Half Marathon Training, Week 12 Update!

running

This was a crazy week as far as activity was concerned. We left on Thursday for a rock climbing trip (stay tuned for an upcoming post on that one!) so we had to rearrange our running schedule a bit to accommodate the travel time. Instead of  6 miles on Tuesday,  5 miles on Thursday and 10 miles on Saturday, I chose to run on 6 on Monday, the 10 on Wednesday and then we both ran together on Sunday. Since I shifted my days and mileage around, I wound up running 26 miles in a 5 day span-definetly a new record for me!

Monday’s 6 miles went well and I managed to stay at a 9:50 average, even though I had run 10 miles just two days prior. That is really good for me!

Wednesday I went into Seattle to run 10 around Green Lake. My hubby was at work that day and decided he didn’t need a 10 mile run this week. So, I was on my own.

tuesday 10

The first 5 miles I had pretty consistent splits varying between 10:04-10:08, but after that I steadily gained time to end with the 10:12 average. The next day we drove for 6 hours to central Oregon for our climbing trip-so fun! We climbed and hiked all day Friday and Saturday, so no time for running until Sunday morning. We looked for a path near our motel and found a paved trail that ran through a canyon. By this point in the trip we had seen a lot of sun, and were feeling the heat on our red skin, but we toughed it out! I ran a little over 5 and my husband went for 6 miles.

sunday 5

Then we went back to the motel, showered, picked up our kids at the climbing park and rode 7 hours back home. Whew! It was a crazy trip but we fit it all in! Next week we go back to our regular schedule and have a 5 mile, 4 mile and 11 mile plan. The runs are getting longer and harder, but we are getting closer to the big day!

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May 2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

6miles

16

 

17

10miles

18

 

19

 

20

5miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

Half Marathon Training, Week 11 update!

48e652a144fc32dcf951087dfe9f4407

This is my new motto!

It’s Monday and I am a little late with this update. Normally, I would post this weekly update on Sunday, or the rare Saturday posting, but this Sunday was Mother’s Day so I was busy being pampered and showered with gifts-it’s good to be me sometimes!

We had a 6 mile, 5 mile and 10 mile run scheduled this week. Tuesday’s 6 mile was a little slow for me, for some reason. Not sure why, I know I can’t blame the weather because is was 50°F and dry which is basically my sweet weather spot for running. But Thursday’s 5 mile was closer to my regular pace. It was also a really nice day here at 57°F and cloudy. I have finally been able to put my long running pants away!

When Saturday rolled around I was a little nervous. This was the first double digit run since last fall when we ran the Vancouver Rock n’ Roll half in October. I felt pretty good about the 9 mile run last week, but this is week 11 and I have only missed one 5 mile training run because I was having so much fun prepping for my colonoscopy. We have also been climbing a lot (more on that in a minute) and I am starting to feel a little tired. I am not injured (knock on wood) but it does start to add up for me. So, when we started the drive into Seattle to run 10 miles around Seward Park, I had some concerns about my endurance. Fortunately, everything worked out just fine.

10 mile run

It was a little cooler, and the breeze off the lake was noticeable to be sure, but overall I was pleased with my pace of 10:15 as an average. I will need to pick it up if I want to finish the 13 miles in under 2 hours, but I am hoping that I will get a little faster in the next few weeks. We have another 6, 5 & 10 set for next week, but here is the problem. All four of us leave on Thursday for Smith Rocks in Oregon. We will be climbing single and multi pitch routes all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week. That makes a 10 mile run tough to fit in, and did I mention it will be in the 80s in central Oregon? So, the current plan is to shift the schedule around to run 6 miles on Monday, 10 miles on Wednesday and then try to squeeze in a quick 5 miler sometime during the weekend. I have already run the 6 miles today (Monday) so we will see if I can do a quick turn around and hit the 10 mark in less than 48 hours! I hope I can! My husband is taking the more sensible approach of skipping the 10 mile all together, running 5 on Tuesday and doing “some run” on the weekend. For the record, he skips runs all the time and gets stronger and faster somehow-I guess it is good to be him sometimes too!

