Monthly Archives: January 2012

Week 8

This week wasn’t anything unusual – in fact, everything went pretty smoothly. My weekday runs went well, except for some low-motivation on Thursday. For my 15-miler this week I was at home instead of in Charlottesville and I felt like I hadn’t done a really long run here in awhile. Saturday I got up, had breakfast, relaxed, then went to Panera Bread to get some “fuel” for my run. I had a delicious cinnamon raisin swirl bagel with cream cheese about half an hour before my run (as well as half of a Gu Jet Blackberry gross, this flavor didn’t do it for me), then I was ready to go!

The weather was BEAUTIFUL, it really doesn’t feel like January (in fact, last weekend was the only weekend so far in my training that has actually felt like winter). It was around 50 degrees, I was on short sleeves, shorts, and sunglasses! I wanted to finish around 3:00 (3 hours), and finished in about 2:40, which to be honest was a little on the fast side in terms of  my own personal pacing. It’s interesting when people ask me how long it took me to run a certain distance, because I always want to preface it with the fact that I wasn’t RACING on these long runs, and I could run faster than that if I was racing/had to run away from a wild animal. But when you’re training, you’re supposed to run at a pace of around 60 to 90 seconds slower than your race pace per mile, that way you get your body used to spending that much time moving on your feet and that many miles before trying to run the distance for time. (Finding your race pace is calculated based on past race times and tells you how hard you should train for other distances to get better and faster while avoiding doing too much too soon and probably getting hurt in the process.) I won’t bore you with any more statistics or anything, but moral of that tangent was that, I am trying to train smart so that I can get to the marathon start line without injury. Anyways, I digress…

An additional short side note though, the Gu I tried, Chocolate Raspberry Roctane (with 2x the caffeine) was pretty darn good! I had it at around 1:50 (hour and 50 mins) into my run, and it honestly tasted JUST like the delicious raspberry brownies that my boyfriend’s dad makes! Mmmmm! I had a flashback to eating one (or two, or three…) of those brownies at their house not too long ago. To be honest, I’m sure the Gu tasted extra delicious because I needed the nourishment at the time, so I’m sure my judgement was a little clouded at the time! If I had to choose between a raspberry brownie or the Chocolate Raspberry Gu for dessert, you bet I’d choose the brownie, I’m not stupid! 🙂

After my run, I had another delicious Panera bagel, that I had gotten that morning – I’m so sneaky, I had gotten two bagels – this time a whole grain bagel with hazelnut cream cheese – mmmm! Oh, and a glass of chocolate milk, of course! 🙂 My legs started to feel tired (not sore, not hurting, just tired) by the end of the run, but I definitely felt like I could’ve kept going if I wanted to. In fact, I always end up finishing my weekend long runs with the last mile a little faster than all the others, mostly cause I’m so pumped for having just run that far. As long as I make sure I don’t overdo it (and compromise my training pace too much), I’d say I deserve this little “victory” portion of my runs from time to time!

And as a look ahead… this coming week will be the halfway point of my 18-week training plan! According to the training plan, I should be running a half marathon this coming weekend, and this technically means a race, not just run 13.1 miles. Since there aren’t many half marathons happening in Virginia in February (since it’s SUPPOSED to be cold…), I’ll most likely just be doing my own personal time trial race 0 and after that, bring on the increasing miles!!!


Week 6 + Week 7

So this week’s post is a 2-for-1, with both weeks 6 and 7, because I was away on vacation for a long weekend and was being technology-free for the most part! This was the first time in my training that I’ve had to modify any of my workouts (not counting my lack of crosstraining) – which is pretty impressive given that things were bound to come up sooner or later.

My long run for week 6 was only 9 miles (compared to 11-12 miles in weekends past) because it was “cut-back” week – yay! Luckily this run coincided with a vacation I was taking with my boyfriend and his family. My boyfriend Matt and I drove (8+ hours) on Saturday, so I moved my long run to the next day. I probably should’ve run outside since it was so nice out – but for a few reasons I decided to just do it on the treadmill. For one, it was SUPER flat where I was, so it wouldn’t have given me any benefit to go outside. Usually I like my long runs to be outside so I can work on real hills, and not just the incline on the treadmill – but in this case, it didn’t really matter.

Me, Matt, Zach, and Caitlin on the beach!

Also, I wanted to do my run indoors because for once I actually got to go to the gym with people – Matt and his good friend Zach and his girlfriend Caitlin! This literally never, ever happens! All my training I’ve always had to do alone, so I was excited about that – they were so awesome and did some cardio and then a lot of circuit work and weights while I ran. By the time they went to the snack bar to wait for me, I only had about a mile and a half left. It was really nice to do my run with people, even though they didn’t literally run with me.

The best part (besides from a few of the post-run Buffalo wings I stole from Matt at the snack bar) was that after we all left the snack bar, we were walking down the stairs to leave and Zach says to me, “man, I bet your legs are sore!” but Matt thought he was talking to him, and since he isn’t a gym-goer, he replied, “yeah, a little bit.” It gave us all a good laugh since I was the one who had just ran 9 miles! It still makes me laugh just thinking about it, and I hope Matt won’t be embarrassed that I’m calling him out (too late now!)

Ahhh, vacation!

