Divas Half Marathon Training – Weeks 5 & 6

Ok, I’ve been really bad at blogging, so you’re getting another two-week update. The problem with blogging every two weeks is I forget details, so this might beĀ pretty short. Anyway, here goes…

Week 5

Monday – 40 minute walk

Some easy cross training after a 7 mile run and tough spin class the weekend before.

Tuesday – 6.04 miles (9:38/mile)

This training plan has some longer weekday runs that remind me of marathon training. Maybe some good prep for the summer? šŸ˜‰

Wednesday – 4.02 miles (9:39/mile)

Thursday – rest day

Book club was a good excuse for a rest day.

Friday – 31 minute elliptical

Saturday – 8.07 miles

Long run day! It was a cloudy, gray morning, but I headed to the lakes for my long run. I parked in my normal spot, but it turned out a 5K was happening that morning. I was a little nervous that I’d get blocked in with roads closing, but I didn’t feel like driving around to find something else, so I risked it.

I started off with a loop around Lake Harriet. It’s early enough that water fountains aren’t turned on in the public parks, so I make sure to have water in my car and made a pit stop after going around the lake.

After that, I headed over to Lake Calhoun for a lap around. Parts of the lake were pretty windy.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the lakes for a long run, and it felt really good.

Sunday – rest day

It’s a good thing I got in a nice long run on Saturday, but Sunday was all about brunch! I met some friends for a lovely meal and some impromptu shopping.

Biscuits and Gravy

Ā Ā 

The afternoon was busy with errands and running around town. I had every intention of doing some kind of short workout, but was exhausted when I got home, so I called it good and relaxed the rest of the evening. There was plenty of NCAA Basketball to watch. I was cheering on my Duke Blue Devils who ended up losing. Sad to see the season end. šŸ˜¦ It also completely busted my bracket.

Week 6

Nothing very notable about these weekday runs. Overall, I’ve been feeling good. Still hoping I can push it during Goldy’s 10 mile in a couple of weeks and maybe PR.

Monday – 4.26 miles (9:25/mile)Ā 

Tuesday – 6.15 miles (9:27/mile)

Wednesday – rest day

Thursday – 40 minute elliptical

Friday – 4.03 miles (9:31/mile)Ā 

Saturday – 3.25 miles (9:15/mile)

It was a step-back week, so I had a 5K race on the plan instead of a long run. I didn’t do an actual race and just did a short run and a quick pace.

In the afternoon, a friend and I headed to a beer and BBQ event at a local brewery. I actually found some decent hush puppies in MN! They still don’t beat my favorites in South Carolina, but nice to know I can get something good to tide me over.

Ā Ā 

Sunday – 35 minute elliptical

This was technically supposed to be a rest day, but I felt like doing something, so I did some light cross-training.

Anyone have a bracket that’s not busted?

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 3 & 4

Well, I came down with a head cold during week 3 of training and then had a busy week during week 4, so I haven’t been able to completely stick to my plan. I managed to get in some key runs/workouts, but hope to get back on track in week 5 (fingers crossed!).

Week 3

Monday – Rest day

My parents were in town for the evening, so I met up with them for dinner. I took them to Revival for some southern food in MN. I tried the burger and it was fantastic!

Tuesday – 3 miles (9:36/mile)

A quick run after work. I kept it short because I could feel a cold coming on.

Wednesday – Rest day

The cold had definitely hit by Wednesday, so I took the day off. Luckily, I actually had two rest days on my plan for this week, so worked out fairly well.

Thursday – 4.03 miles (9:26/mile)

The cold was still lingering, but it was better, so I headed out after work. I wasn’t sure how far I’d go, but felt good through 4 miles.

Friday – 40 minute ellipticalĀ 

Made this my cross training day since I skipped it earlier in the week.

Saturday – 6.02 miles (9:34/mile)

This was my long run for the week. It felt good to be out for almost an hour. Something about that amount of time makes it feel like a true long run.

In the afternoon, I did some shopping and picked up some new shoes!

