Monday, February 20, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Weeks 9 & 10}

Work has been busy and stressful and everything, so this dumb blog gets put on a shelf until I have time to put some word vomit together. Now that I'm stuck on a plane for an hour, Ive got some time. The past 2 weeks have been solid workout wise- nothing superior or terrible, just been simply chugging along with consistency. Also, I'm now more than 1/2 way through this 18 week cycle!

A few weeks ago I ran and saw "Jesus geese." This always makes me smile. I also ran around Northerly Island for the first time this year which also made me very happy.

Crushing ALL THE HILLz in my mom's hood also made me happy. (No literally I ran down and walked up every hill in my mom's sub division). My legs (specifically my lower legs) have some soreness, but slowly knocking out 12+ minute miles like NBD on some super hilly streets for 2700' of gain and loss over 3 days was fun. Day 1= 6 miles, Day 2 = 8 miles, Day 3= 10 miles. It also made me realize that I should not go all out for hills when I don't train on them normally. Also, walking up hills is faster than running up them.


Nothing to write home about either week. I just put my head down and did the work. I nailed my 6x800's @ 3:20 during this week- they felt so easy and I almost wanted to do a few extra.

This past week I was supposed to do 3x 1 mile @ 6:40, but after 1 mile I felt super overheated so I ended up with 1 mile at 6:40, and 4x 800's at 3:15 to make up for it.

Training Plan

So far so good. I didn't cycle much this past week because I was in Tennessee and didn't bring Mortadella with me. I did run more outside which was awesome- and I look forward to running outside more in Chicago this week too.

Spring has sprung a month early in TN.

Goals and Stuff

Sub 3:30 still seems very achievable for Patriot's day. I need to continue with hills, but there's no reason to over do it like I did this past weekend- Newton hills and heartbreak aren't bad like the Loudon hills. Ive got this for sure.


This book is great. I haven't finished it yet, but everyone should read it. More about it another time.

I made scones for my mom and she loved them! I know CB was super jelly he couldn't have them- but he's been living large at boarding the past few days.

We made a double batch of scones last week before leaving so we would have a bunch when we returned.

Looking Forward

Continue with hillz, eat well and drink alcohol less. Yoga, cycling and possibly swimming are also things I'll be doing.

It was nice to get away for the weekend and see my mom and family in TN, now it's time to get back to reality and work and everything. Yay.

26 Days to go until March Madness Half

40 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

55 Days to go until BOSTON!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 8}

With almost being halfway through training, I'm surprised at how mentally fresh I feel towards training- especially given how I usually do 10 week training plans (after a solid base build). I think part of it has to do with being super busy at work. The other part has to do with not being OMG obsessed with running- it's a hobby which I enjoy, but doesn't pay the bills or make relationships better (especially if I only talk about running). Managing time and being balanced is great! (Duh)


This past Saturday we celebrated 2 years of Mikkeller Running Club Chicago! I'm so thankful for the community of folks that show up each 1st Saturday and all the friendships created. Join us for our next run on March 4 at the Northdown. Info {HERE}


This week went ok. The cold weather really impacts my ability (and or desire) to run outside. If it weren't for the raynauds (and how it makes my hands hurt so bad even at 50 deg) or when it's below 20 degrees (which makes me feel "off" the rest of the day if I run outside) I'd run outside a lot more. But, while I miss cruising the lakefront, I know that indoor training will help me with being more acclimated to warmer temps- especially if Patriot's Day is not in the 30's.

Training Plan

The highlight of the week was celebrating the second anniversary of my running club. The low point of the week was either running inside for all the other runs, or amending my speed sesh from the plan of 3x1600's to 5x1200's. I got into my head too much and felt a little off so I backed off on the interval distances, but still completed the same total distance in the plan.

Monday- easy 4 mile run, 8 mile cycle

Tuesday- 10 mile cycle

Wednesday- 8 mile speed sesh. 5x1200's at 6:40 pace

Thursday- Rest

Friday- Easy 6 mile run, 10 mile cycle

Saturday- 10 mile run, 5 mile cycle, 3 miles with MRC

Sunday-7 mile run, 9 mile cycle

Goals and Stuff

Still feeling on track for a sub 3:30. I'll feel even more confident once I can get a few more longer runs outside.


