Getting Back on Track

Life has been a bit crazy these last few weeks and I have definitely let my training suffer as a result. My last recap had me tallying 53 miles in a week, which was almost as much as I totaled for the last three weeks combined. Yikes!

There is no sense if beating myself up for it though. That won’t let me add runs back in that I missed. I am two months out from my marathon and I need to get myself back on track and quickly. Sunday I recommitted to my strength routine and am going to really focus on that to keep myself strong and healthy over these next eight weeks.

shoesandcap

As for my 2,015 miles in 2,015, I ran 127.66 miles in January. I’m a little bit behind, but my plans for the rest of this training cycle should have me back on track in no time!

I’ll be back next week with my regular weekly check-in.

Here goes!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

This week had some highs and lows, but ended on a high note and I got in nearly 55 miles so all in all it was good stuff! I need to absolutely focus more on strength training as other than daily P90X core workouts (I won’t list them each day since I put it here!), I only got in one strength workout this week. After struggling with speed workouts during the week, I had probably my best run of the whole training cycle for my long run Sunday, so I’m hoping to carry that momentum into this week.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I kicked Monday off with a lunchtime run to the gym for an easy 6 on the treadmill.

We actually got a little snow on Monday!

We actually got a little snow on Monday!

Tuesday: Rest day!

Wednesday: I hit up the gym after work for a ladder speed session. After a 1.5 mile warm-up, I ran a 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 ladder with a 400 recovery jog between each repeat. I started strong, but partway through the mile just could not keep up with the pace I wanted and had to dial it down a bit. I was able to finish strong with my last 400, but the second 1200 and 800 were a bit slower than I wanted leaving me a little discouraged.

Thursday: Today was an easy 7 miler on the treadmill that breezed by. I felt really good and followed it up with a short upper body workout.

Friday: I finally braved the cold temperatures for an easy-paced 8 miler after work along the Mt. Vernon trail. I finished at a good clip, but my legs felt really heavy and tired for the second half of the run. If it weren’t so cold out it probably would have taken me a lot longer to finish, but I wanted to get back inside! I somehow actually overdressed for this with a tank, my Oiselle wazzie wool baselayer and a jacket. I completely sweat through all three layers and that wind did not feel good for the last few miles!

Saturday: I put in 10 miles on the treadmill at the gym hoping to hit 7 of them at marathon pace. I could only get 5 in before a side stitch got the best of me and I had to go a bit slower than planned. I was a bit down about this after my previous speed workout hadn’t gone so well either and was not looking forward to Sunday’s long run at all.

Sunday: On paper I did everything wrong for this 14 mile run. I overslept so I didn’t have time to get my run in first thing. Ian and I had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings so we could watch the Packers-Cowboys game, and I drank a giant soda and didn’t exactly eat lightly or healthily. After about an hour trying to let my stomach settle I headed for the gym, put the Broncos game (disappointing) on my little treadmill TV and hit play on Pandora on my phone. I started slow thinking I would just trudge it out. With the Hanson’s plan, my long runs are supposed to be a bit faster than easy pace, but of course slower than marathon pace. By a mile in I had gotten within a few seconds of my target pace and somehow I kept getting stronger as I went along! This was just what I needed and a big-time confidence booster.

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Aside from a skipped workout over the weekend, I felt really good about this week. I forced myself on the treadmill to push the pace a couple times this week and for the first time started feeling notable progress on my paces. I tallied 35 miles over the course of five runs for the week.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I enjoyed my last Florida run Monday morning putting in 6 easy miles.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: I hit the treadmill for my speed workout this week to force myself to keep a faster, more consistent pace and it worked. After a 1.5 mile warm up, I put in 4X1200 meter repeats with a 400 recovery in between each. I wrapped up with a 1 mile cool down, a quick strength workout and a P90X core routine.

Thursday: For the second straight year I ran the DC Road Runner’s Resolutions and Predictions 5k. My watch never started so I ran by feel and was initially disappointed when I tried to figure out my finish time after the race. Turns out I was more than a minute off and my chip time put me at 23:03! More to come on this one. I chased the race with my P90X core routine before Ian and I hopped in the car to visit with friends in Ocean City.

