Marathon Training Update

Ten weeks of training down, seven to go until marathon number two!

Let me start by sharing some of the challenges I’ve been facing with this training cycle:

  1. The heat and humidity: I prefer the spring/summer over winter any day of the week; however, running in the heat and humidity is not ideal. My Garmin watch tracks my heart rate zones- zone 1 basically being a walk at the park (literally) and zone 5 being high intensity. I’ve noticed that my outdoor runs get me into zone 4 a lot. My indoor runs, with sometimes faster pacing are actually in zone 3. Even though I do most of my runs early (like 6 AM early), it’s still warm enough and humid enough to affect the runs.
  2. The chafing: Things might be going over the TMI line here, but something tells me you’re going to keep reading. I am a sweater– I sweat. A lot. More than the average female in general, but especially when I work out. I know, I know, I’m painting a very beautiful picture of myself right now, but it’s the truth so deal with it. And with lots of heat and humidity, comes a lot of sweating and ultimately a lot of chafing. You know “thigh gap”? Yeah, I’m not familiar with her either, therefore I chafe and because I’m me, not just in the typical places- like my whole body. There’s been runs that when I’m finished, I am in more pain from the chafing than I am from the miles on my legs. And yes, I’ve learned to lather my entire body with vaseline before I go running, but once in a while I forget, and it stings and hurts really bad.
  3. It’s summer! And that means more events, more long weekends away, more stuff that requires me to rearrange my running schedule. When I trained for the marathon in January, February, March and April, I had almost nothing going on during those months, so weekends were pretty open to getting my runs in. This time around… not so much. I spent 4 days in NJ/upstate NY in August, and I have a bachelorette party on the weekend where I’m supposed to do one of the two 20-mile runs on my schedule. My kids are starting all their fall activities this week and some of those things fall on Saturday mornings. The Type A in me is freaking out because I can’t do the training plan exactly as it is laid out, but I’ll make it work one way or another.

As for things that are working quite well this time:

  1. My confidence in growing! Instead of getting a little anxious and nervous the night before my long run, I’m actually kind of excited. Every time I clock a long run (which I define as anything over 15 miles), I feel like a badass. I don’t dread it as much, my body recovers a lot quicker, and I feel pretty amazing overall.
  2. Running 5 days/week > 3-4 days/week. The ability to run 5 days/week has been game changing for me, as well. It allows me to get my mileage up without having to do 2 excruciatingly long runs over the weekend. I can spread out the mileage and not kill my legs. Plus, I’m able to build up my total mileage over time. I just came off the largest mileage week of the program- 44 miles, but I am going to up that mileage the next time around. My goal is to get to 40-60 miles/week comfortably the next time I train for a marathon.
  3. My gear game is on point. Thanks to Nick, I have all the gear I need and it’s all working really well- he got me a new backpack that not only holds water, but has tons of pockets which are great for the rest of my stuff- Blok Chews, phone, keys, GoGuarded handheld with pepper spray, etc. Plus, my RoadID bracelet. Basically, I look like a professional out there. (And don’t mess with me, because you will get sprayed in the face).
  4. I’m learning everything I can. I’m absorbing everything I can about running, training for marathons, types of training plans, etc. I’ve become a student of the sport. Anything I can read, listen to, or accounts I can follow, I’m in. I’m learning about running seasons, taking time off to recover, how to introduce speed training into my plan. You name it, I’m here for it. And spoiler alert: my training won’t stop at marathons… I see an ultramarathon in my future.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got today. I’ll probably do another check in as I begin my tapering in the beginning of October. That part of training is always tough. There’s a part of me that wants to keep up with the long runs because I’m afriad I’ll lose it as quickly as I’ve gained it, but I also know that my body needs to rest and save up for race day.

Until next time…

What I’m Listening To (Podcast Edition)

When I’m not doing the ol’ mom thing, or working, or cleaning up the house, or doing laundry or running, you can find me trying to learn and grow and become a better version of myself than I was yesterday. I do a lot of reading and listening to podcasts. I found that utilizing my treadmill running time as my podcast listening time works well.

