Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 10

Eight more weeks to go! As I type that it seems really far away and really close all at the same time.

The peak mileage weeks are in view, and I’m trying to make sure I stay healthy and injury free. I’ve been good with that so far, but I did notice the beginning of a black toenail after my long run this past week. It happened on the same toe the last time I trained for a marathon, so apparently I’m prone to it when my mileage gets up around 17 miles.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 3.81 miles (9:11/mile)

I had flag football practice in the evening. We didn’t have a ton of people, but we were still able to run some plays. Practice ran a little longer than I had planned, but I still squeezed in a quick (literally) run. It was supposed to be 4 miles, but I figured I could cut it a tad short given the running I did at practice. πŸ˜‰

Wednesday – 8.04 miles (9:34/mile)

My legs were feeling that football practice for this 8 miler. My legs were tired and heavy the whole way. My ankles were also really sore. At first I wasn’t sure why, but then I realized that all of the quick side to side running and uneven ground probably took a toll on my ankles.

Thursday – 4.05 miles (9:40/mile)

The ankles were still sore for this run, but got in a few easy miles. It was an unseasonably cool day. Basically a preview of fall running.

Afterwards, I met up with a friend to catch up over dinner and a cocktail.

Friday – rest

Saturday – 17.1 miles (9:43/mile)

I was up bright and early to get my long run started. I obviously wasn’t awake yet because I drove all the way to the lakes and realized I forgot my Garmin. Oh well. I had RunKeeper on my phone. I think the Garmin is just a little more accurate.

It was a gorgeous, cool morning for a run.

I feel like my long runs after a step-back week are sometimes less than stellar, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. My legs felt ok, but my pace wasn’t as fast as I’ve been doing. My early miles were hanging out around a 9:45/mile pace. Nothing to complain about, so I tried to just settle in.

The miles actually ticked by fairly fast. Before I knew it, I was heading back to Lake Harriet for one more loop around that lake to finish up my 17 miles. Somehow, my legs found a little extra energy and my average pace increased to about 9:30/mile for the last 3 miles.

I was exhausted after my run from getting up early and not getting a good night of sleep, so I definitely took a nap in the afternoon!

Sunday – 3.12 miles (16:34/mile)

My sister, a friend, and I did Fifteen’s 5KΒ on Sunday morning. We took it easy and walked most of it. Was a fun way to get in my cross training for the week. You finish the race near home plate on Target Field, which was also pretty cool!

I cleaned up when I got home and headed to a birthday party for a friend’s kiddo. Then I headed back to Target Field for the Twins game. You get a ticket to the game with your race registration. The Texas Rangers went up by 5 runs in the first inning, so things didn’t start well. Around the third inning the rain came. It was a short rain delay and then the clouds parted and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon for baseball. Apparently the break was good for the Twins as well because they came back to win 6-5!

Bring on another week!

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 9

It was a step-back week, which worked out well with having a busy week with some traveling to celebrate a friend’s wedding thrown in!

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 7 miles (9:32/mile)

It was cloudy when I started running after work, but I wasn’t expecting it to rain while I was out. Around mile 3, it started sprinkling on me. It actually felt pretty good considering it was so hot and humid. The sprinkles turned into a steady rain and I could tell by the clouds that it wasn’t going to let up. Luckily, I was close to home, so I popped inside after about 4.15 miles to finish up the last 2.85 miles on the treadmill.

After my run, I got cleaned up and headed out to meet up with a friend and her run group for some dinner. They got caught in the rain during their run as well, but we feasted on some yummy seafood at Sea Salt.

Wednesday – 4 miles (9:28/mile)

I had a happy hour with coworkers immediately after work, and then I headed home to get in my 4 mile run to cap off the day.

Thursday – rest

This was a travel day back home to Wisconsin. My sister and I were headed to a wedding that weekend, so we spent the night at home to break up the drive and spend a little time with our mom and grandma.

Friday – 13.1 miles (9:35/mile)

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it in my long run on Saturday with all of the wedding festivities, and being in a new city, so I got up early to do my run in my hometown before we hit the road. For the step-back week, my long run was actually supposed to be a half marathon, but I wasn’t going to do a race, so I just planned to run 13.1.