Meal planning is going well. I made Shalane's Superhero Muffins from "Run Fast, Eat Slow" this week. They were super delicious but had a lot of ingredients. I still am obsessed with the scones and their simplicity.

I also made the white bean salad from "Racing Weight" and enjoyed that for lunch.

Looking Forward

Continue with all the hill stuff I'm doing- and take it up a notch. Luckily I'll be going to a "hill running retreat" for a few days soon. But most importantly, I'll get to see family in a few weeks. I think running in a hilly place will help me get more motivated to do better with hills when I return to Chicago.

Also, rainbow pooping Unicorns!! But have no fear, I don't wear these leggings or the owl slippers out of the house. I just can't get onboard with "athlesiure" when jeans and a nice shirt and shoes look so much more put together. That's probably the customer facing side of me speaking. Thank you work. Related somewhat: I graduated last week from a Leadership Development Program at my company- it took 6 months of meetings and homework and culminated in a 30 minute presentation I had to give to upper management which was well received. #nailedit

I'm excited Training is going well and will continue to take it day by day or workout by workout and not get overwhelmed.

36 Days to go until March Madness Half

50 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

65 Days to go until BOSTON!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 7}


I joined the Lululemon Strava challenge at the beginning of the year. I don't usually care too much about the challenges I join because all you end up with is virtual badges should you complete a certain mileage or elevation on outdoor activities only. Since it's cold and dark out, I have no problem or guilt running inside (plus heat acclimation FTW!) When the challenge ended I was surprised to see that I qualified to get a free shirt from Lulu for completing 40km over 2 weeks- had I completed 80km outdoors, I would have also qualified to get a free pair of shorts.

I decided to get this cool black and gray shirt, and also bought a pair of snazzy shorts. I'll definitely pay more attention to branded Strava challenges in the future.


This week went much better than the previous week. I got back into a nice routine with working out and felt pretty good. The highlight of my week was completing a ladder workout- 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400. When I consulted my Hanson book to see which paces I would need to run this workout at, I was shocked to see it was to be run all at the same pace!

I should have known this would be the case because each week the speedwork would get a little longer, but the pace would remain at the initial pace chosen for the 400's in week 2. I was full of anxiety about this workout and believed there was no way I could maintain 6:40 pace for anything beyond the 800. But, I was wrong. It felt amazing to be able to complete this workout and was a huge confidence booster.

Training Plan

Monday- Easy 4 mile run, easy 6 mile cycle

Tuesday- 15 mile cycle

Wednesday- Ladder all intervals @ 6:40 pace. 9 mile run

Thursday- Easy 4 mile run

Friday- 6 mile run, 10 mile cycle

Saturday- 8 mile run, 5:00 stairs- 25 floors

Sunday- 14 mile run with 7x5:00 @ 7:30 pace, 5:00 stairs- 27 floors

Goals and Stuff

I feel on track for a sub 3:30 marathon. I still believe that I'm in a better place physically now, than I was last year this time while training for Carmel.

Hill workouts are starting to happen- I did 10 minutes on the stair stepper last week which kicked my ass. I'll continue to increase duration and intensity of hills- especially with some repeats outside pending weather.


I made Shalane's "Run Fast Eat Slow" lemon blueberry scones for the 4th time. They are so easy to make and are so tasty!

Looking Forward

I really need to not psyche myself out over speedwork. The anxiety I put myself through beforehand is ridiculous- once I get going, I feel good. I really need to remove the self doubt and just embrace the uncomfortable during these hard workouts.

I need to do more JasYoga. It clears my head and helps me feel better.

Also: MOAR Hills hills hills. My first race of the year is coming up in March, and I want to be prepared for the hilly course and see where I'm at for Boston.

43 Days to go until March Madness Half

57 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

72 Days to go until Boston!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 6}

I was riding a wave of momentum from the past 2 weeks and then I crashed hard into the wall Tuesday with a stomach bug. Oh well, a little (4 days) rest never killed anyone.


