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…

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My 2015 Running Goals:

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  • 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

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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!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week was a tough one and a bit discouraging. I started out the week pretty sick and lost my motivation battling coughing fits while running, so I only ended up getting in four of my six scheduled runs for the week totaling 35 miles. I initially had plans to try to cram those missed runs into this week, but I know better than that and understand it won’t really help – and could even lead to injury. I just need to stick to my plan going forward and stay as healthy as possible.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Rest day – not feeling well.

Tuesday: Rest day – not feeling well.

Wednesday: I went to the gym Wednesday night thinking I could hop right back into things and do my speed workout on the treadmill. My warm-up went OK, but I didn’t even make it through one interval before realizing it was not in the cards for the day and put in one of my easy six milers instead.

Thursday: Today was the high point of the week. I had a 6-mile tempo run on tap and got that in en-route to DC for a Christmas lights run with some of my Oiselle teammates. I ran a one mile warm-up along the Mt. Vernon Trail, six miles hard continuing along Mt. Vernon over the 14th Street Bridge onto the Mall, followed by a 1-mile cool down to our meet-up point near the Chinatown metro. Tempo runs in the Hanson’s plan are marathon pace miles. I was admittedly a bit off my goal for these (nearly 20 seconds), but all six were consistent and I felt strong – given the week I had so far I counted this as a win. The best part was what followed – the roughly 4-mile jaunt around DC with the Oiselle girls checking out lights and trees at City Center, the Willard Hotel, the National Christmas tree, the Capitol Building and the Canadian Embassy – so much fun!

Christmas Tree Stop at the Willard

Christmas Tree Stop at the Willard

Friday: I put in 7 easy miles along the Mt. Vernon trail after work before grabbing dinner at Jimmy John’s and making a Wegmans run…not a bad Friday night!

Saturday: After having a lot of trouble sleeping Friday night I got a later than planned start on my Saturday long run and felt like my legs never woke up for this one. I put in my 10 miles though, so I’ll take it and move on to next week!

Sunday: Unplanned rest day. My sore legs and lack of motivation got the best of me today.

Running Goals

I do my best, most consistent training when I have concrete goal races and times, so I put my credit card down and registered for my next big race. Putting it in writing makes it more real for me and keeps me accountable, so here goes…

I’m giving a BQ attempt another go this spring. I signed up for the B&A Trail Marathon on March 29 in Annapolis, Maryland. My goal is sub 3:32. I want to give myself a good cushion so that I don’t just qualify, but can actually register to run Boston in 2016 as well. My current PR is 3:37.

Putting a goal like that out there is a bit scary since I’ve failed before, but I am more determined that ever to make it happen. I came just more than two minutes shy at the Niagara Marathon before a humbling race at the Marine Corps Marathon after an injury-riddled training season.

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That was a hard blow to take and I took a long marathon break after that race, which involved a lot of sporadic training. Now it’s time to get over and get after it.

I’m going to follow the Hanson’s Plan for the first time. I’ve long been intrigued by this plan and am excited to see how it works out for me. It involves a lot of running on tired legs with six days a week of running. Long runs top out around 16 miles, but the plan is designed to make those 16 milers feel more like the last 16 of a marathon than the first. Most days will be at an easy, conversational pace with weekly track and tempo workouts as well.

The plan is 18 weeks with week one starting on a Thursday, so my training will officially kick off on Thanksgiving! Who couldn’t be thankful for that?! More turkey for me!

Happy New Year!

And just like that… it’s 2014! Hope everyone had a great holiday season and a fun New Year’s eve. This is going to be a great year for my family with my brother’s wedding in August and mine in October. With a handful of other fun events on the calendar and some great races planned for the year, it certainly looks like it’ll be a busy one.

With everything going on, I know that staying stress-free, or at least as stress-free as possible will be important, so I tried to focus my New Year’s Resolutions for this year around things that help me de-stress.

