Disney Marathon Training – Week 9

I know 5 of you who read this update regularly are just waiting with bated breath for this update, so here it is:

Monday – Rest Day. Usually a cross training day, I decided to take two full days off after the Sweet Tea race to allow my legs to recover. Instead of swimming, I spent the morning at my doctors office getting asthma and allergy med (hate) refills, getting adjusted by the chiropractor and then my personal favorite: a massage. Fortunately, the massage was super relaxing. Unfortunately, it didn’t do a whole ton for my tight muscles.

Tuesday – tempo run. Goal: 1 mile easy/4 miles @ 7:50/ 1 mile easy. Whether it was the fact that I had run out of Singular (and hadn’t yet picked up the script) or just a bad weather day, my sinuses were JERKS and my run suffered. I felt off already on my warm up mile. I hit the first two miles at tempo pace, but not without stopping several times to catch my breath. I felt like I was running a 7:50 mile at a 6:50 effort. I ran the third tempo mile 20 seconds slow, said fuck it and finished the last two easy. My legs were tired, my lungs felt like bricks, and it just seemed smarter to stop while I was ahead (kinda).

Wednesday – speed work. Goal: 6×1200 in 5:10, or a 6:53 pace. 2 min/4 min rest alternating. NAILED IT! And really needed that mentally after yesterdays cruddy tempo run. Split times 5:08, 5:08, 5:08, 5:07, 5:07, 507 (not exactly in that order). We forgot a pic at the track so took one during “recovery”


Thursday – cross train. I kinda blanked on this one. I *think* I rode on the bike trainer for 35 minutes. Or I dreamed it.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 20 miles with a goal pace of 8:53. After I PR’d the half, I changed my plan (again). My book suggests that my half marathon time can get me a 3:40 marathon, so now I’m following that plan. I’ve done several 20 mile runs before, but most of them were around a 9:30 pace with the exception of the last one. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this pace goal felt doable. It didn’t mean I wasn’t tired at the end, though.


Sunday – cross train/recovery run. I took the twins out for 2 easy miles (9:55 average) to warm up my muscles before I did my 30 minutes of yoga for runners. :)

And just like that, we are into the double digits….

It’s Back! (Sweet Tea Half Marathon Recap)

I have been (literally and figuratively) chasing my fastest half marathon time for the last four years. Granted, I didn’t run any half marathons in 2012 and much of 2013 because of fertility treatments and our long awaited twin pregnancy. Still, since the twins were born, I’ve been eyeing that goal again, only to come up at least a few minutes short.

The Sweet Tea Half Marathon had its inaugural race last year. Not only are half marathons my favorite distance, this one is literally a 10 minute drive away.

I’ve been consistently doing speed work weekly since about the end of April, and my training runs for my upcoming marathon have all been pace focused. I was REALLY hoping all of this speed training would help me get back to where I was before the twins were born.

Last year’s race was unseasonably cold – if I remember correctly the temperature at start time was in the 30’s (though honestly I didn’t mind). It’s been, much to my dismay, unseasonably warm this year, but on the plus side it made for much more tolerable temperatures at start time.

Race/Course Info

The course starts in downtown Summerville, next to the railroad tracks. It heads towards and then onto the local bike bath and through a couple neighborhoods before landing on the path again. After running a few miles on some local streets, the course finishes downtown again, right at the square. The course is pretty flat. No inclines the first half but a few small ones in the second, with an extra sucky one right in the last tenth. There are A LOT of turns, which can be good or bad depending on your preference. Some of the turns are on the sharp side and are in areas where you need to watch your footing. The finish is right next to a local coffee shop (Single Smile Cafe), which is awesome this time of year with the (hopefully) cooler temperatures. It offers a place to hang out while waiting for awards and has some pretty good coffee, too.

Porta potties were located at the race start/finish, and once along the course around mile 4. I didn’t need it luckily but it was nice to have. Water stops were approximately every 2 miles and offered water or Gatorade. Volunteers were encouraged to dress up and make their stop the most exciting – the winning stop got a 20$ pizza gift certificate.