So today I wanted to share what I’m listening to lately. This list is always changing but these 3 podcasts are the ones that I’ve been drawn to the last few months.

  1. The Meaningful Mess Podcast – This podcast is hosted by Katie Rollins. Katie has been in the mindset coaching space, as well as network marketing, for many years. But before you roll your eyes, please know this: she does not at all mention her network marketing business on her podcast episodes. Her podcast is meant to inspire people to let go of their self-limiting beliefs and go after what they want so they can live their best life. She gives you tactical advice on how to go from where you are today to where you want to be. She’s thoughtful, she’s funny, and she’s real. Her episodes are anywhere from 10-40 minutes and she puts out new content each week. I’ve been drawn to Katie over the years for many reasons– she makes me laugh and she embraces what she calls her “messiness.” As someone that struggles with perfectionism, I aspire to be someone that is perfectly OK with all the messiness that is life. Also, check out her IG account because she makes me laugh – @katierollins.insta
  2. The Rachel Hollis Podcast– This podcast has been around for years. I only started listening to it the last couple- sometimes her content is very interesting and relevant to me, other times it’s not. Like a lot of things, I’ll go through phases of listening to every episode and then not listening for months. One of the things I like about podcasts are that they are typically very timely. Reading a book is great, but the research and thoughts and ideas of the author may be vastly different a year and a half later. With podcasts, you get to see their growth and ideologies change in real time. Rachel is a great example of someone that has actively discussed how she’s changed from 10 years ago, to 5 to 2 or last month. I am drawn to her for many reasons-she’s a mom; she’s a single mom; she’s a working mom; she has a rock solid morning routine; and she’s always learning and growing. She has great guests on her shows– a lot of times it’s an author that recently came out with a new book- usually about personal growth, business or health. I end up buying a lot of the books she recommends.
  3. The Marathon Running Podcast– You knew I wasn’t going to get through a list of podcasts without mentioning that I listen to one about running, right? A few months ago I was searching “running” in my Spotify. This was one of the first podcasts that came up. It’s hosted by Letty and Ryan. Letty is the main host and she does most of the interview with their guests. The first episode I listened to was “Marathon Training Plans and Which One is Best for You.” This was very timely because I had just started my training cycle for my second marathon and was using one of the training plans they were discussing (Hal Higdon). Over the last couple of months I’ve been tuning into their episodes if I’m interested in the topic. I don’t listen to every single one but I use it when I need some indirect coaching in an area of running.

Some other podcasts I dabble in are Food Psych Podcast (Christy Harrison), Marathon Training Academy (Angie & Trevor), Impact Theory (Tom Bilyeu), Kwik Brain (Jim Kwik).

There are podcasts out there for everyone. I highly recommend utilizing time like treadmill running, long commutes, or a walk around the neighborhood as time to dive into a topic you’re interested in through a podcast. Also, please feel to share your favorites as I’m always looking to add more to my rotation.

-LC

2nd Marathon Training Cycle…

Michael Murphy Half Marathon Around the Lake (June 25, 2022 Ronkonkoma, NY).
The longest run I did since the marathon on
May 1st.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for my second marathon. Nick and I will be running the Suffolk County Marathon on Sunday, October 23rd. I’m excited and nervous but not as much as the first time. Today I start week 7 of my seventeen week training cycle. This time around I’m following a plan by Hal Higdon. Hal has a number of different plans and I decided to go with the Intermediate 1 plan. I don’t consider myself a novice runner, although I may be considered novice as far as marathon training goes. But after looking at the training plan, I thought I could do the Intermediate 1 plan no problem.

Started at Week 2 and switched weeks 6 and 7 (more on that in another post)

I learned a lot during my first training cycle so I’m doing some things different this time around:

1. As mentioned above, I’m following a plan from a marathon runner, trainer, and writer. While what I did the first time was good enough to give me a 4:13:16 finish, I wanted to follow a tried and true plan to see how different it would be.

2. I will be running 5 days a week rather than 3-4 days. Now that I have access to a treadmill in my home, I can get more running in during the week.

