Where did 2010 go?

Wow, what a year. It really did just fly by. It's amazing how week in and week out of grinding away can go by so quickly.

While 2009 was a break out year for me, I'd have to say 2010 was even bigger yet. Hit some big milestones, finally broke 40 minutes for a 10k squeaking it down to 37:24 twice, shaved over 15 minutes off my marathon time in a year finally breaking 3 hours this fall, broke 3000 miles for the year, and went sub 18 in a 5k. Won a few races, came in second in a lot of races, and made myself tougher by getting my ass handed to me in even more races. The year started off slow with injury then with some weak indoor track races and an ok run at Youngstown half. Boston was supposed to be my first sub 3 but ended in a bit of disappointment. Disappointment turned into the fuel which lead to a streak of new PRs in almost every distance. I believe every race that followed Boston up until post Columbus was a personal record for the distance. Like last year there was one PR missing, this time instead of 10k it was 10 mile, so I will definitely have to find a 10 miler next year to crank away at.

If I had to define the year with a few key moments they would definitely be the two extremes of my Boston disappointment and the elation during the final miles at the Columbus marathon. Life definitely seems to be a bit bi-polar in my world this year with a lot of extreme highs tempered by life's usual let downs. If I could bottle the way I felt at Columbus and share it with everyone I would. The way that felt is indescribable, just amazing. If you had asked me at Boston how I felt about my day I would have probably teared up and explained how frustrating it was, but in retrospect I wouldn't have it any other way because all the lets downs were totally worth it when all of the hard work came together on a day where everything else lined up just perfectly. The disappointment and frustration I felt at Boston made the success at Columbus that much more satisfying.

On a personal level I struggled with balance and trying to keep life outside running in perspective. I focused on my weight a bit too much and still have some hang ups on body image that need to get solved. The poor economy has finally caught up with my household and for the first time in years we are struggling, which has me worried, but I am sure we will figure it out and maneuver our way through. I've cherished the moments spent with those I love and had a blast being a part of this special group of women I train with. I'm still not sure it has really hit home just how special some of the things that have happened to me this year are, but I know this is a year I will look back on fondly and be proud of when I am older.

I have plenty of goals for 2011 but my resolution is to try and be more outwardly grateful, I am keenly aware of how blessed I am, but this next year I want to try and make all those I am grateful to as aware as I am of how awesome they are and how much I appreciate their influence in my life.

I hope all of you have had a chance to slow down and reflect on an amazing year this week, even if, like mine, it was crammed between a failed attempt at a tempo run due to icy conditions, and a long day at work :) Here's hoping 2011 is a great year for all of us!

Week 4 Base Phase Rundown

I think coach is easing us back towards some speed workouts again. Mileage is the same, but paces are picking up. Between that, the holidays, and boot camp classes I am definitely feeling the efforts.


Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: easy
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 7:20 - 7:30.
Wednesday miles @ 8:00 - 8:20. 8 x 20 sec strides.
Thursday 1 mile @ 7:20, 5 miles @ 6:50, 1 mile @ 7:20.
Friday: 10 - 12 miles @ 7:00.
Saturday: easy
14 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10.

How it played out:

I moved things around to accommodate for our clubs annual Holiday run on Friday.

70 miles

Monday- 7 miles 7:50 pace
Tuesday-AM 8 miles 7:10 pace with cv, daisy, and my
Tuesday- Lunch 7.5 miles 7:57 pace
Wednesday- 8 miles 8:14 pace + 8*20 second hill strides, 60 second walk jog rests
Thursday-8.5 miles 7:02 pace with tempo
Friday- 14 miles 6:48 pace
Saturday-5 miles 7:50 pace
Sunday- AM 0.8 miles 7:17 pace, too slippery
PM 12 miles 7:06 pace, windy!

Tempo Splits:

Monday-60 minute boot camp class
Wednesday- 60 minute boot camp class
Saturday- 15 minute p90x ab ripper dvd and 10 minutes of shoulder, tri, bicep exercises

I am more than my training log.

Wow this blog has become Boring! I swear I have more exciting things to say than how far and how fast I have run each week, I am just swamped right now. My new schedule has been rough I cannot deny it. I am barely hanging on most days by the time I get home. But I feel super fit and I am excited to get back to some real running workouts soon. Physically I am feeling great, mentally I am burning out slowly, and thankfully not from the running. Just from life's real responsibilities piled on top of the holidays and dark weather I suppose. I have a hard time accepting things that are out of my hands without worrying myself into a frenzy, and let me tell you frenzy mode hit the fan yesterday. Uggh! Here's hoping a week in Cancun coming up will rejuvenate me :)

Very much looking forward to getting to Michigan tonight to spend some time with my family before one more work week than it is vacation time!!!

But first I have a hilly 14 miler at 7 minute pace to do with my running club this morning! (and some dishes to do, some laundry to catch up on, a few hours of real work, some packing, some picking up..ha!)

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that you can all de-stress a bit if you are feeling overwhelmed like me!

Base Phase Week 3 Rundown

The goal:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: easy
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
Wednesday and Friday miles @ 8:00 - 8:20. On one of the days 8 x 20 sec strides.
Thursday 7 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
12 miles 7:00 - 7:10.
15 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10.

Get the miles in regardless of the pace if weather is sloppy.

How it played out:

71 miles

Mon-7.75 treadmill 7:52 pace
Tues-8.25 treadmill 7:20 pace
Wed-8 miles with 8*20 second strides 7:59 pace. PM Bootcamp class
Thur- AM 7.2 miles 7:26 pace. PM 5 miles 8:12 pace
Fri-7.4 miles 8:11 pace
Sat- 15.5 miles 7 minute pace
Sun-12 miles 7 minute pace

Solid week despite finally having to get back on the treadmill for a few snowy days. To keep myself from being completely bored on the treadmill I toyed with the elevation going up and down from 1 to 4. Tried to get in as many miles on hills as possible this week. Between that and Bootcamp squats I think my hill running is going to come along nicely this winter!

In case I don't get time before the weekend hope everyone has been enjoying this holiday month and that you are having fun with whatever your plans are the next few weeks!

Quickie Rundown

I feel like I have so much to say. But unfortunately I have more to do so just a quick recap for the week!

Goal for the week:

Total Mileage 60 - 65.

On the days that the weather dictates the pace make sure to get the miles in.

Monday: easy
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
Wednesday and Friday miles @ 8:00 - 8:20.
Thursday 7 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
12 miles 7:00 - 7:10 for miles not in the team relay. (note coach wasn't really on board with a snowy trail relay)
12 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10.

How it played out:

69 miles

Mon-8 miles 8:17 pace. PM Hour boot camp class
Tues-8 miles 7:25 pace
Wed-9.25 miles 8:43 pace (snow/ice, fell again, just bruised the hip). PM 35 minutes yoga stretching
Thur- AM 6.25 miles 8:11 pace (snow/slush). Lunch 5 miles 7:13 pace
Fri- 7.75 miles 8:19 pace
Sat- 13 miles 8:30 pace (6 miles snowy trails, 7 miles hilly road)
Sun- 12 miles 7:00 pace

I feel relatively good. My left quad/hip flexor was aggravated Thursday/Friday but I think it was just from being stuck in the car Wednesday and having to hold the clutch. Felt good "racing" yesterday, I worked hard the whole race despite bad conditions and felt like it was a really good mental effort. Been wearing trail shoes since Thursday morning in case of icy conditions, feels like running in bricks but at least I haven't fallen!

Base Phase Week 1 Rundown

Starting to build back into the mileage and taking some time to build up the aerobic system. I decided I'd also start a boot camp class twice a week to build up some strength to hopefully support the build and the rest of training when we start back into speed and indoor track in January.


Total Mileage 60.

Monday: easy
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
Wednesday and Friday: miles @ 8:00 - 8:20.
Thursday: 7 miles @ 7:20 - 7:40.
10 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10.
14 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10.

