Week 1 Training Recap

Week 1 of my official training plan was a success!

I didn’t follow it to the letter, but I got in all 19 miles that were in my schedule.

Here are some stats:

Total Mileage = 19.08

Longest Run = 8.65  miles

Average Pace over the week = 10:06 minutes per mile

Most embarrassing moment = toss up between a kid and his dad seeing me changing into my running clothes in my car and not being able to hold a plank for more than 20 seconds during Insanity.

Caught in the act

I’ve been keeping a pretty detailed log of my workouts. I’m hoping that this will help me identify what conditions (fuel, temps, etc) that work best for me, and those I need to improve on.

Week 1 training log


My goals for this week are to get more rolling/stretching in and to do some speed-work at some point!


Saturday WRRC group before our long run


Hydration Help

Drinking my daily recommended amount of water has always been hard for me.

This cat understands

It’s just not a habit for me to drink from a cup or water bottle during the day, especially at work. For one, I have a thing about public restrooms. I rarely, if at all, use the restroom at work. Don’t even get me started on porta potties. And so I think I have subconsciously trained myself not to drink too much during the day.

It’s harder than it looks

I drink most of my water during meals, probably 2 big glasses with dinner and lunch. But I’m definitely not getting my recommended daily dose of H2O (see, I can do science), and I think that may be contributing to the sluggishness I feel while I’m running even short distances, despite having been running consistently for over a month now.

struggle pup

So I’ve decided to make it a priority. There is a lot of variation among experts on how much water we should be drinking. According to different guidelines, I came up with everything from 64 to 118 ounces.  I’m going to set my goal right in the middle at 90 ounces a day, since I’m consistently working out in high temps. I just downloaded an app called Waterlogged to help me keep track of how much I’m drinking, especially at work.


You just tap the water bottle every time you finish a drink. It strikes me that this would also be useful for a night at the bars. It’s kind of like a drinking game, except with water. And no prizes or competition. I mean, it’s no flip cup….

But anyways, here’s to clear pee!

Thanks for supporting me Leo




First day of training

My 18 week training plan for the Chicago Marathon officially starts today!

Here’s the schedule I created, tweaked from this Hal Higdon Plan

Training Plan

Excel formatting is one of my favorite forms of self expression

Here’s the gist of it:

Mondays: Easy run

Tuesdays: Strength training and yoga at the gym (or other cross training)

Wednesdays: Easy run

Thursdays: Speed work

Fridays: Bike to work- about an 11 mile round trip (or other cross training)

Saturdays: Long run

Sundays: Recovery day and foam rolling

For the Thursday speed workouts, I’m planning to rotate between these drills:

Fartlek: Pick up the pace for segments of 30 seconds to four minutes, interspersed with easy-paced segments of similar duration. Go by time or run them between trees, street signs, or other landmarks during your run.
Kenyan Outbacks: These are like tempo runs—a few miles at a challenging pace—but with the second half much faster than the first. Example: Run an out-and-back route with the “out” in 20 minutes and the “back” in 17 minutes.
Track ladders: Do a track workout up and down the distance ladder. Early in the buildup the ladder range can be 200 to 800 meters; later on it can rise to 800 to 1600 meters. Example: Run 200, 400, 800, 400, and 200. Include an equal amount of slow jogging to recover between each faster repeat.
Yasso 800s: In the early weeks of the schedule, run six 800-meter repeats with 400-meter recovery jogs. Increase the number to 10 during peak training.
Hill repeats: Focus on form, not speed. In the early weeks, run four to six times up a moderate hill of 100 to 200 meters at an easy effort. Walk or jog down. In the middle of the training plan, simply do some tempo and long runs on hilly routes. Late in the buildup, run three to eight hill repeats of 100 to 400 meters at a medium to hard effort.

And of course this drill:








Finding a Running Club

Recently I’ve been looking for a running buddy. Running the same old routes by myself day after day gets a little old.  My friend H, who recently moved to a new city, has had great luck finding a friendly and supportive running group to go on training runs and travel to races with. After asking around at a local running store, I found out about the Wabash River Running Club. They host a few yearly races and organize free training runs several days a week.

I was a little intimidated initially, I expected this “official” running club to be full of experienced, elite athletes. I was pretty sure things would end up like this:

puppy stretch

So when I attended a training run on Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised to find a friendly group of mixed abilities. They were so welcoming and I got a bunch of new running technique and route tips! I’m planning to continue to join weekly training runs and attend their events.

Last night, WRRC hosted the first race of it’s Farmer’s Market 5k Series. On the third Wednesday of the month from May-September, you can compete in a timed 5k around Cumberland Park. I’m planning to use these races as speed workouts, and to track my progress leading up to the marathon.

photo 1 (1)

It was VERY muggy last night- one of the hottest days yet this spring. I tried to push myself, and managed an average pace of 8:28, finishing in 26:15. I’m not going to lie- it was a hard run. My heart rate was pretty much the highest it’s ever been, and I felt like I was going faster than I actually was. I have a long way to go if I want to maintain a pace only slightly slower than that for 26 miles in October. Maybe I need to re-adjust my goal times.

Anyways, it was a fun event. I ran behind these two goobers for a good part of the race, so my mind was pleasantly distracted with daydreams of running with my future puppy.

photo 2

Afterwards, I needed some fuel to recover- you know what that means:

photo 4

Extra sprinkles.

Cross Training

My usual workout routine is pretty varied in terms of activities. I’ve hopped on a lot of bandwagons, including:

In the last few years, I’ve mixed running with group fitness classes pretty evenly. But lately, I’ve been concentrating so much on getting my running routine down that I have not been keeping up with other forms of exercise*. I know that I need strong arms and a strong core to increase my running power and to prevent injuries. Right now I can barely do a push-up.

30 Rock


And so I have declared a new Holiday:


Big Reveal

Big Reveal

Every Tuesday, I’m going to get to the gym after work and take a class or two. Yesterday, for the inagural Cross Training Tuesday, I started with something called “Insanity”. Have you ever heard of Insanity? These classes all have crazy names and I figured it was just another version of the resistance training routines that I’ve attended many times. It’s probably a good thing that I had not heard of Insanity, because if I had I might not have gone. What I learned was that the class is basically 50 solid minutes of jumping:

What the professionals look like

It pretty much killed me. We did star jumps, alternating lunge jumps, criss-cross jumps, push-up jumps, crunch jumps, basically just take any workout move and add a jump. It made me sweaty/tired/hungry like crazy.

Then I decided to treat myself to a nice relaxing yoga session. I haven’t had a good long stretch in a while, so this was quite enjoyable.

I really need a dog.

*Sign you should not be writing a running blog: you spell exercise wrong every time.



Glory Days

I’m back at home visiting family and friends this weekend. This morning, I went for a run with one of my running idols, H. Over the last two years or so, H has transformed from normal post-college lazy human being to world-conquering running superhero. She ran her first marathon a few months ago, and she is the person I go to to ask questions/whine about running.

H lives in another part of the country, so it was great to be able to meet up with her for a run while we were both home. Right now she is recovering from her marathon and working on her running form. She had a ‘form analysis’ done by a physical therapist, and she is working on correcting some things- namely her posture and her stride. She runs with a metronome-like app- it ticks out a beat which she is supposed to match her steps to.

We did run/walk intervals, which I have never tried before. Basically we ran for a minute then walked for 30 seconds, for 6.5 miles. While it was nice to take regular breaks, I got a little hangry towards the end. Basically whenever we stopped to walk I wanted a hot dog. Actually the whole time I just wanted a hot dog.

my love for hot dogs knows no bounds

Our run took us through town, and we ran by our old high school. We decided to take a lap around the track for old times sake. H and I both ran track throughout high-school. We were sprinters- H specialized in hurdles, while I ran the 100/200/4×100 short sprints. As we were doing our lap, and watching the high-schoolers practice, we remembered the great divide between the sprinters and the “long distance” runners on our team.


Where it all began

At the time, despite the fact that we were running 20+ sprint reps during workouts 6 days a week, we saw ourselves strictly as short distance runners. Sometimes we would do a 1-mile warmup with the whole team, and we thought that distance was SOOO LONG. If you had asked High School Me to run two miles, I would have whined like crazy. I didn’t think I was capable of running distance, and I was not interested in trying.

I kept this mindset throughout my college years and beyond. When I first started running regularly about three years ago, I was majorly intimidated by the prospect of running multiple miles. I remember being so amazed the first time I ran THREE WHOLE MILES! It was a revelation that I had that kind of distance in me, even when I was relatively out of shape.

I guess I’m kind of trying to tell you where I’ve come from, and why running a marathon is such a stretch for me. It’s something I spent most of my life believing was for super-elite long distance runners, a category which I would never have put myself in. 26.2 miles still sounds daunting to me – every time I say it I just think “THAT IS TWICE AS FAR AS I HAVE EVER RUN”.

This story has a happy ending. After our 6.5 mile run/walk, I dropped H off at the hotel she was staying at, and decided to step in to take a peek at the breakfast situation. Long story short: I ate half of the food on the buffet. I don’t mean I tried half of the things, I mean I ate half of the total quantity. There were even hotdog-like sausages. It was amazing.

Truer words have never been spoken

Truer words have never been spoken

The week in review

Luckily I am not as lazy about running as I have been about posting to this blog!

lazy dog

Do not fear blog readers, what I lack in quantity, I will make up for in quality, because as you can see, I have learned how to insert gifs. Things just got much more exciting here in blogland.


In running news: I managed 4 runs last week! Here are some stats:

Total Distance: 13.63

Longest Distance: 5.8 miles

Average Pace Per Mile: 9:26

Shortest/Most Hungover Run: 1.18 miles


I am pretty proud of myself for managing four runs, even if one was kind of cheating. My hope is to keep consistent with 4-5 runs per week.


The reason I was hungover on Friday was because I went to Chicago to see my friend Jessie’s awesome band’s live show!  They are called all boy/all girl and they just finished a tour of the Midwest. I’m not the greatest at describing music, but I guess they are kind of an Indie Pop group- they feature a great combo of musicians, including a bass, ukulele, and strings on top of the usual guitar and drums. I have been listening to and loving their album since it was released, but  seeing them live was a whole different experience- they are so fun and alive on stage.

Wine bottles were half-priced at the venue, and I may or may not have split two bottles of wine with one other person. I get hangovers like crazy, despite my incessant attempts to find a hangover miracle cure. This weekend, I tried milk thistle, which according to this article will leave me with “No headache, no nausea, no desire to curl up into a ball and never move”.  Unfortunately it was not to be- although I maybe did not feel as 100% worthless as usual, I still experienced headaches, waves of nausea, extreme whineness and inability to control my emotions.

Last week I also hit a milestone- I ran my 100th mile since the beginning of 2014!


In January, I set myself a goal to run 600 miles by the Marathon (October 12th). I also made a deal with my husband that, for a little extra motivation, I am allowed to buy a new piece of workout clothing or gear every 50 miles I run.

I have taken this deal to heart, as evidenced by my bill at lululemon on Friday. I purchased a sweet pair of running tights on sale for $49 (which is a crazy steal for that store) as well as two more of their fly away tamer headbands, which I love because they, ya know, tame my fly-aways, which otherwise always whip into my eyes as I’m running.


Overall a successful trip, and a successful week in marathon training!