Post race food included bananas, bagels and doughnuts, as well as bottles of water. Volunteers offered those nice stylish foil covers, and even though I  make fun they were nice to have after cooling down. If there was anything else I missed it as I didn’t hang around the food tables much. Going mostly gluten free kinda ruins most post race food besides the bananas anyway.

Top three overall male and female finishers received cash awards. Age group finishers received a Sweet Tea glass and gift certificate to a local sporting goods store, for $50 (1st), $30 (2nd) or $20 (3rd).



The Race

Race time was 7am and my friend and I got there about 6:15, found an excellent parking spot and stood to chat while we waited in the porta- potty line. We ambled over to the start line with a few minutes to spare. It’s a relatively small race so there isn’t much fanfare, but that is perfectly fine with me. We made our way close to the front. The race this year had a couple of pacers – a 1:40 and a 2:00. Unfortunately, I’m not fast enough for the 1:40 (yet) so I was on my own there, but it was nice to at least have a couple options this time.

I bought music along with me as I always do. My goal was to run the first half of the race without it and then use it to help bump the through the inevitable wall I seem to hit somewhere around Mile 8. I also figured it would help me to not start out too quickly, a mistake I’ve made several times before.

Tammie and I stayed together from the start and finished Mile 1 in 8:02 and Mile 2 in 8:04. To finish in 1:45, I needed an average pace of just over 8:00, so I was a little slow but still had plenty of race left.

Running without music turned out to be a little more of a challenge than I expected while trying to keep up a tempo-like pace, but it DID keep me from going too quickly in the first half. I walked briefly through the water stops. The course was well manned and well marked with what I felt was a good amount of water stops – one about every couple miles.

By mid race my pace average was somewhere around 8:04, so I turned my music on and tried to crank it up a bit. I skipped the water stop after I stopped to stretch in order to try to make up some time but did walk briefly through the rest. I had hoped to hit all miles past mile 6 at 8 or under, and managed to do that with all but two – the mile I stopped to stretch and an 8:03 at mile 9. As an added kicker the second half of the race had a few inclines while the first had been fairly flat, so that was a bit of and extra challenge I hadn’t planned for. By mile 12 things were starting to get more uncomfortable and, for reasons that I can’t explain, I tend to pick up the pace when that happens because I guess I just logically figure that the faster I go, the faster I’ll be done. I finished Mile 12 in 7:57 and went as fast as my legs would let me on Mile 13. I switched my watch to see overall time about .4 miles from the end and my watch read 1:42:xx. Turning the last corner I came upon the incline to the finish I had so conveniently forgotten about (ugh), but caught the finish line clock to see it was still under 1:45! I crossed the finish line at just under 1:45 and a final mile at 7:44.


Official Results:

Finish time: 1:44:48

Overal Finish: 33/536 (registered, not all ran)

Gender Finish: 12/368

Age Finish: 2/66


The first place finisher killed it with a finish time under 70 minutes. I couldn’t even imagine.

Overall Pros/Cons

I love having a race that is right in my backyard. It was well organized and had a good number of volunteers and water stops. The number of turns can get a little annoying (but not enough to keep me from running it again). My biggest complaint would be the shirt – it is a nice shirt but looks almost exactly the same as last year. Even a different color would have been enough. Overall though, I enjoyed the race and I’ll definitely run it again, especially now because I’m shooting for a new PR. :)






Disney Marathon Training – Week 8

This week was a fantastic week training wise.

Monday – cross training. Swim 1600m. This week I did a 400m warm up, followed by 800m of various drills, focusing mostly on form and bilateral breathing. Afterwards I did a 400m cool down.

Tuesday – tempo run. 8 miles total. Goal: 1 mile easy/6 miles @7:59/1 mile easy. It was FINALLY a cool morning again and it showed in my mile times. 9:19, 8:02, 7:55, 7:57, 7:54, 8:00 (inclines on this one), 7:54, 8:55. Averaged 7:57on the tempo portion. Admittedly, the tempo part felt harder than I thought it should considering I’m shooting for an 8:00 average half marathon on Saturday. Still, I killed this run so win.