How it played out:

60 miles

Monday: 8 miles 8:08 pace at lunch
Tuesday: 8 at 7:39 pace (Rainy and cold AM run)
Wednesday: 7 miles at 8:19 pace at lunch.
PM Hour boot camp class
Thursday: 7 miles at 7:23 pace AM run
Friday: 6 miles at 8:01 pace PM Run
Saturday: 14 miles at 6:53 pace
Sunday: 10 miles at 7:00 pace

Massage Monday morning revealed I was super sore. Not sure why, possibly all the driving for the holiday. My right calf and right foot are a bit angry, but the pain hasn't gotten worse.

Saturday's long run I felt fantastic, but took a nice spill at mile 1.5 of the run and scraped up my right upper hip. It's stiff and bruised, but high enough that it didn't affect the run this morning. I'm still super sore from boot camp class Wednesday so hopefully I will start adapting to that soon!

Work is getting nuts so I am going to try and stick to my early to bed early to rise schedule this week to get it all in!

Oh and big milestone week broke 3000 miles for the year! A big first for me as last year I ran a total of 2770 which was my biggest year. I truly believe being consistent and getting in more miles while staying healthy has been key to this years success.

New Schedule

I am a notorious snoozer. I can hit my snooze button for literally hours. Having flexible hours is a blessing, but sometimes I think it just gives me an excuse for over sleeping and putting things off until lunch or after work. Most mornings I intend to be awake by 6 or 7 but I find myself waking at 8 and rushing around to be out the door by 8:30.

Well with it getting dark around 5 now I do not want to have the excuse of "it is too dark and dreary" rearing its ugly head this winter and screwing with my progress and goals. I need to get on a schedule that makes sure my running is done in the morning or at lunch, that way post work runs are a last resort option, not a mandatory thing. This means I need to suck it up and get the heck out of bed when I intend to!

In order to help with this I am going to start meeting friends to run in the early AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I am going to commit to a boot camp class in the afternoons on Mondays and Wednesdays which means I have to be to work early in order to get in a lunch run and get out of work in time to make it to class. And I am sure at some point soon these days will also have a 2nd run which will mean 6 am runs on these mornings too.

So starting today I will be at work by 7:30 so I can get everything in, which means I will be awake by 5 on days I run in the morning and by 6 on days I intend to run at lunch (and I will be in bed by 9 or 10 to make sure this happens!). Most everyone else already does this so I need to stop being a slacker and get it done! I've been too spoiled by my 9-6 hours and need to get on the early morning program. Now let's just hope my boss is on board with that even though everyone else here is on the 9-6 program.

Let's hope this snoozer can turn into a morning person! I really think it will help my attitude this winter if I can consistently wake up early and get things done before sun rise.

Unfortunately this will mean more driving and less bus riding, but I am sure I will adapt.

Weekly Rundown- Turkey Trot Race Week


Total Mileage 50.

Monday - Friday miles in the 7's and 8's.
Have a good race.
Miles @ 7:20
Long run 12 miles @ 7:00

How it played out:

56 miles

Monday- Rest (38 minute walk/jog with David)
Tuesday- 8 miles 7:43 pace (5*20 second strides)
Wednesday- 4 at 8:21 (4*30 sec strides)
Thursday- 2 mile warm up with strides, 37:24, 3 mile cool down 10 minute pace
Friday- 6 miles 7:48 pace
Saturday-12 miles 6:53 pace with MY on towpath
Sunday- 15 miles with FD 7:28 pace (First 8 averaged 7:20 then ran easy)

I haven't been feeling too badly while running the past week. But in the mornings and at my desk I have been feeling a bit out of whack. My hamstrings have been cranky, my wonky left hip has been acting up, and my feet have been killing me. Definitely was due for a massage which I had this morning. And I am hoping some diligent stretching will keep me from having all this soreness translate into injuries this winter. Hoping it is just a case of everything being too tight and nothing serious, but going to keep an eye on my right foot.

I've been making more time for social stuff too which means my sleep schedule and eating has suffered a bit the past few weeks, so hopefully once I get that back in line it will help things along. Like most everyone else I was not as diligent as I could have been on my intake the past month so I also need to hunker down and try to get my diet back in control and my weight a little closer to race weight before the New Year.

Base training starts today so no workouts for awhile, but hopefully building up the mileage before getting back into it for some indoor track races before Boston!

Had a great holiday with the family and rounded it off with a fun night out at the Beachland Tavern last night. Looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight though!

Detroit Turkey Trot 2010

It's mostly an annual tradition for me to run the Detroit Turkey Trot every year since high school. I haven't done it every year, but I've been doing it since before they added a 5k and 1 mile fun run. I toyed with doing the 5k this year instead of the 10k, but decided that the 10k was better in the scheme of all things Thanksgiving. Meaning I over indulge on food so I should run a few extra miles to make up for it :)

Weather report did not look fun and I had a heck of a time deciding what to wear and how to deal with warm ups. I didn't bring anything to throw away so I decided on leaving my race shoes in the car a few blocks from the start and warm up then going back to drop off warm ups and change into my racing shoes. I didn't time everything really well and I was feeling pretty rushed to get to the line. Did a few strides on the way over but didn't get in all of my regular dynamic warm up drills. Nerves started to kick and and I felt like I was going to vomit when I toed the line. Saw one of the women who raced at Johnnycake and said hello. She was running in the 5k and she's fast so I knew I shouldn't be ahead of her from the gun.

Despite adding a 2nd wave this year it was still pretty packed in the "Fast and Fit" wave. I started about 2 people back from the line and was in a pack of guys for the first 2 miles or so and could see a steady stream of guys in a line up ahead. Given that the 5k and 10k run together for the first 2 miles or so it is hard to tell what place you are in. I figured if I ran a fantastic race I might be able to eek out top 3. I speculated that in order to do that I would have to run under 37 minutes. Which was good because I wanted to go sub 6 pace, and on a good day I thought that was possible. After the mile mark you make a hairpin turn and go back against the crowd so if you have good eyes you can get a look at who is ahead of you and in front of you. I saw DC who was in the 5k but couldn't pick out any other women. I knew that meant I was likely in the top 3 even if there were some gals hidden in the throng of men. As usual Hansons had a huge pack of men leading the race far ahead of everyone else.

I just left my garmins autolap on and decided not to worry about time too much and just race how I felt. First 2 markers may have been short because my autolap was going off after them. But to my delight the autolap was right where I wanted it to be around 5:53 to 5:54 for both miles. Add in the possible bonus of it being long and I was running right where I wanted to be. I was with a small pack of guys but as we turned into the wind we had a large gap in front of us. I worked to catch up to the next group this mile and tried to key off a runner in yellow sporting the runmichigan.com logo. It was windy but I felt pretty strong and just worked on keeping my effort high.

I had a pair of gloves and two hand warmers from the start because it was supposed to be pretty cold, but by mile three I was feeling pretty toasty and stuffed the gloves in my bra and one of the hand warmers in my sleeves, but was still holding the second hand warmer. I didn't need it for the race but I knew after I would be cold so I kept it. Probably wasted some effort fooling with all of that.

Missed the 3rd mile marker and my watch going off, but it felt like effort was the same. The course deviated a bit from last year after the 3rd mile marker and we went further out on an out and back stretch. It felt slow and I was falling back from the guy in yellow a bit. I caught the 4 mile marker but missed my watches split somehow. Saw the first girl had quite a bit of time on me and on the turn around the next girl looked like she had a chance to close on me if I didn't keep it together. Looked down and average lap pace was at 6:14, awwe crap! get it back together Hansen!

At each out and back along the way I kept hearing cheers for Ben. "Run your own race Ben" "Looking good Ben". Around mile 4 I finally figured out who Ben was. He was 14 years old and running strong, but unfortunately a bit too skinny to block any wind for me ;) With about a half mile to go he asked how far we had left. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who was ready for the finish!

We had long ago passed our last costumed runner which was a blessing, did not want to get beat by any of those this year! But we had some sand baggers obviously out for a training run coming up behind us. Discussions of leap frogging and holding hands across the finish were amusing, but not very motivational as I struggled to relax my stride and try to bring the pace down.