DCRRnewyears5k

Friday: Despite maybe having too much to drink the night before, I put in 10 great miles and felt really good doing it. I have to be leery of these kinds of runs though as I went a bit harder than what my easy pace should be, but wasn’t pushing enough to count it as speed work. I want to make sure I don’t put in too many runs in this no man’s land zone that don’t really benefit me. I wrapped up with my P90X core routine again.

Saturday: After driving back from Ocean City I caught a case of the lazies and didn’t make it out for my run, but at the very least got my P90X core routine in to keep my New Year’s streak going. My record is just more than 100 days – we’ll see if I can get near that again.

Sunday: I hit the gym again for my tempo run putting in 9.2 miles with the middle chunk of those as marathon goal pace! I felt really good about finally hitting these paces and feeling comfortable doing so. I hung in at the gym just long enough to do my P90X core workout and another quick strength workout.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all got your year off to a great start as well!

2015 Here We Go!

Wow, 2015 is here! I’m kicking things off with a 5k and then heading to Ocean City for a weekend with friends – a great way to start off the year!

One of my Oiselle Secret Santa gifts was the Believe Training Journal (signed by Lauren Fleshman!), so I spent some serious time thinking out and writing down my goals for the year. A great way to keep yourself accountable is sharing your goals, so here goes…

goals1

My 2015 Running Goals:

goals2

  • Qualify for Boston
  • Race the B&A Trail Marathon- it’s a smaller race, so I have a legit shot of coming near the top of the pack for women finishers
  • Break 20 minutes in a 5k (this is my big and scary stretch goal!)
  • Run 2,015 miles in 2015

goals3

What will it take?

  • Consistency – I need to stick to my training plans and get out there and do the work. I also need to stay focused and not let up during my off seasons.
  • Staying healthy – keeping up with stretching, foam rolling and icing will be key. I also need to listen to my body and be smart about when to push the gas and when to take a break.
  • Getting stronger – I need to get in my daily core workouts and hit the weight room, and not just focus on running.
  • Get speedy – lots of speed work and pushing the pace will be required!
  • Schedule and plan – building my runs into my daily schedule and planning ahead will help keep me on track.
  • Pay more attention to nutrition – I can’t expect to produce great results with crappy fuel.
  • Mental toughness – enough said!

Teammates

What a year! It’s hard to believe how quickly it went by. 2014 was a pretty awesome year for me on most fronts. I got to marry the love of my life, celebrate my brother’s wedding, spend lots of time with family and friends and go on the trip of a lifetime among other bright spots.

IanColleen-442

It was not however, my greatest running year. I started off recovering from a tough marathon in 2013 that left me mentally drained and physically hurt. With such a busy 2014, I never got into a solid training groove until very late in the year. While I raced fairly often, I didn’t set a single PR all year – or really even come close.

OldTown1miler

Despite this, I’m still thankful for my year in running. I’m able to do something that not everyone can physically do and that should never be taken for granted. I also got to enjoy the support of some amazing teammates. I joined the Oiselle Volee team in late 2013 and it has been an incredibly motivating experience. The feeling of community in this group of kickass women runners from the elites to the Flock is so strong and empowering, and I love every bit of it.

Oiselle Team & Friends pre-Cherry Blossom Race

Oiselle Team & Friends pre-Cherry Blossom Race

It is so fun to log on to twitter and see how the rest of the birds are doing. It is great to celebrate in everyone’s accomplishments and pump up those struggling through tough runs or injury.

IMG_3912

As a team-sport athlete growing up, I had really missed that camaraderie and support that comes with being a part of a team, and I am so thankful to have that back. No matter what happened on race days or during training, I was always met with positive words and encouragement from this community.

Picture from Courtney's blog - check it out at eatprayrundc.com

Picture from Courtney’s blog – check it out at eatprayrundc.com

I’ve also made some great friends through this group and love all the fun meetups our DC flock (and birds visiting the DC area) has done. From pasta dinners before big races and fashion shows to race day meet-ups and brunches, it was always fun to interact in person with this inspiring group of women.

jingle5k1

We ended the year with two great meet-ups – a holiday lights run followed by a holiday treats happy hour a week later. It was a blast exploring my favorite spots in DC decked in holiday lights and Christmas trees. Of course the holiday treats happy hour followed by dinner at Shake Shack was a great time as well!

