Monday, March 20, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 14}

Another week full of being stressed out at work and super busy. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, but it might be a train.

Motivation

On Sunday I ran the March Madness Half marathon. Spoiler alert: I got a PR by 2 minutes. It was completely unexpected and awesome and wow. More on that in another post.


crappy "photo of my medal in the parking lot because I didn't have my squad with me" selfie

Workouts

Despite being swamped at work again due to changes, I had one of my highest mileage weeks (running wise) again.

One of the things Ive been working on the past few weeks is to take my easy runs much easier. After reading Pete's blog about 80/20 running, I decided to be more mindful about my pace during runs. Sometimes "easy" is 8:30's for me, yet that's only 35 seconds slower than my marathon PR pace. Lately Ive been taking easy runs at 9:00+ a mile and find I'm more rested and have more energy.

I just ordered the book 80/20 by Matt Fitzgerald and look forward to reading it in my limited spare time.


The highlight of this week of workouts was my speed sesh consisting of a fartlek where I alternated each song at a fast pace 7:20-30 followed with a song at a slow pace of 8:30. The other highlight was my new half PR.

Training Plan



Monday- easy 6 miles @ 9:13 pace

Tuesday- Fartlek every other song @ 7:30-20, with 2x400's @ 6:30 pace

Wednesday- 3.25 miles @ 9:30 pace

Thursday- 7 miles @ 9:18 pace

Friday- 3 miles with the pup (11:33), 3.75 miles @ 9:25 pace

Saturday- 10 miles progressive avg 8:20 pace

Sunday- 13.1 miles 1:42.34 avg 7:49

Goals and Stuff

After Sunday's half, I'm much more confident that I can run a sub 3:30 in Boston. I felt good enough on the hills and will continue doing body weight exercises and stairs post hard efforts.

Other

I ran outside with CBdog on Friday after work. Runs like these make me super happy- I remember the days we used to run 18 miles in Alameda, CA together when he was 6. Now 3 miles is our limit since he is 12 and it takes a toll on his body.


I really need to run outside more. When I'm outside, I love running along the lakefront. But sometimes (most days) it's hard for me to get out there. I hate the cold and how it makes my hands hurt despite having some really nice gloves. I also can't get all the crime I read about out of my head. But on the other hand, running inside my hot gym is great Heat acclimatization in case Boston is a sauna.

Looking Forward

I'm going to make an effort to run outside this week.

I also need to be more mindful of what I'm eating. Ive cut back on alcohol, but need to stop binging on food. I'm much better than I was, but need to stick with proper portion sizes and drink more water.



13 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

28 Days to go until BOSTON!






-Xaarlin

Monday, March 13, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Weeks 12 & 13}

These past 2 weeks have been a blur. Some major changes at work brought stress and added hours- but looking back, it was good to keep working out so I wouldn't focus too much on work or obsess about running.

Motivation

I posted this pic on my IG last week and ended up winning a pink ticket to Mikkeller Beer Celebration. As a result, we started looking into flights to CPH, And now we are headed back to Copenhagen for the 3rd time. I'm really excited to see all of our friends and eat good Danish foods, and drink amazing beer.


Workouts

Week 12 was better than week 13. I just felt more put together. Week 13 had a lot more stress + early AM meetings so working out before work was limited. (And I have no desire to work out when I get home)


The highlight of week 12 was 7x800's @ 3:20 (6:40 pace). I felt great. Another highlight was 6x1200's @ 7:30 pace in the middle of my 12 mile long run on Saturday.


Week 13 was ok. I didn't cycle at all. I took 2 rest days- which is unusual for me. Monday I was tired, and had a 7am meeting- so Morning workout was out. Friday I felt kind of sick in the morning so I decided to wait until the afternoon for a workout. During the course of the day on Friday, my left foot started hurting pretty bad- it came out of nowhere. I was convinced the side of it was swollen, and each step hurt pretty bad. Saturday morning, I woke up and was fine. Dafuq.