Wednesday – speed work. 1 mile warm up, 12×400 @ 1:39 with 1:30 rest in between and 2:30 min break at the halfway point. 1 mile cool down. I looked forward to the shorter distance speed work this week and we had a rather large turnout at the track this week. People were FLYING (and I think not resting the full 1:30) and it was hard to not want to jump in with the larger group. As it was most of my splits were faster than written: 1:34, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37, 1:37 (not sure I could do that again if I tried), 1:36, 1:34, 1:36, 1:36, 1:33, 1:22. Virginia challenged me to a race on that last one and my competitive nature couldn’t say no. I even said NO I AM NOT SPRINTING and I did anyway.


Thursday – active rest day. Resting two full days before the Kiawah Triathlon served me well so I decided to do it again this time around. I suppose maybe “rest” isn’t the right word because I still took the twins for a nearly 3 mile walk, but I wasn’t running, biking, swimming, or increasing my heart rate too much so I counted it. Plus this:

and 3...2..1....AWWWWWW

and 3…2..1….AWWWWWW

Friday – actual, legit rest day. No wait, it wasn’t. I did 30 minutes of yoga because my quads were tight from my little unplanned 400m race on that last lap. I also spent the day stretching like crazy and then took an epsom salt bath and  slathered muscle cream on them before bed. I went sleep hoping they’d feel better in the morning. #don’tracebeforeraceday

Saturday – long run, but a cut back week. 13 miles. Also the Sweet Tea Half Marathon. Goal pace for plan was 8:50 but it was a race so lets be realistic. If I’m signing up for a race I’m racing it. My ultimate goal was a 1:45 finish or an 8:01/mile average. I ran a 1:45:06 4 years ago, hadn’t really come close since and was starting to wonder if maybe it wasn’t doable. It started to feel like a realistic goal again recently after running weekly speed work and following this plan. My quads cooperated well (yay!). My pyriformis acted up a little (boo) but I FINALLY got my speed back! Stay tuned for a recap.

Sunday – cross training/active recovery day. I considered a “recovery run” but my pyriformis is still acting up and tomorrow’s massage couldn’t come at a better time. I did 50 minutes of yoga and made myself refrain from doing anything else. My sister and I took the twins to the playground and thoroughly enjoyed some slide static hair.

It's electric

It’s electric

8 down 8 to go!

The Dammit Diamond

I’ve been saying that I’m impressed with the twins vocabulary. There are days (like today when Miles correctly labeled an octagon) that they identify and label things I had no idea they knew. 

I, too, have a decent vocabulary. Anyone who knows me,though, knows it isn’t always clean. 

Monday morning we are driving to daycare. I make a right turn, accelerate and then hear Miles say:


Ugh. This one, unlike the time I swear he uttered the f-word when he accidentally turned the TV off, was completely out of context. Great, so not only is my toddler swearing, he’s doing it for no apparent reason. I ignore it hoping it’s a fluke.  Soon though: 


Yup. Mom of the year right here in the front seat. My award is rescinded for all time. I’m just about (silently) curse myself for not watching my more colorful language more closely when Abby says: 



Dammit. Diamond! They are talking about the road work sign! He is saying diamond! 

Phew. Mom of the year lives to see another day. 

Disney Marathon Training – Week 7

Almost halfway there! Also, I’ve made another change as far as my goal paces. I’m aiming for the 3:40 pace goals on tempo and speed runs and the 3:45 goal on my long runs. I suck at pacing myself on short runs but have almost the opposite problem on long ones – I want to go slower so I don’t spend the last several miles in pain and cursing. I am, admittedly,  a little afraid to push too much on those ones.

Monday – cross training. Ride 13 miles. After spending an arm, leg and ankle on the dogs’ vet checkups and meds, I decided to take advantage of the warm (ugh where is FALL!?) weather and go for a bike ride. I’m definitely riding smarter and faster than I was this time last year, and although I’m enjoying the riding off season I’m definitely interested to see how much more improvement I can make next year. One season at a time.

