Eau Claire Half Marathon – Week 5

The week started out pretty busy with the end of my San Diego trip and some evening plans a couple of nights. I was also continuing to prepare for a new 30 day journey: Whole 30.

When I first heard about Whole 30 a few years ago, I never thought it would be something I’d try. Cutting out sugar, grains, alcohol, processed food, and lots of other things just didn’t sound that appealing to me. I started to come around to the idea of trying it as I heard more and more friends have positive things to say when they did it. It wasn’t just weight loss benefits, it was things like better sleep and having more energy. That sounded appealing to me.

A big part of Whole 30 is also learning how certain foods affect you. I know what my “normal” feels like, but I also have a feeling that I don’t know what I don’t know and could probably feel even better. I’ve never felt like my diet affects my ulcerative colitis, but given my recent flare, it couldn’t hurt to see what changes might make me feel better overall. So, I’m giving it a shot. It’s 30 days. I’ve found a lot of good recipes that I’m actually excited to try, and I have several friends doing Whole 30 at the same time, so lots of social support. So important!!

And half marathon training continues. Here’s how week 5 went.

Monday – 6.02 miles (9:27/mile)

After two busy days of exploring the zoo and safari park, my sister and I slept in a little and then headed out for workouts about 9 a.m. I had 7 miles on my plan for my long run for week 4 that I had pushed to Monday. I wasn’t really sure how far I’d make it and had resolved to just do whatever I could.

The weather was perfect: low 60’s and sunshine. I was enjoying exploring some of the parks and paths along the water and before I knew it I was closing in on 6 miles. It felt really good, but my sis and I wanted to do a few more things before our flight, so I called it good at that point.

Here are some highlights from the run.

Tuesday – 3.27 miles (9:10/mile)

I had Flight Club with the Oiselle Volee team. We met at Lake Calhoun and did a loop around the lake before dinner. It was nice to run in daylight after the time change!

Wednesday – rest

Took the night off from working out and attended a networking event/panel discussion. Felt good to take a little bit of a break after several days of activity. My body needed it.

Thursday – 6.04 miles (9:25/mile)

I started out on this run thinking I might add in the “big hill” that I ran last week, but a couple of miles in I decided my legs just weren’t up for it. I still had a good run without it and had some small hills on my route.

Friday – 4.00 miles (9:26/mile)

Legs were feeling tired and heavy for this whole run. Normally I wouldn’t care that much, but I was a little nervous knowing I needed to do an 8 mile run the next morning.

After running, I kicked back to watch some March Madness and dug into Whole 30 meal planning for week 1.

Saturday – 8.00 miles

The weather was basically perfect for this long run – mid 40s and pure sunshine. I decided to do a loop around the river crossing a couple of bridges and admiring the blue sky above and blue water below.

As I got started, I could feel the tiredness in my legs. It was that way for the first 3 miles or so. Then it seemed like they finally warmed up, but around mile 5 I could feel the tiredness again. It stuck around until I was done, but it felt good to be getting into the higher mileage long runs.

Sunday – HIIT

A friend was able to get a group of us into a free workout class at her gym. It was a high intensity interval workout. The variety was nice, but it was definitely a hard workout that my body felt for a couple of days after.

We headed out to brunch after to consume all of the calories we burned. 🙂 I was also in a mode of savoring my last tastes of certain food before Whole 30 started the next day.

In the afternoon, I hit the grocery store and did a LOT of meal prep for week 1:

  • Slow cooker sweet potato chili
  • Turkey & egg breakfast casserole
  • Baked chicken
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cut strawberries

Should set me up for a successful first week!


Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 3

The training plan had 2 rest days on it which was nice since I had a fairly busy week. Here’s how workouts shook out for week 3!

Monday – 3.56 miles (9:51/mile)

A few nice and easy miles to kick off the week.

Tuesday – rest

I had a meeting in the evening, but I was able to stop by Mill City Running to pick up some new shoes before! I needed another pair that are dedicated for the treadmill. I don’t want all of the sand/salt/dirt from my other pair ruining the belt of my treadmill. It’ll probably be good to have a couple of pairs that I can alternate while training.

Wednesday – 3.5 miles (9:40/mile)

With a happy hour after work, I needed to get my run done in the morning. I made it through with a little help from my “Friends.” 😉

Thursday – 5.06 miles (9:18/mile)

I wasn’t intending for this to be a pace run, but it kind of ended up that way. I started out and realized pretty quick that I was running a fairly fast pace. I was feeling good, so I just went with it.

Friday – rest

I headed to a kick-off event for our local Take Steps Walk for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I’m on the planning committee for the walk, so I helped check people in at the event and mingled with some of the other attendees.

Saturday – 40 minute walk (2.55 miles)

A couple of friends and I hosted a baby shower for one of our friends in the morning. We played games, decorated onesies, ate food, and she opened lots of cute gifts.

The shower took place at my house, so I was in host mode the whole time. It was super fun, but I was exhausted when it was all over around 3 p.m. Despite it being a gorgeous sunny day, I decided I just did not have the energy to run. I needed to do a cross training workout for the week, so took a nice walk instead.

I ate dinner when I got home and then went to my sister’s place to watch the Duke vs. UNC game. Duke pulled out the win! Great way to end the day. 🙂

Sunday – 6.17 miles (9:25/mile)

There was some rain on and off in the morning, so I used it as an excuse to be a little lazy and do some things around the house. Around 11 a.m. I was feeling a little hungry, but I wanted to run around noon, so I didn’t want lunch yet. I ate a snack and gave myself about an hour to let it settle. I started out on my run and my stomach felt…off. Apparently what I ate still wasn’t sitting well. I went out about a mile and then circled back to be closer to home. I made a pit stop at home to drop by gloves and use the restroom. My stomach was feeling better by this point, so I headed out to finish the last 4 miles. Overall, it was a good long run. Just a little odd with the pit stop in the middle.

