Saturday, August 31, 2013

70 Miles!

Today's short run was the last of August and brought me over 70 miles for the month. Not much to many, but compared to how much I ran the rest of the year, this is huge. More than June and July combined! And I feel amazing and am completely in love with running again.

It drives me nuts that I couldn't get July's miles under the month.

We'll see if I'm still riding this high after Monday's 18 miler...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I did a quick 4 miles this morning and despite the humidity coming back, I felt like running fast. With the exception of my left glute/hamstring feeling a little tight, my legs felt recovered from Monday's long run. 1.25 miles in I decided to throw in some quarter-mile surges with quarter-mile recovery jogs. Luckily it worked out that it was time for the fast parts on the flattest sections of my route. I missed the time after the second interval, so did half a mile rest before starting the third.

#1 - 1:49
#2 - 1:46 (which is a 6:59 pace and you don't know how happy it makes me to hit that speed smack-dab in the middle of the run!)
#3 - 1:54 (uphill)

Total of 4.1 miles in 35:04, 8:33 pace. Stoked!

2. Zeke has his Kindergarten orientation tonight and will have the chance to ride the school bus before the first day on Tuesday. He is super excited and I'm having the I'm-excited-for-you-but-am-sad-at-the-same-time-that-you-are-old-enough-for-school-already feelings. *sigh*

3. We visited Reid State Park a couple of afternoons ago. Yet another gorgeous place to go close to home...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week in Review

I'm so excited to have completed this week of training!

Here's what I did this week -

Tuesday - off
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 4.9 mi/42:42/8:45 pace
Friday - 2 mi/17:10/8:32 pace
Saturday - dinner with the girls! (not a workout, but in my book this is worth mentioning on the blog)
Sunday - off
Monday - 14 mi/2:09:41/9:15 pace

I woke up yesterday morning to rain and had a little trouble finding the motivation to get out the door, but got out there and got it done. I was hoping to get between 14-16 miles. At first I considered doing 5-mile loops as I wasn't carrying water with me so I needed to stay close to home. Hydration was an issue on last week's 2-hour run. Plus breaking up a long run like that really helps it not seem so daunting of a distance. I decided to take it one step further and really work on my mental toughness by doing one mile loops. Crazy? Maybe, but that's how I roll.

Over 1000 ft up and 1000 ft down

I knew I'd still get in some hill-work since I live at the base of a steep hill, but I'd also get to come down one toward the end of the loop for recovery. I tried keeping the pace slow, but darn it, my legs just wanted to go. My average pace through 10 miles was 9:07, two seconds faster than what would earn me a sub-4 marathon. Just to make it clear, a sub-4 is not my goal for October's marathon, but I finally feel that a somewhat easy pace is back to the low-nines. Even though I should be running slower that that for long runs, it is so darn hard to go hurts. I suppose that is the point, but still.

I did end up walking the first part of the steep hill on the next three laps, but ran the rest of the way. Since each lap was just over a mile, I didn't have to go back up the hill to hit fourteen, but instead just ran the straightaway in front of my house back and fourth until I hit my goal mileage.

My hammies and glutes were well worked and I foam rolled and wore compression for the rest of the day. I'm feeling great today, but will be sticking with my schedule of two days of rest to be ready for my short, fast runs on Thursday and Friday. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What's been going on?

Wow! How has a week already gone by since my last post? The end of the summer is certainly flying by. Zeke starts Kindergarten in less than two weeks and Finn will be starting preschool in three. My babies!!! *sigh*

Last week in training 8/13-8/19 (sorry, late in this update) - 

Tuesday - off
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 4.1 miles, 37:37, 9:16 m/m
Friday - 2.5 miles, 21:16, 8:28 m/m
Saturday - off
Sunday - off
Monday - 12.35 miles, 2:00:02, 9:43 m/m

Since I'm kind-of experimenting with this marathon training plan I decided to run Monday's long run on time rather than a set distance. So I just got dressed and ran. I didn't have any set course in mind. At first I had planned on running one hour in one direction and then turn around, but I somehow forgot and starting doing a loop and threw that plan out the window. I did some exploring of the city instead. My route went all over the place and I ended up running down the same road at least three times, but it was great. I even timed the return so well that I hit two hours literally 20 feet from my house. Not bad for not planning! The run was tough, but I concentrated on keeping my pace about 40-45 seconds slower than my marathon pace...or what I'm shooting for for a marathon pace. I did take a few walk breaks up the last few hills. 

