Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 2

Week 2 is done. It started well, but didn’t end as I had hoped. In short, I’m not used to the heat yet.

Monday – 3.01 miles (9:38/mile)

Some nice, easy miles after a busy weekend.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 5.02 miles (9:16/mile)

I was feeling good and wanted to push the pace a little on this run. I was hoping to do around a 9:20 avg pace and managed just under that! Great way to celebrate Global Running Day!

Thursday – 3.01 miles (9:38/mile)

My left knee was a bit sore on this run. Nothing super bad, but definitely not usual. I was glad the run didn’t need to be longer and noted to keep an eye on it.

Friday – rest

My sister, a friend and I met for dinner and then saw RENT! It’s my favorite musical, and I was so excited to see it again! It did not disappoint. Such a great production and a great ladies night out.

Saturday – 8.55 miles (10:02/mile)

The temperatures were rising late in the week and I knew Saturday was going to be a scorcher. Even after a semi-late night at the show, I made sure to get up fairly early to get in my long run. I headed out the door by 8 a.m. It was already pretty warm, but nothing insane. I carried water with me just in case.

It took a couple of miles for my legs to warm up. Things were starting to heat up more, but the first 3+ miles of my route were mostly downhill. On my way back up the hills, the heat and tiredness started creeping up on me. At the top of one of the hills (around mile 5), I resolved that I just needed to walk for about 90 seconds after getting a cold drink of water from a fountain. I started running again after that and made it about 2 more miles before needing to walk again. At that point, I pretty much resolved that the rest of this run was going to suck and I’d need to do some walking. I tried to go as far as I could. I was supposed to do 9 miles, but called it at 8.5.

Super frustrating to have a second hot, crappy long run. I know the heat was a huge factor, so will have to be a bit more planful with my timing in order to miss the heat, at least until I’m more used to it.

Luckily, after that run I had plans to meet friends for Yoga and a Pint. The stretching felt great, and sitting on the patio chatting with a beer was the mental break I needed to get over that run.

Later that afternoon, I headed to a friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and so nice to see friends so happy! We laughed, danced, and made s’mores at the s’mores bar!

Sunday – 35 minute elliptical and 25 minute walk

I slept in a little and then woke up to some bad storms rolling through. It was raining the rest of the morning, so a good excuse to do my cross training in the workout room on the elliptical and treadmill.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and doing the usual Sunday chores.

Here’s hoping for another good week of training and a better long run!

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 1

I’m officially marathon training! One week down, 17 weeks to go to get ready for my second go at 26.2 miles. I’m excited for the journey. I’ve been getting faster and stronger over the last year and a half, and it has set me up well for this training cycle.

I’m using the Hal Higdon Novice 2 marathon training plan. It has 4 running days, 1 cross training day, and 2 rest days. I may do a little extra running/cross training on one of the rest days if my body is feeling good.

Here’s how the first week went.

Monday – 3.13 miles (9:35/mile)Ā 

Used the morning of Memorial Day for my first official training run!

In the afternoon, I was able to hang with friends at a cookout and enjoy some time outside.

Tuesday – 3.8 miles (9:15/mile)

I met up with a friend and her running team to explore a new path in Fort Snelling State Park. Part was paved and part was more dirt/gravel. Not quit trail running, but a little more off-road. Nice change of scenery and interesting to be in the woods in the middle of the city.

Wednesday – rest

I went to the final planning meeting for the Take Steps walk for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation after work, so took the day off from running to plan for some walking.

Thursday – 4.76 miles (9:35/mile)

This was actually supposed to be a 5 mile run, but my Tuesday run was a bit long, so I cut it off at 45 minutes.

Friday – 1.67 mile walk

It was a nice day, so I headed out for a short walk after work.

Saturday – 8.18 miles (9:29/mile)

I got up early so I could get started before the heat set in. I headed out at 8:30 a.m., but it was already warm. I didn’t bring water with me this time since it was an 8 mile run and I had water fountains at good spots on my route. Might bring it on a similar hot day in the future, though.

I started out at a little slower pace as my legs got warmed up. After about 2-3 miles, my legs were feeling good. Around mile 6 the heat was starting to get to me and I was feeling tired. It was a struggle getting through those last couple of miles. If the breeze hadn’t been blowing in my face at the end, I probably would’ve quit early. But, I made it through. A little discouraging to have a tough first long run, but I know I just need some time to adjust to the heat.