3. I bought a second pair of sneakers- one that I’ll use for my indoor training on the treadmill and one that I’ll use for my outdoor training. That way, I don’t kill one pair of sneakers and fear they won’t hold up until the big day.

4. I’m trying for 80/20. My goal for this race is 3:59:59, which is 9:09 mile pace. That’s 31 seconds faster than my first marathon. To do that I’m attempting to run 80% of my runs at 30-90 seconds SLOWER than my marathon pace and only one run at race pace. This is a challenge for me. I like to do interval runs and sometimes it’s difficult to run slow. Trust me on that because I’m definitely struggling with this method. My body naturally falls into a 8:45-9 min pace when I run outside. Lately, because of the heat and humidity I’ve been going slower but it’s been harder than it usually feels.

5. I bought a Garmin watch! I hadn’t planned to switch from my Apple Watch to Garmin, but my Apple Watch broke a couple of days into June. I did some research, asked other runners for their opinions and it became super clear- get a Garmin! So I did. And I haven’t looked back. I love how the Garmin shows you 5 different heart rate zones. My goal is to stay in zones 2 and 3 for most of my runs. Zone 4 is for outdoor, long runs and of course, intervals. Zone 5 is where I hang during shorter races. I don’t watch my heart rate while I’m running but it’s good data to look at after the run is over.

A few other differences- I won’t be documenting every week of my training. More than likely I’ll be sharing every few weeks. I’m also trying some new things as far as my nutrition is concerned and will share more of that as I dig further into it.

Things I’m doing the same as last cycle- Using cliffs block chews as my energy of choice during long runs. I’m also running in my favorite brand of running sneakers- ASICS. And lastly, most of my long runs I’ll have my PIC by my side, which always makes the long runs slightly less excruciating.

Lastly, this blog will go back to a little bit of everything since running and training, while a big part of my life, is not the only thing I’m passionate about. Stay tuned for more of the good stuff including what I’m listening to, what I’m reading, what I’m doing this summer and more.

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment # 14

My very first marathon is in the books! It took me a whole week to get on here and share this because life has gotten a little hectic. Unfortunately, all the craziness has kinda sorta put a damper on this big achievement but I owe it to myself, and the handful of you that are invested in my journey, to share how it all went down.

Before pic.

The day started a little before 5 am. Nick and I woke up and quickly got ourselves ready and out the door by 5:25. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to get a decent parking spot, go to the bathroom and find our way to the starting line.

We got there with enough time to hop on line for the bathrooms. Ahhh, the joy of the pre-run nervous shits. I think this is a thing. At least it is for me. Lol. Meanwhile, Nick had to take off his compression leggings and turn them right side in. We were off to a good start. 🤪

After we were all situated we made our way to the start line. I had to say goodbye to my sweatshirt at this time because there was no way I was going to run with it on. (RIP Island Vibes camo sweatshirt). At 7:30 on the dot, we were off!

At the start line

We planned to run together for as long as we could. We started off a little faster than our usual pace- just under 9 minute mile pace and continued to run between 8:50-9:15 min miles for the first 16 miles. Miles 17 and 18, we started to slow down. And we were separated between miles 19-20.

At mile 20, I had the thought “I can do this. I’m going to do this.” I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. But I knew I could push out another 6.2 miles. Between miles 20-24 I walked and ran on and off. I tried to run for 2 minutes, walk for 1. I was in pain but nothing specific, it was more just being tired and thirsty AF. The water and Gatorade at the water stops was not cutting it. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bottle of water.

At 24.2 miles I started to jog and said to myself I can push through and finish this race running the rest of the way. And I did! I finished the race in 4:13:16. It was a 9:40/ mile pace and it was incredible to not only crush my goal of finishing the race but also the goal of finishing in under 4:30:00 AND under 10/mile pace. At the risk of sounding like a weenie, I freaking crushed it!!!

After pic

Running a marathon isn’t easy. It took a whole lot of dedication- there was a lot of time and energy put into planning my training. I learned a lot about myself and about what works for me and what doesn’t. I was extremely fortunate to have such an amazing support system to help make this happen. And I can’t wait to do it again in the future.