 

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule

This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May     2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

6miles

16

 

17

10miles

18

 

19

 

20

5miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

We will have to see how this works out next week. Either way we should have a great time climbing as a family at Smith Rocks!
 

Half Marathon Training, Week 10 Update!

My Nike+ app has a “just do it Sunday” tagline. But, for me, Sunday is a rest day so I am going with “Crush the crap out of it Saturday” instead as Saturdays are our long run.

The week went pretty well and the weather is actually starting to help out! No rainy runs this week. We had the second of our 5, 4, & 9 scheduled weeks. Tuesday was good as it was a 5 mile run with a 9:34 average pace, so I was happy with that. Thursday’s 4 miles was a little slower at 9:41, but ok. Most importantly for this run it was warm enough to finally get out of long pants and wear some shorts for a change!

thursday run

I was so excited that I posted this on Instagram, with my freckled legs and all!

Then we went out Friday night! I usually do not drink the night before a long run, and I do consider 9 miles long! But this was a special occasion and we did have a great time. Unfortunately, we did not get to bed until (almost) midnight and then up at 5am. I had to get my husband to the airport Saturday morning because he is running the Bloomsday event in Spokane. The is a massive event with 30-40 thousand people. He goes with his work friends. They leave Saturday morning, play golf and drink all day, spend the night and then get up early on Sunday for the 12k (7.5 miles) run.  Somehow they don’t die! That left me here to run my 9 miles on my own, after margaritas (it was Cinco de Mayo) and 5 hours of sleep. I had serious doubts regarding my survival, which explains my choice of the featured image for this post, but it went really well! I had my fastest 9 miles ever at a 9:47 pace!

Next week we start the first of two 6, 5 & 10 mile training run weeks. Yes, that is 21 miles on the schedule! We also have a rock climbing trip set up and will have to work that out as well.

 

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May     2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

 

16

6miles

17

 

18

5miles

19

 

20

10miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

Since I am on my own this weekend I decided to refuel my soul at the ocean, which is my “happy place” So I will leave you this image of Ocean Shores and look for a travel post soon!

Happy weekend everyone!

ocean shores

Are you really together if you are not side-by-side?: A running query

My husband and I have been half marathon training together for over a year now, but this was not a natural progression for us. When I signed up for my first half, back in February 2016, I assumed I would be on my own because we had always believed that we would be incompatible as running partners. After all, he is a natural runner whose pace is a full 2-minutes+ per mile faster than mine and I am not genetically engineered for running and have to work hard just to improve by the smallest of women-running-1increments.

 

I have always wished I could be one of those women who can run effortlessly with a friend and maintain a casual conversation all the while running a 7 minute mile. The reality is that I can barely breath, let alone carry on a conversation, and spend most of the time wiping my nose on my sleeve.

 

Additionbeerally, we have entirely different running goals. He wants to compete with his coworkers and break their running records, it does not faze him that these people are twenty years his junior! He is constantly trying to improve on his time (which is already pretty fast!) and, most importantly, get to the beer garden before all the cold drinks are gone.

 

By contrast, I just want to survive and it would be a nice bonus to be able to walk the next day. He is the hare that looks smooth and effortless while runninghare

and I am the sweaty, hobbled tortoise that is covered in bugs that have been ensnared during my 2 hour, self inflicted torment. So, when we tell people that we are running together they naturally ask how that is even possible.

 

We have all seen those wonderful couples that have found that perfect compromise between achieving their personal goals and encouraging one another without conflict. Vanessa and Nick are one of those great partnerships. Vanessa is a writer living in Denver, Colorado and hosts The Real Life, a wonderful lifestyle blog that catalogs her love of running with her boyfriend and running coach, Nick.

nick and vanessa

I have been following The Real Life for some time now and have marveled at their ability to balance their different running styles and goals. I asked Vanessa how they pulled off this seemingly impossible feat given that Nick might have a 20-mile training run while she may be doing a 9 that same day. They have found that by splitting up the mileage, or changing their pace to accommodate one another, has enabled them to coordinate their training so that they can run side-by-side for a good portion of their training, and it is obviously working-just look how happy they are in this picture!