MDI Marathon course profile

I'm not going to lie, I'm just freaking out a little at the thought of more than doubling that distance. I've done it before, so I know I can, but haven't run anything over 14 miles this whole year with Monday's run being the next longest run in 2013.

But the exciting news is that this long run made August my highest monthly mileage of 2013! Tomorrow's run will bring me over 50 miles! Not a lot by other's standards, but I'm making my comeback! 

I'm off to take two more truck loads of demolition crap to the dumpster a.k.a. strength training. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. MDI training. I did an easy four miles this morning. I gave myself one extra recovery day yesterday after Monday's hilly 10-miler, so my legs were fresh and ready to go. It was a crisp morning with not a cloud in the sky. It was a just about perfect progression run that was only thwarted in the third mile when I had to stop for traffic and didn't pause my watch.
Mile 1 - 9:33
Mile 2 - 9:25
Mile 3 - 9:30 {lost about 20 seconds due to drivers not stopping for pedestrians (me) in the crosswalk}
Mile 4 - 8:43

2. Spandits! Seriously, you need to get yourself a pair (or two or more). The girls and I decided to get these for the Spartan Race in November. 

They are so soft and perform amazingly! Spandits! is a small Maine company owned and operated by mother runners and offer so many fun patterns. Really everything I want in a running garment! I think I want to get something in this pattern for MDI in October. 

Check them out at

3. Porch progress. Today the boys and I finished up laying the pavestones and built the step. You don't know how happy having a step again makes me. The porch renovation still has a way to go, but the major part of the building is done. Here's a little look at when I just started working on it to where it is now - 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week in Review

Here's a quick recap of last week's training:

Tuesday - off (moved twelve 5-gallon buckets of damp sand and walkway pavers - phew!)
Wednesday - 4.5 miles
Thursday - .5 mile WU, hill repeats {:44, :40, :40, :39, :40), 1 mile CD
Friday - off
Saturday - off
Sunday - in lieu of long run, weight training in the form of filling a 30 yd dumpster with all our crap, and moving more 5 gallon buckets of sand
Monday - 10 miles @ 9:24 average pace

It was a beautiful morning for a run. I woke up after a not so great night of sleep, but knew that I had to get out the door. I decided to run down through Phippsburg to get in some more good hill training for MDI. 

The route also has some really picturesque spots too, so that helps when I'm running solo.

I tried to keep the pace slow, and did well for the first couple of miles. My comfy, easy pace seems to be around 9:20, though I know I should be running the long run slower than that.

Mile one and two - 9:50, 9:35

Mile three crosses the small bridge over into Phippsburg and I saw (and heard) about fifty Canada geese in the water and on the shore. I happened to clock this mile in 9:06, though it didn't feel like I was going that fast.

However the hill that comes shortly after mile three certainly slowed me down.

I almost got to the top before my legs gave out and I had to walk to the top. But can you blame me? Look at that beast! Mile four - 9:48

I was able to keep a pretty steady pace for the next five miles and even ran the entire way up the backside of the monster hill which takes about a mile of running to get to the top in that direction.

Miles 5 - 9 - 9:17, 9:12, 9:17, 9:17, 9:12

I was in a pretty good running groove and feeling pretty strong, either that or my legs were just numb at this point. I did have to walk for just a few seconds up the third to last hill. My ankles were sore from running so much in the soft and uneven dirt on the side of the road, I was done - tired, thirsty, and hungry. Mile ten - 9:32. Pancakes with fresh Maine blueberries were ready as soon as I got home!