I parked at Carson Park where my family often walks and I’ve done a lot of runs before. I knew the area pretty well, but didn’t exactly know where water fountains were, so I kept some extra water in my car and planned to loop back there when I needed to refill.

To start, I actually made my way out of the park and over to the trail that runs along the river. I’ve run this trail a little before during the Turkey Trot 5 mile. I took the opportunity to explore the trail a bit more.

I started around mile marker 3, and I found the markers were ticking down every half mile, so I figured I’d try to find the start of the trail. Β I found it just over this bridge!

I turned around and headed back to the park. I did find 1 water fountain on this part of my run, but I wanted to refill my water. At this point, I was just over 6 miles into the run. I took a loop around the park, which is about a mile, and then headed out of the park again to hit a different trail. I followed that out about 2.5 miles and then headed back to my car. To get back into the park, I had to run up a big hill for the second time. My legs were pretty dead after that, but I only had about a mile and a half mile left. I took one more loop around the park and was done.

It felt great to get the run done and explore some new paths. With that out of the way, all I had to do was focus on celebrating my friend and enjoying the wedding!

Saturday – rest

It may have been a rest day on the training schedule, but was a full day of wedding fun. We started at the salon for hair and makeup before heading back to the bride’s parent’s house to get dressed. After that it was pictures and then the ceremony and reception. I stayed busy trying to help keep things on schedule and take care of little tasks for the bride as her personal attendant.

The ceremony was beautiful and after that we danced the night away!

Sunday – 4.02 miles (9:21/mile)Β 

My sister and I slept in a little and then grabbed some breakfast on our way out of town. I got home mid afternoon and ran to the grocery and then squeezed in a 4 mile run before relaxing for the rest of the night.

It was a packed weekend, but a lot of fun! Next week’s training runs kick it up a notch again, so we’ll see how this next phase of training goes.

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 8

I was feeling a tad deflated going into this week of training after a crappy 14 mile long run, but it ended up being a good week of training with a fun 5K thrown in!

Monday – rest

I tried to mentally and physically get ready for the week with this rest day.

Tuesday – 7.04 miles (9:36/mile)

Doing my longer weekday run early in the week worked out best for my schedule. I think it also helps keep my legs fresh for doing the long run on the weekend.

Wednesday – 3.3 miles (8:59/mile)

Check out my Torchlight 5K race recap for more details on this run. πŸ™‚

Thursday – 4.06 miles (9:36/mile)

I did a quick run after work and then headed off to book club.

Friday – rest

Rest, rest, rest in preparation for Saturday’s long run.

Saturday – 15 miles (9:30/mile)

I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. so I could get my run started earlier to beat the heat. I got to the lakes by 7 a.m. I stepped out of the car and felt some decently cool air, but could feel the humidity. Luckily it was cloudy, so I didn’t have to deal with the sun. I was still a little anxious for this run, but tried to stay confident as I took off around the lakes.

My legs needed a couple of miles to get warmed up, but after that I was feeling good. Before I knew it, I was at 10 miles. I took one more loop around Lake Calhoun since there was a nice breeze before heading back to Lake Harriet to finish up. My legs were getting tired by the end, as they should, but I didn’t need to walk like I did the week before. It was such a confidence boost seeing my watch hit 15 miles and still feeling ok. I’m not sure what my mental state would’ve been like if I had another awful long run.

I was on a runner’s high and starving when I got done, so I popped over to the restaurant on the lake to get a bagel and iced coffee. I sat at a table and enjoyed my second breakfast of the day before heading home.

In the afternoon, I rested and then got ready to meet some friends from grad school and their kiddos for some play time at a park!

Sunday – 29 minute bike ride, 29 minute walk

I got up and met some friends at Lake Nokomis to go paddle boarding! It was my first time. I was honestly a little nervous I’d lose my balance and fall in the lake, but I got a hang of it pretty quick. It was a gorgeous morning and we had a great time!

After that, we were off to our monthly “brunch bunch” at a restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. I had a yummy Florentine Benedict.

I did another bike ride and walk as my cross training for the week.

Next week is a step-back week, so I’ll try to use the time to rest up a little and get ready for the mileage to kick up another notch.

