Monday, July 17, 2017

First 50+ Mile Week of this cycle! Chicago 26.2 Training: Week 11

Hot summer running leads to huge fall racing PRs, right? Lately, it seems that all my long runs have been slogs no matter how early I start. At least at this point in training I don't have to worry about pace during my long runs. It's just about time on my feet. I'll enjoy it now because it won't last long. 

I've completed my base-building phase. I've completed my strength building phase. Now sh*t's getting real. I've just completed my first 50+ mile week for the Chicago Marathon. I'm now embarking on my marathon-specific training which means fast finishes at the end of long runs when I'm tired or starting slow and building speed in workouts. This is a weakness of mine and I'm looking forward to improving. 

Week 11 (July 10-16)

Monday: 6 miles easy (6.2 miles, 9:21/mi) Jasyoga: 5-min Hamstring Reset +core

Tuesday: 6 miles easy (6.0 miles, 9:29/mi). 

Wednesday: 2 miles warm-up, 2 x 1 mile @8:15-8:20/mi, 2 x 800m in 4:00 min, 2 x 1 mile @8:05-8:10/mi. 2 minute recovery between each rep. Rep times: 8:16, 8:14, 3:55, 3:53, 7:50, 7:45. I loved this workout. It was tough, it was hard but I pushed through and hit my paces. (9.2 miles, 8:48/mi).

Thursday: OFF. Jasyoga: 5-min Hamstring Reset 

Friday: 8 miles easy (8.0 miles, 9:30/mi). 30 minute Tabata class pre-run and Jasyoga: Power Your Push Off

Saturday: 5 miles easy (5.2 miles, 8:56/mi). Paul ran the first two miles with me. :) Jasyoga: Flexible Running Hamstrings

Sunday: 18 mile long run (18.0 miles, 9:54). Oh boy, was this a slog. It was 73F when we started at 5:30 am. I also probably started the run dehydrated because of drinking beer and not water the night before. My running group and I have had previous discussions. 2 beers the night before a long run = okay. 3 beers the night before a long run = not okay. I will now add this: 3 beers before a long HOT run = super not okay. 

Total Weekly Miles: 52.6 miles (8 hours 16 minutes)
2017 Miles: 752 miles

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Steamy tempo run on July 4th
I can't believe it's been 10 weeks since I started training for the Chicago Marathon and I can't believe I had the audacity to ask my coach 3 weeks ago if I was going to be getting more miles and more mid-week longer runs. Thank you, Coach Becki! I'm feeling strong and fit and I now know that this is when the grind begins. I may have said the same thing last week. 

Week 10 (July 3-9)

Monday: Plan said OFF, but I skipped Sunday's run because of travel ( & maybe wine the night before). 4 miles easy (4.0 miles, 9:27/mi). I also had an appointment with my physical therapist--just for a mid-cycle tune up. Oh boy, he worked me. My glutes were sore for days. I also had a one hour massage and did a Jasyoga video (Low-Back Love). A vacation day from work made this all possible.

Tuesday: Happy 4th of July! I also I had my longest mid-week run of this cycle. It also happened to be an alternating tempo. 11 miles with 2 miles warm-up, 8 miles alternating between goal marathon pace and a moderate-effort pace, 1 mile cool-down. Paul ran the first two miles with me. He walked back with water for me. Because it was a tempo and I didn't want to stop, he handed off the bottle to me. I felt like an elite! ;) Tempo miles: 8:24 (too fast), 8:59 (too fast), 8:39, 9:08, 8:39, 9:33, 8:34, 9:22. The last two miles were ROUGH. (11 miles, 9:02/mi). 

The other direction isn't easier.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy (6.1 miles, 9:51/mi). Nothing spectacular about this run, but it felt like a super Monday after 5 days of no work and a 5 am alarm. 

Thursday: 8 miles easy (8.2, 9:53/mi). Hilly run with my early morning running group. We ran the same route last week, but in reverse. We soon figured out both directions are hard with lots of climbing. 

Friday: 4 miles easy. I didn't run. 30 minute Tabata class (Burpees). 

Saturday: 16 miles long run. I joined the Runegades for their weekly group run for my middle miles. It was a brutal run with lots of heat and hills. When I started the run at 5 am it was 77F. When I finished almost 3 hours later it was in the low-90s. We start and finish these group runs at Panera. When I finished I walked straight into the restaurant and ordered a frozen lemonade. I've never done that before. It was good, but gone in 10 seconds. (16.0 miles, 9:54/mi).