Actually, the running blogosphere is full of stories similar to Vanessa and Nick’s experience. Partnerships where running side-by-side are apparently effortless. But, what about the rest of us? Those couples who are confident that an argument or resentful feelings are waiting at the end of every finish line and believe that to run together you must be willing to dramatically alter your goals. Surely these people cannot run “together”. As I said already, we were also two of those skeptics. There was no way I could speed up to run next to him, as I would not last half a mile at his pace, and he does not posses the patience to slow down to accommodate my speed.

He would rather have his fingernails pulled off with pliers than go that slow!Hare-and-Tortoise-300x156

Surly, this would end our marriage for good if we tried to train together, right?

Spoiler alert: we did figure it out, but not because we actively tried, we sort of fell into it.

Initially, I joined a local group that had formed to specifically train for the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon.

redmond running group

The organizers had a 12-week schedule in place to get us ready by race day, so the distance ramped up pretty fast. Each week had a long run on the weekend with 2 or 3 shorter exercises during the week. My hope was to find a buddy with whom I could pace to pass the grueling time. My husband decided to join us for one of the long runs, almost as a second thought. He was still faster than all of us but decided to continue training with the group, periodically joining us when he could. As the weeks progressed we found that the two of us would spend more and more time together planning our workouts. As the runs increased in length we had to spend more time thinking about hydration, nutrition and gear. This was also a period of time where we were travelling quite a bit and were not able to train with the group.

We had to work together, just the two of us, to plan running routes in other states, in different weather conditions and remind one another to pack the training paraphernalia that we needed to be successful. After the run we would discuss what went well, what we needed to change for next time and how to plan our recovery. It turns out we had a lot in common!

green lake run

In short, we were spending a huge amount of time, together, planning our training. Never once did we run side by side, but we ran at the same time. We get to the trailhead, share a quick “good luck “ kiss and see one another at the end. We debrief and either reveled in the new PR or commiserated about the bad weather, this is Seattle after all. In fact, I rarely see his face when we run as he is always blazing past me as he turns into a fuzzy, distant spot on the trail.

 

A big reason why this works for us, and may not for others, is that we are both self -motivated in our training. I do know a number of people who tell me that this model would not work for them because they need that person, right by their side, to keep them moving through the tough times. I do understand that but what would you do if your training partner were sick or injured? Would you stop training as well?medals Pain and illness do happen and there have been many times my husband or myself would not be able to run. I do miss him when he is not out on the trail, somewhere, with me but I am also comfortable continuing to make progress toward my goals on my own. In this way, we are not too reliant on one another when we are unable to coordinate our schedules .

So, my answer to the query is yes, you are running and training together, even if you are not physically next to one another. We feel very connected by our training goals, as different as they are, and are definitely here to tell others that this can be done.

planning

Half Marathon Training, Week 9 Update! Bonus: Rock Climbing in Leavenworth

At the beginning of this week I felt exactly as the bear did in this image.

catI knew I was going to have a tough time getting all of our scheduled training runs in this week due to my colonoscopy on Wednesday. We were scheduled to run 5 miles on Tuesday, 4 on Thursday and the long run on Saturday was a new distance of 9 miles. Since I was required to fast all day on Tuesday for the prep of the procedure on Wednesday, I wanted to move the 5 mile run to Monday. I did not count on my knees and lower back still aching from the long, 8 mile run the previous Saturday (and some tough rock climbing in the gym). It did not seem like a smart move to push my lower extremities that hard for just a short training run, especially when I know I can handle a 5 mile run fairly easily. If I injured myself at this point I would have been quite irritated at my choice to move up the run and stress old injuries. So, I decided to skip the Tuesday training all together-not something I do very often!

The colonoscopy went well and I took the rest of Wednesday night to recover. Then, I hit the rest of the week HARD! Thursday morning was my first run in 4 days! I was still dehydrated and a little weak so I took the 4 miles slower than usual, running an average pace of 9:48, but that was ok. It felt great to get back out there!