Torchlight 5K Race Recap

I wanted a fun race to do over the summer to help break up the training. A friend and I signed up for the Torchlight 5K. I ran this race once before several years ago and had fun, so I thought it would be good to try it again. I knew it would likely be hot, but was treating it as a training run rather than actually racing it.

The race was on Wednesday evening. All afternoon at worked I watched as dark clouds moved in. It started storming a little after that, and I just hoped that it would stop by race time. Luckily it did! The rain actually cut the heat and humidity down.

I headed home from work to change and have a bowl of cereal before heading to the race. It’s a point to point course through downtown Minneapolis, so I parked closer to the finish. This was good for logistics of not having to walk too far after the race, but also because I technically had to do 4 miles for my training plan that day. I ran/walk a little over a mile to get to the start line and meet up with my friend.

It was a crowded start corral. We tried to work out way up between the 9:00 and 10:00 minute mile pace signs, but could quite get there. We figured we’d just have to do a little weaving, but it would be ok.

They let us go in waves, so that helped thin things out by the time we stepped across the start line. I was using this as a training run, but planned to step up the pace a little. We held around a 9:00/mile pace throughout the race. A lot of the course is flat or even downhill.

Around mile 2, I could feel the humidity coming back. Made for a sweaty run! We crossed the Stone Arch Bridge and then turned a corner into the home stretch of the race. As we crossed the finish line and stopped our watches, we both noticed the course was long. We had it clocked at 3.31 miles. Turns out there was a typo when the course got certified, so it was in fact long. Not the end of the world, especially since I wasn’t racing it, but always a little disappointing when that happens. My official time was 29:49.

After the race, we grabbed our free Chick-fil-A, beer, and other swag.

We chilled in the grass for a little bit before heading back across the river to head home. On the walk back, we snapped a selfie. πŸ™‚

The sun was going down and more storms were rolling in, so we got some great pics of the clouds. They looked pretty cool!

I had a lot of fun at the race! It was a really nice change to the training schedule, and I’d definitely do this race again.

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 7

Another week down! It started well, even with a busy week. But the long run was kind of a bust. Looking to turn that around next week.

Monday – 4.02 miles (9:34/mile)

Your standard 4 mile run after work.

Tuesday – 4 miles (9:25/mile)

I was expecting to make this a rest day because I actually had flag football practice in the evening. I’m playing in a charity flag football tournament in a couple of months, and my team is trying to actually win a game this year. πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately, we didn’t have many people who could make practice, so it was pretty short.

I was hungry on my way home. I made myself a deal, I could get Chipotle if I did my 4 mile run before I ate it. Well, I did! It was a good trade. And it meant that I didn’t have to get up early on Wednesday to do the run, so win – win – win!

Wednesday – rest

I met some friends for a happy hour/grill out after work. It was really hot during the day, but became really nice in the evening so we could sit outside to eat and chat.

Thursday – 7.02 miles (9:34/mile)

The evening air was cool and clouds covered the sky. It felt more like fall. Perfect conditions for a 7 mile run. I made my way across a bridge over the Mississippi River for some river views.

The downside of this route is the hills, but my legs felt good even after a long, stressful day.

Friday – rest

My sister and I headed out to dinner and a little shopping. Then I rested up and tried to go to bed at a decent hour so I could be up bright and early for my long run.

Saturday – 14 miles (9:54/mile)

I knew it was going to be a hot day – sunny and in the 90’s. I planned to get to the chain of lakes by 8 a.m. so I could get started. When I stepped out of my car, I could feel that it was already a little warm, but I was ready to run.

This is pretty much how it went…

Miles 1-5: “Ok, feeling good. First half of the run underway. Made it around a couple of the lakes. It’s a little warm, but keep moving.”

Miles 6-8: “Well, halfway done. Kinda tired, still warm, but you’re halfway. Keep moving.”

Miles 9-11: “Now I’m really tired. Need to get back to Lake Harriet and there will be more shade. Try not to walk.”

Miles 12-14: “This just blows. It’s hot. I’m tired. I just want to quit! No, keep moving even if you do some walking in between. But this still really sucks.”

Not my finest run. Proud that I kept going and didn’t just call it quits when things got really hard. Hoping that training will come in handy around mile 22 of the marathon when I’m having some of the same mental battles.