Sunday: OFF. I was a lazy bum all day and enjoyed it!

Total Weekly Miles: 45.3 miles (7 hours, 17 minutes)
2017 Miles: 698.8 Miles

Next week my planned miles reach 50 for the first time in this training cycle! 

I've joined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chicago Marathon Training: Weeks 8 and 9

Summer has officially arrived! And with it comes heat. As an early morning runner (usual weekday start times =  5 am), summer heat doesn't bother me. It makes things easier. I just throw on a tank (or not, summer is sports bra season) and shorts and I'm good to go. I don't have to think about layering or becoming too warm because I wore a long sleeve. I don't have to worry about my fingers freezing because I forgot gloves. 

However, the last couple of weeks have been scorchers. We have had multiple days of triple digit heat where the temperature would rise to 90F before 9 am. That's hot. 
The day I realized training got REAL

Just like the weather, my training has become intense. I'm now firmly entrenched in the strength building phase. And I love it.  

Week 8 (June 19-June 25)

Monday: 5 miles easy (5.0 miles, 9:34/mi)

Tuesday: 4 miles easy (4.2 miles, 9:15/mi). Jasyoga: 5 min Hip Flexor and 5 min Hip Reset.

Wednesday: Mile Repeats. 2 miles warm-up, 6 x 1 mile @ 8:15-8:20/mi, 1 min rest, 1 mile cool-down.  (work splits: 8:10, 8:14, 8:11, 8:15, 8:15, 8:16) This is where the sh@t got real. Oh boy, tough work out. (9.5 miles, 8:58/mi). Jasyoga: Work-out Day Warm-up and Quick Post-L/R Reset

Thursday: OFF. Easy walk with Paul and Nani to coffee.

Friday: 7 miles easy (7.0 miles, 9:29/mi)

Saturday: 14 miles long run (14.0 miles, 10:01/mi). A very hilly, challenging run route. Jasyoga: Recovery Boost for Runners.

14 mile, very hilly & challenging run
on Global #SportsBraSquad Day!
Sunday: 4 miles easy (3.3 miles, 10:23). Slept in and dawdled. Very hot. Cut run short. 

Week 9 (June 26-July 2)

Monday: 4 miles easy (4.1 miles, 9:55/mi)

Tuesday: 6 miles easy (6.0 miles, 9:44/mi)

Wednesday: 8 miles easy (8.2 miles, 9:28/mi). Hilly route. Jasyoga: How to Activate Your Glutes and Quad Reset

Thursday: Marathon Goal Pace. 2 miles warm-up, 6 miles @ 8:35-8:45/mi. (work splits: 8:43, 8:36, 8:37, 8:17, 8:14, 8:21). My average pace for the 6 work miles was 8:28 /mi! I ran the work out on the track because I live/train in rolling hills and I want to learn how my goal marathon pace feels on flat terrain because Chicago Marathon is 26 miles of flat. This is the first time I ran 6 miles straight (w/o rests or recovery) on a track! It's a mental game, for sure. I felt like a superwoman after crushing this workout.
Wore my new singlet to harness superpowers
for my goal marathon pace workout

Friday: 4 miles easy (4.1 miles, 9:22/mi). 30 minute Tabata class. Jasyoga: Quick Unstick for Stiff Sides

Saturday: 12 miles long run. Woke up at 4am on a Saturday to get this run in before my parents picked me up for a 5 hour drive to attend a 50th wedding anniversary party (12.0 miles, 9:25/mi). Jasyoga: Quick Post-Run Reset

Sunday: 4 miles easy. Skipped this run. Drank wine and had fun at the party night before. Did not feel like waking up early before we started the long drive back nor did I feel like running when I got home. Jasyoga: 5-min Quad Reset.

Total Weekly Miles (Week 8-9): 86.6 (43.0+43.6) miles, 13 hours, 41 minutes
2017 Miles: 658 miles, 106 hours, 27 minutes

Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney is training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quick No-Frills Catch Up Post

River of No Return Endurance Run 25k
Time flies when you're having fun...It's been two weeks of flying around the country and running. These week (June 19) marks the official 16 Weeks out from the Chicago Marathon.