Mile 6 was at the corner of Cobo Hall and I knew when my watch beeped long before that any time I had put in the bank early was long gone and I needed to haul ass to the finish! Thankfully the downhill brought me back to a decent pace but it was too late to salvage sub 37 as I could see the clock already out of 36 territory ahead. I sprinted into the finish and had to dodge a photographer standing on the line right where I was supposed to be crossing. Looked down to see that I had most likely tied my time from the Columbus 10k (37:24). Not the PR I was hoping for and not the time I felt I could run at my current fitness. But somehow crossed the line in 2nd place and was pretty stoked about that. Retrieved some fleece gloves for coming in top 100 and then headed back out to look for my sister and my cousin who had started in the "fun" wave and would be aiming for around an hour to and hour 20 for the race.

Thank goodness for those fleece gloves. My cheap gloves were soaked from stuffing them in my bra and I was cold! Ran backwards through the course cheering occasionally and trying to spot my sister. Thankfully she spotted me a bit after the 4 mile mark and I hopped back in with her to run her in. She did great, surprising herself with a new PR despite less than her best training. And our cousin came in not far behind. I spotted my parents and we cheered her in before heading down to the awards. 2nd place garnered me a cool clay turkey with a medal around his neck. A for originality.

Results show someone else taking 2nd. So it's possible I got chipped. We'll see in a few days. Either way glad to have been top 3 despite not running quite the time I was hoping for. Need to decide if this is the race I want to end the year on or if I will go back to the Reindeer Run and try to squeak out a 5k PR...

Thank You

I cannot believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This year has literally flown by. I obviously have a lot to be grateful for on the running front this year, improving pretty much every area of my running regime. But who are we kidding, none of that would have been possible without the amazing support system that has been built up around me.

This starts with a loving and supportive family. I have the best parents in the world, a very lovable and understanding husband, and some seriously fantastic siblings. The extended family of cousins and in laws is also top notch. They may not all understand my goals or what I am doing but they all rally behind them and are the first to cheer me on towards them.

Somewhere between college and now I have accumulated this huge network of friends who like me are endurance junkies. This includes all my wonderful training partners, my coach, my club, and my team. In addition I am honored to still be close friends with many from Team in Training, our local triathlon club, and the local ultra scene even though I haven't been able to do those things lately. I have met some phenomenal athletes along the way who help drive me to do my best and who inspire me to dream even bigger.

I am lucky to work in a small satellite office, where unfortunately I am the only runner. But I am so grateful for the flexibility and support my coworkers have shown me over the years. I appreciate the ability to get out on lunch runs and the post race enthusiasm we share even though they most likely think I am nuts.

On top of that, as if it isn't enough, I have somehow found myself the recipient of a whole lot of virtual support. Who would have ever dreamed I'd have friends rooting me on from across the world who I have never met in person, but feel like I have known forever. For all of this virtual love, support, knowledge, and constructive criticism, I am also thankful. It has definitely helped bolster me along my path.

So this year I want to send my thanks out to all of those in my life who have made everything I do possible. I am very blessed and it continues to amaze me every day. Thank you!

Weekly Rundown - Interim Turkey Trot Phase Week 2

Goal for the week:

Total Mileage 50 - 55.

Monday: Easy
Tuesday: Track
Thursday: Tempo 4 miles @ 6:35. 1 mile @ 6:20
Wednesday & Friday upper 7's lower 8's.
Miles @ 7:20
Long run 12 miles @ 7:00

How it played out:

55 miles

T-5.5 at 6:44
W-8 at 7:41
Th- AM 8 with tempo, Lunch 8 at 8:04
F-5 at 7:54
Sat-8 with track
Sun-12 at 6:56

Tuesday night was pouring like crazy which means everyone in Cleveland forgot how to drive and it took me over an hour to get to the track, by the time I got there we would have 30 more minutes with the lights on so we opted to bypass on our planned track workout and just get some miles in. I was more than a little aggravated (had planned on getting in a quality workout and 9 miles) and this turned into a hodge podge workout. 2 mile warm up around 7 minute pace, a mile of striding the straights and jogging the curves around 6:40 followed up by a 2 mile "progression run" ending with the last mile sub 6 followed by a short cool down when the lights went off. Not ideal, but at least it was a semi fast workout and no harm done in the process.

Thursdays tempo went well. My Garmin has appeared to be very generous with me this week, not sure if it is time to reset the thing or if I am just feeling better at all my paces because of the cooler weather and better fitness. We ran a little fast on the way out with the winds at our back and managed to keep the pace down despite the wind in our faces on the way back, the effort was increased, but honestly it all felt very controlled.


Ave pace 6:24

We decided to make up the track workout on Saturday. It didn't seem like it would be too bad. Plenty of rest and the paces weren't crazy.

Plan was 5 x 1000.

2 @ 3:40 2 min rest (10k pace)
2 @ 3:32 2:20 rest (5k pace)
1 @ 3:20 2:30 rest (3k pace)

The first 4 felt pretty controlled but I could tell the 5th would be a stretch. We ran a little fast on the first 4 alternating taking the inside lane. Last one NC got into a slightly faster gear from the get go and I couldn't quite catch up in the home stretch and neither of us made the 3:20, but it was one of the fastest 1000s either of us has done in a workout the past two years. (I think we did a 3:21 at the end of a workout in June, but given it is November and speed is not the focus right now I was happy with the effort)


Sunday the legs didn't feel too bad, just felt a bit fatigued, but we managed the 12 under 7 pace without issue.

Really felt pretty good all week, hopefully that means a good Turkey Trot ahead!

Weekly Rundown - Interim Turkey Trot Phase Week 1

Still recovering from Columbus but since my training partner and I are both running Turkey Trots we are still keeping a few speed workouts until that is over. Then base training for Boston will commence.

First track workout back was AWFUL. I felt horrible despite a slow pace and extra rest. Had to bail on the 4th repeat, but thankfully the extra rest allowed me to salvage the last repeat. My piriformis was seriously tweaked after that workout but seems to be fine after some serious stretching. My sinuses have been a mess since last Monday. Hoping they will pipe down soon!

Weekly goal:

Total Mileage 50.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: Tempo 5 miles @ 6:40.
Wednesday & Friday upper 7's/lower 8's.
Saturday: miles @ 7:20.
Sunday: Long run 12 miles @ 7:00 - 7:10

How it played out: 52 miles

Tues-8 with track
Wed- 8 at 7:44
Thur- 8 with tempo
Fri- 8 at 8:04
Sat- 12 at 7:07 (10 miles easy jog/hiking trails at Bill BadAss 50k later)
Sun- 8 at 7:10

Track Tuesday November 9th: Goal 5*1200 at 4:21 with 2 minute rests
4:20.80 (2:01.90)
4:21.16 (2:03.34)
4:21.82 (2:02.80)
3:00.00 (3:25.70) (Only did 800)

Thursday Tempo:

We started running these in the morning and so far so good. Pace felt comfortable so we ramped it up a bit the last few miles.


Ave 06:33.2
The weekend runs got flip flopped since we had parties to attend Saturday night. Saturdays run felt pretty sluggish, not sure if it was because we ran on the towpath or the late start or my sinuses, but it was not a comfortable run. Sunday was the complete opposite, legs felt fantastic and was just trying to run easy.

Weekly Rundown

Slowly working my way back into the start of winter base training. But first I have the Detroit Turkey Trot so we are keeping up some light speed work until then.

Coaches instructions for Nov 1-7:

This week 40 - 45 miles.
Tuesday: Track.
Long run 12 miles @ low to mid 7's.
Normal easy days and the other days at mid to upper 7's.

How it played out:

46 miles

Monday- Rest (jog/walk with David)
Tuesday-7 miles with track
Wednesday-7.25 miles 7:42 pace
Thursday-9.4 miles with 5 at 6:56 (helping pace friends for their tempo)
Saturday- 10 trails easy
Sunday- 12.5 at 7:32 pace (couldn't pass up the opportunity to do a new route and check out some rock formations so we were a bit slow the first half and hammered the last half a bit)

Track: goal 8*400 with 90 second rests under 90 for the quarters, just loosening up the legs basically. split (rest)
86.87 (94.98)
85.34 (91.98)
86.40 (93.72)
86.58 (97.13)
83.89 (1:41.08)
84.45 (92.15)
85.00 (93.42)

On a positive note for the year I have already run more miles this year than I did all of last year!

