Tag Archive | training plan

Suck it Up Buttercup and Smile

I’ll let you in on a not so secret secret

Running a Marathon is hard.

I’ll let you in on another not so secret secret

Training for a marathon is even harder.

Yup, I said it.

I think that the training is just as demanding as running the actual marathon,

maybe even more so because you don’t tend to have cheering fans on a training run even if using Nike+


in a very different way.

Yes, Running a Marathon is VERY hard

as the saying goes,

If it was easyIt really is the truth.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone has to run a marathon if you don’t want to.

What I’m saying is that since I for some reason have said that I’m going to run a marathon, I need to train so that I can finish said marathon.    Anyone who has read the last few posts, might know that I’ve been struggling.    My struggles though have been more mental which has made my running suffer.   I made the mistake of letting the doubts creep in.   Yes, everyone has doubts time to time.   The trick is to use your doubts to motivate you to push through not give you an excuse to fail.   I needed to take a step back.   A brief one as I’m running out of time to flub my training.   I messed up a run.   I missed some runs.   I was becoming my own worst enemy.   I needed to get out of my way and just run.

I went back and looked at my training runs realizing that I was able to do these runs that I was flubbing.   I talked to Dawn.   I talked with my coach.   Both had very similar words of advice for me.

” You have done so well with this training and IT IS NOT EASY. “

NO it’s not easy.   I never expected it to be easy, but even though I ran a marathon last year; this is my first time marathon training.   I just did not take into account how hard it would be, but I’m realizing that is a good thing.    I need it to be hard.   I need to push myself.   I want to do this and most of all I want to enjoy doing this.

Today, I went for a training run where I did not worry about my pace.   I needed this run to get my head in the game.   I only wanted to finish my 9 miles.   I downloaded a mix on my Rock My Run App, put on my sun block, loaded up with water, and out the door I went.   I used to run to think about why I started on this journey.   I really just fell into running because of my first Sprint Triathlon.   I hated it, but over time I realized what it brought into my life.    That although not a “fast” runner, I could be a steady runner.   It was something that I did for me.   I also thought about how far of come, how much I’ve accomplished, and how much I can still accomplish if I just keep my head on straight.

Back to the run.   I did it.   I did what I set out to accomplish.   Running just to run.   Running for the joy I get out of it.   Then when I looked at my splits, I realized that I wasn’t that far off pace from what my training plan called for 20-25 seconds.    Average pace ended up being 11:06 in 1:37:12.   My head is back in the game….   At least for today!

insane 2


Get Out of My Head

Before I started marathon training with Caolan, I would have been very happy with today’s run.   On face value, my run looks good.   The problem is I have been training and running long enough that I am very disappointing in it.

 cut-down cut-down2 Yes, on face value this is a very nice run.   The problem is that this is not the run I was supposed to do today.    I was supposed to do what my coach calls a cut-down AKA as a tempo run.  I was prepared for this run.   I had the perfect route mapped out which was relatively flat.    I had my paces written out, water bottles filled, and Garmin actually charged.

cutdown3Yup, on paper it seemed like I was ready to go.   The problem was that I needed to get out of my own head yet again.   I’ve been hitting my paces on my normal runs but for some reason when it comes to my cut-downs I think I freak myself out.   These paces just seem too fast for me and I think that I choke and stall  on my run (yet again).

Today the heat came back and I should have gone out for my run early.   The problem was that I have been getting out early a lot lately and I was still recovering from my early than earlier volunteer position.    Then I had to take my son somewhere this morning at 8:30 not getting back and ready to run till 9:30.    I should have scrubbed the run and done a blinkie run, but I thought I still had time to beat the heat.   It really wasn’t that hot yet and I went for it.

I started off ok with the exception of my damn quads (yes, still).   I stopped once I warmed up a little to stretch them and my hip flexors which also seemed to be in need of some stretching as well.    Then it went down hill from there.   I kept going, stopping, and going.   Once I hit mile 5, I had a planned stop for a convenience  store to get water.   I opted for Gatorade hoping for a miracle.

At this point, my pace was better, but not on target which I had already given up on hitting.   I stopped watching my watch and scrubbed the run as a cut-down.   I had nothing to do but think about all the things that went wrong with this run, what I could do in the future, and wondering why I was doing this in the first place.   My main conclusion was that I really just talked myself out of being able to hit the paces before I even gave myself a chance to hit them.   I need to figure out how to not let these runs mess with my mind.    It’s a work in progress.

I also thought about how even though I have run a marathon last year, this is the first time actually  marathon training.     I think that since I am not following a generic training plan but a plan designed for me;  I know that I should be able to do the things assigned to me.   I know that my coach knows what she’s doing.   I know she wouldn’t be giving me these paces if she didn’t think I could hit them especially since I have hit them in the past.   So I have to figure this out.

Tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow is another run.

I won’t give up.   I will roll my quads.   I will stretch.   I will do what I need to do.   What I won’t do is give up.


Weekly Training Recap


So it appears Marathon training is in full swing!   Somehow it snuck up on me and apparently I am in the thick of it already.   I was looking at my miles for the Month of July as June I hit 100 and I wanted to see if I would this month too.   Not a problem as I hit it today and we’ve still got a little more than a week to go.  Not even sure how that happened.  This is when I realized that I’m in marathon training.  This past week I ran 30 miles alone!

The surprising thing even with the higher miles I’m feeling pretty good.   I’m noticing that on my faster pace runs that is usually when my Plantar Fasciitis bothers me.   I think between my orthotics, taping my foot, the stretching, and heating my foot it is all coming together.   It’s a slow process and I wish it would just hurry up and go away, but it is better.   I think this may just be something I will have to just realize is part of my running.

Boo Hoo!

Anyway, in looking at my training this last week, I’m realizing that really my runs have just been steadily getting longer.   It’s not just that I went from zero to a hundred overnight.   I’ve been adding a mile to most of my runs over the last couple of weeks.   Very sneaky, Caolan, very sneaky.   It’s good this gradual increase because first of all that is what your supposed to do and secondly I didn’t even notice.

I was also able to sneak in two group runs this past week.   One was a group run that I intentionally let myself fall behind on as they were running at a 9:40 pace and I was supposed to run a little slower and I knew my faster cut-down was 2 days later.   I ran faster than my pace called for but I did have the company of another mama runner who also didn’t want to keep up the faster pace.   Then I was able to do my nice easy 5 with my girlfriend who didn’t mind that I was slowing her down to an easy 11 mile pace.   I needed these group runs:)

Now as I’m in the thick of it, I am also preparing for our annual family vacation to Vermont.   I’m working with my coach to make sure that I don’t loose steam on vacation.   This will be the first vacation that I really try to continue with a training plan while there.   It should be interesting.   She is also going to make this a set back week which I need anyway.   Hopefully this will help and the hills of Vermont will be kind to me.

How do you keep up with your training on Vacation.

Ruh Roh!


I knew it was coming.

Sort of.

I was preparing for it.

Sort of.

But now the gauntlet has been thrown down by my running coach.    It’s Marathon Training Time.

Ruh Roh!

These last few weeks that I’ve been working with Caolan, the long running coach, have been preparing both of us for this.   Her getting to know my abilities.   Me getting to know her expectations and training ways.   It’s been working well.   Now it’s time to get serious.

Ruh Roh!

She sent me my training plan for the next two weeks with the miles building up which I was expecting.   We’ve talked about her thoughts on milage and I do know as we get further into training, the miles will build to about 40 a week.

Ruh Roh!

One of the things that I do like though is that she doesn’t think the dreaded 20 miler runs are necessarily warranted.   It’s really a case by case basis.   Some need it to mentally prepare to run a marathon, but since I’ve run one before I don’t need that mental aspect of it.    That is good, because I don’t think I could follow a plan that had 2 or 3 twenty mile runs in them.   This is not to say I will not have LONG runs, but they will be set on time.   Plus it might be multiple days of decent miles.   She feels it’s less wear and tear on the body and I will not argue with that thought process.   I like it.   Plus, we are working on getting my Plantar Fascitiis under control.   Per her suggestion, I’ve been heating instead of icing and it seems to be helping.

One thing that scared me in her last email though is the fact that she came to the conclusion on my last couple of runs that “those indicate that you can probably run faster .” 

  Damn.   Damn. Damn.

So now not only is she upping the miles, she is giving them a faster pace.   Not all as she still wants my recovery runs to be very slow, but other runs are going to speed up.

Ruh Roh!

I believe Mary said something to the effect of this on our way home from the Queens 10K,  “so your upset that your coach is making you do the things your paying her to do.”

Well yes and no.

Yes because it’s easy not to worry about where you finish when you are convinced your slower than you might actually be.   To actually try to go faster will be both a mental and physical challenge.    (You get what I’m talking about, don’t you Dawn:)

No because without her help I don’t think I would get to where hopefully I’m going to end up….

The finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon:)

Have you started your training yet?

What are you training for?

How Slow Can You Go?

slow down

Ok, I’m ready to start working with my new coach.   I just got my first training plan and it’s time to get moving.   It’s only for 4 days as I will normally get my weekly plan on Tuesday’s.    It seems like when I get my new plans, I will then email her back with my weekly completed training plans with some notes.   She needs to know what I completed, how I felt, paces, and such.  Seems pretty reasonable and I am excited to get started.  I guess it’s a good thing that I bought the training journal to keep track of things too!

One thing that struck me though is that FOR NOW she wants me to slow down my training runs.   The next two runs are scheduled to be run at 11+.    What?   How can that be?    I think my average run lately is in the low 10’s or better.   To slow down is going to be hard.  It goes against the grain.   When I first started running, I was running an eleven minute mile.   Now to intentionally run this “slow” is just going to seem weird and it is actually going to be hard to do.   I will do it, but it won’t be without a lot of looking at my Garmin for help.   I know that I am going to have to pay close attention to my time and not just go with the flow.  Caolan has assured me that there is a method to her madness and to trust her.    As I said before, she knows what she is doing.   So I will trust her knowledge that I need to run at these slower paces more than my desire not to.

The one line in the email that really stood out to me was when she said,

Most of us run too fast too often and not fast enough ever.

She is so right and I will listen to her.

So I will check my ego at the door and run the pace or as close to the pace as she tells me to run.

The real challenge will be being brave enough to get in my swim suit tomorrow for a swim!

Wish me luck!

Have you ever slowed down to speed up?

Starting off on the Right Foot:)

So this week as I said I would do, I climbed back on the wagon.

Yesterday was a rest day and I took full advantage of it too.   I figured the best way to start off on the right foot is with not necessarily pretty feet but good feet..   It’s been a hard winter and my feet showed it.   I’ve also been majorly overdo for a pedicure too and my feet showed it.   Normally they ask if you want callouses removed.   This time it wasn’t phrased as a question but a statment.

I felt bad for the girl who practically had to use a hacksaw to fix my feet.


I think her expression reflects the level of duress that she was under! I think she should have been wearing a hazmat suit.  Don’t look too closely at this picture as you may loose your lunch.  Also my legs are wrapped and that is why they look they way they do.    I’m just glad the chairs next to me were empty!  Don’t worry, I tipped well.

She did a great job and now my feet are ready to begin my training.


Yes, even Finn will now sit at my feet:)

And Yes, I snuck in a picture of my dog.

Since I’m trying to modify my training not just to alleviate boredom but also to try to keep over training injuries at bay, today I did 6 miles on the bike at the gym and some abs.  Can’t wait for the streets to be clear of snow as I really do need to train more on my actual bike.   Last year, I felt very uncomfortable with my bike at both Triathlons that I did. I was not fluid and felt out of step.   I need more bike time to fix that.   It was a hard decision not to run today because it really is so nice out, but if I’m going to have a plan I really should follow it.

Tomorrow, hopefully, swimming.   I haven’t done that in a LOOOOONG time.   I need to check the pool schedule and then see what happens.

What do you do to keep your training interesting?

It’s Time To Get Serious!

Ok, I’ve been pretty serious about my Hat Trick Training (ya think?).   I’ve been following the plan.   I’m a good follower.   Probably because I wouldn’t know what to do otherwise and I’m committed to finishing.   I’ve also been following a very specific plan for this event since it’s not your normal weekend run.   The Intermediate Plan for Runner’s World Half-Marathon Hat Trick – 12 weeks from the people of Runner’s World.    Can’t get much more specific than that!!

Will the plan work?    Only time will tell and we’re in the single digits now!   9 DAYS!    It feels like I’ve been training for this forever but I guess only 10 1/2 weeks now.

Am I ready?

Who knows!

What I do know is I’ve been running my @ss off.   Too bad it didn’t also run off my pouch but that’s a different story.   What I do have from following this plan is  a sense of calmness.   I know that I have done all that I can do to prepare.   I have pushed myself.   I have ran through the pain.   I am ready to give it my all.  I really can’t ask any more of myself.

Will I finish all three races?

I do think I will.

I, honestly, don’t see why I wouldn’t baring any problems race days.  This last HM has shown me that when the going gets tough, I can keep going and really that’s all I need to do.   All I want to do is cross the finish line.

Again and Again!

That will be enough for me



How to prepare for life big events?

Feeling a Little Dangerous

When I first ran my first half marathon, I was lucky enough to go with three experienced runners and racers. On the way there they were all talking about what their pace was going to be what their plan was going to be for the Half. All the things a serious runner should know. When they asked me what my goal pace and finish time was, I had both no idea or answer except to say that my goal was to finish. I hadn’t given it any more thought than that. I, honestly, didn’t even know what would be considered a good finish time.

When we got to the start line, we made plans where to meet at the finish line as I told them not to wait for me. What I ended up doing was literally just following behind them the first few miles letting them set my pace. They didn’t even know I was there till about mile 3. A funny thing happened, I realized that I might just be able to keep up with them and I did. Eventually, I even ran with them and not behind them like a stalker. I even had what I now know was a decent finish time of 2:09.

I really had no idea what I was doing either. I just followed the group pace and luckily it worked for me. On the way home I said that I if I knew what I was doing, I might be dangerous. I still don’t know what I’m doing, but since then I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that training involves more than just going out for a run. There are different types of training runs – the “easy” runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, and the long distance slow runs. Not only do I know about these runs, I’m actually doing them. I still have so much to learn but I’m starting to feel a little dangerous.

I’ve even decided on a plan for the Hat Trick. I’m going to run the 5K as a slow warm up. Not trying to get any type of PR. Then I’m going to focus my energy on the 10K. This will be my goal race. I’ve never run a 10k, so I want to finish with a good time. My goal time is to be around 60 minutes. I may be shooting for the stars, but why not. This is what I will use as my training pace. Then for my Half the next day, I, ideally, would like to finish around 2:30.

So now I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a training schedule. I’ve also got an awesome running mentor who is showing me the ropes. I’m definitely living dangerous now!!