A quick recap of the past two weeks...

Week 6

Monday: OFF. Upper Body weights (30 minutes) and Yoga Abs (10 minutes)

Tuesday: 3 miles easy (3.0 miles, 9:18/mi) and Take 10 Yoga AM (10 minutes)

Wednesday: 6 miles easy (6.0 miles, 9:33/mi) and Jasyoga: How to Warm-Up (12 minutes)

Thursday: OFF. Early morning flight to Pittsburgh, PA with Paul for a quick 2-night stay to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert. No exercise other than walking around airports and Pittsburgh. Switched Thursday's scheduled workout to Friday because of travel day.

Pittsburgh running
Friday: Fartleks 2 miles easy, 2 miles with 30 seconds stride, 1 minute jog, 1 mile easy. It took me 11 intervals of 30 seconds on/1 minute off to reach 2 miles but I did 12 to get an even number. This was a tough run. I had a bit too much fun the night before and didn't start my run until about 10 am. It was hot. I was hungover. In spite of the circumstances, I love running in Pittsburgh. It's a fun town! (5.2 miles, 9:02/mi). 
Tom Petty concert!

Saturday: 12 miles long run (12.1 miles, 9:49/mi) in Pittsburgh. Flew back to California

Sunday: OFF (flaked on a scheduled 4 mile run. I was tired).

Total Weekly Miles: 26.8 miles (4 hours, 11 minutes)
Total Cross-Training/Prehab: 1 hour, 2 minutes (not a good week for this!)
2017 Miles: 527.8 miles 

Week 7

Idaho Bird Camp - the Sequel
Monday: 6 miles easy (6.2 miles, 9:43/mi) and Jasyoga: Pre-Run Warm-Up (5 minutes)

Tuesday: Tempo Run--2 miles warm-up, 4 miles at 8:35/mi (goal marathon pace), 1 mile cool-down. I asked Coach Becki if she wanted me to run the 4 miles with an average of 8:35/mi for all 4 miles or if she wanted me to hit 8:35/mi for each mile. I asked because of the rolling hills on my usual routes around home. I can get pretty fast on the downhills and slow on the uphills. She told me that average is good, but I really should try to hit the pace for each mile to get used to how they feel. With that information, I decided to run the tempo miles on the track. Tempo miles: 8:34, 8:33, 8:32, 8:07 (7.1 miles, 9:15/mi). In the afternoon I flew to Salt Lake City to begin my Idaho Bird Camp adventure (the sequel-2017). 

Wednesday: It was supposed to be an off day, but I ran 3 easy miles with Tina before we started our drive to Challis, ID (3.0, 10:22/mi).

Oiselle sweep of the
Overall Women Masters--I got 3rd!
Thursday: Juliet Creek Trail Run. Very technical trail run with multiple "creek" crossings. We couldn't get to the top this year because of snow and the creek was deeper and had a stronger current compared to last year. 4.6 miles total.

Friday: 4 mile shake out run (4.0 miles, 9:28/mi) and 1 hour Bird Camp Yoga.

Saturday: River of No Return Endurance Run 25k. My longest trail run/race ever. Very hot and very steep (3500 feet elevation gain in 4 miles) and my lungs aren't used to running at elevation. It was a tough run. Official time: 3:05:33 (11:57/mi). 3rd place female, overall masters. 

Sunday: OFF. Lots of walking in airports as I traveled home. 

Total Weekly Miles: 39.1 miles (7 hours, 42 minutes)
Total Cross-Training/Prehab: 1 hour, 5 minutes (I need to get back in the habit!)
2017 Miles: 567 Miles

Until next year!

Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney just started training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

123 Days until Chicago Marathon!

This coming week marks the start of my strength building phase in my training for the Chicago Marathon. And, oh boy, do I need to build strength. On Sunday, I raced the San Diego Rock n Roll Half-Marathon. I knew I wasn't in PR shape. I only had a month of training under my belt and my longest run was 10 miles. My original plan was to treat the race as a large group long run. As the date of the race drew closer and as I started feeling that I was back in running shape, I started believing that maybe I could run the half in 1:49ish (my PR is 1:47). Working with my coach, the plan was for me to start conservatively (8:45/mi or so) and run by instinct the first 10 miles and build into a 8:20-8:30/mile overall pace and race to the finish the last 3 miles. 