Still feeling a bit sluggish. I'll be happy when we get the mileage back up, I don't respond well to a less structured training plan for some reason.

Training Catch Up

Yep I am still running, albeit with the focus on recovery and not workouts right now.

Race Week: 58 miles
Tuesday-7 miles with track (2 miles at 6:20 pace and 4*200 at 38)
Wednesday-7.2 at 8:09
Thursday-7 at 7:08
Friday-4.6 at 8:19
Saturday-4 at 8:17 with 4 strides
Sunday-1.7 warm up with strides, race

Post race week 1: 24 miles
Monday- Rest
Tuesday-9.5 at 8:04
Wed- Rest
Saturday-4.4 at 9:00 pace
Sunday-2.2 warm up with strides at 8:12, 10k in 38:10, cool down 1.3 at 9:36

Post race week 2: 27 miles
Tue- Rest
Wed-3.5 costume "run" like 10 minute pace
Thur-6.7 trails at 8:19 pace
Fri- 1.5 at like 9:50 (3 miles walk/jogging with david)
Sat-7.5 trails at 8:12
Sun- 8 at 8:22

I started doing 2*10 pushups at least 3 times a week. Add to that (2 or 3 times a week) 20-30 bicycle crunches, 10 side leg lifts on each side, 10 clam leg lifts each side, 10 leg lifts each side, 10 supermans each side, 10 bridges on foam roller, 10 side leg lifts standing each side, 10 knee lifts standing each side, 10 bicep curls each side, 10 shoulder lifts each side, 20 shoulder circles forward and 20 back, then 10 big circles forward and 10 back

I'll probably try to add some lunges and squats to that routine, or do those on an alternate day.

A Bit of Fun

One of the downsides of all the serious training is that I have been missing out on some of the more casual/fun sides of running that I have always enjoyed (The trade off is worth it). I miss a good long day on the trails with no purpose other than covering ground with friends. I miss running with slower friends and helping them to achieve their goals. I miss running a race just because my friends are doing it. I know all of that will still be here in a few years when I can switch my focus, but in the meantime I am going to work on trying to have a bit more fun and not being quite so Type A about everything somehow.

The next few weeks are a great time to get some fun in. Coaches orders the past two weeks have been light running at my discretion so I definitely took that to heart. Time to recover and relax a little bit so I can get focused when we start ramping up again. (I can't lie after just one week I am ready to get back to it, but know that mentally and physically I need a bit more time before jumping back into tempos and speed)

Last week had a great night out with my running gals for sushi and post race celebrations and Sunday I managed to have fun racing just for the sake of it. This week kicked off the fun with a Halloween Costume run in downtown Cleveland. 3.5 super slow but super fun miles dressed as a pirate were just what the doc ordered :) Followed that up with a nice trail run last night and looking forward to another easy trail run Saturday with my girls!

In the meantime I have started back up with some upper body and core strengthening to try and keep the post race fun (beers, wine, ice cream) pounds at bay.

Funny post event quote from Brandon the carrot "Carrot's are good for runners, Carrot's are not good runners"

The cheerleader was definitely making my post marathon legs look bad (seriously guys shouldn't have that good of legs ;))

Joke of the night from non costumed bar attendees "What's a pirates favorite letter? The C matey!"

Where do we go from here?

This is a bit scatterbrained, but I'm a bit scatterbrained, so I think it is appropriate. Bear with me :)

I'm pretty sure the cat is out of the bag. All this focus the past two years has been in an attempt to see if I am capable of making it to the women's marathon Olympic Trials in 2012. The B standard is 2:46:00. And while 4 minutes is still a lot of time in a marathon, having run the sub 2:50 definitely makes my crazy goal seem within the realm of achievable.

I'm not sure at exactly what point I decided I was going to try to do this. But a combination of Salty egging me on, watching the 2008 trials at Boston, and seeing a high school friend of mine go 2:28 in his first marathon made me wonder if I could go that route too. At one point in high school I had promise as a decent runner and it just didn't pan out. I got distracted by boys, partying, school, etc. and probably missed out on some faster running in my youth.

But I have to say running PRs in every distance this year at age 28 and 29 is pretty cool, and I definitely appreciate getting faster now more than I ever could have when younger. And I am not the only one. I am sure this is happening all over the country, but it has been really cool to be a part of this competitive surge in Ohio right now. If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of fast women runners in Ohio right now! I can remember a few years back thinking a sub 20 5k was the epitome of fitness, and it would have placed top 3 in a lot of local races. Now that pace won't even win a local marathon half the time. I think it is a bit of a domino effect. Someone does something impressive and it motivates the next person to do the same or better. I'm excited to see what this does for women's running in the US!

But at the same time I am not sure what my personal marathon limitations are and while 2:46 seems doable, 2:39 (The current A standard) still seems like a pipe dream. And the fact is there is still another year or so to qualify and there are already 104 women qualified. For the trials at Boston they threatened to cut the field if it got too large and I am sure that is possible with the upcoming trials too. The likelihood of the standards staying where they are for 2016 aren't likely with all these ladies getting faster, so I need to step it up, and I need to step it up now!

Getting sub 2:50 at Columbus really leaves me no other choice than to go for 2:46 now. Of course I will be elated to get any faster than 2:49:53, but running a 2:47 or 2:48 isn't the goal now, the goal is to get to the trials, or blow up trying :) While I obviously will always want to better myself and be as fast as I can, I can honestly say if it never gets better than this, it has been an awesome run and I am so glad I focused and worked hard for this now while I can. I don't want to look back and wonder "what if?" So really I have nothing to lose at this point!

From where I sit I have 2, possibly 3 chances left to line up my ducks to make it to the start line at Houston in 2012. First attempt will be at Boston which if you followed me this year you know wasn't an ideal course or race for me. I can't lie I want to do the 2:46 at Boston for sure. That way the pressure is off for my next fall marathon. Was it the wisest decision to pick this course for my attempt, probably not. But as we've seen, I'm not always the brightest. And I can't deny the appeal of going back and dominating that course after this years disappointment.

So now I have to figure out what to change in training so that my body can handle the pace and the course in April. I need to get stronger and obviously a bit faster still. All of this while trying to keep from mentally and physically burning out in the process. What I think this will translate into for winter training is more indoor track racing and workouts, focus on core and upper body strength, and more long runs on rolling courses.

Thanks to everyone that has made this possible so far. And thanks for the continued support! I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for!

Peace Race 10k

What's that you say, didn't you just run a marathon? Shouldn't you be recovering? Yep that's what I should be doing. Instead I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do one more fall race with all these fast Ohio ladies.

Post marathon "recovery" had consisted of one stupid lunch run on Tuesday where I traveled all over Cleveland at 8 minute pace and did my best not to complain. Then a 4 mile slow jog on Saturday to make sure I didn't have any injuries. My right calf unfortunately is not happy, but I think it is just cramping because of my poor hydration this week, aka lots of beer, wine, and sweets, and no sense of a smart recovery plan.

So I drove out to Youngstown Saturday night and got a great nights sleep and thankfully got to sleep in because of the 10:15 AM start. We loaded up the elite (I still can't really call myself that, but, it was definitely awesome being pampered at Columbus and here and I am so appreciative of it and hope to perform at a level deserving of the designation soon) cars at 9:15 and headed over to the start of this point to point rolling course. I had been warned that it could be fast but that the downhills were going to trash my body. Wonderful, where do I sign up?

Got to warm up with some fun Second Sole chicks and then we were on the line. My mission was just to survive and hopefully not embarrass myself. No plans for PRs, just wanted to try and keep it under half marathon pace if possible.