The highlight of week 13 was 4x1.5 miles @ 7:30 pace. I felt really strong during this workout. The low light of this week? How about low lights: Feeling sick on Friday, my foot hurting randomly, and cutting my 16 miler to 11 because I didn't feel good. Oh well.

Goals and Stuff

I still feel on track for a sub 3:30 finish. I also need to run outside again some time soon so I can have additional confidence. (At the minimum I'll run outside on Sunday) I should probably do more with hill type stuff, but for now the squats and jumping squats and squat press with 25lb weights and all the stairs I take seem enough.

I also need to buy a fresh pair of kicks for the marathon. My neon Newton Distance shoes only have 180 miles on them, but I'd prefer to have a newer pair for Boston and beyond.

Other

I cooked posole soup in the slow cooker this week and it came out really good! Pic didn't do it justice so you'll have to imagine a rich broth with hominy and a little spice.

Looking Forward

Ive got my first race of the year this Sunday- the March Madness Half. I don't plan on "racing" it for a time due to the crazy elevation profile, but I do plan to give a good effort to see where I'm at.


My Daad won a pair of glasses at a 5k recently and sent them to me. The dog promptly called dibs and loves them.

6 Days to go until March Madness Half

20 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

35 Days to go until BOSTON!






-Xaarlin

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 11}

This week got off to a slow start. Due to all the hill running in TN, my ankles and lower legs were hurting for a few days- so I had to delay my speed sesh to later in the week. This week was nothing to write home about.

Motivation

When we were in Tennessee, my mom gave me this sweet bracelet. It really captures all of my 2016 athletic achievements. I love how it was custom made for me- All World Athlete, and also has my IM Wisconsin time on a charm. The water bottle represents swimming, (it's not a beer bottle, lol) because there was no swimmer charm. I love it so much.


Workouts

This week went ok. I imploded by the end of the week due to work and life, but redeemed it with my longest run this year on Sunday.


Training Plan

Monday- easy 4 mile run
Tuesday- easy 4 mile run, 8.25 mile cycle
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 2x1200's @ 5:00, 3x800's @ 3:20 for 7 miles total running
Friday- 6 mile run, 11.17 mile cycle
Saturday- rest- dehydrated/hungover
Sunday- 16 mile run, 21.8 mile cycle


I was really upset on Saturday morning that I couldn't run due to feeling super shitty- I had a few drinks Friday night and must have been dehydrated. Last week was awful for many reasons and all I can do is start the next week fresh and with a positive mindset. Ive only got 6 more big weeks left before taper- I just need to put my head down and do the work.

Goals and Stuff

I feel in much better shape than last year. 6:40 pace for my speed work feels much more comfortable than I would have thought- but that's just consistency. I remember early on how 400's @ 6:40 would leave my legs feeling sore for a few days, now after a speed sesh, my legs feel little to no soreness.

Sub 3:30 for Boston is still my goal. I'm feeling good.

Other
I went to my favorite Chicago beer festival on Saturday- "Uppers and Downers." All the beer had coffee in it.


Meal planning is still going well. I made a pasta recipe out of my vegetarian cookbook to eat for a few days. Roasted peppers, balsamic, OJ and feta.


For lunch I made the white bean salad again out of Racing Weight.


No scones this week, although I do have a batch in the freezer to eat. For breakfast this week I'm eating toast with cottage cheese and apricot jam. Because, variety.

Looking Forward

I really need to run outside. I don't know what my hangup is, but I need to run outside more.

Continuing to eat well, and drink less alcohol is also high on my list. I want to give the remainder of this training cycle a good solid effort, and I don't want it to be sabotaged by poor choices.

18 Days to go until March Madness Half

32 Days to go until Shamrock Shuffle

47 Days to go until BOSTON!




-Xaarlin

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!

Motivation
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.


Workouts

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.

Other

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!




-Xaarlin

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)

Motivation

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}


Workouts

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.

Other

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!




-Xaarlin

Friday, February 3, 2017

Boston Marathon Training {Week 7}


Motivation


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.

Workouts

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.

Other

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!





-Xaarlin

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.

Motivation

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.


Workouts

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.




Other

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!





-Xaarlin