In my groggy, mad that I felt like shit state, I put my name into the lottery for the NYC marathon. I'd love to run it again- and this year would mark the 15th anniversary of my first marathon- which was the NYCM. Although the more I look into logistics and everything, there is a chance I'll take my name out of the drawing before it even happens because {I am over analyzing and} it is overwhelming me too much . But for now I'll keep my fingers crossed.


Tuesday morning I woke up feeling off with stomach distress and Wednesday I ended up going home from work to try to sleep it off. I didn't feel like rushing back to working out and setting myself further behind, so I waited until Saturday to run again.

Training Plan

Monday- easy 4 mile run + easy 7 mile cycle

Tuesday- Friday {REST}

Saturday- 8 mile progressive run

Sunday- 13 mile cycle immediately before 10 mile run containing 8x4min @ 7:30 pace

Since I missed Tuesday's speed sesh, I figured throwing in some faster stuff on the weekend would be good. I felt fresh and springy and had a lot of fun zooming up and down the lakefront in the 60 degree craziness on Saturday and the extreme fog on Sunday.

Goals and Stuff

I feel on track to be able to run a sub 3:30 comfortably in April. (Pending weather and everything). Compared to last year I think I'm in a better place athletically, and am excited to smash the next 12 weeks of training.


I changed it up this week and made a few recipes from the "Racing Weight" cook book.

Humpty Dumpty...

I made apple bran muffins and mushroom egg frittatas which were great for breakfast during the week. For lunch I stuck to bland foods because of being sick.

On Sunday we took the Cb dog to Dovetail Brewery and Begyle Brewery to celebrate his birthday. We had a great time with our friends and their pups.

Looking Forward

Continuing to meal plan and cut back on alcohol is priority for me. I also need to drink more water on the weekends, I do a great job during the week but fail when I'm at home. Also, hills.

82 Days to go!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 5}


I am an All World Athlete Bronze level for Ironman! By completing a full and a half IM, my combined points put me in the top 10% of my age group for the overall 2016 rankings. There's some perks for being AWA, like being recognized in the event program, priority bike racks and a special swim cap for the full distance- which makes me almost want to sign up for another 140.6 this year. Almost...


This week was mediocre- nothing exceptionally great or poor. If I had to pick a highlight, the 8 miler on Saturday would be it. Since Ive been running inside a lot, it felt great to run outside and enjoy the lakefront. The low point would have to be my speed sesh on Tuesday where I felt very hot. Another low point was having to run inside on Sunday after I ran with CB because the Raynaud's decimated my hands too much to go back outside.

I'm looking into better winter gloves but wonder if it's worth it to spend $60 on a pair- because I'll just run inside if it's below 25 anyways.

Training Plan

Monday- Easy 6 mile run
Tuesday- 5x 1k w/400 recovery 
                2x800 @ 3:30, 2x400 @ 1:45,1:40, 2x800 @ 3:30 + JasYoga "Run Your Core"
Wednesday- Rest    Easy 13.5 mile cycle
Thursday- 6 Mile tempo run  Easy 3 mile run
Friday- Easy 6 mile run  16.5 mile cycle
Saturday- Easy 6 mile run  Easy 8 mile run
Sunday- Easy 12 mile run. (4 mile with CB, 8 Miles inside including 5x1 min @7:00 pace)

7:49 Hours, 65 miles Total
35 mile running- 5:05
30 miles cycling- 2:21
22 min Yoga

Goals and Stuff

I feel like I'm still on track for a 3:25-3:30, although I feel even better now than I did last year at the same time. I zoomed up and down hills while I was outside, but haven't done any dedicated hill training yet. The stair machine in my gym is still broken, so I'll likely just start taking the stairs up to my place after workouts.


I'm now about 5lbs lighter and 2% leaner than when I started training. I owe this almost entirely to meal planning. For this week I made Shalane's Lemon Blueberry scones again and also the soba noodle salad- but changed up the ingredients a bit. I also made the peanut sauce from her book and I'm pretty much obsessed.
My Ombré game is strong in this outfit

Sunday was CB's 12th Birthday. We did an easy 4 mile run on the lakefront to celebrate. He insisted running on the ice on the side of the trail and looked so freaking happy. I love him so much.