For week 7, I started a little off-schedule since we left North Carolina on Tuesday morning to head back to Virginia. Technically, I could have fit in my 4 mile run at some point on Tuesday night, but instead ordered pizza with Matt and watched ‘Unstoppable’ on TV (that movie is intense, holy moly!) – I was still in vacation mode.

So I decided to do Tuesday’s run on Wednesday and Wednesday’s run on Thursday (and not worry about the 4 miles that were schedule for Thursday). I figure it wouldn’t be worth doing the 4 miles on Friday the day before my longest run to date.

Since I would be running in my marathon town of Charlottesville on Saturday Sunday, I packed quite literally every possible variation of running clothing and accessories that I could (but of course managed to somehow forget a sports bra even though I had 5 different shirt and jacket options, 2 pants options, and 2 sock options. Matt took me to Old Navy to buy a new one, he saved the day!)

Saturday in Charlottesville there was a winter weather advisory and it was talking about traveling with caution and watching the icy trees and power lines. I decided I didn’t want to be involved in that.. so I switched my run to Sunday.

14 miles, that’s 0.9 miles farther than my longest run ever (a half marathon, 13.1 miles). I was nervous/anxious/excited. Sunday morning I woke up around 8:30am and IT WAS SNOWING! But luckily it wasn’t slick outside and the snow wasn’t sticking to much of anything, but still, I have never run in snow before. By the time I was all fueled up on Bodo’s bagels and Gu gel, it was mostly just cold rain. It was definitely a scenic run though with all the ice/snow on the trees, and even though it was around 35 degrees out, there were a lot of people out running, which I don’t get much of where I live. Charlottesville is my Graceland, as Matt would say. I ran in a few of my Christmas presents as well – my pink Lululemon shirt from my boyfriend’s family, my wool socks from my parents, and my sunglasses from my Grampa (mostly to keep the rain and cold air out of my eyes). All in all, I was proud to get 14 miles in in 2 hours and 30 minutes – extending the amount of time I spend running is amazing, I never could’ve done this a year ago – I only stopped once at the Aquatic Center on campus to go to the bathroom real quick and refill my water bottle (around mile 6), but didn’t lose any time.

Things I learned on my 14 mile run today: (1) I need a new running playlist, (2) I need some more water bottles for my fuel belt, and (3) I am much better at snot rockets out of my RIGHT nostril compared to my left. Amazing knowledge.

Sunday morning before my run!

And congratulations to my sweetheart who started his last semester of grad school this past week! Way to go Matt!

We woke up at 7 am to leave NC... Matt wasn't thrilled. But we DO love coordinating in our red coats 24/7.

Week 5

Nothing very eventful happened this week – just went about my workouts as usual. Unfortunately the TVs in the gym were broken on all 4 treadmills which was sort of a bummer (I’ve been loving watching Law & Order while running, it makes me forget I’m even running). So Tuesday and Wednesday’s treadmill runs with no TV – I tried watching a movie on my iPad on Wednesday while running, but it just wasn’t working – I needed my music too (normally I watch the TV with captions and listen to music). Without the beat, it was hard to keep a good rhythm.

On Thursday for my 3 mile run, I decided that since it was only about 47 degrees outside after work, that I’d try out my head lamp that I got for Christmas! It worked really well! I definitely got some looks, but luckily it was dark so it’s not like anyone would’ve been able to see who I was. I think I would’ve liked it a little more if I had a running buddy, since in general running when it’s getting dark isn’t all that… heart-warming. But I stick to populated areas with heavy traffic, so that was good, but I’m not sure when I’ll be doing that again next – maybe the next time I’m at my parent’s house where it’s more residential neighborhoods.

On Saturday after dropping my boyfriend off at the train station, I got ready for my 12 mile long run. It was about 56-60 degrees outside, sunny, a little bit breezy – just perfect spring weather… in January… hmmm, well, I’m all for it! Since I’ve never trained for anything during the winter I can’t say for sure BUT, I feel like this has been a lucky training season so far for me with this great weather. I was worried in the beginning about training through December, January, February – but December is already gone, and I’ve gotten one week of January out of the way too and I haven’t frozen on a long run yet!

I tried Gu again today, this time I tried Tri-Berry – it was decent, but I definitely like chocolate better. I don’t think I’d buy Tri-Berry for myself, but I would eat it if it was the only thing available. Next week or the week after I’ll probably try either the Vanilla Bean or the Espresso 🙂

In other beauty news, I have acquired a lovely blood blister on the inside of my arch on my right foot. [Picture at the bottom – don’t look if you don’t like runner feet! Who does, right?!] It’s not particularly painful, just annoying. You can also see a regular blister forming in the exact same spot on the opposite foot. Hmmm… I’m going to have to figure out what is going on here. Some possible explanations: I need new shoes (worn down cushioning), my socks are not tight enough, my socks don’t have enough cushioning, or my running form was slacking (causing my foot to slide) – those seem to be the big ones I can think of. I’ve used the same shoe – Mizuno Wave Alchemy – since I started doing races, but I’m on my second pair right now. I wore these shoes (the older model) when I did my half marathon and didn’t have any issue with blisters (but I did lose a toenail…) so it’ll take a bit of trial and error to figure out the cause and how to alleviate it. Hopefully I figure it out before they start to hurt or get worse!

Blood blister... boo

Close up

Next week is “cut-back” week which means my long run isn’t as long, allowing for my body to rest up and recover – looking forward to it!