Until then, 🏃🏽‍♀️💨✌🏻

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #13

Marathon Day is 18 days away! Coursing through my body is a mixture of excited and nervous energy anytime I think about it.

Last Friday, Nick and I were talking about our plan for our long run on Saturday. I wanted to get a 21 mile run in. I was feeling nervous about it and asked him if he was nervous too and he said no. I was shocked that he didn’t feel nervous– maybe because he’s already run a marathon so 21 miles didn’t seem too bad. Every Friday is a little torturous for me because I know my long run is coming up. I’m always anxious about attempting to do something I’ve never done before. I think that’s pretty common to feel that way. But I try to focus on the feeling of accomplishment rather than the voice in my head that says you can’t run 21 miles. And then once it’s done, I feel so damn good about myself. And the next time I set out to run 21 miles it’s waaaaay less daunting because I know I’ve done it already!

Anyway, last week I rounded out the week with 40 miles which is the most miles I’ve ever run in a week! Wednesday- 7.2; Friday- 4.6; Saturday- 21 and Sunday- 7.2. I felt good on most of the runs; however, the 21 miler was rough. Every part of my body was hurting that day for some reason. I’m not sure if it’s just all the miles I’m putting in, the water backpack which adds weight and pressure to my back, or if my running sneakers are on their last legs. It was a mind over matter run. I wanted to run 21 miles and there was no way I wasn’t going to do it. Our mile splits were pretty good. And by pretty good, I mean we were consistently running 9:10-9:30 for most of the miles. And at mile 17, we busted out a mile in 8:38 (probably because we were on a track). We finished in 3 hours and 17 minutes. And you know what that means? That means that if I run exactly the same way on race day I’ll have 73 minutes to run the last 5.2 miles… which would be about 14 min/miles. Basically, what I’m saying is that I think I’ll be able to reach my goal of completing the marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes!

21 mile run with splits

This week I’m starting to taper my miles off a bit. I plan to run about 32 miles this week with my long run being 15 miles. I need to let my body rest and recover with lots of foam rolling and stretching.

Until next week… 🏃🏽‍♀️💨 ✌🏻

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #12

The whole year of 2022 has been the busiest I’ve been in my entire life– between my kids, work, personal goals, and all the many things out of my control, I feel like I’m drowning at times. And as much as I’m enjoying training for a marathon, I’m looking forward to the race being over because it’ll be one thing knocked off my priority list for now. I didn’t post an update after Week 12, so today’s post will cover Week 12 and Week 13 runs. Here’s what’s been happening in my running world…

Week 12 was great! I clocked the most miles I’ve ever run in a week- 37.9 with four runs and I felt really good. My runs looked liked this the week of March 21st:

Wednesday– 8.2 miles; Friday– 4 miles; Saturday– 19.2 miles and Sunday– 6.5 miles = 37.9 miles

Extremely proud of this weekend of training- 3 hours of running on Saturday, followed by 1 hour of running on Sunday. Never imagined I’d be doing that… but I did.

Week 13 was good, as well. However, I decided, after a 137.7 miles in March, to back off the total amount of miles for the week of March 28th, which looked like this:

Wednesday– 8.4 miles; Friday– 4.1 miles; Saturday 13.1 miles and Sunday– 7.1 miles = 32.7 miles

I’m using my non-running days to do a lot of stretching and foam rolling. All together, it’s about 90 minutes for the week. And that doesn’t include my stretching before/after my runs. I think taking the time to really focus on releasing my tight muscles is making a difference so I’m sticking with it. I’m also getting in some ab work and glute activation work if I’m up for it. I would like to get back into more traditional strength training but I am hesitant with my shoulder still not being right. I’m going to reevaluate everything after the marathon and see where I’m at.

The next few weeks are a crucial part of my training. I have 4 more Saturdays until race day. My plan for long runs looks like this:

April 9th- 21 miles; April 16th- 15 miles; April 23rd- 10 miles; April 30th- 2 miles (easy jog the day before the race)

The rest of my runs will likely be the same length that they are now- give or take a mile or so. I’ve been doing two runs a week outside and two runs inside on the treadmill. As it gets nicer, I’ll do all my Sunday runs outside unless it’s raining. I enjoy the treadmill runs for the opportunity to push my speed a bit but it gets a bit boring after 60 minutes.