On Saturday night, my sister and I checked out Hi-Lo Diner for some cocktails and diner food. We capped the night off with some ice cream.

Sunday – 2.93 mile walk + Take Steps walk

I met up with some friends for a morning walk around Lake Harriet. It was another sunny, warm day, but we had some shade on the walk and a nice breeze. So nice to catch up during our 3-mile loop around the lake!

In the afternoon, I headed to Harriet Island (different place from the lake) for the Take Steps walk benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I got there about 2 p.m. to help with some set up. The walk started just after 5 p.m. It’s about a 1.5 mile route. When that was done, I helped with some tear-down tasks–one of which was collecting the signs along the course. That meant walking the route AGAIN. When all was said and done, I probably walked about 6 miles total for the day.

Luckily, they were all totally worth it! The walk raised over $140,000 for the foundation!

I spent the rest of Sunday night chilling with Netflix and definitely got a good night sleep.

See you next week! šŸ™‚

Divas Half Marathon Training – Weeks 9 & 10

It’s been a BUSY couple of weeks at work. I’ve managed to keep up the training, but have admittedly cut out a run or two or done a little less mileage. Still feeling good about the race, which is only 2 weeks away!

Week 9

Monday – Rest day

Took the day off to rest up after Goldy’s 10 mile.

Tuesday – 4.71 miles (9:34/mile)

This was the beginning of the super busy time at work. After a long day, I had a 5 mile run on my plan, but I cut it a little short. I stopped at 45 minutes.

Wednesday – Rest day

I met some friends for dinner and was definitely in need of anĀ Old Fashioned.

Thursday – 4.02 miles (9:33/mile)

Another long day, another shorter run. But at least I got in something.

Friday – Rest day

I ran a couple of errands after work and made a pit stop at the grocery store. I decided to treat myself to a lemon bar.

Saturday –Ā 7.25 miles (9:40/mile)

I had a 10K race on my plan, but since I raced Goldy’s 10 mile the week before I planned to just do an 8 mile run since I missed doing that distance during the week. It was raining in the morning, so I postponed running until the afternoon. I set out and was just not feeling it. I had eaten a snack earlier in the afternoon and thought I waited long enough before running, but my stomach was not feeling great. My legs were heavy and tired, too. Usually, things loosen up after a couple miles and I get in a groove. That did not happen this time. The temps were also a little warmer than I’m used to right now. I kept trying to power through, but just kept thinking about all of the bad things about this run. I got to 7.25 miles and threw in the towel.

Ugh. That’s about all I can say about this run.

Sunday –Ā 4.22 miles (9:35/mile)

It was Easter Sunday, so I headed to church and then went to hang with family. I headed out for an evening run. Amazingly, I felt great. My legs felt better, I was in a much better mental place, and it was a gorgeous day! So thankful for a good run.

Week 10

Monday – 4.52 miles (9:34/mile)

Runs this week were about training, but also some much needed stress relief. I’m not gonna lie, the week was a bit of blur, so not much detail on these runs.

Tuesday – 4.03 miles (9:29/mile)

Wednesday – Rest day

A combination of wine at book club and a looming price increase made me finally pull the trigger.

I’m officially registered for the Twin Cities Marathon!

It will be my 2nd time, and I’m excited to see what kind of progress I can make.

Thursday – 3.22 miles (9:23/mile)

Friday – Rest day

I didn’t run, but I was rocking my Garry Bjorklund Half shirt at work for Finisher Shirt Friday!

Saturday – 11.01 miles (9:28/mile)

I headed to the chain of lakes for my long run. It was a simply beautiful morning! Of course, that meant the paths were crowded. Had to do some weaving around people. But overall, this was a great run. The miles ticked by quickly as I looped around the lakes and it felt really good to be back there.

Lake Harriet
Lake Calhoun
Lake of the Isles

Sunday – 4.89 miles (9:36/mile)

I met up with my brunch bunch in the morning and scarfed down a goat cheese omelette and hash browns. Yum!

In the afternoon, I met up with a friend at Lake Nokomis for a run. We grabbed a snack at the little outdoor restaurant on the lake.

I love that spring is here and summer is coming! Looking forward more runs around lakes and good food with friends on patios!