Tuesday – tempo run. 2 easy/3@ 7:35/1 easy. I hemmed and hawed over a run in the rain vs. a run on satan’s sidewalk. In the end, the sidewalk won since I had just run in the rain the previous week and had felt like it was harder to keep pace while watching for traffic and wiping water out of my eyes. I cranked the A/C up on the third floor and turned my music on. I suppose the good thing about treadmills is it forces you to keep a steady pace, and so steady I was. Warm up and cool down miles @ 9:31 and my three tempo @ 7:35. I discovered something  is wrong with with the A/C up there though because when I started the run it was 71 degrees, when I finished it was 84. Even in a room with air conditioning I can’t get away from the heat. Ugh.

Wednesday – speed work. 6×800 @ 3:23 with 1:30 rest in between each interval. I forgot to double check the pace goal and so ended up slow on a few because I thought I was aiming for closer to 6:50 and in reality needed more like 6:45. It was humid (shock) too so that didn’t help. Times: 3:28 (oops), 3:23, 3:24, 3:26, 3:25, 3:23. Our fearless leader was nowhere to be seen so I was in charge of the selfie picture. Except I suck it and it kept cutting off either the groups’ heads or my own. In the end, someone took the phone from me and took it. Smart. And I accidentally deleted the other ones so I can’t even properly make fun of myself.


Thursday – cross train. Swim 1200m. Since I didn’t make it to the pool Monday I took the trip there and did a straight 1200. My time was ok. Nothing exiting to report there.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 18 miles @ 9:05 pace. The majority of my long runs for previous marathons were closer to the 9:30’s and even though I knew that pace was doable I was still nervous, mostly because my 16 miler (at 9:23) a few weeks before had felt so difficult. Last weeks’ 20 miler (at 9:21) felt much better but it was still a solid 16 seconds slower per mile.

We ended up with a larger group than I expected, though only 3 of us did the full 18. The rest ran 12. Still, it was awesome company and with people who at least tolerate my obsessiveness about my pace goal without much complaint. The first mile was slower but that’s expected for a warm up mile and the rest were actually pretty consistent. We even managed a negative split, finished the last mile at an 8:51 and my legs weren’t dying, so I feel much more encouraged and confident about the goal paces from here on out. The goal pace for my final 20 makes me nervous but trying not to get ahead of myself.


Sunday – “active rest day”. Bryan’s mom and brother came in town for about 24 hours to visit. She and I took the twins for about a mile walk and then I pushed them a slow mile and a quarter (9:59 average) to warm up my muscles. After that I did my 30 minute yoga for runners routine on You Tube.

Don’t forget that I am dedicating this marathon not only for my I run 4 buddy but to help start a Girls with Sole chapter in Charleston. Please consider making a donation to help our at risk girls. You can donate here.

Life With Twins – Two and a Half

Good grief. Where did the babies go?

you know you cant handle the cute

you know you cant handle the cute

Since our last update, we have stayed quite busy. Actually, that’s an understatement. Sometimes, I wonder how so much energy can be contained in two little bodies. On the plus side, since sibling rivalry hasn’t really kicked in yet (though they do fight over things of course) they keep each other entertained really well – so much so that sometimes I think I actually get more accomplished having twins than I would with just one toddler.

I’m sure I’ll be eating my words soon since I just said that out loud.

Collectively, sometimes I’m really impressed with what they know and learn and how quickly things shifted from my counting every word in their vocabulary to putting 5 and 6 words together. Mostly, they use 2-3 but I’ve definitely heard some longer ones. Both are officially in toddler beds, which may or may not be contributing to the recent “sleep strike” where they’ve been playing in their room until 9pm and then waking up at 5:30 to play some more. Neither one will touch a vegetable with a 10 foot pole and I’ve taken to making “juice (aka smoothies) in order to try to get them to eat some. We are told by daycare that they eat their veggies there, so I guess that’s something. They’ve almost graduated from high chairs (that they are really too big for anyway) and often now sit at their little picnic table for meals. They still love Pocoyo, Little Baby Bum, and recently “guppies” (Bubble Guppies). Neither are potty trained, and I’m admittedly not very consistent about it. They understand, as Miles once demonstrated as he peed in the bathtub while saying “I pee”, and tell me if they’ve pooped, but we still haven’t gotten them to do anything on the potty yet except “try”, and even then sometimes its a fight (NO PEE PEE POTTY!!!). And they both have this weird obsession with lights and garages (bye bye garage!). If I don’t pull the SUV into the garage, they get upset.