Looking Forward

Hill training is a priority- especially since the half marathon I'm signed up for is a beast elevation wise. I need to add in more of my PT exercises with the resistance bands. I also need to be more positive if I swap an easy run for cycling. I guess that's one of the downfalls to having a training plan- I feel guilty if I amend it too much. I also want to do training right and feel good about the process vs most of my other training cycles where i felt like I could have done better.

90 Days to go until Boston!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {week 4}

This week was all about getting into a routine and good mindset with training that will carry me the next 14 weeks.


On Friday, it was 100 days until the BM! It is finally getting closer and more exciting, but there's still a lot of work to be done.


Monday- Easy 6,

Tuesday- 1x 800 @ 3:20, 4x400's @ 1:40, 3x400 @ 1:37, 1x400 @ 1:35. 7.07 miles total

Wednesday- Easy Cycle 15 miles, JasYoga "Optimal Hip Reset"

Thursday- Easy 4

Friday- 5 Mile Run

Saturday- 8 miles w/ 22x1 minute @ 7:30 pace, and 3.12 miles with #MRCChicago

Sunday- Easy 8 mile run

Training Plan

I deviated a bit from the plan I'm following.

Instead of Tuesday's scheduled 6x800's, I settled on 1x800, and 8x400's because I hadn't done more than a handful of speed sessions since the Carmel Marathon. 400's would be less taxing on the body- although they left me sore for a few days.

Wednesday was to be a rest day, but I opted to cycle easy to assist with recovery.

I didn't do the scheduled 6 mile tempo Thursday, and instead did a fartlek type workout Saturday when my legs were more recovered. For my Carmel training I would tempo a portion of each of my 2 back to back long runs- it worked really well so I'll continue to do this.

With any training cycle, I believe in amending as I go to fit my needs and recovery so that I stay healthy.

Goals and Stuff
Each week I evaluate how I feel and analyze what time goal I should be aiming for. Currently I'm training for a 3:25-3:30.

Starting next week I plan to incorporate hill training into a few of my workouts each week. I'll practice running hard on down hills, and also run hard up hills. I'll also use the stair machine at my gym.


For the first time in a while I did meal prep. I made a soba noodle salad out of Shalane's cookbook- which was enough for 4 large salads during the week. I also made lemon blueberry scones from her cookbook, "Run Fast, Eat Slow" for breakfast. As a result, I didn't eat out at all during the week- which is a huge contrast to the 3+ times a week I go out while at work. I feel much better, am 2+ lbs lighter and 1.2% leaner.

Looking Forward

I'm looking forward to continuing to find my training groove- and embrace speed work more. Pending the weather, I'd like to run more outside.

14 weeks from today is Boston!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Weeks 2 & 3}

Quick recap- during week 2 I got my wisdom teeth removed. So being a few grams lighter, I should totally smash all Strava segments and PR all the races in 2017!

In my post surgery haze, I bought some fresh kicks. Nike Pegasus shield, because they are awesome in the cold. No, really. They are awesome. And green and rose gold makes my heart flutter.

I also registered for a hilly half marathon. Perfect Boston training run.



After a great start to training in week 1, everything came to a screeching halt. On the Friday of week 2, I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. This was planned, and also a reason for doing a 20 week cycle- that I would have plenty of time to recover and train my ass off before race day.

Post wisdom teeth, I took a few days off for recovery before I got stir crazy and started walking on the treadmill. I was super lucky to not have much if any swelling, and very minimal pain. Walking on the treadmill made me feel better than slothing around on the couch- once I felt good enough to do so. I was very conservative with returning to running because recovery was number 1. And because I was terrified of dry socket.

Goals and Stuff
My only goal for weeks 2 & 3 was to recover from wisdom teeth surgery.

Sums up getting 4 teeth ripped out of my head. Written in the recovery room while still high AF from sedation

Having to eat only mushy food for a week helped with resetting my mindset towards food- I wasn't as active so I didn't feel the need to consume large quantities of food- which made me feel much much better. I also lost a few lbs, so that was cool too and made me feel marginally better. Body fat is still not budging.

Looking Forward
I'm excited to get back into training and start doing speedwork again! Yay!

102 Days to go!