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


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.



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.


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 ;)


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.


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.


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!


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




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!


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!


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.


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!


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?

TC Marathon Training – Week 7

Another week done! It was a fun and busy week filled with running and getting to hang with friends and family. Here’s a recap of the week.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6.01 mile run (10:09/mile pace)

I got home from work and it was about 85 degrees. Not crazy hot, but not awesome for running 6 miles either. I started my run and was feeling great. My legs were fresh and thing were going good. Then after a couple of miles, the heat and a slight stomach ache started to bug me. The last half of this run was a bit of a struggle. I made it, but was definitely happy when it was over!

Wednesday – 3.02 mile run (9:59/mile pace)

I got up for a morning run on Wednesday so I could meet some friends for dinner after work. The run in the cooler morning air was much better than the night before.

A friend from grad school was in town and staying with me for a couple days. I got together with her and another friend for dinner at Smack Shack for restaurant week. We got to try several different courses for a set price. I had the fried calamari, lobster guacamole, shrimp & grits, cornbread & honey butter, and a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Great meal, great conversation, and a great MN night to sit outside!



Thursday – 3 mile run (10:00/mile pace)

A rainy day forced me inside for this quick 3 mile run.

After that, I got cleaned up and my friend and I headed out to Surly brewery to grab a drink and dinner. It was an hour and a half wait when we got there, so we ended up just getting the drink and having dinner elsewhere.

Friday – rest

I took Friday off of work to hang with my friend in the morning before she had to leave down. We grabbed breakfast at The Buttered Tin, and it was delicious! I’ve heard rave reviews of this place, and it had been on my list for a long time. So glad I got to go!

butteredtin   butteredtin2

Saturday – 12.10 mile run (9:55/mile pace)

I got up early on Saturday to get out to Lake Harriet at 8 a.m. to start my long run. I knew the temp was supposed to get hot later in the day, so wanted to get it done. The air was fairly cool, and there’s a decent amount of shade around the lake. The breeze on certain sides of the lakes felt AMAZING, too.

I made two loops around Lake Harriet and then headed over for a loop around Lake Calhoun. I spotted Minne (Minneapolis’ version of the Loch Ness Monster)!

Then I made my way back to Harriet for one last loop around for a perfect 12 mile run. I was really happy with my pace again and am feeling pretty good about my progress with long run.


On Saturday afternoon I headed home to visit my family for the night. We went out to a baseball game and I scarfed down some classic ball park food (hot dog, chips, pasta salad). At one point the wind blew the last bit of my beer right in my lap. #baseballgamefail Needless to say, I had to wait a little bit for it to dry before I could get up to get another drink.


Sunday – 1 hour walk (2.96 miles)

Took a nice hour-long walk with my mom, sister and our dog in the morning and hung out with family through dinner before heading back to my apartment.

Anyone else ever spilled a drink on themselves at a ball game? Do you like running in the heat?

TC Marathon Training – Week 6

This week was another step-back week, so my long run was a bit shorter. Even though overall mileage was lower, I noticed that my pace appeared to be too. This was the first week where the average pace of all my runs was under 10 minutes per mile! Wasn’t aiming for that, so a pleasant surprise.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 5.05 mile run (9:56/mile pace)

It was a beautiful evening with temps in the 70s when I got home from work. I took the opportunity to get in my 5 mile run for the week.

Wednesday – 3.13 mile run ( 9:50/mile pace)

I got up for a morning run so I could meet some friends after work to check out a brewery – Bauhaus Brew Labs. We were able to sit outside on their patio and have a drink. There was a food truck parked out there too, so I grabbed a yummy pulled pork sandwich for dinner.

Bauhaus  Bauhaus2

Thursday – 3.13 mile run (9:53/mile pace)

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 7.15 mile run (9:57/mile pace)

I got up early to beat the heat that was supposed to come later in the day. My original plan was to go to one of the lakes to do my 7 mile run, but the night before I realized a triathlon was going on there on Saturday morning. I decided to run closer to home instead.

Turned out to be a good 7 mile run. My refreshed running playlist helped keep it interesting. I added a few new songs and took off some old ones.


Sunday – 30 minute elliptical and 1.65 mile walk (30 minutes)

I got up Sunday morning and took a quick trip to the farmer’s market with a friend. When I got back, I heated up some leftover pancakes I had made the day before and watched the Men’s Wimbledon Final. I haven’t watched tennis in awhile and forgot how much I like it!

It was hot in the afternoon, so I did my cross training in the workout room — which was also pretty warm. Don think the A/C was working right.

Ever had a week with a faster pace than you expected? What are some of your favorite songs to run to?

TC Marathon Training – Week 5

Wow, the first month of training flew by! At this rate, the marathon will be here before I know it! Training continues to go well. I’ve managed to get in all of my training runs and stick to the plan. Can feel some soreness/tiredness in my legs every now and then, but no weird pain or injuries to worry about.

This past week was another good training week!

Monday – rest

I planned to meet a couple of friends for happy hour after work. We were going to try Hola Arepa. I’ve never been, but it’s been on my list for awhile. I pulled in the parking lot and my first thought was, “Awesome, I got a parking spot!” Then I realized the reason I had a spot was that the lot was empty. Something wasn’t right. I pulled out my phone and sure enough Hola Arepa is closed on Mondays. Whomp whomp.

My friends and I ended up across the street at Pat’s Tap and were able to sit outside and still enjoy our dinner. I had some yummy fish tacos.

Pat's Tap

Tuesday – 3.01 mile run (10:03/mile pace)

I got up for another morning run so I could meet Hyedi for a bite to eat after work and not have to worry about going home to run.

I couldn’t help taking another picture of the sun. It looked more like sunset than sunrise that morning!


Wednesday – 5.10 mile run (9:50/mile pace)

The temps were in the mid 70’s, so I was really excited to get in my 5 mile run after work. It was a great evening for a run. I wanted to keep my typical 10 min/mile pace and surprised myself with a slightly faster pace for the whole run. I was pushing it a little, but felt good overall.


Thursday – rest

I was really tired and hungry after work, so I decided to make it my rest day and cook myself some dinner. A co-worker gave me some fresh cilantro, so I was craving some Fiesta Lime Rice. It’s a really easy and light recipe.


Friday – 3.04 mile run (10:12/mile pace)

Got in the 3 mile run that I skipped the day before. Tried to take it easy knowing I had a long run coming the next morning.

Saturday – 10.03 mile run (10:03/mile pace)

I made myself get up early so I could run while it was still cool and be ready to hang with some friends in the afternoon. I headed to Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun for this run.

I started with a lap around Lake Harriet. My legs were a bit tired at first, but warmed up after a couple miles. I’m usually pretty good about getting in the right mental state before a long run. I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind when I started running, so it felt like the first 2-3 miles took awhile. But once I got around the lake and headed towards Lake Calhoun I was in a better mental state for doing 7 more miles. After about 5 miles, I had some Gu and the extra fuel definitely helped me pick up my pace for the second half of my run.

I got around Calhoun and made my way back to Harriet for one more lap around to complete my run. My legs were tired by the last mile and I was ready to be done when I hit 10 miles, but it was a good run overall and a heck of a way to kick off my Fourth of July!


Sunday – 30 minute elliptical and 2 mile walk (34 minutes)

Elliptical and a walk outside for some cross training to end the week.

What did you do for the 4th of July?

TC Marathon Training – Week 4

I was looking forward to kicking up the training a notch in week 4. Last week was a cut-back week and the first couple weeks of training had been distances that I was used to running. Nice for easing into training, but I’m actually excited for the longer runs to start! Here’s what week 4 of training looked like.

Monday – rest day

I met a friend for dinner on Monday night. We checked out a newer restaurant in Minneapolis called Nighthawks. I had the Monday blue plate special – fried chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw and a biscuit.  It was yummy! I’d definitely go back and try other stuff on the menu.


Tuesday – 3.18 mile run (9:46/mile pace)

I wasn’t planning for this run to be as fast as it was, but I felt good so I just went with it.

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

I got up for a morning run since I had a work happy hour in the afternoon.

So pretty and peaceful
So pretty and peaceful

I was worried that my legs were going to be really tired after a tough run the night before, but they were surprisingly fresh when I started running. Got in a great 3 miles to start the day.

Thursday – 4.09 mile run (9:50/mile pace)

It was a little warm for this after-work run, but nothing too crazy. And I saw something on the river that I’d never seen before – a party barge! I’ve seen all kinds of boats cruising down the river, but never a true party barge. It was a good night for it, so I hope they had fun!


Friday – rest

I can cross the Twin Cities Jazz Fest off my summer bucket list! I got home from work and it started to rain. I had been hearing that a couple showers may roll through, but would clear quickly. I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical given that Jazz Fest was rained out the night I tried to go last year. But, by 7 p.m. the rain had passed and the weather was perfect.

jazzfest   jazzfest2

Got to hang out in the park and listen to a nice variety of jazz music. I am by no means a jazz aficionado, but I can absolutely appreciate the music and it was a lot of fun. Gonna have to go back next year.

Saturday – 9.03 mile run (9:59/mile pace)

I set an alarm to get myself up and out for my long run early to beat the heat. I almost made it out when I wanted to (I hit snooze a couple times). The air was still cool, but the sun was rising so I could feel some heat.

I set out for my 9 miles. My legs were sluggish and tired at first, but after about 2 miles they loosened up and I felt great for the rest of the run. I even held a slightly faster pace than I was expecting.

The rest of the day was about catching up with friends and meeting some new ones. Oh, and a nap. :)

Sunday – 3.29 mile walk

I met my sister for a walk on Sunday morning for my cross training. We walked around a park/lake for a solid 1 hour walk.

On Sunday afternoon I met a friend for ice cream at Grand Ole Creamery and a stroll along Grand Ave. We walked about a mile and a half as we chatted and indulged in some delicious ice cream cones.



It was another great week of training. I feel ready for the double-digit miles to start next week. I’ll work that 10 mile run in around whatever 4th of July plans I come up with. Still don’t know what I’m doing!

Do you look forward to long runs? What are your 4th of July plans?