In general, I might need to just make myself get up earlier for long runs when it’s going to be that hot.

Sunday – 38 minute bike ride; 22 minute walk

I got up in the morning and went to the farmer’s market to get some fresh veggies. I can’t believe this was my first trip there this summer! I got some beets, carrots, and zucchini that I roasted for dinner.

But before doing food prep and cooking, I pumped up the tires on my bike and hit the trail for some cross training. I rounded out my hour by walking for 1.36 miles to change it up a little.

Looking forward to the next week of training to see what progress I can make!

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 6

I’m 1/3 of the way through training! Oh, how time flies. But I’m also kind of glad I still have 2/3 of the plan to go. πŸ™‚

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6.02 miles (9:32/mile)

It was the 4th of July, so I slept in a little and spent a couple lazy hours watching some Wimbledon matches. I headed out mid-morning for my run. It was a little warm by that time, but I got in a good 6 miles.

Happy Independence Day!

In the evening, I met up with my sister and a couple of friends for some 4th of July festivities. It was a beautiful night, so we headed to a park that had music and food trucks before watching a great fireworks display!

I love fireworks!

Wednesday – 3.1 miles (9:43/mile)

This run was a little bit of a struggle. For some reason, my right hamstring was really sore and tight. I felt a little tightness in my right glute during my 6 mile run the day before, but I didn’t think much of it. Apparently, it affected my legs more than I thought.

Thursday – rest

I spent the night cheering on the Minnesota Lynx! They beat the LA Sparks in a rematch of last year’s WNBA finals. They are some pretty impressive athletes!

Friday – 3 miles (9:34/mile)

An easy 3 mile run. Even with a rest day in between, my right hamstring was still feeling a bit tight. I did some extra stretching and foam rolling to help it out before my Saturday long run.

Saturday – 9 miles (9:38/mile)

I fully intended to get up and start my run about 8 a.m. It was a good plan except for the fact that I set my alarm for the wrong time, so I didn’t start my run until 9 a.m. Whoops.

I expected that my legs would need a couple miles to warm up, but they still felt pretty tired and heavy throughout the run. I’m thankful this was a step-back week and I didn’t need to do more than 9 miles. On the bright side, I explored a part of the path that I don’t normally take for some new views.

Sunday – 2.71 mile walk

There was a threat of rain, but lucky it stayed away so I could meet up with a friend and her pup for a walk around Lake Nokomis! It was some nice, easy cross training to give my tired legs a bit of a break.

This step-back week was kind of a milestone, because I won’t have a long run in single digits again until the week before the marathon! Bring on the next phase of training!

Twin Cities Marathon Training – Week 5

Well, my weekday runs this week were all good, but uneventful. It was a pretty chill week as far as stuff going on after work as well. So, this recap is pretty short.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6 miles (9:25/mile)

Wednesday – 3.08 miles (9:26/mile)

Thursday – rest

Friday –Β 3 miles (9:36/mile)

Saturday – 50 minute spin class

I met a friend for a Saturday morning spin class. It was Beyonce themed, so some good music! I got in a good workout, but tried not to tire out my legs too much with a long run the next day.

We grabbed a yummy brunch after class and then I headed home to get in some of the Saturday errands.

In the evening, I stopped by a friend’s BBQ but didn’t stay out super late so I could set an early alarm for my long run.

Sunday – 12 miles (9:30/mile)

I headed to the chain of lakes again for this long run. I wasn’t sure how the legs would feel after spin, but they weren’t as sore/tired as I thought. It only took a mile or two before they felt warmed up. I felt great for the vast majority of the run. My legs started to get fatigued in the last 2 miles, but I was able to keep up my pace. It was probably some good training for running on tired legs.

The temps were a little warmer than last week, but definitely not as hot as the first two weeks of training. Still really nice for a long run.

In the evening, my family and I headed to the St. Paul Saints game. It was a gorgeous night for baseball!

After the game, they had a big food truck rally. Thirteen trucks set up in the outfield. We tried Dough Dough. It basically serves cookie dough in a cup!

When it got dark, they did a fireworks show. I’m such a sucker for fireworks — I love them. Great way to have an early 4th of July celebration!

Hope you all have a fun and safe 4th of July!