Took it out a hair fast and my calf tightened immediately, but since it would be tight even running 9 minute pace I just went with it and ran what I felt my aerobic system could handle. There was a girl with headphones and I just could not let her stay in front of me so I probably pushed the first two miles a little bit. 5:44 and 6:00. After that we were done with the downhills and the rest of the course was mostly flat or up and my pace slowed dramatically. 6:20 (Like Paige I pondered if this was the 5k and not 3 mile, but alas it was 3!)

After 3 I started wondering what on earth I was doing to myself, but just kept running as hard as I could and hoping the time would pass quickly. Had some good Usher tunes swimming in my head which kept me from falling completely into survival mode. 6:12 for mile 4. Not great, but oh well. Then a guy with headphones caught me and I did my best to use his encouragement to step it up. I could see the lead women way the heck in front of me as we ran along the river and had to laugh. This is why you don't run 10k a week after your marathon!

By mile 4 I was fried. It was warm and my face was flushed, I seriously wondered if I might pass out. I could hear a female behind me and assumed it was my Second Sole buddy MC and just tried to keep the pace. Mile 5 another 6:20 and I am starting to wonder just what hill we will be going up at the finish. I am starting to recognize places from my first 50k and I remembered this monster climb exiting the park and had to hope that was not the hill, because if it was I was so screwed!

About 5.5 the female on my tail passed me and nope it was not MC, it was KG. Uggh this girl has smoked me in the past, but I didn't know she was there and it surprised me. Gave my best attempt to go with her, hah, good luck with that. She pulled away on the last climb (thankfully just a bridge, not a monster hill) and gapped 14 seconds on me quickly. I tried to muster some sort of kick to stay in 6th place as my Second Sole teammate cheered from the sidelines. Crossed in 38:10.6 and 6th female, and the way the awards worked out 2nd Ohioan (Really 4th Ohioan, but with awards for top 3 US, and top 4 Ohioans, I ended up with 2nd Ohioan the way it played out)

I knew going in it would hurt, so I wasn't too surprised that I was hobbling around pretty badly afterward. This was the feeling I was expecting post marathon and never got. So if you run your next marathon and don't get the pain you expect, just race a hilly 10k the next week, that will set you right ;) Thankfully MC convinced me to do the cool down, and by the end my legs were somewhat functional. Going to keep my eye on the calf this week though and get a massage.

So yes the race wasn't the brightest move, but despite a little pain I had fun. Now time for a bit more partying before deciding how to approach training for Boston. Lots more on that and post marathon stuff to come.

Marathon Splits

I haven't analyzed these at all. Not sure I will. I really just tried to run by feel and I think they reflect that. Obviously would have liked to close a little closer to the time I went out in but that's probably just because I was a hair aggressive early on and losing contact with other runners late in the race makes my perception of pace a little whacky.

1 06:14.8
2 06:19.0
3 06:33.5
4 06:28.1
5 06:23.4
6 06:27.1
7 06:35.1
8 06:27.6
9 06:24.0
10 06:18.6
11 06:29.4
12 ~6:22.5
13 ~6:22.5
14 06:38.2
15 06:27.6
16 06:25.3
17 06:26.4
18 06:35.2
19 06:49.1
20 06:30.3
21 06:24.7
22 06:31.3
23 06:27.2
24 ~6:40.3
25 ~6:40.3
26 06:36.5
26.2 01:15.7

10k 39:50.0
Half 1:24:17
20 Mile 2:09:18
Finish 2:49:53

Columbus Marathon Race Report

Wow as I sit here patiently waiting for Boston registration to open I don't even know where to begin with this race report. So many little things had to go right yesterday to add up to my race conclusion and it is just amazing how it works out sometimes. As frustrating as Boston was this year Columbus was doubly satisfying because of it. I wouldn't take it back now if I could.

I went into this race a bit quiet on my goals. While I was confident I was in shape to hit them I have never lined up my marathon goals with my short races so I didn't want to get cocky or ahead of myself. I also thought that I would likely be disappointed no matter the outcome because I knew going into the race I wasn't in shape to meet my ultimate goal for the marathon right now. I was very wrong about that!

My goal going in was 2:50 with a stretch goal of 2:48. I wanted to run my own race and just not worry about pace. I wanted to be 1:24-1:25 at the half no matter how I felt so I could give myself a chance at the goal.

I was a bit sad I couldn't run with my training partner since she was setting a more aggressive goal and I just knew deep down I wasn't ready for that pace. And I wasn't willing to risk running slower than 2:55 by being greedy. Had I run the sub 3 at Boston, maybe, but I certainly did not want to go over 3 again, and I know how quickly time can come back at you at the end of a poorly paced marathon.

So I meandered through my taper with slightly tweaked hamstrings and waited to see what the day would give me. Taking the more aggressive goal off the table left me relaxed and ready to roll. I wasn't nervous about my goal at all. I knew without a doubt I was in shape for 2:54-2:56 and just had the feeling that I was ready for better than that. Race day dawned and my legs felt super ready, weather was perfect, and I just knew it would be a good day. On my way to the elite warm up area I saw the race Director Darris and got a big hug sealing the deal for me, it just had to be a good day if you hug the race director!

NC and I got in our warm up and before you knew it we were toeing the line. I managed to find my parents and my husband and was relaxed and ready to roll out. I decided to take advantage of the elite perks and started right up front, you never know if you'll be able to do that again so I went for it. Our Second Sole team was out in full force and it was nice toeing the line with a bunch of us in the same Oregon green!

Took it out a little fast. I knew my training partner was aiming for 6:15 pace and that I wouldn't see her for long but I shouldn't be too far behind her. The first few miles flew by and for a brief instant I considered just going for it with her but I heard my trusty friends cheering me on and shouting "Patience!" to me as I requested and let her slowly move ahead along with a slew of fast half marathon women and a few other marathon women. I had checked out the names of the elites on Saturday and it looked like a lot of women with similar talents so I was solely focused on running my effort and my time and didn't want to worry about competing.

As is mostly par for the course for me I somehow got separated from people around me around mile 2 and was ready to make way by myself when I was caught by one of our training friends BY. He had just run Wineglass and was on 2:50 pace through 23 when both his hamstrings seized and he hobbled in for 3:06ish. I was happy to see him but didn't want him to hold himself back for me if he wanted to go faster. But he said he would be very happy with 2:50 and we fell in step together. We were a little fast at the point but nothing excessive. It didn't feel easy, but it felt controlled and I was willing to push a little bit if it meant having company! BY was also wearing an outrageous yellow shirt with chili peppers which made for lots of good cheering!

We fell in with another female marathoner running her second marathon and hoping for sub 2:50 as well as a Brooks runner who apparently reads my blog and likes it so much he has been doing my training! Small world. We joked about him being my stalker but for the next few miles we were all a happy group clicking off the miles as we made our way through the neighborhoods of Columbus. Each mile came and went in around 6:30 and things seemed good! At the 10k BY's wife joined in on the fun and it really did feel like it was a regular old hard training run, just with spectators and aid stations as well as my fun personal water bottles I had made up for the elite tables at 6, 12, and 18. It definitely didn't feel easy but time was passing by quickly! Before we knew it we were to mile 9 and friends and family were cheering on the sidelines. And then we were on to 12 and my next bottle and the start of double caffeine roctane Gus! The crowds here were crazy and I thought I saw my parents and David but couldn't really say. We lost MY and BY to a portalet and we forged forward now just myself and Brooks D.

Knowing the crowd would thin after 13 we eased up the incline of High street still clipping off miles around 6:30. As we arrived at the half in 1:24:17 we were suddenly joined by a bike escort and a friend of Brooks D asking what place I was in. I had no clue but had a feeling the new bike escort meant it was pretty far up. Sure enough he let me know that I was in 5th and I noticed I could see two more bike escorts in the horizon. Noted. But it was still early and from here on out in the marathon each mile can be the last one of feeling semi normal, and I know it too well so I stayed within myself as we kept clipping off the miles and slowly closed in on those bike escorts.