Miss Abby loves to color and can honestly sit for almost an hour just scribbling away in her coloring book. She can read (and spell, I think) her name, Miles, mommy and daddy and recently started making Bryan hold her hand while he wrote out each of the letters. She throws a fit if you give her Miles’ daycare paper (more A-B-Y!) and, as always, still LOVES looking in the mirror, particularly if she has a “so pretty” (dress, clip, bow) of some kind. She continues to be the more laid back of the two for now. Recently she’s started to take interest in the toy cars, and every night she sleeps with her Minnie Mouse and pink bear.

Miles likes to move. He often “wanna go for a walk”, which will either consist of riding on his bike or actually walking. At Halloween, we think he walked a mile or more (Abby rode in the wagon). He really likes peanut butter by the spoonful, so if you come to our house, bring your own peanut butter. He’s starting to ask me to read stories to him, usually at least 3 times apiece. He’d eat a “lalapop” at every meal if we let him. Miles is very sensitive and emotional. Earlier, he was throwing a tantrum and I told him if he didn’t stop I’d put him to bed. So he climbed up the stairs, went into his room, closed the door and cried.

Time for picture overload!

  • <3


  • Miles demands cake


  • We do a LOT of running (and post run recover-ing)

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  • We pick out and paint pumpkins, then hop on a hay ride
  • We go outside during a break in the rain to splash
  • We visit “cookie”


  • And enjoy “Happy Day”
It's a Happy Day!

It’s a Happy Day!

  • Mom stops procrastinating and takes us to the dentist
Don't be fooled, she hated it

Don’t be fooled, she hated it





Post dentist treats

Post dentist treats

  • We eat dinner at “home”
  • Macawoni and cheeeese!

    Macawoni and cheeeese!

  • And of course, Halloween

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  • Slide slow-mo


  • Mommy can’t sing

  • Dance


Disney Marathon Training – Week 6

2 and a half months to race day!

Monday – cross train.  Swim 1600 meters. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to split up drills vs laps (I really should plan more ahead) so I decided to just try swimming 1 mile straight without stopping. I had some iPod issues (i’ve had to send it back once already and now have to email them again) but otherwise things went pretty smoothly. Slowly (2:34/100m) but smoothly.

Tuesday – tempo run. 1 easy/ 5 tempo. Goal A: 7:50/mi Goal B: 7:59/mi. There was a 39% chance of rain, and you guessed it, it rained. I don’t mind running in the rain all that much but for some reason I just had trouble finding my groove. My legs were also a little tired still from the weekend. The mile warm up was ok but my first tempo mile was quite a bit slower than goal and I just couldn’t get my average up quite enough. 9:31, 8:13, 7:54, 7:55, 7:53, 7:43. At least the last 4 were pretty consistent. Average 7:55/mi

Wednesday – speed work. 2×1200 and 4 x 800 with 2 min rest between each interval. Goal A: 5:10/3:23. Goal B: 5:18/3:28. Last weeks speed work was rough and it was even warmer today, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I KILLED IT. There was a random 50% chance of rain (remember Tuesday?) at 6:00 so my parents watched the twins. The rest of the group did 16×400 so I was solo on this one, but just having other people around is motivation and company enough. 8:49 warm up mile. 1200 (1): 5:07, 1200 (2) 5:05, 800 (1): 3:23 800 (2) 3:23, 800 (3) 3:18, 800 (4) 3:17.

We forgot a group picture. Fail.

Thursday: cross train. 30 minute trainer ride and took the twins for a long walk in the morning before work.

