Twin Cities Marathon Training – Weeks 3 & 4

Whew, last week got busy, so I’ve got a 2-week recap for you!

Week 3

Monday – 3 miles (9:40/mile)

I was supposed to run with a friend, but it was raining most of the day, so I cancelled in the afternoon so we could each do our own thing. Of course the rain stopped when we were supposed to meet, so it would’ve been fine. 😦 I did 3 miles on the treadmill instead.

Tuesday – 5.02 miles (9:40/mile)

It was a hot one! I braved the heat for 5 miles.

Wednesday – 25 minute walk

I stepped out for a quick walk after work and then met up with a friend to see Wonder Woman. It was really good!

Thursday – rest day

I had a quick happy hour on a patio and then ran a couple of errands.

Friday – 3.11 miles (9:14/mile)

Saturday – 7.05 miles (9:31/mile)

It was a step-back week for the long run. The weather was still a little warm, but not nearly as hot as it had been the previous two weekends. I technically only needed to do 6 miles, but I was feeling good and decided to do a little extra. It felt good mentally and physically to finally have a good long run in this training cycle. I know it was only week 3, but still.

In the afternoon, I headed to a friend’s wedding. It was an outdoor ceremony on farm with the reception in a barn. The decor was cool, and we had a great time dancing the night away!

Sunday – 4.15 miles (9:40/mile), 25 minute walk

It was my cross training day, so I did an easy run followed it up with a walk to hit an hour.

Week 4

Monday – 3.1 miles (9:44/mile)

I had an overnight work trip on Monday and Tuesday. I thought I’d take Monday as a rest day and get up early on Tuesday to work out before day 2 of our training. The weather on Monday evening was lovely and I had a little extra energy, so I headed out to explore the area for a short run. There was a lake just off the grounds that I ran to and I found some trails close by to finish up.

Tuesday – rest day

We finished our training and then drove home, so it was a long day.

Wednesday – 6.04 miles (9:21/mile)

I headed home and got in my 6 mile run before book club.

Thursday – rest day

Friday – 3.02 miles (9:22/mile)

I got in a few morning miles before work since I had a haircut scheduled for the evening. It was actually nice to run along the river as the sun rose.

Saturday – 11.01 miles (9:27/mile)

After several weekends of hot, summer weather, I was so excited for the temps to be in the 50s on Saturday morning. It felt more like fall!

I headed to the chain of lakes to do my long run. I sailed through one lap around each lake to knock out this run. It felt really good! It was soooo nice to have another strong long run. And one where I felt like I could certainly keep going if I had to.

In the afternoon, I headed to a friend’s baby shower and then met up with my family for dinner. It was a fun day, but I was exhausted at the end of it.

Sunday – 3.67 miles (9:33/mile), 37 minute walk

I set my alarm to maybe get up and do my hour of cross training before I met up with my family for church and brunch, but I just did not want to get out of bed. I took the extra rest and headed out for a run/walk in the evening.

Thankful for the beautiful weather this weekend. Definitely did not feel like late June, but I’ll take it. Also, I can’t believe July is already around the corner. Summer is going by too fast!

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) 

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! 🙂

Divas Half Marathon Race Recap

What. A. Race.

But, I’ll get to that. This is a tad long, but stick with me.

In my last two weeks of training I was busy at work and then on vacation with my family, so I didn’t get a chance to do weekly recaps, but there wasn’t anything really out of the ordinary. I managed to get in a few short runs on the beach while on vacation along with plenty of rest and relaxation leading up to race day.

On Friday, we stopped by the race expo to pick up my packet. It wasn’t a huge expo, so easy to get in and out.

After that, my parents and I headed to dinner and had a couple of drinks on a patio to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I was sitting on a bar stool and must have been sitting in an odd position for awhile because I woke up on Saturday morning and noticed it hurt when I twisted my knee in a certain way. I tried stretching my legs and took it easy all day, but was feeling the pain on and off. Needless to say, I was starting to get a bit anxious for my race. I didn’t hurt when I walked, but I hadn’t tested it running. By the time I went to bed it was better, so I crossed my fingers all would be well in the morning.

On Sunday morning I woke up about 5:30 a.m. to start getting ready. Luckily, no pain in the knee! (Phew)

The weather was perfect. It was clear and about 50 degrees. The race also started nice and early – 7:10 a.m. My parents dropped me off near the start line and then made their way to their first spectating spot. I lined up just behind the 9:00 minute mile pacer as I was hoping to do about a 9:15-9:20 pace if I wanted to PR.

Start line

Things got going right on time and we headed down Ocean Blvd. There were over 1,000 runners, but I didn’t have to do a lot of weaving around people and found a comfortable pace that didn’t feel like I was going out too fast.

About mile 2 I saw my parents at their first spot. We had talked about them going to 3 spots along the course, but they ended up going to about 6! Super spectators! They got some good action shots and even had a sign. ❤

  

In the first several miles, I was keeping up a faster pace than expected, but felt good. In mile 5, we turned up a street heading west and I felt my pace slow a little running into the wind and slightly uphill. I felt a slight twinge of pain above my right knee (the one that had been hurting the day before), but nothing bad. Going into mile 6 we started heading east and got the benefit of the slight downhill, so my pace picked up. I also noticed that I wasn’t feeling anything around my knee anymore. (Yay!)

As we approached the halfway point, I looked at my pace and started doing a little math. I was not only on pace to PR, but I realized if I kept up my pace I could actually finish in under 2 hours. That goal hadn’t occurred to me until that moment. I thought doing a sub-2 half marathon was a ways off for me. In my last 12 mile training run, the first 10 miles were great and then my legs basically gave up on me for the last 2, so I was a little worried something similar would happen, but decided to see what I could do.