I started the race feeling strong. At 2 miles I could tell this was going to be a warm race.  At the 5k split my average pace was 8:45/mi and then I pretty much kept that the rest of the race. I could not kick it into gear and go fast the last 3 miles. Those miles were tough. I finished under 1:55 (barely, official time 1:54:55 with an overall pace of 8:46/mi). Although initially I was disappointed with my result, I pretty much ran my goal marathon pace for 13.1 miles with only a month of training. My coach said: "This is great fitness going into some more stringent training! You'll get stronger!".
Half-Marathon #18 in the books!

Oiselle Volee Pre-Race Dinner

Base-Building Week 5

Monday: 4 miles easy with strides/drills (4.4 miles, 9:34/mi); 30 minutes Yoga and 30 minutes Insanity Fit Test (Yikes).

Tuesday: 3 miles easy (3.1 miles, 9:48/mi); 1 hour personal training + 30 minutes Yoga.

Wednesday: 2 miles easy, 6 x 2 minutes at goal Half effort, 2 minutes jog, 1 mile easy (6.1 miles, 9:24/mi). Jasyoga: Workout Day Warm Up + 30 minutes Yoga. 

Thursday: Off. 30 minutes Pilates + 30 minutes Yoga.

Friday: 5 miles easy (5.0 miles, 9:38/mi). 30 minutes Tabata + 20 minutes Yoga. 1 hour massage.

Saturday: Easy 2 miles with strides (2.0 miles, 9:01/mi) + 30 minutes Yoga.

Sunday: San Diego RNR Half-Marathon. 1 mile warm-up jog (10:43/mi) + race. I didn't run the tangents well, so I actually ran 13.2 miles (8:39/mi). Jasyoga: Optimal Hip Reset. 

Total Weekly Miles: 34.9 miles (5 hours, 22 minutes)
Total Cross-Training/Pre-Hab: 6 hours, 45 minutes
2017 Miles: 501 miles

Post-Race Beer Festival
Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERECourtney just started training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Patience: Chicago Marathon Training

I'm now at the point in my training where I am antsy to do more. I feel like I am back in running shape and I want to run ALL the miles. Instead I remind myself of a mantra I read about a few weeks ago: Preparation, Patience, Perseverance. Although the mantra came from one of the greatest soccer managers and was about strategy for soccer games, I believe it also works for running. 

I've been focused on preparing myself for the rigors of marathon training--the strengthening, the pre-hab, good nutrition, sleep. Now I have to work on patience. The miles will come--I'm building up to 55 miles per week. I don't need to add more than what my coach plans for me. Perseverance will come into play when I am at peak mileage and oh-so-tired and not in the mood to run more. I know those days will come, BTDT. 

My brain was screaming at me to stop during the
 last mile of this week's tempo run (Spoiler: I didn't!)
The mantra also works for racing. Preparation is important. Not only training, but know the course and developing a race plan. Patience is not going out to fast or making a move too soon. Perseverance is sticking with it even when your feet and legs hurt, when your brain is screaming at you to stop. 

Base-Building Week 4

Monday: Easy 4 miles (4.7 miles, 9:29/mi). Post run I did Jasyoga's Quick 5-min Calf Reset because my calves were feeling tight. After work, I did a minute Yoga: Core video and Beachbody's Upper Fix Extreme video.

Tuesday: Oh, gosh. Progressive Tempo today. 2 miles easy, 1 mile at 8:20, 1 mile at 8:15, 1 mile at 8:10, 1 mile easy. Before my run I did Jasyoga's Workout Day Warm-Up. I hit my paces despite hills (8:18/mi, 8:14/mi, 8:10/mi). That last mile was HARD. The first half was uphill until it flattened out. I slowed down going up the hill and spent the second half "catching up" to hit my pace. OMG. Afterwards I asked my coach if this was the right thing to do and she said: "You did the right thing playing catch up.  I know it is tough, but you are stronger for it!" (6.0 miles, 9:10/mi). After work, I did a 10-min Ab Fix video and a Yoga: Stretch video.

Wednesday: Off/XT. 30 min Abs, Butt and Cardio video (Beachbody's ABC Extreme) and Yoga: Balance. In the afternoon, I took the train to Los Angeles for a work event.