The day was playing out eerily similar to last years race except this year I was a minute ahead of my goal pace at the half rather than behind and we were obviously running way faster than I have ever run for the distance. I was enjoying myself, enjoying the spectators, the bands, and though we didn't talk much I was glad for the company. Around mile 16 there is a brief out and back where you can see those ahead of you and then those behind. I was thrilled to see we were getting close to #3 and #4 and as we made our way to 17 it was nice to note there were no women close behind. Though we did see BY and I was glad to see he was making up time from the pit stop!

I remembered struggling a bit with this section last year and that the pace had slowed a bit and it felt harder. I warned Brooks D of this and mentally prepared for a couple of slow miles. But I knew I was getting my bottle and gel at mile 18 and I knew my family planned to be between 18 and 20 so that kept my spirits up despite a few slower miles. Unfortunately as we neared 19 just like last year I lost my new friend. I was getting really close to the next two women now and despite trying to remain within myself I was definitely urged forward by getting by them and trying to finish top 3. I encouraged #4 as I passed at mile 19. And as I saw my family just before mile 20 I started to close in on #3. Getting to 20 is always a great thing in a marathon. That means it's 10k time. That 10k can go by quickly or it can go by slowly, but you know you are getting so much closer!

I encouraged #3 to go with me, she is the sister of another great Ohio runner and I knew her goal was similar to mine. As I passed by each girl the bike escorts would change. So I now had the #3 escort and she was great. I joked with her and she commented on how great I looked. Nothing like someone blowing sunshine at you at the end of a marathon! I didn't want to push too hard here, I remembered last year getting a little carried away from 20 to 23 and slowing down from 23-26. I really didn't look at the watch much and just kept pushing forward enjoying the spectators, waving when I could, thanking volunteers, and even jamming to some of the tunes. Mile 24 a band was playing Foo Fighters which always reminds me of my husband and it definitely got me moving.

My bike escort informed me that she would let me know if she saw the bike for #2. I told her let's not worry about that and let's just have fun. At the time I assumed #1 and #2 were my training partner and the lady I had met at Spirit of Columbus from TNT. I knew they both had the goal of 2:46 and I told my bike escort I really didn't want to see them, because I wanted them both to get the 2:46 and OTQ. No one deserved it more than them and I was hopeful they were getting it done! A bit before 25 a spectator shouted didn't we just see you and I knew that meant my training partner was still up there. I was hoping at least 4 minutes ahead. I saw a few local friends here and it was just nice to see people I knew as I worked my way to the finish.

As I turned down the familiar streets it was still eerily similar to last year. I was relaxed and I knew sub 3 was mine no matter what happened and was confident of 2:50. But then as I neared mile 25 my heart broke as I watched my training partner weave back and forth across the street. I encouraged her to come with me so we could finish together, but she told me she couldn't do it. Her family was just ahead and I encouraged them to get her back in the game. I didn't know what was wrong, but I know exactly how that must have felt as the same thing had happened to me at Boston this year when I was caught by multiple friends in the final miles. If I could change anything about the day it would have been her result. She struggled with the final 3 miles and still managed a 3 minute PR, but the result does not reflect her fitness or her strength and hard work and she deserved a more rewarding day. I know she is probably disappointed but I am so proud of her and I know she will go on to do some amazing things in the marathon (This was only her 2nd one at age 25!)

I knew that if it was me I would want her to finish strong and I went by and hoped that she would rally. The crowds became insane after this and though my body was sore and my gait wasn't fluid I was grinning ear to ear as I made my way to the finish. Thankfully my math skills are poor and I didn't realize I had slowed down a bit despite passing runners, but once I made that final turn and saw that I could squeak in under 2:50 I hauled ass down towards the finish and threw my hands in the air in celebration. 2:49:53. The sub 3 monkey off my back and somehow coming in 2nd place amongst a field of great women. (Note that the half marathon field was stacked and probably 13 of those women ran better races than I did in the full) But for me it was the perfect day, the perfect race, and my best effort to date. I ran with confidence, I had fun, and I truly raced the marathon. I had friends and family to share it with on the way and the streets of Columbus were full of volunteers and spectators urging me on to my finish. It really was amazing. And I couldn't be happier with it, even if it had been 2:46.

Lucky number 20 and number 3 at Columbus was apparently the charm. I just could not have asked for a better venue, a better crowd, a better support team, or a better effort from myself.

Now if the BAA site would just work so I could sign up for Boston in the hopes of having another day like this in April!
Awesome day in columbus! 2 49 53! report coming soon! thanks for all the speedy virtual vibes!

Funny Photo

In honor of getting out tonight for some laughs I thought I'd post a comical photo from our track workout a month or so ago.

Photo Courtesy of: Daryl Quentin

Everyone's expression here is odd. No clue what we were discussing.
I find it comical that my sweat lines imitate the Under Armour logo.

Marathon Training Week 11

One week to go! Legs aren't feeling great, but I am sure with some rest this week and pampering I will be ready to roll out on Sunday!

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 45 - 50.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 5 miles @ 6:15.
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower.
10 miles @ 7:00
12 miles @ 7:20.

How it played out:

49.5 miles for the week

Tuesday-8 with track
Wednesday- 7 at 8:16
Thursday- 7.5 with tempo
Friday- 5 at 8:10
Sat- 10 at 6:57
Sun- 12 at 7:17

Track: Another cold drizzly night goal was 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 all at 85 per quarter with rest at half the time of the previous interval. We were right on and it felt solid, decided not to push the pace any faster towards the end of the workout since it is so close to the marathon.


Tempo: Back to our rolling course, it's been awhile and the legs definitely didn't enjoy the rollers at 6:15 pace, but not a bad workout considering the light warm up.

Long runs went just fine. Hamstrings are "cranky" but hopefully the massage this morning has worked that out!

Mentally I'm not sure what's going on, this taper hasn't really felt like a taper for me. I'm not stir crazy, and I'm really relaxed about the marathon. Hopefully that's a good sign!

F5 Akron Relay Rundown

This was my 5th year participating in some manner in the Akron Road Runner Marathon. This is a great event, they care about the runners, the course is beautiful (yet tough), the schwag is great (RT subscription, brooks shoes or jacket for full, technical tee for all, free beer at the finish), and nearly all of my friends participate. My first experience with the race was on a coed relay. We surprised ourselves and finished on the podium that year and started a tradition. The following year we had all females and once again made it into the top three. Then I joined pacer Jim's pace team and had to give up my slot on the relay to pace the full marathon the past two years. This year I didn't want to pace any fulls and potentially slow my own marathons down so I was stoked to be back on the relay. And since I've been getting faster they even let me anchor!

Before the race we emailed our predicted best case/worst case times and based on those it looked like our team would run between 2:47 and 3:07, a big range since many are coming back from injury, haven't been running, or just finished big races. I was fairly confident I could hold 6:05 pace for my 7.9 mile leg. Would have liked to been sub 6 but wasn't sure given the course is a bit hilly and I wouldn't have anyone to really run with since all those around me would likely be running the full marathon and I would be faster than them at that point.

We had pretty much perfect weather conditions. 50s or 60s, a little sun, and a little wind. Can't beat that. Had fun cheering on my friends in the half and full at the start and mile 3.5 then we hopped on our shuttle bus and got our butts to our exchange point. Warmed up and got to the exchange corral at the fast end of our predicted time. And watched as the first two all female relays went through, and the top 5 overall females in the full marathon. Whoa, time for me to go to work :) The first two womens teams had about a 6 minute head start on me so I was pretty sure I wasn't catching either of them, but I also was running this race as a gauge of my fitness for Columbus so I couldn't slack off!

First few miles I was flying right around 6 minute pace and picked off the 4th and 5th female marathoners pretty quickly along with some men. I felt pretty smooth and just kept clicking through. The course is slightly up these miles then you have a mile with a decent climb followed by a flat mile, followed by another climb before the 2 miles downhill to the finish. Thankfully I missed my 3rd mile split because it was shockingly slow, around 6:30. I was chugging away trying to catch up to my friend who was the 3rd female in the race, and she was moving. It took me at least 3 miles to catch her and she looked strong and relaxed!