Holiday Lights Run - photo courtesy of Julie Anderson

Holiday Lights Run – photo courtesy of Julie

Holiday Treats Happy Hour

Holiday Treats Happy Hour

Thanks for keeping me going through a tough running year. I cannot wait to crush some new goals and PRs in 2015! Head up, Wings out!

Christmas in Florida

After many years of spending Christmas in Syracuse with one or two years in D.C. we decided to totally mix things up this year and do Christmas in Florida! My uncle was kind enough to loan us his condo near West Palm Beach for the week, so Ian and I met up there with my parents and my brother and his wife.

It was quite the busy year for my family with both my brother and I getting married in August and October, so a quiet, relaxing week in the Florida sunshine was absolutely perfect.

While hot and humid runs may not be the easiest, it felt so incredibly good to head out the door in just shorts and a tank. We’ll be back in DC by 9am today and I’m not looking forward to layering up again for runs this week.

There was a really great Downtown area not far from where we stayed filled with cool shops and restaurants. Seeing as our favorite bar back home is called Mulligans, we made sure to fit in a couple trips to the Mulligans here!

On Christmas Eve we went to a great Italian spot called 18 Seminole Street Italian Bistro. It was an old house converted into a restaurant and the food was amazing. I went with the classic spaghetti and meatballs and it was delicious. I also loved a chain pizza place called Anthony’s just around the corner from us – amazing coal-fired pizza!

christmasinflorida

We also checked out a sports bar called Duffy’s and found a great ice cream spot one night! One of my favorite evenings was spent sitting outside at a restaurant/bar called Pelican Cafe. The picnic table outside each had an umbrella and sat on a sandy beach overlooking the water and boats. We spent a few hours drinking some beers and reveling in the fact that we were sitting outside in December!

In addition to eating out we enjoyed some great home-cooked meals as well including steaks on Christmas Day and a turducken over the weekend!

We also fit in a few trips to the movies for The Imitation Game and Unbroken. Both were based on true stories and both were incredible movies. Imitation Game was a really interesting story I didn’t know much about going into it, but really enjoyed. One of my favorite quotes from the movie was: “Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Unbroken was absolutely incredible and probably the best movie I’ve seen all year. Louis Zamperini’s story of courage and refusing to give up in the face of unbelievable adversity was incredibly moving and inspiring.

All in all it was a great week and such a fun way to spend Christmas!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Marathon training week five was a mix of good and bad. The good – I got to do most of my runs in warmth and sunshine since I spent Christmas down in Florida with my family! It felt so great to run in shorts and a tank again. The bad – while I’m getting my miles in my paces just aren’t where I want them to be. I’m hoping that changes once I completely shake this cold, but I’m definitely not there yet. I also missed one of my runs this Sunday. All together I put in just under 40 miles for last week and am looking forward to working on pushing the pace this week.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I used all of my motivation to run 6 easy miles after work in the cold, freezing rain and dark. It wasn’t pleasant, but was one of my best runs of the week.

Tuesday: Rest day. I spent most of Tuesday traveling – thank goodness for Gogo internet!

Wednesday: I headed out in the heat and humidity Wednesday afternoon and loved every bit of it! I had planned to run to the track and get my interval run in, but it was all locked up. Instead I explored the streets and put in a little over 6 miles.

week3half2

Thursday: I put in 7 Christmas miles sticking close to the neighborhood we were staying in.

Friday: Even though the track was locked up, I made my way over to the high school here and put in five 1000 meter repeats on the empty roads around the school. Phew, that is a long way to go when pushing the pace. I’m not exactly looking forward to this week’s 1200s, but I felt so pumped when I completed the workout!

Saturday: After a bit too much to eat and drink on Friday night I was not super excited for my long run, but knew I had to get it in. Luckily I packed my Nathan Hydration vest for the trip as it was another hot and humid one. It was a bit slower than I would have liked, but I got all 12 miles in and took in some great views when I ventured down to the Boardwalk by a marina.

Sunday: I ran out of motivation today after stacking all of my hard runs at the end of the week and ended up passing on today’s tempo run. I’m hoping to get it in on Monday morning though!