  • Read more. I always say I wish I had more time to read, yet I’m able to find plenty of time at night to check on social media, so it’s really just about setting priorities. My goal is to read a book a month in 2014.bookcase
  • Socialize more (group workouts). When it comes to working out I work harder and have more fun with group workouts, so I want to try to fit more of that in during 2014.

    Post-workout Group Photo from November Project DC Facebook page

    Post-workout Group Photo from November Project DC Facebook page

  • Get Speedy. I love running fast, so this year is all about shorter races and working on my speed, which I need to keep reminding myself of when I get the itch to sign up for another marathon!fmtrack

What are your resolutions for this year?

In Training: Shamrock Half Marathon

After almost two months of my no-plan-training-plan, I must say I’m very excited to be starting a regimented plan again. I know both my body and my mind needed the break as I was pretty burned out after an up and down year of racing. It also gave me the chance to get a whole lot of spinning and strength stuff in that I sometimes let slip when I’m running more often. Still, my motivation was pretty low so I just wasn’t getting out there and running nearly as much as I would have liked, so now it’s time to change that.

I’ll have my race calendar up soon, but my target spring race is the Virginia Beach Half Marathon that is part of the Shamrock Marathon weekend. It’s also the site of an Oiselle team meet-up, so I’m super pumped to get to fly fast with a bunch of my fellow birds!

I’m back to training on my own without a coach, so as usual I’ve been doing obsessive research into the best possible training plans for me for this race. I settled on my old favorite – the Hal Higdon Advanced Half plan. I’m a big fan of Hal’s plans and have had success with them in the past.

Hal Higdon Training Programs

 

While I have a goal of getting in as many of the planned workouts as possible, I also want to make sure I stay flexible. By that I mean a few things including being smart and knowing when my body might need a break as well as not missing out on group workouts/runs because it’s not the exact mileage I have on tap for the day.

In addition to my runs and strength training built into the plan, I’ll be spinning at Revolve when I can fit it in, stretching A LOT and becoming good friends with my foam roller!

I don’t have a goal time for the race yet, but I do have a PR in mind knowing it’s a very flat course. After I have a few more weeks of training under my belt I’ll have an update for you on my race goals.

Have you used the Hal Higdon plans before? How’d it work out for you? What other training plans do you like?

 

 

 

Resolution Check-In

During my mini hiatus from blogging last week, I missed my usual beginning-of-the-month resolution check-in. I swear I was just writing those resolutions and now the end of the year is just about here. Crazy!

I didn’t hit everything I was hoping for, but overall it was a pretty good year filled with a lot of fun races, a couple PRs and a couple more challenging ones!

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Last month my focus was cross training and recovery. I mixed it up a bit before starting up with the Runner’s World Run Streak on Thanksgiving giving myself just the break I needed. My legs feel completely recovered and strong, and ready to get back into racing.

For this month I’ll focus on strength training and slowly building my mileage again, so I’m ready to start a new training plan in late December for the Shamrock Half Marathon!

How did you do on your resolutions for 2013? Have you started thinking about 2014 yet?

Resolution Check-In

It’s that time again for my monthly check in on my New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been putting this one off since I didn’t hit my big goal of a BQ at MCM, and I have no plans of running another marathon before the end of the year. While I’m not going to give it another shot right away, I know I will eventually cross this off my list!

Last month’s big focus was drinking less soda. I did better than I have been doing and managed to go a couple days a week without grabbing a soda. I’m planning to keep working on this and add a few more days without it each week. Damn that fridge full of free soda just steps from my desk!!

Core strength and staying injury free were other resolutions I had this year. I continue to work on my core strength and also was smart enough to get myself in to the physical therapist last month to check out a problem before it became an injury.

With the year winding down, I’m turning this month’s focus to recovery and cross training. I want to get back into working out after my marathon by embracing yoga, spinning, the elliptical and the weight room. Of course, I’m sure there will be some running in there too, but overall it’s going to be a November filled with other activities.

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Are you still working towards those resolutions? How has your year gone so far?