That’s all I have for this week’s installment. Nothing too exciting going on. Stay tuned for next week’s update!

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment # 12

Eleven weeks down, six more to go! It’s so hard to believe that the marathon is less than six weeks away. It’ll be game day before I know it!

This past week was my best training week yet. I focused on stretching, foam rolling and ab work on my non-running days- Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were my run days. I think that worked well for me, although I do miss working with weights. Maybe I’ll add it back in at some point, but for right now I want to stay consistent with this routine so I can see how my body responds to it.

Wednesday’s run was a 7.1 mile run on the treadmill. I enjoyed this run and worked through some bursts of speed. I use the word speed loosely, because it’s really just faster than my expected marathon pace. Friday was a short 3.6 mile run. I did this run at the park around the corner and did some hill repeats at the end.

Saturday, though, was the best run of the week. I had a goal of 16 miles. Up until Saturday my longest run was 15.2 miles and I wanted to get past the 16-mile threshold. I was excited because Nick said he’d run it with me. My alarm went off at 5:45 AM and I’m pretty sure Nick cursed under his breath for making him get up so early, but we both got ourselves up and ready to run. We set out at 6:35 AM and we ran, and talked, and talked, and ran. I was overdressed for the occasion- it was 50 degrees and I was wearing a tank top, a long sleeved shirt and my light vest. I used the water backpack and we started out super slow. I was a bit uncomfortable with the backpack and my lower back was bothering me but having Nick with me kept my mind off of the discomfort most of the time. At the start of mile nine we ended up at my old high school track. When we got there I took of backpack and instantly felt lighter and less warm. It was a marvelous feeling. We ran two miles at the track before Nick grabbed the backpack and we headed back. As we got to mile 15 I looked at him and said, “I feel like we need to do 17.” And we did it! Together. (-:

One of the things I love most about running is that it’s something I can do alone. But there’s some comfort in knowing that there’s someone out there as crazy as I am that will get up at 5:45 AM on a Saturday morning to run for 2 hours and 39 minutes with me. Nick and I have a lot of common interests, but being able to run together has been super special. We’ve created such a special connection through running. We push each other, support each other, and believe in each other… and we understand all the aches, pains and chafing that comes with being a runner. As we were running he said to me, “you should be so proud of yourself. You have a full-time job, you’re a single mom, you can come up with every excuse not to do this, but you make time for it.” It was super sweet. ❤

Just over here showing off my headband. 💁🏻‍♀️

I followed up my personal record breaking 17-mile run with an 8.1 mile run on Sunday. I figured I’d round out the weekend with 25 miles so I could say I ran 35+ miles for the week. It was a nice morning for a run and my legs were feeling good so I went for it. I’m still amazed at how much our bodies are capable of doing. I’ve heard it so many times but I don’t know if I ever believed it until I started running these super long distances- our minds give up way before our bodies do. Meaning, our minds tell us we can’t do something and then we stop. We have to be mentally strong enough to fight our mind and say “you’re wrong, I can do this.” It’s not always easy but with every additional mile I run, I feel that voice getting weaker and weaker.

This week it’s the same as last- stretching, foam rolling and ab work on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Runs will take place on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will be a 19 mile attempt. Wish us luck! See you next week! ✌🏻

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #11

Less than seven weeks until Marathon Day!! I’m really glad I decided to document everything I’m doing. It’ll be fun to look back at all these blog posts one day– maybe 10 years from now when I’m crushing my 10th marathon. Even though I am planning out each step of my training, there’s been changes and pivots along the way.

this is obviously what I think of every time I say the word pivot

The next five weeks I’m focusing on increasing my total mileage per week. Last week I got 30 miles in over a four-day period. I don’t know if I’ll get to 35-40 miles per week on four days, but I’ll try. Here’s the breakdown of last week’s runs:

Wednesday- 5.3 miles on the treadmill; Friday- 3.2 miles outside (did some speed intervals); Saturday- 12.5 miles on the treadmill; and Sunday- 9.1 miles on the treadmill. I am really happy with my progress of being able to do back-to-back longer runs. Doing 12.5 and then 9.1 the following day is something I never even would’ve dreamed of attempting two months ago. It just goes to show that consistency pays off… but also, when you’re not given much of a choice of when you can do your mid-long runs, you make it work regardless. My body may try to tell me I can’t, but my mind is saying, “but you have to!!” And, of all the runs last week, my favorite was the 9.1 miles on the treadmill. I got in the zone, I was playing with the speed and I got through 9.1 feeling like I could’ve done another mile or two easily.

The next few weeks are going to be a little different because I am pivoting off my original plan of strength training 3 days and running 3 days. I’ve been dealing with a shoulder issues for many months that I keep ignoring. I figure if there’s ever a time to ease up on lifting weights, now is the time since I’m training for a marathon. That doesn’t mean I won’t do a full-body weight workout once a week until marathon day. It’s just not going to be a major part of my training right now. I’m focusing on running, stretching, and core work. Another thing I’m working on is starting slower. My runs have been a little faster than they probably should be- if I can slow it down to 9:30 pace for my long runs, that will help. I notice that my runs are always better when I give myself time to get into it. I’ve always been that way. I like to start slow, let my body warm up and then I’ll fall into a good pace. The goal is to finish- I’m not winning the marathon so the time is irrelevant. (However, if you’re a runner, you can’t help but have a goal in mind. And, if you’re wondering, mine hasn’t changed since my training started- I want to finish in 4:30:00- four hours and thirty minutes).

My goal for this week is 32-33 miles with a 16-17 mile run on Saturday. I am getting a little nervous because I only have four to five more long runs left before the big day. I’d like to do 16-17 miles once; 18-19 once and then 20-21 once. If I can make that happen over the course of the next four to five weeks I will feel really good going into race day. I’m hoping that giving myself more active rest days (i.e. stretching and ab work) it’ll give my legs a break and I’ll feel good on all my runs.

Other things I’m thinking about… 1) what am I wearing on race day? I think I know which leggings but I have to decide on my upper half. I will probably work out a couple of different options based on the weather. 2) How am I going to handle eating before the race? I usually don’t eat before I run but I’m typically not up for more than 45-60 minutes before I run. On race day, I will probably be waking up a good 2-3 hours before the race starts. I’m thinking a banana on the drive over and my pre-workout about 20-30 minutes prior to race time. That’s what I’ve done when I’ve run half marathons and it’s worked out OK. I’ll also be using the water backpack and the chews that I got on race day. I know there’s water stops along the way but I want to limit my stopping at least through the first 15 miles or so.

Wish me luck as I start ramping up my mileage!

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #10

It’s hard to believe I just wrapped up week nine of training. I am happy with my progress so far, although I had a not-so-great long run this week. The plan was 3-4 miles on Thursday, 16-17 miles on Saturday, and 6.2 on Sunday. I ended the week with a total of 25.5 miles over those three days.

I really want to make it possible to train (successfully) for a marathon by running three days a week; however, I’m not so sure that’s enough. I’ve read tons of different plans and some suggest getting to 30-40 miles per week; while others suggest upwards of 50+ miles per week. Getting 30-40 miles of running in on three days is a serious challenge . I’m already been having some tenderness in my right shin after I run so I’m hesitant to run more but I might give it a try to increase my total mileage for the week. Here’s what my training schedule has looked like since day one. This week I’ll start planning the last seven weeks.

Back to last week: I did a short run on Thursday which was relatively uneventful. Saturday’s run was a different story. I started at 6:45 AM with the goal of 16-17 miles; however, my body had different plans. The first 7-8 miles I felt really good. I was just cruising along thinking about work and enjoying the run. Then mile 9 came and my entire body tensed up. My legs and back were aching. I just felt so tight and uncomfortable. It became a lot of work just to keep my legs moving. I forced myself to keep running even though all I wanted to do was stop and walk the rest of the way home. I kept myself moving and told myself that as long as I did a little more than the week prior, I’d be happy. When I got to 15.2 miles I called it a day. It wasn’t the best run but it was a completed run and for that, I’m happy.