Friday: also known as REST DAY

Saturday: long run. The first of four 20 mile runs on this plan (well 5 but I split the first). I decided to not even try for Goal A on this one and just shoot for B which was 9:20/mile. My longest consecutive was still 16 and I was pretty pooped at the end of it, and we did a 9:23/mi that run. A group of us met at the YMCA and we basically did a 10 mile out and back following the bike bath and then down a main road until we hit 10 and turned around. 2 others turned around at mile 7.5 and three of us did the full 20. It ended slightly slower than goal (9:21/mile) but I felt stronger and between the Plexus and nutrition, I’m finally able to run a long run now without having to visit the bathroom 3 times when I get home (TMI I know).

Aaaaaand we forgot a picture again.

Sunday: cross train – 60 minutes of yoga, where I attempted to do a handstand and failed. Damn things are hard. Abby did some yoga with me at the beginning, but of course she stopped as soon as I stopped to take a picture.

Since I didn’t get any good training pics this week, here is a cute one from Halloween :)



Getting My Speed Back (JI Connector 5k)

About six months before we started fertility treatments, I ran my second marathon. A few weeks after that, I ran my fastest 5k to date, albeit still 10-15 seconds under what my goal was. Since having the twins, I’ve been having trouble getting back to where I was before the pregnancy. Granted, I still have more than respectable 5k times, but it irritated me that not only was I was a solid minute slower, I just couldn’t seem to get any faster.

The sad part was, for the first few years of running, I didn’t pay attention to things like pace average – I was just looking a the final number. I am and never was an elite athlete by any means, but my 5k and 10k pace averages were pretty fast and I simply had no idea! Sometimes, I think it was better when I was ignorant, because I look at the pace averages I’d need to have now to meet my previous times and immediately think “crap, I dunno if I can do that”.

But I digress. Over the summer, a group started weekly speedwork, which I’ve been pretty consistent about going to. In starting to train for this marathon, I’ve also put more focus on speed and time.

The James Island Connector Run is a pretty popular run in the area. I ran the 10k a few years ago and swore I would NEVER RUN IT AGAIN. In fact, I referred to it as “the evil”, mostly because the out and back course not only had 6 inclines, but a RIDICULOUS headwind.

Then, amnesia set in. Well, kinda. The same friend was visiting again from Antigua and signed up for this race. I signed up for the 5k this year, thinking that perhaps based on the websites comment that it is a “fast course”, I might be able to see some improvement in my time.

The website lied. And I should have known. It is a bridge after all and so there is going to be at least some incline. There was a finishers medal though, so there’s that.


I was using this race as part of my long run for the weekend, and so the goal was to get as many miles in as possible. I figured I could reasonably race the 5k and still be able to finish the rest of the run, which turned out to be mostly true.

 I ran a mile warm up around the start line and then made my way to the front of the pack with just a couple minutes to spare. I stretched my pyriformis and calves and then got ready to run, wondering if I had missed anything (this will become significant later).

There isn’t a ton to report in a 5k, because its really just 3.1 miles of pain and discomfort (at least in my experience), or as my friend Amy would say “a ride on the pain train”. The first incline was the steepest though it didn’t feel too terrible (at the time) and I finished the first mile in 7:10. Too fast, considering the incline but I hadn’t really been factoring that in at the time.

This was advertised as a "fast" 5k course...with 3 hills. Liars.

This was advertised as a “fast” 5k course…with 3 hills. Liars.

It was also about this point that it was confirmed that I was overdressed. I tend to warm up quickly and the fact that I was already uncomfortable was not a good sign. But I pressed on, finishing mile 2 in 7:15. Again, probably too fast considering the second incline.

It was between miles 2-3 that the trouble started. The final mile had a tiny incline in comparison to the first two, but by the time I got there my quads were on fire (and that would be what I forgot to stretch) and I just died. I died a horrible 5k death. I walked not once, not twice, but THREE times in that mile, clocking in at a miserable 7:48. I was practically counting steps to get myself to the end without walking again when my eye caught the time clock and noticed it still reading 22:xx. I have no idea where it came from, but dammit if I was going to cross that finish line in a 22:59 even if it meant I puked at the end. Some poor dude was racing me to the end probably thinking I was trying to beat him, but I didn’t have the energy in me to tell him not to bother – I didn’t give a crap about beating HIM.

