tents/booths outside for people to stop at. There were also some performances and other activities.

openstreets

Walking up and down Lake St. exploring was my main source of cross-training for the day.

When we were done, I headed over to the Walker Art Museum to play mini gold on their artist-designed course. It was a lot of fun! Each hole was different with various obstacles. I managed to get 2 hole-in-ones and can cross this off my summer bucket list!

minigolf

Did anyone else have a packed weekend? Have you ever run the chain of lakes?

Halfway There!

I’m officially halfway through marathon training! It has been a good start and I’m ready to tackle the second half. That’s where I’ll get into mileage that I’ve never done before.

Here are some stats on the first 9 weeks of training.

Miles ran – 179.2

Hours of cross-training – 8.96

Funky tan lines – 4 (Arms and legs; you can tell I run in t-shirts and capris a lot)

Lakes ran – 3 (One of my Summer Bucket List items is to run all of the Mpls chain of lakes)

Black toenail – 1

keep-calm-were-halfway-there

Onward!

 

TC Marathon Training – Week 8

Well, I can tell that my weekly mileage has increased to levels that I’ve never done before as I’ve experienced a common runner’s affliction — I have my first black toenail. Yes, gross to think about (and see, so use caution as you scroll down).

I felt a little pain in my right middle toe in the last week or two and saw the discoloration on my nail. I suspected it was a black toenail and did a little Googling just to make sure. Toenail issues are common for runners doing high-intensity workouts and those training for marathons.

It hurt a bit when I would touch the nail right after a run, but the pain would decrease as I rested. I was worried about my long run this week, but was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t bother me at all on my run and actually didn’t hurt afterwards either.

Now for the picture. Hey, trying to document all aspect of my first marathon training experience here folks!

balcktoe

Outside of the toenail stuff, it was another good week of training!

Monday – rest 

Tuesday – 6.07 mile run (9:55/mile pace)

The weather wasn’t as hot this week, so this 6 mile run was much better than last week’s.

Wednesday – 3.13 mile run (9:45/mile pace)

Thursday – 3.03 mile run (10:00/mile pace)

I dragged myself out of bed early for a good morning run before work.

After work I headed to a CherryBerry for a fundraiser for Camp Oasis – a summer camp put on by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation for kids living with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. A portion of sales were getting donated to the camp so myself and other volunteers promoted the event to get as many people there as we could. I helped out the good cause by having some froyo for dinner!

froyo

Friday – rest

Saturday – 13.12 mile run (10:00/mile pace)

A half marathon was on the training schedule for this day. I was considering doing a half marathon race in a couple of weeks because I thought I’d want to do a race at some point during training. As this week approached, I realized I wasn’t missing races and was doing good in training mode. If I did the half marathon race, I would only need to do 10 miles this week. I figured I’d leave it up to how I felt once I hit 10 miles on this run. I could stop and register for the half, or continue on with the full 13.1 and just stick to the training plan instead of swapping weeks.

I made my way to the lakes for my long run again. I got there just before 8 a.m. The air was fairly cool, but I could feel the humidity already. I was thankful for the mostly shaded paths and the thin clouds that filtered out a bit of the sun.

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I made it to 10 miles and despite the heat and humidity, I was feeling really good. I decided to do one more loop around Lake Harriet to finish up the 13.1 miles. When I got done, my shirt certainly showed evidence of the hot day, but I felt so good for completing the run!

sweaty  half

Sunday – 35 minute elliptical; 25 minute walk

I let myself sleep in a little on Sunday morning and then met a couple of friends for brunch on a patio. I had the Quiche Lorraine and roasted potatoes – delicious!

birchwood

I stopped at the grocery and ended up being in a very productive mood when I got home. I went through my dresser and closet to find stuff to donate, did laundry, organized some mail and got in my cross training workout.

With another hot day, I was totally ok with hitting the workout room. I hopped on the elliptical for a solid 35 minute workout and then walked on the treadmill for a bit to get in a full hour workout.

Have you ever had a black toenail from running?