Sunday – 4.28 miles (9:37/mile)

This was supposed to make up for the 5 mile run I skipped during the week. My legs just weren’t feeling the full 5 miles after several straight days of workouts.

Week 4

Monday – 40 minute walk

Kept the cross training light to let my legs recover a bit.

Tuesday – 3.5 miles (9:40/mile)

I had a meeting after work, so I got home a bit late. I ate a light dinner and then hopped on the treadmill to get in a run.

Wednesday – Rest day

Caught the MN Timberwolves game with the family! I typically don’t watch NBA, but it was actually a lot of fun watching them play. Got to see some former Duke basketball players on the court.

Thursday – 3 miles (9:40/mile)

Got up early and hit the treadmill for this run. I had friends over to my place after work and then we headed to the Science Museum to check out their Sportsology exhibit. We had some fun “racing” pro athletes, testing our reaction time and balance, and goofing off. šŸ™‚

Friday – 3.83 miles (9:26/mile)

It was cold out, but I bundled up (or at least tried to) for an evening run. I think I was a bit under-dressed. Got so used to the warmer temps!

Saturday – 7.01 miles (9:40/mile)

It was cold again! Especially in the morning. I kept warm with some hot coffee and a couple of Girl Scout cookies for breakfast. Ok, that’s not the only thing I had for breakfast, but they were really good with coffee.

Luckily, I ended up being able to do my long run in the afternoon when it had warmed up a tad. I dressed better for this run, which helped.

Other parts of the day were filled in by watching conference basketball tournament games. My Gophers lost, but my Blue Devils won! So excited for March Madness to begin!

Sunday – 50 minute spin class

Daylight savings time made it pretty hard to get out of bed. But I had some motivation since I was meeting a friend for a spin class. I could feel some fatigue in my legs, but powered through the tough class.

Winter decided to make a comeback in the afternoon. So done with that white stuff.

Are you ready for spring? Who do you have winning the NCAA tournament?

Divas Half Marathon Training – Week 2

Ok, I was a little more on my game for week 2. I got in all of my training runs, including a pretty nice pace run that I was really happy with this past weekend.

Monday – 3 miles (9:40 pace)

Treadmill run. Nuf said.

Tuesday – 4.01 miles (9:34 pace)

Since I know Goldy’s 10 mile is a hilly course, I making myself do my hilly route more often. I hit the hills for this 4 miler to start getting ready.

ThisĀ was supposed to be a pace run, but I kind of forgot. Whoops. I’m hoping I can PR at Goldy’s, so I’m aiming to have my pace runs be about a 9:20-9:25 pace. It wasn’t too far off, so not a total loss, but I’ll pay more attention to my plan going forward.

Wednesday – rest

I headed to a volunteer meeting after work, so was a good day for some rest!

Thursday – 30 minute elliptical

I made myself get up early to hop on the elliptical so I could get in my cross training since I was meeting a friend for dinner after work. It was restaurant week, and we had an Italian feast!

i-nonni

Friday – 3.06 miles (9:29 pace)

All week we kept hearing that a big snowstorm was going to hit on Friday. The storm shifted south and we got exactly zero snowfall. I’m definitely not complaining! That meant I could still easily get outside for a run to end the work week.

Saturday – 5.05 miles (9:31 pace)

It was a chilly and windy day, something I actually wasn’t used to after a period of spring-like temps. But, the sun was out and it felt great to start doing longer runs. I always get excited about hitting the 6+ miles point in a training cycle, so I’m looking forward to next week.

5-miles

Sunday – 3.02 miles (9:18 pace)

I was pleasantly surprised with this pace run and felt really good. The cold temps in the morning probably helped, but I’ll take it!

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.

#RunLove
#RunLove

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.

book-club

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.

new-equip

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.

ice-fish

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.

upton43-brunch

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?

Sleep.

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!

IMG_0595
New Orleans half
Garry Bjorklund half
Garry Bjorklund half
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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!

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What are your 2017 running goals?