We made our way through some more neighborhood streets and around mile 11.5 we turned back on to Ocean Blvd. On the home stretch. The sun was rising and there wasn’t shade, but it was at least behind us. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other. At mile 12.5, they hand out tiaras and pink boas to the runners. I grabbed them, but just carried them in my hand so I could concentrate on pushing it through the finish line. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. It said something just over 1:57. I knew my actual time would be a bit higher because my watch paused when I had to stop and tie my shoe early in the race, but I was feeling pretty confident that I had done it!

I grabbed my celebratory pink “bubbly” and medal. That medal is a beast! It’s huge and so heavy.

My parents found me and we made our way to the car. I checked the live race results and sure enough, I had finished under 2 hours!! Official time was 1:58:08. I still can’t believe it! The great weather and a flat course helped, but I know I put in a lot of good training for this race. It provides some fuel for bigger and better goals and some confidence as I get ready for marathon training.

Overall, I had a lot of fun at this race. It was a literal explosion of pink (seriously, look at the swag), but it was well organized and you can’t beat running in Myrtle Beach.

Not pictured: the pink race shirt – ha!

Here’s to the next running adventure!

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 an 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 – 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 – 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!

Goldy’s 10 Mile Race Recap

After 5 years of doing this race, I’ve got the pre-race routine down. I got up and had breakfast before heading to campus. I know that traffic can get a bit backed up and I wanted park in one of the lots by the stadium. I don’t mind being early and sitting in my car for a little bit if it means parking close.

Pre-race calm

I hit the restroom line and then just walked around for about 10 minutes to warm up until it was time to head to the corral. I sandwiched myself between the 9:30 and 9:00 pacers since I was aiming for something around a 9:20-9:25 pace.

I started my watch as I crossed the start line and we were off! The adrenaline and crowd often make me start a little too fast, so I tried to keep my pace under control while I warmed up. We headed up University Ave. and then turned into campus. Before I knew it I saw the marker for mile 1. Then my watch beeped a decent distance after I passed it, so I was a little worried the course would be off. I kept up a slightly faster than expected pace in mile 2. A big downhill helped with that. It was immediately followed by a big uphill that took some energy, but I settled into a comfortable pace when I got to the top.

It wasn’t that warm, but it felt humid to me. I felt like I was seating a lot even just a couple of miles in. I wasn’t thinking I’d want water at the first water stop, but I decided to take some cause I was feeling thirsty. I continued down the river road holding a good pace. The mile markers started lining up better with when my watch beeped, so I was feeling a little better about the course.

Around mile 5, I took a GU for a mid-race pick me up. I think mile 6 ended up being my slowest mile, but by mile 7 I picked up the pace again (maybe the GU was working). The last couple of miles have a couple of killer uphills that can make the thighs burn. I managed to keep the legs pumping as I made my way back to University Ave. for the home stretch. I picked up the pace a little and then a lot as we hit the outside of the stadium. Before I knew it, we were turning into the tunnel and hit the field. I crossed the finish line (at the 50 yard line) and stopped my watch.

I grabbed my medal and asked a kind stranger to take my picture. 🙂

My official time was 1:32:04, a new PR! That amounted to about a 9:13 pace, faster than I had hoped. I felt good through the race. I love doing this race every year because I continue to see progress. I feel faster and stronger each time I do it. It’s a nice benchmark early in the year.

Hope it’s a good prelude for my half marathon in a couple of weeks!

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 8

I spent the week gearing up for Goldy’s 10 mile on Sunday. I still got in some good miles, but I took an extra rest day and did light cross training so my legs would hopefully be fresh to race.

Monday – rest

My legs definitely needed a rest after the spin, run, yoga stuff I had going on the weekend before.

Tuesday – 4.08 miles (9:26/mile)

I met up with a friend and her running group to do a 4 mile run. It was a beautiful spring day for running. So nice to check out a different running route and have some people to chat with a long the way!

Wednesday – 7 miles (9:26/mile)

I debated shortening this run to save my legs, but once I got going it was just easier to do the full 7 miles that were on my plan.

Thursday – 1.97 mile walk

I had to run an errand after work, so it was a good day to just take an easy walk in the evening.

Friday – 4.15 miles (9:39/mile)

Friday was the perfect opportunity to escape the office for lunch with a friend! This also kicked off a pretty epic weekend of good food. 🙂

My plan had 4.5 miles on it, but I ended up just doing a 40 minute easy run.

Saturday – rest

After a relaxing morning and a few house chores, I met a friend for lunch at Young Joni. We shared a pizza and the Brussels sprouts. Both were fantastic!

I ran a few errands and then met up with my sister and a friend for dinner. Our plan was to sit on a patio to enjoy the spring weather. Only problem was it wasn’t as nice and sunny as they had predicted. But, we didn’t let that stop us! We found a cute patio at an Italian restaurant, which was perfect for some carbo-loading.

We hit one more patio after dinner for drinks. I stuck to water and club soda for this patio tour, but I look forward to the next one when I can enjoy a cocktail (or 2)!

Sunday – 10 miles (9:12/mile)

Race day! Stay tuned for the full race recap, but overall it was a great race!

In the afternoon, I kicked back and relaxed. I also may have fallen asleep on my coach for about a half hour. Nothing like a post-long run nap. 🙂

My epic food weekend ended with a home cooked meal. I used some veggies I got from a friend’s CSA to make dinner. I had a roasted beet salad with goat cheese, spinach and a honey, balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is so delicious! You can put goat cheese on just about anything and I’ll love it.

I also roasted sweet potato, turnips, and parsnips. Then I cooked some chicken on my little George Foreman grill to round out the meal.

Did you get out to enjoy the spring weather this past weekend?