Sunday, on the other hand, was magical. It was 48 degrees, my hands were not in gloves, and my legs felt great. Even though I’ve been hitting the treadmill on Sundays I couldn’t pass up a 48 degree day, especially on a Sunday. Sunday mornings will always be my favorite time to run. It’s so quiet and peaceful and you can hear your feet hit the ground and the sound of your breathing over your music, instead of cars whizzing by you constantly. I am hopeful that I can do more of my Sunday runs outside and that I can freeze my Planet Fitness membership soon!

On a gear and accessories note… This week I remembered to grab the chews that Nick gave me to try and I ate two of them at miles 8, 11 and 14. It definitely took my mind off running for the few minutes it took me to eat them. I bought a variety pack so I have them for all my long runs up until race day. On cold days, I use my thick vest and it has pockets with zippers so I put my phone in there. On more mild days I use a different vest and I’m forced to put my phone in the pocket of my leggings. I think the impact of me hitting the ground causes the music to skip though and that’s kind of frustrating me. I’m debating whether to use my arm band or find a lighter vest with a pocket for race day. I like the idea of having my phone in my pocket rather than on my arm because it’s more accessible. I know you’re dying to find out what I end up doing so don’t worry, I’ll keep you informed.

As for this week, I’m going to attempt to squeeze in a fourth day of running and see how I feel. On Saturday I’m going to attempt 17-18 miles so let’s hope for a mild weather day. Until next week… ✌🏻❤️ 🏃🏽‍♀️ 💨

Marathon Training Chronicles- Installment #9

Week 8 is in the books! It’s crazy to think that it’s exactly two months until Marathon Day. Overall I’m feeling pretty confident; but I’m still really nervous about it. Here’s a recap of last week plus some playlist info that I wanted to share (and get recommendations to add)!

Wednesday’s run was a short 4.3. Each week, I find one day to run before going into work because I need my body to get used to miles. A lot of marathon runners end up running 25-30 miles per week, which is hard to do in two days over the weekend. Or even three days. A lot of runners run 4-5 days per week. For me, not only is that impossible because of my schedule with the kids, it’s also not ideal for my body. My body loves to run, but only so much. It needs other cardio and strength training to supplement it.

Friday morning I spent some time mentally preparing for my long run on Saturday. I mapped it out on MapMyRun, I made sure my most comfortable running clothes were clean and I took out my water pack, gloves and ear band.

It was 20 degrees when I began my 15-mile trek. However; it wasn’t super windy so that made it bearable. I was feeling pretty good for most of the run. Towards the end my legs started getting tired and I started to rethink my strategy for taking a rest day the day before a long run. It’s customary to run a couple easy miles the day before a big race so would it make sense to do a light workout- like cycle- the day before my long run? I’m not quite sure. I don’t think I’ll change it up this week but we’ll see for the future.

It took me just under 2 hours and 20 mins to run just over 15 miles. I averaged 9:15 mile pace. And I must say, I’m pretty damn impressed with myself. It took my hands about 10 mins to stop hurting after I walked in my house and about an hour for my entire body to warm up but seeing 15+ miles on my watch made it all worth it. I accomplished something I’ve never done before and it felt great! (Side note: My goal is to run a marathon on May 1st; however, all the little accomplishments along the way, like running 15+ miles, can and will be celebrated. It’s just as important to enjoy the journey and celebrate small wins, as it is to celebrate the accomplishment of the big goal at the end. It’s good to be proud of yourself!)

Sunday I went to the gym to do my 10k run on the treadmill. After my long runs my right shin tends to hurt a bit so I like to lay off the road on Sunday. Plus it was cold and I could do without two days in a row of freezing cold running.

Before I jet, I wanted to share my favorite long run playlist. For some reason I enjoy this 80s & 90s mix that I created on Spotify. It’s my go-to for my longer runs. Anything I should add to it?? This is only 2 hours and 17 minutes and I need about 4 1/2 hours worth of music for race day so suggestions are welcome!