Another super slow mile through Garman and I was not happy with that split as I saw it and it was also over 6:20. I knew the next section was flat and I tried to get back into a groove running by a few local guys I knew in the full. Then I was on my own. No one in sight so I just chugged along looking forward to the downhill. Lots of friendly spectators were out in their lawns cheering which was nice, but it was hard to push myself into the wind while flying solo. I reminded myself it could be like this at the marathon and upped the ante.

Around mile 24 of the marathon I noticed a small pack in the distance and was pretty sure one was my running friend who was in the 2nd place all female team. She had a cold and has been fighting anemia so I was sad she was having a bad day, but knew I had to take one for the team and try to catch her. The next two miles have some decent downhills and I let it fly getting back under 6 minute pace around 5:40 and 5:45 for the last two miles. Caught my friend with about a half mile to go and encouraged her before cruising into the stadium. The whole time I had been looking at the race clocks and trying to determine what our team time would be. I was fairly certain I could keep us under 2:53 and sure enough the clock was closing in on 2:52 as I raced to the finish. Tried to get it under but clock time was 2:52:03 good enough for 2nd female team and 2:51:56 chip time for the team. The first female team smoked us by about 6 minutes with their anchor running the last 7.9 miles 10 seconds faster than me. Drat! Too bad we didn't start together, that would have been an interesting race!

This was our relays best time to date and I believe each girl ran her leg faster than ever before so it was a success! Added bonus was enjoying the free beer and watching our friends finish the marathon after wards!

I was happy with my effort but would have liked that time to be a bit faster. Went 48:05 for 6:05 pace which isn't quite the predictor I would have liked to see for Columbus, but it is hard to compare a relay effort to that of a head to head race so we will see how it plays out for me in two weeks!

Week 10

2 weeks to go until the Columbus Marathon! Sweet! I'm definitely getting excited for race day. We're finishing up the last few key workouts and now it's time to get my head on straight and get ready to work hard but stay relaxed on race day!

This week was solid, and helped by cool and drizzly fall weather.

Goal for the week:

Total Mileage 60

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 8 miles @ 7:10
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower
18 miles @ 6:35 - 6:40
12 miles @ 7:20

How it played out:

63 miles

Monday- Massage and rest
Tuesday- 9.5 miles with track
Wednesday- 8 miles 8:06 pace
Thursday- 8 miles 7:00 pace
Friday- 7 miles 8:28 pace
Saturday- 12 miles 7:18 pace
Sunday- 18 miles 6:34 pace and 0.5 mile cool down

Tuesdays track workout was solid. 5*1600 targeting 5:52-5:55 with 90 second rests. Last time we did this workout I fell way off the pace in the last 2 miles. This week it felt solid the whole time. It was chilly and raining so we headed to a new track that isn't as slick.


No tempo this week with the focus being on the last hard long run. 18 miles targeting 6:35-6:40 pace. Again chilly and looked like rain, but lucked out and other than our feet we stayed dry. Skipped the regular Sunday 12 mile loop because I didn't feel like tackling our monster hill at 6:35 pace. Instead we did a 10 mile and 8 mile loop. First 10 targeting 6:40 pace and hoping to run second 8 at 6:35 with a fast finish. Ended up going out right on pace, must have been the coffee. So we were around 6:37 pace after the first 10 and it wasn't hard to get it down to a 6:34 average by the end. Not going to say it was a breeze, but it was solid, we talked the majority of the first 10 miles and the time flew by even after we stopped talking. Would love it if we could get these mid 40s temps for the marathon!

Columbus Training Week 9

3 weeks to the marathon!

Goals for this week were:

60-65 miles
Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 8 miles @ 7:20
Wednesday easy day @ 7:50 or slower
Friday: Pre-race 4-6 miles easy and 4 x 100.
Akron Marathon Relay
12 miles @ 7:20

How it played out:

67 miles

Monday- 8 miles 8:20 pace
Tuesday- 10 miles with track
Wednesday- lunch 8 miles 8:13 pace
pm 4 miles trail 9:20 pace
Thursday- 8 miles 7:16 pace
Friday- 4 miles 8:13 pace with 4*100 strides
Saturday- 2.8 mile warm up with strides, 7.9 race, 2.2 mile cool down
Sunday- 12 at 7:03 pace

Tuesdays track workout kicked my ass. Temps crawled back into the mid 80s and I just fell off a bit. On a bonus note though our friend Daryl Quentin came out and got some great photos of everyone in the training group. I'll just stick to the photos from the warm up and the beginning of the workout for inspiration and confidence boosting ;)

Decided coach was trying to kill me with this workout. Goal was 4 sets of 800, 400, 200. 60 sec rest after the 800, 40 sec after the 400, and 2 minutes between each set. Not really enough time to jog between the 800, 400, and 200 and was just enough time to take a sip of water and walk back to the line. Goal times were 2:42, 78, 38. I just wasn't feeling on, hit a few of the paces, but I was working hard to do it, and the last set was just killer. Breathing was out of control.





Thankfully Thursday was no tempo this week due to racing on Saturday. My legs felt like crap Thursday and it was once again hot, thankfully there were plenty of drinking fountains for water stops!

Took an ice bath Thursday night and thankfully race day temps dropped significantly so my legs were back when they needed to be and I had a steady race as the anchor for my relay team. Report to come.

Sunday got caught up starting out with a few of the guys and ended up running 6:40 pace to the water stop at mile 6, rather than the 7:20 I was supposed to run, so I backed it off and ran easy the rest of the loop. It's weird how some days it just comes easy (I'm sure the cooler weather helps!).

I am...

Iron Fan!

Last weekend was Cedar Points first full and half triathlon hosted by REV3. Without getting into all the stupid technicalities of this being a full distance tri and not an Ironman, let's just say I spent the day watching many people become Ironmen without the trademark.

Headed to Sandusky Saturday after the Potato Stomp and met up with my girl Daisy for dinner. She was getting ready to do her first Ironman even the next morning and I was excited to tag along with her hubby and friends cheering her and a bunch of other friends to the finish. After some fun times eating and laughing centered around a very naughty poster in the womens restroom we were off for some quick shopping and then to our tiny hotel room at Hotel Breakers. We managed to squeeze a cot in there for me and it was lights out b 10ish because we needed to be up around 4:30 to get Daisy's stuff into transition and then get her back to the 7:05 am start.

Everything was smooth sailing and we were all relaxed and getting ready to roll. Our friend ET made a funny poster for Daisy and we were laughing about that when disaster struck and we realized Daisy's chip was not on her ankle. Thankfully the race start was delayed 10 minutes for some other reason leaving us just enough time to hop in the car, race around CP, and get her chip that was hiding in her bike shoe out of transition. We arrive with a few minutes to spare. Not the ideal way to start your ironman day.

With Daisy successfully in the water we made our way to the hotel room for some coffee then it was off to wish any half iron friends good luck before their start and head to the half start and half way point of the full iron swim. We arrived just in time to see Daisy hop back in the water a few minutes ahead of her target. Wished many other friends good luck then we headed to the swim exit and cheered as swimmers made their way to transition. We came prepared with our cowbells and gave everyone a good shock as they exited the water. We noticed Speedo Steve taking photos but with him cheering for the half we wouldn't get to hang out.

We were also cheering for our friend BH who would end up around Daisy all day but was a faster swimmer. So we knew once Daisy got out of the water we'd have to hustle to get out to mile 25 of the bike in time to see them both.

One pit stop to get some Gatorade and frappacino and we found a prime location for cheering near the town of Milan. This location would allow us to see the full distance triathletes twice at mile 25 and 60ish and the half iron folks once. Hands down we were the best truckload of spectators on the course. With 6 of us we had cowbells and chants prepared as each cyclist came by. Once Daisy went by I knew I had about 2 hours to get in my planned run for the day so I changed and headed out backwards through the course so I could cheer on all my half iron buddies while getting in my run. This worked out perfect as I got to see everyone once including buddies Kim, Pharmie, Tri Sara, Tri Eric and Karen as well as many other local CTC buddies. I cheered for every cyclist who passed (except the peloton of half cyclists that were blatantly drafting, I don't cheer for cheaters). It certainly kept the run entertaining, and as a bonus I got to see some of the faster half iron cyclists on my way back.

Made it back in time to change and cheer for a few CTC friends and Daisy as they rolled through 65.

After 65 it was time to head to about mile 95 of the bike. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a cornfield and we had fun coming up with crazy chants and filling in for the traffic cop when he had to use the corn facilities. Highlights of mile 95 were handing corn to a fellow CTC athlete and dancing to Prince while cyclists flew by. Daisy was flying and looked great when she went by. Smiles all the way.

Once she was through it was time to pack up and head into Sandusky to cheer on the runners. Because of the timing we didn't get to see any of our half buddies on the run, but they did great! Daisy's husband found a prime cheering spot around mile 6 of the run course. A bar with a patio right on the course! By this point many of us were sun burnt and we were hungry for real food! So this was a great spot. Added bonus the course is two loops and at this sections winds back and forth 4 times so we got to cheer for our athletes multiple times each mile from 6 to 10 and 18 to 19.

Then it was back to the finish to watch them bring it home. With blisters on our cowbell hands, sunburns on our cheeks, and our voices threatening to break we made it to the finish line to cheer. Upon arrival I ran into one of my college sorority sisters working the finish chute, you just never know who you'll see at these events! Our friends did great and Daisy crushed her first iron distance tri placing 15th overall female and top 4 in her age group! She finished so fast we had time to hit the coasters!

I suckered ET into joining me for Top Thrill Dragster and if we had time Maverick. And by coincidence ran into Steve and Pharmie heading to do the same. Had a blast catching up with them and watching ET freak out on Top Thrill. We had no lines and made it to Maverick with plenty of time. It was a fun way to finish out the day. I forgot how much fun I had with Pharmie at WIBA way back in 2006 I think. Was very happy to hear she had a phenomenal day on the course.

ET and I headed back to the finish to cheer for one of her friends and around 9:30 we finally headed to dinner at TGIF. The place was absolutely packed. I just couldn't fathom the fact that there were still many runners out there on the course in the dark. You Ironman athletes are a different breed! Finished the night with fantastic friends and was very happy for BH and Daisy for having such great races.

After all that trust me I slept really well!

Dinner night before

Multitasking, stretching, eating, hydrating, and cheering

Chasing Ironbuddy BH

Dancing to Prince

Chant Tunnel "Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!"

IronFan Crew

Cutest Couple Ever (Note Steve's new Sheriff Steve badge)

ET and I about to go from 0-120 in under 4 seconds!

IronBuddies Daisy and BH

Columbus Training Week 8

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 3 miles @ 6:30, 5 miles @ 6:15
Saturday: Air force Half pacing 1:40 group.
Sunday: Long run 15 miles @ 6:50

How it played out:

Total 65 miles
Monday- 7 at 8:13 pace
Tuesday- 10 with track
Wednesday- 8 at 8:28 pace
Thursday- 10 with tempo
Friday- Off (Slept in and traveled to Air Force, worked dinner)
Saturday-13.1 at 1:39:54
Sunday- 15 at 6:47 plus 1.5 mile cool down

Track was a tough one, quarters always sound easy in concept. In practice the workout seems to drag forever and lactic acid builds up pretty quick, especially into the windy half of the track. We did 2 sets of 8 quarters with the goal of 3km pace or about 81 per quarter. Rests were 80 seconds between each and 4 minutes between the sets.



Thursdays tempo was also rough, but unlike the track workout I didn't quite hit the targets. Nothing new there ;)

We had to wait out a pretty sever thunderstorm and got started in a sprinkle but about 2 miles in the rain died off and it warmed up. We hit the towpath this week and the soft surface combined with wet conditions made it a little tough to hit paces. Given the conditions I'm happy with the effort. Not too far off.


Pacing was fun. 7:38 is a pretty easy pace for me to nail right now since that's about the pace we do on our mile warm ups for the track, so I have it pretty dialed in. Hit miles 5 and 9 right on and was just 6 seconds under the target at the finish line.

Sunday long run wasn't a breeze like last weekends long run. But managed to get the pace down and finish it out. Though it was cooler out I was still sweating like a pig, could have used an extra water stop for sure.

Looks like we're backing off the mileage and getting ready to rock and roll in one month. I'm glad I'm feeling a little beat up and not 100% so I'm actually looking forward to taper rather than dreading it!

Columbus Training Week 6 & 7

Still chugging along steadily towards this years hopefully outstanding marathon performance. Training is coming along, definitely boosted by a break from all the hot humid weather. Track workouts are getting speedier, tempos are coming along, racing is going great, and long runs are starting to feel natural again.

week 6 goals
Total Mileage 75

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 10 miles @ 6:40 - 6:50
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower at least 8 mile on one of these days and 4 - 6 x 100.
Saturday: Westlake 5 miler.
Sunday: Long run 22 miles @ 7:15

week 7 goals
Total Mileage 75 - 80.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 10 miles @ 6:40
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower on one of these days 4 - 6 x 100.
Saturday: 12 miles @ 7:20
Sunday: Long run 20 miles @ 6:50

How it played out:

8/30/10 - 9/5/10- 76 miles

Monday- 6 easy 8:35
Tuesday- 10 with fartlek
Wednesday-lunch 8 at 8:37
pm 4 at 8:41
Thursday- 12 with 10 at 6:48 (stopped 6 times for water/rest)
Friday- 4 easy 8:20 pace with 6*100 strides
Saturday- 2.6 mile warm up, race 29:31, 2.8 mile cool down
Sunday- 22 at 7:10 pace

9/6/10 - 9/12/10- 82 miles

Monday- 15.8 at 8:05 pace
Tuesday- 10 with track
Wednesday- 8 at 7:58
Thursday-12 with tempo
Friday-30 minutes at 8:07 with 6 strides
Saturday- 20 miles on potato stomp course at 6:45 pace average (picked it up the last 4 or 5 miles since I felt good)
1 mile easy cool down
Sunday-12 miles at 7:17 while cheering at REV3

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Fartlek- Soccer season has started and our normal track is out of commission. We tried several different tracks and ended up having to settle for a paved loop just shy of .5 miles. Legs were still pretty juiced from the half and the loop had an incline on one end that just juiced me every loop. We did 3 minutes on 1 minute off until we hit 4.5 miles. Pace was on the slow side of things, somewhere between 5:40 and 6:20 each set.

Thursday Long Run- Not a good run for me. We went to Westlake to scope out the race course with the goal of running it twice at 6:40-6:50 pace. It was windy and about 90 degrees. I got super dizzy and had to stop for water and to catch my breath several times. Definitely not feeling good compared to how great I felt at the half.

Westlake 5 Mile- Managed to get my mojo back and PR by 45 seconds.

22 Miler - Really relaxed run, pace was easy, weather was nice, just an enjoyable long run despite feeling bad all week and racing the day before.

Tuesday Track-Again troubles at the track. Workout was delayed by a huge rain/lightening storm, but eventually it ended and we got started. 6*1200 targeting 4:20 with 90 second rests.
Other than wet feet felt pretty good on this run.


Thursday Tempo- Goal was 10 miles at 6:40 pace. We headed to an older stomping ground and managed to run a little faster despite some rollers, averaging 6:31 pace for the run.

Saturday 20 miler- Goal was 20 miles in 6:50 pace. BB had the great idea of heading to a local 9 mile race and doing the loop twice to get in the majority of our miles. We did the course beforehand and hit 10 miles with about 2 minutes before the start and I think we were around 6:50-6:55 pace at that point.

I felt really good all day so the last four miles I picked it up a bit to finish strong and then had to do one more mile to finish out the 20 at 6:45 pace.

Race time was 59:23. I had a blast, it was nice to go to a race with no pressure involved. I was pleasantly surprised by how good my legs felt on such a rolling course. Let's hope this bodes well for Columbus.