Friday I went rock climbing with my son!

rock 2

We went to Leavenworth Washington, about 2 hours east of our home in Redmond. It was sunny on the other side of the mountain pass and no one was on our routes, so we could take our time. We trad climbed on February Buttress, two routes, three pitches each. This shot was taken on our third pitch as we were topping out on Ground Hog Day.

rock 1

Ryan snapped a second shot while I was belaying him up the second pitch of Aquarius. Both climbs were only 300 to 400 feet up, but it looks so high in some of these pictures!

We hung out at the top and took in the view of the river and snow covered peaks around us.

mountain

And, had a snack and some water. This is my son’s idea of a healthy snack! I love him but he is a garbage can!

ryan top

Of course, what goes up must come down. We simultaneously rappelled both routes. And, even though we both had a couple twists and spins into the rock, there were only minor abrasions.

rock top

rock 3

I did not get hurt until the hike down. The descent was extremely steep and full of loose rocks (as many rock paths happen to be) and I fell hard, flat on my back, onto a pointed rock! I have no doubt that I cracked my tailbone-the bruise and pain make that obvious! Walking  and sitting were tough, and I was very concerned about the long run the next day. I would have to wait and see if that would happen. But it was all worth it!

It was a great day hanging (literally!) out with my son, who recently turned 21. Since he had to spend the whole day with his mom, I took him to dinner where we sat at the bar and he was carded for the first time. He even let me buy him a drink even though he has not acquired the taste for it yet. It was a fun milestone for me!

ryans drink

He chose a hard cider-as I said, not a big drinker! He didn’t finish it but he did have his first legal drink.

Then, I got up this morning with my nasty butt bruise and made the decision to try for the 9 miles today. It took the first 3 or 4 miles to get the old body through the pain, but eventually I got used to it and finished with a respectable 10 minute average.

running 9

The rain held off until the second half of the day which was much appericated, and I will take Sunday off from running. Just some light indoor climbing tomorrow will cap off the week. Not everything I did this week was super fun (referencing the colonoscopy here), but I am grateful that my body was able to function and allow me to do all the activities I truly enjoy!  I am feeling very blessed tonight, albeit sore!

Next week is another repeat of the 5, 4 & 9 mile schedule, and the start of the May calendar!

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May     2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10 1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

 

16

6miles

17

 

18

5miles

19

 

20

10miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

The weeks are flying by now and race day will be here in no time!

Half Marathon Training, Week 8 Update!

Wow, I can’t believe that we have hit the half way point already! Ours is a 16 week schedule and it is the end of week 8. And, what a week it was-not pretty for me! I have been struggling with a couple different, yet related issues. First off, I have been running at a much faster pace for some reason. Perhaps I am finally on the verge of some sort of breakthrough with respect to my training. The Tuesday, 6 mile run, should have been around an average 9:40 pace for me, but for some reason my first 3 miles were 9:22, 9:17 and 9:15. I kept telling myself to slow down, but I just didn’t! After the 4th mile, which was 9:35, I just could not catch my breath! I had to walk a bit during the last two miles and ended with a 9:35 average. I felt light headed, winded and completely out of shape! Which brings me to my next problem, nutrition. I did not eat much the day before, and took this six miles for granted. I told myself “its just 6 miles, it will be fine” and had my regular breakfast. I should have respected the run!

When the 4 mile run scheduled for Thursday rolled around, I was a little nervous. I did eat more the night before, got some good carbs into me, but what would happen with my pace? Once again I told myself, “its just 4 miles, it will be fine.” It was for the most part. My first split was 9:19, then 9:17 followed by 9:12! I knew I should slow down but this time it was just for 4 total, so I let it go and ended with an average of 9:17. I was irritated with myself for not being able to control my pace, but that was quickly replaced by the fact that this little 4 miler put me over the 500 total mile mark on my Nike run app!

4 mile run

 

This means that I have averaged 50 miles a month since I started keeping track (as I started the app last June, 2016). This is a major milestone for me and I am proud of my old body!