My watch read 23:02 at the finish. Crap. But then I realized my watch read 23:02 for 3.14 miles, and so I took my pace average and figured out that my finish time for 3.1 miles was 22:50, which I was totally counting as my time now. This is about 25 seconds faster than my most recent 5k time, and considering the hills, I was totally happy with it.

I jogged back with Kim in attempt to accrue some more mileage and went to wait for the awards with 9 miles under my belt. I had about medium hopes for an award and come to find out not only did I score 3rd place in my age group, but my finish time registered as 22:59 (and I didn’t even throw up)!

A wise woman mentioned to me that since I was racing, I could subtract 3 miles from my run that day (18 to 15) because I was working harder and the benefit would be the same. Sounds good to me, so after some water, food and chit chat I headed out for the final 6 miles.


By the last 2 miles I was REALLY struggling though, so even if I hadn’t been able to subtract some miles I likely would have been done at 15 anyway (Until I re-did the math later and realized I actually did 14).

In the end, not quite back to my old time yet, but I think I can get there!

Disney Marathon Training – Week 5

This week I booked the hotel for the trip and made preliminary plans! Still have some time though, so lets focus on the training :)

After spending a couple weeks trying to figure out which time plan to really follow, I’ve decided to have a “Goal A” and Goal B”. It seems I can hit the faster paces in tempo runs pretty consistently, sometimes in long runs but struggle in the speed work, which I feel like kinda puts me between the 3:40 and 3:45 goal and not really strictly one or the other. Goal A will refer to 3:40 pace goal. Goal B will refer to 3:45 pace goal.

Monday: cross training aka swim day. 1600 meter swim with mostly laps and a couple drills. I think I *might* be getting a *little* faster. I did try a “speed” workout which alternated between slow and fast laps in an up and down ladder fashion. So, 1 fast/1 slow, 2 fast/2 slow, 3 fast/3 slow and back down again. I have no idea how fast the “fast” laps were though because I didn’t stop the watch until the end, and my overall pace was still on the slow side (2:24/100m) so I’m not sure if they were really much faster or not. Next time I’ll have to separate the fast and slow laps and see if the intervals are really intervals.

Tuesday: Tempo Run. 6 miles. 2 easy/3 tempo/1 easy. Tempo goal A: 7:35/mile. Tempo goal B: 7:50/mile. I dropped the twins off at daycare and did a 5 mile loop from there with the additional cool down a half mile up the street and back. Easy miles at 8:52 and 8:32. The tempo is where things always get a little inconsistent. My first mile was 7:38, so too fast for goal B and not bad for goal A. I slowed down mile 2 at 7:41, and picked it up at mile 3 at 7:25, averaging about a 7:35. This one at least the cool down mile didn’t feel super hard and I finished that one at 8:48.

Wednesday: Speed Work. Mile repeats. Goal A: 7:02/mile. Goal B: 7:11/mile. I REALLY didn’t want to push the stroller for mile repeats so my parents watched the twins. I do not like mile repeats. (I do not like them, Sam I am). I programmed the workout in my watch (run 1 mile, rest 1 min repeat 3x) and unfortunately that meant that once the repeat was over I wasn’t sure how fast I had done it because my watch just switches to the screen that says “rest 1:00”. I looked at my watch over the course of the mile several times and it was typically in the 7:10-7:20 range so I felt like I was working really hard and going slower than I’d hoped. Mile 3 I died and had to significantly slow down the last 2 laps. It was a warm day for October (about 79 degrees)  too so that didn’t help. I ended with a 7:07, 7:04 and 7:21, averaging around the 7:11 goal.

Afterward we joined the Fleet Feet runners for an 80’s themed get together. I’m not usually one to dress up but I didn’t have the twins and why not?

My "costume" which consisted of crazy neon socks, pantyhose, my one piece bathing suit and a sweatshirt to go with my crazy hair

My “costume” which consisted of crazy neon socks, pantyhose, my one piece bathing suit and a sweatshirt to go with my crazy hair

Thursday: cross train. Ride 10 miles. This was the first time I had been on my tri bike for a real ride (2x on the trainer) since Kiawah and it was nice to ride it again. Another warm “fall” afternoon and a bit busy traffic wise so just took a short one. I also stopped to take a pic of this house that appeared to have been part of arachnophobia with all the ridiculous amount of web used.

