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.


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.


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.

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!


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!