I’ve felt pretty good the last couple of weeks and think I’m getting my groove back. I’m hopeful that will continue as I move further into this training cycle!


Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 2

Week 2 of training is in the books! Here’s how it went.

Monday – 3.06 miles (9:50/mile)

After the first week of training, my legs were feeling a little tired and heavy on this run, so luckily I didn’t have to go too far.

Tuesday  – 30 minutes stretch/strength

I wanted to do something, but wanted to give my legs a break from running. I opted to do my PT exercises and a few circuits of some strength and cardio exercises. Some ab exercises, push ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, etc.

Wednesday – 4 miles (10:03/mile)

I played a little game of “dodge the ice patch” for 4 miles, but it felt good to be outside. I stopped halfway through my run to take a picture of the pretty sunset colors and then my phone decided it was too cold to function, so it died on me. It started up again when I got home and got it warmed up, but I ran the last 2 miles with no music, which just made me sad. Wanted my tunes.

Thursday – 3.06 miles (9:49/mile)

I got a new treadmill! I worked from home so I could be there when it was delivered and assembled. After work, I took it for a 3 mile test run. Still getting used to all of the buttons and features, but it’s going to be so nice to have this easy indoor option.

Friday – rest

I headed to a coworker’s engagement party after work. They had a Foosball tournament going. I haven’t played in years, so it was super fun—even tough my team lost. 🙂

Saturday – 3.25 miles (9:20/mile)

I had a fun morning/early afternoon hanging out with Hyedi and her son.

A snowstorm rolled in mid afternoon, so after I stopped at the grocery store, I decided another treadmill run was the best option. I needed to do 3 miles pace, so I picked a slightly faster pace and whipped out 3 miles while watching “Friends.”

Sunday – 5.02 miles (9:59/mile)

I met friends for our monthly “brunch bunch” to start the day.

After a delicious eggs benedict and potatoes, I definitely felt like I needed a run to burn it off. The sun came out and the temps were very pleasant to start melting some of the snow we got the day before. I waited until about 3 p.m. to do my run in hopes that the path would be decent.

I started out and found that about 1/3 of the path looked like this…

A 1/3 of the path looked like this…

And the rest was somewhere in between. Felt like an all-terrain run. It slowed me down and the slipping and sliding in the deeper snow took a toll on my ankles and legs. I got all 5 miles in, but I was pretty relieved when the run was over.

To recover, I made a shrimp scampi with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. It was really good and super easy to make!

Eau Claire Half Marathon Training – Week 1

I’m officially back in training mode! It feels good, but I can also tell I’m not quite at the level I’d like to be. I’m not too far off, but I’m hoping getting back into the regular routine and following a training plan will get me back up to where I’d like to be soon.

As I was planning my spring races last fall, I knew I wanted to do a half marathon. This was the perfect year to give the Eau Claire Half a try. It is in my hometown, after all!

I’m following the same training plan that I did last spring to train for the Divas Half Marathon where I broke 2 hours. I’m not really sure yet what my goals are for this year’s half, but running strong and feeling good are a good place to start.

Here’s how week 1 of training went.

Monday – rest

I was technically supposed to do 30 minutes of cross training, but after the tough Pettit Marathon Relay on Saturday, I decided one more rest day would be ok.

Tuesday – 3.22 miles (9:30/mile)

I met up with some of the Oiselle Volee team for a group run and dinner. We ran along the river on the St. Paul side and then had some Pho at a Vietnamese restaurant to warm up.

Wednesday – 4.01 miles (9:37/mile)

Sometimes getting out of the house for a run after work is tough. I was a bit tired after the day, so started out telling myself I could do 3 or 3.5 miles if I wanted. I got going and started to feel good, so I settled in and made it the full 4 miles to hit my full training run for that day.

Thursday – 3.04 miles (9:34/mile)

An uneventful 3 mile run, and those are totally ok with me!

Friday – rest

I met my sister and a couple of friends for dinner and a Gopher hockey game!

The Gophers beat Ohio State 2-1! The game started at 8 p.m. — a little later than normal. By the time I got home and got to bed, it was about midnight.

Saturday – 3.15 miles (9:34/mile)

I let myself sleep in a little bit after a later bedtime and got a few things done around the house in the morning. Around 11:30, I headed out for a quick run.

After that, it was a quick shower and lunch before heading to help out a friend at a fundraising event. We were bagging groceries for donations.

On my way home, I got some gas and a car wash since the weather was finally warm enough. I had to grab a little coffee at the gas station knowing that I had one more outing for the day.

I headed to a girls’ night out/birthday dinner for a friend.

We made a stop for another drink after dinner, so it was another late night with a 1 a.m. bedtime. So yea, I know I’m getting old when a midnight and 1 a.m. bedtime for a Friday and Saturday night are “late.” 😛

Sunday – 4.23 miles (9:30/mile)

This was my long run for the week. Feels a little weird to call 4 miles a long run, but also felt nice not to have a daunting distance ahead of me as I get back into training. It was a good run and I’m looking forward to building up the long-run mileage over the next 11 weeks.

I got a couple of other errands done during the day and then met up with a friend for dinner. It was Restaurant Week, so we feasted on a 3-course meal. We split the mac & cheese and pot pie, which was a really good decision because both were amazing! A true comfort food meal.

I did a lot of eating out over the weekend. While it was fun and really good food, I’m hoping to get back on track this week.

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 7

This was a solid week of training! My training plan is definitely continuing to increase in intensity and mileage. 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.