Bike ride observation diaries: fake spider web overkill

Bike ride observation diaries: fake spider web overkill

Friday: rest day!

Saturday: Long Run 15 14 miles. Goal A pace 9:08. Goal B 9:20- this week split in an interesting way, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Plan called for 18 miles, 3 of which I was racing. A friend said this meant I could shorten the long run by 3 miles and still have the same benefits since I was working harder. Whether this is true or not I am not sure but if it made the day easier I was gonna do it. The day looked like this: 1 mile warm up before race, 5k race (recap coming later), 4 miles jogged back (it was a point to point 5k so you could jog back or take a bus), hang out for awards, then 6 miles downtown to finish it out. Except I realized later I can’t count and only did 14. Oops. Honestly if I had realized I had to do 7 I might have quit at 6 anyway. My quads were DONE. I got in the car hurting, but thanks to Plexus, felt MUCH better about an hour later. Overall pace average 8:53 for the 14 miles, which I thought was good considering I’d done less than the 18.

This was advertised as a "fast" 5k course...with 3 hills. Liars.

This was advertised as a “fast” 5k course…with 3 hills. Liars.

Sunday: Long Run part 2/cross training.  I had said if I got all 15 in the day before I was going to let the last 3 go, but since I don’t get many miles logged anyway I threw the the twins in the stroller and we did 3 easy ones (average 9:51/mile) and then I attempted a 35 minute Yoga for Runners video in which I was needed for “hugs”, “color”, “more tickle” and “milk” all in the first 5 minutes. :)

Miles reaches his foot out for "more tickle" in the long grass during our run

Miles reaches his foot out for “more tickle” in the long grass during our run

If you missed the post earlier, I’ve decided to dedicate my run this year to Girls with Sole. So far I’ve gotten about 100$ in donations towards the program but would love to see more!

I Run For

A year or so ago, I signed up to be put on the waiting list on the Facebook group I Run 4 Michael. Created by Timothy Boyle, the group pairs runners with someone who is unable to run. The runner keeps in contact with his/her buddy and dedicates races and daily workouts. I was finally matched in April and what a cool and interesting experience it has been. I have dedicated a few running races and this years’ three triathlons to him, and we’ve developed a really cool relationship that I hope will continue as long as possible. We were matched around the time I registered for the Disney Marathon and I was excited to have a series of training runs and a race this length to run for him.

In the meantime, a few local runners have gotten together in hopes to open up a Girls With Sole chapter here in Charleston. This program started not too far from my hometown in Ohio, and its goal is to offer girls who have experienced or who are at risk of abuse the opportunity to participate in athletics. According to a PSA Keep Her In the Game, girls drop out of sports at 2x the rate of boys. A few facts from the GWS website:

  • Regular exercise improves overall quality of life.
  • Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image than girls and women who do not participate.
  • Women who are active in sports and recreational activities as girls feel greater confidence in their physical and social selves than those who were sedentary as kids.
  • Research suggests that girls who participate in sports are more likely to experience academic success and graduate from high school than those who do not play sports

I am fortunate in that I have never suffered abuse nor was I at a particularly high risk for it, however, I can definitively speak about exercises’ benefits towards mental health. Running helped me through a tough relationship, a divorce, depression, anxiety, and the trials of new motherhood. It has taught me confidence and shown me that I am more capable than I thought, and there is simply no reason why every girl out there can’t reap the same benefits.

So this race I am sharing my dedication. I will not only be running for my I run 4 buddy, I will be running for Girls With Sole, and hope that by doing so I can help get the program started here in Charleston. If you are interested in donating, you can do so here. Where it says “dedicate your donation”, if you’d like to choose a runner (ME!), you can type her name in the box. 100$ covers the cost for the entire 12 week program for one girl. You can donate any flat amount or pledge an amount per mile.

These girls need the confidence, friendship and achievement that comes with running, and we can help make that happen.

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