Thursday: Downtown LA running! Easy 4 miles+strides/drills (4.2 miles, 9:13/mi). Jasyoga: Pre-Run Warm Up. Long day. Train ride back home.

Friday: Easy 5 miles (5.1 miles, 9:28/mi). 30 minute Tabata class before run. After my run, I did 50 minutes of Yoga: Flow and Beachbody's Dirty 30 Extreme video.

Saturday: Long run, 8-10 miles (10.1 miles, 9:24/mi). Before my run, I did Jasyoga's How to Warm-Up and after my run the Comprehensive Hip/Hamstring Reset. Later that night I did the Yoga: Relax video.

Sunday: Off. 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes of body weight exercises. 

Total Weekly Miles: 30.1 miles (4 hours, 41 minutes)
Total Cross-Training/Pre-hab: 6 hours, 26 minutes* 
2017 Miles: 466.4 miles

*I never explained. I'm keeping track of these activities because I heard that it's good to aim for the same amount of time spent running.

Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERE. Courtney just started training for the Berlin Marathon. :) 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 3: Chicago Marathon Base-Building

It was a very HOT and busy week. It was also a great weekend to spend at the beach as temperatures soared to high-90's F at home. In addition to training and fun, I traveled all over for work. On Monday, I took the train to Los Angeles for an all-day meeting. On Tuesday, I flew to Sacramento for a conference and was there until Wednesday evening. Thursday, I was in the office for most of the day. I left early to drive to Occidental College in Los Angeles (90 minute drive) for the USTAF Middle Distance Classic. This was my first ever attendance at a track meet and I had a lot of fun hanging out with SoCal Oiselle VolĂ©e and watching the races. I was off work Friday (I have every-other Friday off work) and that evening we drove to Oceanside for the Beach Soccer USA Championship Tournament. Two of Paul's teams were participating in the event. 

Oiselle runners swept the 3000m Steeple.
1st, 2nd, 3rd. Last hurdle before final 100m.
Overall my training week went well. I feel like I am back in running shape and ready to add distance and intensity (as appropriate! My fave quote I heard over the week: "You can't out-Prehab training errors".)

Base-Building Week 3 Recap

Monday: Off. 50 minutes of Cycle Class in the morning and a 30-minute Yoga: Core video in the evening.

Tuesday: Easy 4 miles (4.0 miles, 10:08/mi) with Dani and Dana. Followed run with a one hour personal training session. My trainer killed my upper body! Jasyoga Workout Day Warm-up before run. I traveled to Sacramento for work. In my hotel room I did a 30 minute Dirty Dozen video and a 30-minute Yoga: Stretch video.

Wednesday: Easy 4 miles (4.7 miles, 9:15/mi) + strides/drills. After my run I did a 30-minute Yoga: Balance video.

Thursday: 2 miles easy, 2 miles =(6 x 1 min strides, 2 min jog), 2 miles easy. My goal was to run the work segments with 7:00/mi pace. Oh boy, this was harder than it looked on paper. My six segments: 7:06/mi, 7:06/mi, 7:01/mi, 6:56/mi, 6:38/mi, 6:50/mi. Total for the run (6.0 miles, 9:23/mi). Before my run I did a 30-minute Yoga: Flow video. 

Friday: Off. 30 minute Tabata class, a 20-minute Yoga: Flow video, a 30-minute Barre Leg video and a 1-hour TRX class. (Friday off work :) )

Saturday: 8-9 miles long run (10.0 miles, 9:19/mi). We were at the beach all weekend and it was so nice to run long next to the ocean. Before my run I did Jasyoga's Align Your Stride and after I did Quick Post-LR Reset. Right before nap time I did a Yoga: Relax video.

Sunday: Easy 4 miles (4.5 miles, 9:11/mi). My legs were tired from the day before (In addition to long run miles, we walked a lot. Beach Soccer tournament was a little over a mile away from our hotel). I also did 30 minutes of Yoga videos. 

Total Weekly Miles: 29.2 miles (4 hours, 35 minutes)
Total Cross-Training/Pre-hab: 6 hours, 50 minutes
2017 Miles: 436.3 miles

Now that I'm back to training, I've rejoined the training link up on Eat Pray Run DC. See the link up HERE