My happiness lasted a couple days until I realized that I had to run 8 miles on Saturday and was really worried about my inability to regulate my tempo, something I used to be really in tune with and was able to manipulate at will. My goal for this run would be to start at a slower pace and increase, albeit incrementally, with each subsequent mile. I prepared a well balanced pasta dinner for Friday night and we planned our trip into Seattle for the run around Green Lake-the same destination as last week’s 8 mile run. We got lucky in that the rain held off until I was (almost) done. Of course, my hubby was done 15 minutes before me, as he is so much faster. Here are my splits:

8 mile run

My goal was to have all green, which would mean that I did, indeed, get faster each mile. But, I am still very happy with this result! I did run too fast on the fourth mile, and was on track to finish strong but I got caught up in an event that was held at the Lake, a charity walk, which made darting in and out of people a much slower pace than I had preferred, you can tell that occurred in mile 7. Overall, I did a much better job of controlling my speed/pace, which was the overarching goal for this run. The week ended far better than it started!

Next week, we ramp up again. This time we have a 5, 4 and a 9 mile run! My husband will stay on this schedule, but I have to make some sort of change. I, unfortunately, will be having a colonoscopy on Wednesday. If you have had the pleasure, then you know that fasting is required on the day before, which is our Tuesday, 5 mile run day. I don’t think it would be wise to run on a day where all I have in me are popsicles and jello! I think I will run 5 on Monday and then get back on schedule.

I will let you know next weekend how this all plays out-wish me luck!

 

April 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable April Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar

March 2017 April 2017 May 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Week 5

  3/28

5 miles

  3/30

5 miles

  1

7 miles

2

week 6

3

 

4

5miles

5

 

6

7miles

7

 

8

Beat the bunny 5K

9

week 7

10

 

11

6miles

12

 

13

4miles

14

 

15

8miles

16

week 8

17

 

18

6miles

19

 

20

4miles

21

 

22

8miles

23

week 9

24

 

25

5miles

26

 

27

4miles

28

 

29

9miles

30

week 10

Notes:

Half Marathon Training, Week 7 Update!

We made it to week 7, and our first really long run of 8 miles. Tuesday’s 6 mile run went pretty well, overall. The weather was good, if not a little cold. There was no rain, but that wind! Yeesh, it really cuts through you! We are still in long pants and long sleeves when we are out there. I see a number of other runners on Instagram and on the running blogs in shorts and tank tops. Obviously it is warmer around the country. My pace is slower these days, don’t know if it’s the weather, my old body or both! Thursday’s 4 mile run felt like a sprint, even though it was raining. My husband was at work that day and claimed a “editing emergency” prevented him from running. Truth be told, I don’t think his heart was in it!

Saturday was the big 8, and the weather was gorgeous, with the exception of that wind again! For the long runs we like to head into Seattle for a change of scenery, and we decided to make the 30 minute trip over to Green Lake. It’s a 2.8 mile loop around the lake and there were plenty of people out for a pre Easter walk, run or bike ride. Of course, these days you have to make the most of a non-rainy day, so it was no surprise that it was busy.

8 mile run

It took me an hour and 18 minutes of straight running to pull this off as my pace dipped close to 10 minute/mile. But, overall I am pleased with how I felt during and after the run. Sore, definitely, but not completely dead!

We have another 6, 4 & 8 ahead next week, and a lot more rock climbing planned as we get closer to our Smith Rocks trip in May. I hope my feet forgive me one day!

athlests

 

April 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule

This is a blank and printable April Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar

March 2017 April 2017 May 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Week 5

  3/28

5 miles

  3/30

5 miles

  1

7 miles

2

week 6

3

 

4

5miles

5

 

6

7miles

7

 

8

Beat the bunny 5K

9

week 7

10

 

11

6miles

12

 

13

4miles

14

 

15

8miles

16

week 8

17

 

18

6miles

19

 

20

4miles

21

 

22

8miles

23

week 9

24

 

25

5miles

26

 

27

4miles

28

 

29

9miles

30

week 10

Notes: