Half Marathon Training (Jun 30 – Jul 6)

Only 20 days until The San Francisco Marathon (1st half for me).  I’m really excited because my sister & brother-in-law are doing the 5k so it’ll be a bit of a family affair.

This week was so much better, I felt good, my nutrition was great, no slip ups even with the 4th of July.  The only issue was the heat and more significant the humidity.  It has gotten crazy humid this week, and while I know that it’s nothing compared to what people in other areas of the country are dealing with, for us, 40% humidity is horrible.  Earlier this year, I was running with 6% so as you can imagine that’s quite significant.  I had a bit of an issue with the heat but powered thru the best I could.

Monday: 45 min Tempo Run
Actual: 45 min – 5.09 mi, avg pace 8:52 – 82 degrees/30% humidity

Tuesday: Run Clinic with my coach & others, 30 min strength training
Actual: Run Clinic, we did a dynamic warm-up, a few laps around the track trying different form improvements, along with a lot of drills, I had to leave a bit early so I’m not sure how they ended the session.
Strength Training after work – 2x around all the nautilus machines with 10 minutes of ab/core work


Wednesday: Bike 60 minutes, inside or out
Actual: Walked 1.2 miles in the am from the car dealer – 30 min pool running – 10 miles on the indoor bike, 6 miles on my road bike (60 minutes)


Thursday: 45 min run
Actual: 27 min running 3.12 miles, 8:53 avg pace – 24 min run/walk 2.17 miles – super hot & humid and my legs were sore from the bike the night before, oops 🙂

Friday: Hill Repeats
Actual: Got myself out of bed at 4am on the 4th of July to go find a hill to run up 6x approx. 300 ft of elevation change.

Saturday: Long Run 90 min
Actual: Hard one this morning but I finally managed to do a decent long run, 9.76 miles, 1:33, 9:36 avg pace.  There was a little walking on this one, the humidity is really killing me – I can’t wait for the cooler temps in SF!


Sunday: Rest Day

All in all a great week, I’m feeling much stronger, even with the humidity and heat.  Ready to run!

Half Marathon Training Week 8 (Jun 23 – 29)

This was another semi rough week, I was still detoxing from my sugar issue so I was still not feeling 100% and we had work meetings again this week and it’s hard to stick to my nutrition plan when I’m away from the office.

I think I mentioned last week that I decided to work with a nutritionist again to get myself back on track.  It’s definitely an expense that I don’t necessarily need or want, but having that accountability and adding in the fact that I’m paying to do this, makes me more motivated to stick with it.  I’m going to talk a bit about my nutrition plan in my next post.  This week I was really good, I only had added sugar one time, at Tuesday night’s work dinner at Capital Grille, I couldn’t resist the creme brulee which is my absolute fav dessert ever.  But I’m proud to say that was my only cheat the entire week!

creme brulee, dessert, capital grille
My fav, creme brulee, this one from The Capital Grille.

Now onto my workouts…

Monday: After a second not so good long run, my coach suggested I take an extra rest day and do some yoga & stretching

Tuesday: 60 minutes crosstraining on the bike – Actual: 45 min on the bike – 15 miles – I was running a bit behind for work and this was our 15 hour work day so I think it’s ok 🙂

Wednesday:45 min tempo run – Actual: I did 4.96 miles in 45 min on the treadmill, not quite a tempo run, but it was consistent and I felt pretty good outside of a bit of of a twinge in my left glute.

Thursday: 30 min easy run – Actual: 3.5 mi avg pace 8:35 (Nike+ was a bit off from my Garmin) not exactly easy pace but I actually felt great and it didn’t seem like I was going that fast. And a little yoga after to stretch out.

Post run half-moon at sunrise :)
Post run half-moon at sunrise 🙂

Friday: 30 min strength training – Actual: 30 mins of light weights and lots of abs – also 30 minutes of running in the pool

Saturday: 90 min run with 4x5min of between 8:00 – 8:30 pace  Actual: Trail Run 7.28 miles with 596 ft of elevation change 1hr 39min, avg pace 13:39.  I was with a friend who was being conservative because of the uphills, but I took the lead at one point on the downhill and was totally killing it – I seriously felt like I was flying, it was so awesome!  I don’t do a lot of trail runs because it is so hot during the summer.  When you have to go out around 4/4:30am it’s not really safe to trail run in the dark by yourself, but I do really enjoy them.

Going out a 4am is so worth it...sunrise run.
Going out a 4am is so worth it…sunrise run.

Sunday: Rest Day

I finished June up with 88.66 miles – which wasn’t too bad considering how bad I felt for most of the month :).  I’m ready to rock July!

Half Marathon Training Week 7 (Jun 16 – 22) & What I’m Training For

I’ve been training with my new coach for 7 weeks now, time sure flies doesn’t it?  And it occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever put out there what I’m training for.

I have so many goals, fitness, financial, personal, you name it and I’ve probably got a goal for it.  I started this year with 4 major running goals for 2014.

1) Run a sub 4 hour marathon

2) Run a sub 2 hour half marathon

3) If goal 1 was achieved, then attempt to BQ in the fall

4) Finally, run a sub 30 min 5k in a race (for all the races I’ve done, I’ve never seriously run a 5k)

Well, goal #1 didn’t happen as much as I wanted it to in Rome so I decided to concentrate on goal #2 which then led to my current goal.  I have wanted to achieve my half marathon goal for a while now, but when you are marathon training, it makes it hard to focus on anything else, so as I’ve discussed, I’ve put my marathon goals on the back burner to concentrate on the half instead.

Which leads me to my current goal – to run a 1:45 or under in the half, which right now would mean dropping about a minute per mile.  So that’s what I’m working towards and time will tell if I’m mentally as well as physically prepared.  I’ve picked a goal race, the Women’s Running Half Marathon in Scottsdale on Nov 2 (hopefully it’ll be a bit cooler then).

But now, let’s recap last week…

Another so-so week as I was feeling off most of the week, probably due to cutting out a lot of sugar from my diet.  I’ll talk about my nutrition in a future post, but it’s enough to say I’ve really fallen off the clean eating wagon and my running is starting to suffer from it.

Monday – 45 min Tempo Run (15 warm-up, 20 min tempo, 10 min cooldown) Actual: 45:03, 5.12 mi, avg pace 8:48 – did first 20 min at tempo because I have had a hard time with these runs in the past and was feeling good. Not exactly what I was supposed to do – lol.

Tuesday – 45 min run Actual: 30:40, 3.20 miles, avg pace 9:24 and then a 2 mile walk.  I wasn’t feeling well on Monday and I didn’t eat much so I was starving during this run, I normally don’t have a problem running thru the hunger but no go this time.  The view though, really made my morning, one of the best sunrises I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

Sunrise, Phoenix, Arizona, Trail Run
Most amazing sunrise…

Wednesday – 60 min bike ride & 30 min strength workout – Actual: 45 minutes on the elliptical at work (the bike wasn’t working) and 30 min strength training.  1 set weights, 15 min cardio x 3

Nautilus machines 3×12
*Leg Press 110# *Leg Extension 50#*Seated Leg Curl 60# *Double chest 50# – arm cross & decline press
*Torso arm 60# *Biceps 30# *Compound Rowing 60# *Lateral raise 40#
*Overhead Press 40# *Triceps 30# *Abdominal 60#
*Crunches x50 *Full Sit-ups x30 *Modified push-ups x30

Thursday – 45 min run – Actual: 45 minutes on the treadmill during lunch, 4.98 miles, avg pace 9:02

Friday – 30 min easy run – Actual: 30 minutes 3.30 miles, avg pace 9:02 – Garmin died after mile 1 and so I just ran, it was super nice to just run without looking at the pace, etc.  I had nike+ on as a back-up but I don’t have the voice telling me my mileage so it was nice.

Watch free run
Watch free run

Saturday – 90 min run with 3*5min pick-ups at goal pace – Actual: 1:21, 8 miles, avg pace 10:14 This run was horrible, I started it dehydrated and with a new hydration belt which bounced all around, so much for bounce free, but why we test this stuff out before race day.  I went home after 3.3 miles and switched belts but my back had already started to hurt from changing my stride to compensate for the bouncing belt, so my hamstring started to hurt and by mile 7 I wasn’t having it anymore and walked the last mile home.

Start in the moonlight, end with sunlight
Start in the moonlight, end with sunlight

Sunday – 20 min stretching & foam rolling – Actual: 20 min stretching & foam rolling

I’m starting a new nutrition plan this week and seriously working on my hydration as well since I’ve had 2 runs in a row with hydration problems.

Do you have a goal race? or Time?

Half Marathon Training – Week 6 (Jun 9 – 15)

This was an interesting week.  And it didn’t go quite as I had hoped.  I was having a lot of pain in the bottom of my feet, which is semi-new.  I had plantar fasciitis in early 2013, I ran on it for probably 8 weeks (including racing 3 half marathons), which is so not recommended but what can I say, I’m a crazy runner, and I had already signed up and paid for those races.

Anyways, this time around, I was going to deal with any issues right away so I emailed my coach, who is also my Physical Therapist, and I went in for a quick visit just to see what was going on.  I have a stand-up desk at work, YAY!  So I alternate between sitting on my ball chair & standing, however lately I’ve been standing a bit more and without the proper shoes so now, I’m alternating a bit more, wearing better work shoes & standing on my old yoga mat, all of which seems to be helping.  Oh, and stretching my calves & shins more too.

Monday – Easy Run – Actual: 3.05 miles 30:30, 10:01 pace

Tuesday – Strength Training – Actual: 30 minutes of using the Nautilis equipment at the work gym with some core work too


Wednesday – This was a day that we changed quite a bit, originally it was supposed to be hill repeats, but then we (my coach & I) were going to do a Tempo Run, but when my feet were bothering me, we changed it to 60 min on the bike – Actual: 60 minutes, 21.1 miles PT visit in the evening

Thursday – 45 min run – Actual: My legs weren’t feeling it and I actually stopped to stretch a bit which didn’t help so I cut my run short – 3.7 miles, 34:59, 9:27 pace

Stretch it out
Stretch it out

Friday – 45 min Hill Repeats – Actual: I did the hill repeats on the treadmill as I was a bit lazy about getting out of bed this morning since I didn’t sleep half the night (this is what happens when you eat too much sugar – oops).

2.23 miles 26:08, 11:43 pace, 6×90 sec varying incline from 2 – 6 with speed increase from 6 – 8mph – I tried 8mph at an incline of 8 and almost fell off the treadmill so I scaled it back a bit.

Saturday – 1hr 30 min Long Run (try to stay around 9/9:30 min miles) – Actual: Again this run didn’t go as planned, I was properly hydrated at the beginning of the run, however I quickly became dehydrated and was even getting a bit lightheaded at certain points, which is really not good.  I drank Gatorade & water throughout the run but I was very happy to see 1:30 on my Garmin :).  1:30:02 for 9.07 miles at 9:56 pace – included a lot of walking around mile 7 and a stop light stop at mile 8.

How funny that I took this pic at 6:14a on 6/14 :)
How funny that I took this pic at 6:14a on 6/14 🙂

Sunday – Rest Day – Actual: Beach ball volleyball with my sister in the pool

And a Happy Father’s Day!  My dad was my original running buddy and while he can’t run any more due to knee issues, we used to run on vacation all the time.  He was even my track coach way back in the day when I was in grade school.

Running on the beach in Virginia Beach, 1993.  Back when I wore really baggy clothes and ran in cotton! Yikes!
Running on the beach in Virginia Beach, 1993. Back when I wore really baggy clothes and ran in cotton! Yikes!

And now to gear up for a really busy week, which includes getting my nutrition back on track.


Half Marathon Training: Week 5

After an awesome trip to San Diego and a PR race, this week was all about recovery.  I had an easy week and really didn’t run too much, which was good since work was crazy busy with local meetings and late dinners.

Monday: 20 minutes Foam Rolling & Stretching – Actual: 20 minutes of Yoga including about 5 min of foam rolling


Tuesday: 20 minutes Foam Rolling & Stretching – Actual: 20 minutes of stretching & lots of walking around in 3.5 inch heels


Wednesday: 60 minutes on bike – Actual: Happy National Running Day – 2.12 miles first thing in the morning 18:55 – 60 minutes on the bike, 20.3 miles, more walking around in 3.5 inch heels

National Running Day, I Run Because, June 4, 2014

Thursday: 30 minutes of strength training  – Actual 30 min: 2 sets of 12: Dead lifts, dumbell rows, bicep curls, tricep pushups, wood choppers, tricep dips, alternating near lunges with weights, jumping jacks, burpees, Russian Twist with weights (50), crunches (50) Reverse crunches (50) and 5 minutes of plank

Friday: Easy Recovery Run – Actual: 3.1 miles in 27:56 and stopped halfway to get cat food because I was too lazy to go the night before – oops 😉

Sunrise Run

Saturday: Rest Day – Actual: Took rest day, but did 30 squats too LOL

Sunday: 45 min run – Actual: 5.1 miles in 45:05

And now training starts back up in earnest, the first half of the SF Marathon is coming up soon.

Have a great week!

Half Marathon Training: Week 4

This week was an odd week, starting off with a holiday and then I was traveling pretty much the full week so I didn’t exactly adhere to my plan – oops ;).

Monday – Easy Recovery Run

I woke up with sore legs from the long run the day before and didn’t feel right so I decided to just skip the run this day and hung out in the pool for the majority of the day.

Tuesday – Rest Day

I took a red-eye to Atlanta so I was supposed to rest, but I ended up doing about 20-30 mins of yoga and then a nice 2.4 mi run on the treadmill in the afternoon between meetings.

Wednesday – 45 min run – 8:45/9:00 min pace

Ended up doing 53 mins – 5.7 miles – 9.20min pace – includes a 1/4 mile walk in mile 3.  It was super hilly & 100% humidity. Oh and I walked and was on my feet in 4 in heels from 7am until 11:30pm 🙂

Humid, Run, Buckhead, Georgia, May, 2014
This is what it looks like after a super humid run – my hair was straight before I left!!

Thursday – Rest Day

I actually did not exercise per say – but I was on my feet in those darn heels again – LOL – from 6:45p until I changed at the airport around 4:30p.

Friday – Easy Run – 9-10:00 pace, sprinkle in 2 minute pick ups to race pace effort x 4-5.

This didn’t happen, instead I worked, rode in the car for 5.5 hours and then walked the RnR San Diego expo.

Saturday – Walk around expo a bit, keep legs loose

Actual: 3 mile run with Meb (so much fun, recap coming) – I forgot to turn on my Garmin until late so I only registered 2.82 miles, 25:09, 8:54 average pace.  Walking around La Jolla & then Little Italy area of SD.

Hanging out in La Jolla Cove
Hanging out in La Jolla Cove
San Diego Marina
San Diego Marina

Sunday – Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon

I finally, after 18 half marathons, achieved goal #1 for my half marathon training!!  I ran my first sub 2 hour race. Recap coming on that!

Now, my next goal is to conquer the hills of San Francisco in about 7 weeks.

Half Marathon Training – Week 3

Week 3 didn’t exactly go as planned, I was pretty tired after 2 weekends of back to back runs.  I was sore and could definitely feel that I hadn’t taken a full rest day.

Beautiful skies all week
Beautiful skies all week

So here’s the week in review – One week until the Rock n’ Roll San Diego 1/2 Marathon.

Monday – Easy Recovery Run – 35:24, 3.35 miles total – 10:33 average – 1.25 mi run, .5 mi walk, 1.25 mi run, .35 walk

Tuesday – Strength Training – 30 min

3 sets of 12 reps with 8 lb DB (dumbbells) DB Squats DB Chest Press DB Chest Fly Deadlifts DB tricep kickbacks/extensions DB bicep curl DB alternating lunges DB lateral raise (5lb) DB shoulder press (5lb) Crunches Reverse Crunches Low bicycles Double leg raises

Wednesday – Tempo Run, 45 min total, 15 min warm-up, 20 min “comfortably hard”, 10 min cool-down.  Actual: Total 5.39 miles, 57:38, first 4.10 miles 8:50 average, walked the last 1.29 miles.

I don’t know what it is about the Tempo Runs, but they are sooo hard for me. And my legs were dead by this point.

Unscheduled Rest = Yoga & a kitty making sure I'm doing it right :)
Unscheduled Rest = Yoga & a kitty making sure I’m doing it right 🙂

Thursday – was supposed to be 45 min run around 8:45/9 min pace.  Actual: unscheduled rest day & 20 min of yoga

No hills mean using what you do have - Pedestrian overpasses
No hills mean using what you do have – Pedestrian overpasses

Friday – Hill repeats – Actual: 35 min, 12 repeats up the pedestrian overpasses, run up & walk down, 1 mi warm up & cooldown Total: 3.07 miles  Legs felt better but still a bit tight

Saturday – Scheduled rest day with foam rolling & stretching – Actual: 50 min deep tissue massage, 4.15 mile hike thru Sabino Canyon in Tucson.

Hiking, Sabino Canyon, Tucson, Arizona, springtime
Hiking in Sabino Canyon near Tucson

Sunday – 1:40 min run, 15 min warm-up, 60 min at 8:50 pace, 20 min at 8:45 pace, 5 min cool-down. Actual: 1:39:26, 11:01 miles, 9:02 average.  9:24, 9:17, 8:51, 9:04, 9:01, 8:46, 9:10, 9:14, 9:11, 8:29, 8:54.

As you can see I had a hard time maintaining pace this morning.  I woke up with sore legs and while it wasn’t a problem at first, it was a challenge to get down under 9 min miles most of the run.  Although, based on today’s run, I am on pace to achieve my goal so I’m happy.  Now to see what happens next week :).

Weekly Totals:

23 miles running, 4 miles hiking, 30 min strength training, 10 min stretching


Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 – 2

I mentioned this in my last post but I’ve decided to focus on my half marathon time for the rest of the year and focus on getting stronger and hopefully faster before training for my next marathon.

I’ve worked with 3 different coaches over the last year and a half and I think I’ve finally found someone who is going to be the best fit for my goals, etc.  It also helps that for the first time in a long time, I’m finally mostly healthy so I can actually focus on things other than just endurance.  Focusing on the half marathon for an extended period of time, gives me a lot more flexibility in my workouts, I don’t have to worry about doing 20+ mile runs in the extreme heat this year – yea!!

Now why do I work with a coach?  I equate it to having a personal trainer, someone there who will motivate me, push me and keep me accountable.  I have run a lot of races, so could I do my own training plan? Sure, but I really like having someone with more experience do it for me.

My newest coach, is also my physical therapist and thus, knows me and my injuries well so I think that it is a pretty good fit.

My schedule is given to me via an app/website called Training Peaks, at first I wasn’t very impressed, but now that I’ve started using it pretty consistently, I like it.  I can download my workouts from my Garmin.

Week 1 (May 5 – 11)

Sunrise Run

Mon: Easy Recovery Run 30 min – I did 2.85 mi in 31:17 – tried to keep low heartrate but didn’t succeed – ended up walking a lot to keep it down

Tues: 30 minute Core Work out

Wed: 45 min run – negative splits – 5.08 mi – 9:09, 9:08, 8:57, 8:48, 8:22 and then 7:45 for the .08 mi

Thur: 30 min Leg Strengthening Workout – 3 sets of 12

Fri: Rest Day

Sat: Night Run 10K – Read more about that here 🙂

Sun: 75 min run 9:30 – 10 min pace – actual 7.86 mi – 10:07, 9:47, 9:39, 9:39, 9:37, 9:23, 9:18, last .86 8:57

Total: 22 miles running, 60 min cross training

Week 2 (May 12 – 18)

midrun selfie

Mon: Rest Day

Tues: Tempo Run – didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to – I wanted to run on the treadmill at work, but they were all full so I went outside, my Garmin says it was only 84 but it felt way hotter and so windy.  I ended up walking a lot so 5.01 miles 45:01

Wed: 30 min Negative Split Run – 3.46 mi – 9:16, 8:46, 8:16, last .46 8:04

Thur: Strength Workout: 30 minutes – 3 x 12 reps of each of these :

Squats, One arm rows, modified push-ups, overhead presses, bicep curls, burpees, tricep dips, crunches, reverse crunches, side arm plank with hip touch, tick tocks, superman

Fri: Was supposed to be spin class but I don’t belong to a gym so I used my dad’s total gym bike for 50 min/18.3 mi

Sat: Hill Repeats – 2.3 mi warm-up, 1.78 mi hill repeats (90 sec up, 3 min down) x 6, 2 mile cool-down walk

Sun: 75 min run 9:30 – 10 min pace – again a bit faster than I was supposed to be – negative splits 9:41, 9:44, 9:23, 9:09, 9:13, 8:54, 8:54, 8:28, last .2 8:11

Totals: 20.5 mi run, 18.3 mi bike, 30 min strength workout

All in all both weeks went well.  My legs are tired, but I feel really good, surprisingly good. Now let me find some wood to knock on – LOL. A little recovery in & by the pool and I’m ready to start week 3 🙂




Marathon Training

I leave today to travel to the Eternal City, Rome, Italy for my 3rd marathon.  I’m both excited and nervous. All 3 marathon training cycles have been wrought with a few Burnt Toast moments…

My first marathon was supposed to be the New York City Marathon in 2012.  I trained, tapered, went to NYC, actually managed to pick up my packet & number and then returned home after the race was cancelled.

I managed to get into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney Marathon, but tweaked my knee in an extreme downhill race in Fountain Hills, AZ about a month before the race, and even worse, I went out for a short run 2 weeks before the race and felt like my foot was broken.  So forced taper it was, but I was able to run the race and even better felt better after the marathon than I did before!! Who would have thought?

20th anniversary disney marathon

Considering it was 85 degrees and about 80% humidity, and I was still in minor pain 2 days before the race, I was pretty happy with my time of 5:09.  I ran walked using 1:1 intervals and walked most of mile 25 before running it in.

Then I ran 3 more half marathons in 6 weeks and ended up with plantar fasciitis.  Big suprise there. 🙂

I claimed my NYC entry for 2013 and started training.  I upped my run/walk interval – I’m a huge fan of Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run method (more on that in a future post) – to 2:1, got a coach & a nutritionist and was determined to drop my marathon time.  As I ran thru the summer and got closer to my second marathon, a disturbing trend was developing…the hamstring pain that was previously just a minor nag, was becoming more and more of an annoyance and not just when I was running.  It was starting to become where I was in pain the majority of my day.  I continued running, as we runners do, and did in fact run the  2013 ING (last year for ING) New York City Marathon with over 50,000 other runners.  It was absolutely amazing and I dropped 35 minutes from my first marathon!!  This was doing 2:1 intervals pretty much the whole way, although, I did do a bit more walking in mile 18 before getting my act back together & finishing strong.

NYCM 13 Post Race Photo

Fast forward to now…I’ll post more on my hamstring again in future posts. I started training for the Rome Marathon on January 1 and 12 weeks later will run marathon #3.  This time, after dealing with my hamstring and doing PT, getting a new coach, etc. it was determined that the run/walk/run method that I loved was causing me more pain. So I started running straight after 2 months off.

Running is never easy, but when you are so used to one method, a new one is even harder.  11.5 weeks later and I still struggle to not walk during a run, short or long.  I know I am capable but the run/walk/run mindset was one that I religiously practiced for almost 3 years.

I will never forget the first time in over a year, I when I ran completely pain free!!  It was such an amazing feeling and almost weird having had some sort of pain during every run all thru 2013.

I have been so incredibly fortunate to be able to run all of my marathons so far in amazing places.  Walt Disney World, New York City and now Rome.  In the end, as much as I have time goals and to run a certain way, I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to do this and not only that, I get to do it in amazing places!!

Do you like to travel for races?