We decided against going back to the old house for more dumpster filling and drove the route I just ran to go to Popham Beach State Park. It was a perfect day for the beach!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beach to Beacon 10K 2013 {Race Recap}

On Saturday, I ran in Maine's premier road race, the Beach to Beacon 10K. I woke up early to meet my running buddies and make the trek down to Cape Elizabeth. 

So early, but beautiful.

It was overcast with temps in the 60s. Such a welcome change from the oppressive heat and humidity of the last two years I ran this race.

We hopped on a bus that shuttled us to the start. This was much nicer than where we got dropped off last year when we had to walk approximately a mile to get to the starting area. We got there in plenty of time to use the port-o-potties twice. 

Ready to run!

I eventually made my way to line up halfway between the 8- and 9-minute per mile signs and ended up standing right next to Superman.

Soon we started moving forward and two minutes after the gun, I crossed the start line and was off. I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't planning on racing all out and wanted to enjoy the race. And that is what I did. I ran comfortably hard at around 80-85% effort. By the time I got through mile two, I felt like I could sustain this pace forever. I was pleasantly surprised that miles one and two were both 8:22. There were water stops at each mile and didn't stop until mile three. I was starting to get hot and wanted to make sure I got through the hills in the last couple of miles. 

Mile three - 8:16

The crowd support was fantastic. People lined the roadsides for a majority of the course and I was able to smile and enjoy the scenery, something I didn't do the two years prior. 

Taken on the 3 mile walk back to the car, but this is part of the course.

There was a little drizzle coming down and I felt strong. My legs were feeling a little fatigued, but I was able to push through the discomfort and kept plugging along.

Mile four - 8:25

The fifth mile is when the hills start and I felt so good. This is where I had to do a death march last year and my only walking race picture was taken. But not this year! The hills didn't feel as big or long. I powered right up them, passing people left and right. 

White shirt, pink skirt and shoes on left
Previous three photos courtesy Maine Running Photos

Mile five - 8:17

My average pace was right around 8:20 and I knew at this point that I had a course PR in the bag! So excited!

I arrived at Fort Williams before I knew it. I could not believe how quickly the race flew by. 

Mile six - 8:32

I kicked it into high gear for the last .2 with my pace dropping down into the mid-6s! I crossed the line, said hello to Joan Benoit Samuelson who was congratulating runners at the finish, and reveled in the glory of a 2-minute course PR.

Wade, Jill, Me, Ward, Stacy, Heather

Could I have gone faster? I'm sure of it. But I'm loving even more that I was enjoying every moment of this race and PR'd the course without even trying. This just further confirms how having a go with the flow and stress-free outlook positively affects my performance. (And cooler weather.) I wasn't nervous at all, I was out there to have fun. So that's what I did.

Final stats: 52:07, 8:24 pace, 2169 out of 6247 overall, 666 out of 3135 females, 112 out of 495 in AG (35-39)

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Beach to Beacon is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll be running in the Beach to Beacon 10K. There aren't too many races out there where you can "compete" with runners like Meb Keflezighi, Deena Kastor, and Ryan Hall, but this is one of them if you are lucky enough to get entry.

I wasn't planning in running this race again this year. I've done it the last two years (54:06, 54:26) Click on the links for the recaps from 2011 and 2012. Last year was so brutally hot and I know how much my running suffers in the heat, I didn't feel like I needed to do the race again.

2011 - in the pink and black on the right
2012 - with Stacy and Jill 

Then someone offered to transfer their bib to me, so I decided to run in one more time. I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess.

Good news is, I'm running this race with no expectations of setting a PR. The temperature is supposed to be cooler than last year, but it will still be in the 70s which is still too warm for me to run fast. But who knows what tomorrow will bring?