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 7

This was a solid week of training! My training plan is definitely continuing to increase in intensity and mileage.Ā I’m gearing up for Goldy’s 10 mile next weekend, so hopefully all of this work will lead to a good race day!

Monday – 4.78 miles (9:25/mile)

This run came after several straight days of workouts. My legs were feeling it when I started out–super tired and heavy. I resolved after half a mile that this run would be a STRUGGLE. Then after a mile, my legs started to warm up. I didn’t want to get too excited as I started mile 2 because I was running downhill, but surely enough my legs kept feeling better and I kept running faster. I ended up having some killer negative splits on this run!

Tuesday – rest

After that tough run, my legs needed a break. I had a Hello Fresh box delivered that day, so I hopped in the kitchen to make dinner. I made this salmon dish that we actually really good. I’m slowly acquiring a taste for salmon.

Wednesday – 7.01 miles (9:31/mile)

The legs felt pretty good after a rest day, and I was able to knock out the longer weekday run.

Thursday – 25 minute elliptical

I got home from work and made dinner. I considered taking an extra rest day, but ended up doing a quick elliptical workout to get something in.

Later that night I felt a little pain above my knee. Nothing constant or too bad. Wasn’t sure if it was a fluke or if I did something since it hadn’t been hurting when I was actually working out.

Friday – 3.76 miles (9:32/mile)

Walking up the stairs at work on Friday morning I felt a little pain above my knee again. I decided I’d keep an eye on it throughout the day. Going up some stairs at the end of the day didn’t bring any pain, so I tested it out with a run. No pain. (Phew!) Think it was a fluke and I must have just tweaked it weird at some point. If it comes back, I’ll take some extra time off.

Saturday – 50 minute spin class

I got up and met a friend for a morning spin class. I’m so glad to have these occasional spin classes for cross training! Great to change things up and work some different muscles.

It was a GORGEOUS spring day in Minnesota. I ran some errands in the afternoon and just had to get outside a little more before the sun went down. I grabbed my book and found a bench along the river to read for just a little bit to soak up the sun.

Sunday – 9.06 miles (9:30/mile)

Sunday run day! I got up early to get in my long run because I had a full day of Sunday fun day plans. My legs were tired in the first two miles. Not surprised after some tough workouts this week and the spin class the day before. By mile 3 I was warmed up and found my pace.

I showered up and headed out to meet a friend for yoga and a pint! It’s just what it sounds like: yoga in a brewery. The instructor is a lot of fun and the stretching felt great after my long run.

After class, we grabbed a couple of stools at the end of the bar and got our pint. Yoga, beer, and chatting with a friend is pretty much the perfect long run recovery!

After that, I was off to a LuLaRoe shopping party with some friends.

When I got home later, I made dinner and did a load of laundry. Definitely a go – go – go kind of day, but lots of fun stuff crammed in there. Happy to have a little time to put my feet up on the couch before another work week starts.

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 1

I started 2017 wanting to do a spring half. I had one in mind, but then some discussions with family about a beach vacation made me realize I would be out of town for the half I was planning on. But, as luck would have it, there’s a Divas Half Marathon taking place on the same day as the other half, so I signed up! I’ll run a half marathon and then get to spend the rest of the day lounging on the beach — not a bad plan at all!

Last week officially kicked off training. I’m trying out the Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 plan. I’m used to Hal’s plans, but this one will be a little different since it only has 1 rest day. I’ll add in an extra rest day when needed, but I’m curious to see how this goes.

I had to move some runs around to fit my schedule, which meant a couple extra rest days, but I still feel good aboutĀ starting the training cycle.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.01 miles (9:23/mile)

I escaped from all the hearts and flowers crowding up my social media feeds and headed out for a run. Views like this are one reason I love running.


Wednesday – rest

I had book club, so skipped a workout to run an errand after work before meeting up with friends. Rather than meeting at someone’s house, we had a little field trip that ended at a brewery. Different location, but same gabbing and laughing over food and drinks.


Thursday – 3 miles (9:40/mile)

I ended up staying at work a little late, so it was dark when I got home. I’m not a huge fan of running alone when it’s dark, so I opted to just hop on the treadmill. It was actually a good excuse to check out the new equipment in my workout room.


Friday – 3.04 miles (9:30/mile)

I took the day off of work and headed back to Wisconsin to spend a couple of days with family. It felt more like spring than winter with temps in the low 60s. I got out for a short run in the afternoon and was actually able to wear a t-shirt…in Wisconsin…in February. Crazy!

Saturday – 4.03 miles (9:40/mile)

My long run for week 1 was just 4 miles. My parents and I headed to a local park so they could walk with the dog while I ran. It was warm again, and I saw some brave ice fisherman out on the lake. I also saw people practicing lake rescues. Good to know they’re prepared.


Sunday – rest

I headed back to the Twin Cities on Sunday morning so I could meet some friends for brunch. Our original plan got spoiled when we heard there would be an hour and a half wait, but we found a good back-up plan just around the corner.


Later in the afternoon, I celebrated a friend’s birthday by going to see Aladdin in the theaters. Yes, that Aladdin! The animated Disney movie you watched over and over again (or maybe that was just me). It was fun to watch it on a big screen and be transported back in time for a little bit.

We’ve been spoiled with the warm temperatures recently. Looks like they’re heading back to “normal” and snow is on the way. Back to reality.

What’s your favorite animated Disney movie?

Sleep Tight

Anyone have trouble falling asleep? Do you toss and turn throughout the night? Or hit the snooze button (a few times) because you just don’t want to get out of bed?


When our schedules get filled–both with fun and not so fun things–sleep can often be one of the things we sacrifice. We stay up later and get up earlier to cram everything in. Or we don’t get a restful night sleep because our minds just won’t shut off.

I was inspired by Leesa, an online mattress company, to write this post about sleep. I know I’m guilty of not getting a good night sleep. It has always taken me a long time to fall asleep at night because I just can’t shut my brain off. I’ve even had some restless nights of sleep this week making me feel more tired by the end of the day and not motivated to do much.

It’s important to remember that sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle. I’m always striving to eat healthy and stay active, but those things become a lot harder when I’m just too tired.

With a new half marathon training cycle starting next week, I’m going to try and take some steps to promote better sleep. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Sticking to my bedtime. I aim to go to bed at 10 p.m., but that sometimes gets pushed a little later if I’m watching TV or busy doing stuff.
  • Reading before bed. I think I could help myself relax and get my mind to turn off by reading more regularly. I just started a new book, so this is a good chance to get into it.
  • Continuing my workout routine. Exercise is a great way to de-stress and it promotes good sleep.

I’m excited to dive into another training cycle. I think these tips will help me stay in good mental and physical health so I can accomplish all of my 2017 goals.

Image provided by Leesa
Image provided by Leesa

What are your tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep?Ā 

Leesa inspired this post. All opinions are my own.

Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017

As one year ends and another begins, we can’t help but reflect on the things we’ve done and look ahead at what’s to come.

2016 was a pretty good year for running–if I do say so myself! It was the year of the half marathon. I ran three, and managed to improve my time with each one. It all started with the New Orleans half in February, then the Garry Bjorklund half in June, and finally the Vancouver half in October. As you can see, these races took me to some pretty cool destinations too!

New Orleans half
Garry Bjorklund half
Garry Bjorklund half
Vancouver half

Along with a PR in my half marathon, I also managed to get PRs in my 5 mile, 10K and 10 mile!

I’m looking ahead at races for 2017 and trying to decide what I want to tackle this year. I have a few things figured out, but I’m still up in the air on a couple others.

I’ve already registered for the Goldy’s Run 10 mile in April. This will be the 5th year in a row that I’ve run it. I love the 10 mile distance and love having this race in the spring to keep me motivated through the MN winter.

I’m also planning on a spring half. I’ve got two options depending on whether I’m out of town at the beginning of May. The day of either race is three weeks after Goldy’s 10 mile, so great timing for training.

I’m considering joining a local running store’s race team as well. That would mean I’d need to run at least three races from their list, and I already have several that look good.

The big thing I’m contemplating for 2017 is doing another full marathon! I did my first in 2015 and I think I got the bug to do it again while spectating at the marathon a few months ago. I know the training is time consuming, but I made a lot of progress in my running during 2016, so I’d like to see how I can improve not only my marathon time but the training.

The good thing is, I’ve got lots of good options! I have no doubt it will be another wonderful year of running!


What are your 2017 running goals?