Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cowtown Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 is in the bag! My success this week is due to my very supportive mother who thoroughly enjoyed breakfast with Joanna every morning that I stepped out her door to run. I love that woman and I love that she is so supportive of my crazy hobbies and lifestyle. She has always encouraged me to focus, do the hard stuff and REST when its time to REST.

We arrived in Florida on Saturday night. Jo and I spent a total of 10 days between the Saravias and the Ganeys. Here is how the week shook out...

After doing my long run in Lake Mary on Sunday, on Monday we headed to Disney. We walked about 22k steps from 10am when we arrived until 9pm when we left. My legs were definitely tired and I fell asleep in the car ride while my mom drove us all home... just like we used to do when we were kids.

"Wita" (grandma), Joanna and I at Disney

Miles: 4
Time: 43:19
Pace: 10:50 avg

This was supposed to be a nice and easy shake out run. Although I didn't push it hard, I did have to remind myself to take it slower. I need to take advantage of the "easy" runs and just enjoy the scenery! Easy on the easy days; hard only on the hard days.

Miles: 6
Time: 1:04:54
Pace: 10:48 avg

My brother's huskey (Mila) is staying in Lake Mary with his wife and my parents while he is deployed. That girl (the husky) has a lot of energy to burn off and this day was my turn to take her for a stroll around the neighborhood. If I was at home on my treadmill, this would have been 6miles of hills. But because I was in Lake Mary, this was a humid, 6 miles trying to keep the dog at a steady pace - overall this felt good.

Mila and I after a solid 6 miles

Miles: 5.74
Time: 1:00:22
Pace: 10:31 avg   

By the time this run came around, Brad had arrived from Texas and we drove over to his grandma's house, South of Lakeland. Joanna was down for a nap and I was out the door in the middle of the Florida afternoon. The temp wasn't awful but it did catch up to me a little near the end. Here was the workout my coach gave me:

1 mile warm up
5 x 800 @ Marathon Goal Pace w/400 recovery jog
1 mile cool down

My marathon goal pace is 4hr 45min so I should have run my half miles (800s) in 4 min and 45 seconds (abt 9:30 pace) but I ran these close to 9:50 pace. I probably should have asked my coach to clarify what a Yasso was BEFORE I did the workout. But this gives me a good excuse to run a little slower in that mid-afternoon Florida heat :)

Time: 1:28:41
Pace: 10:45

This run was originally scheduled for Sunday but on Saturday night I had a bachelorette party to attend back in Orlando. There was NO WAY that I was going to drive back on minimal sleep and expect to run 10 miles so I went ahead and did this on Saturday morning. Running on tired legs was a good reminder of my biggest challenge during this training cycle. I couldn't find my gu in my suitcase and I cut this run short at mile 8.25 as I could feel the fatigue in my legs and I didn't have the mental strength to make a 4th loop around the same small-town circle at grandma's house. I should have dug deep and finished this out. Oh well :(

Overall this week went well. I didn't have the normal work/life/kid struggle that I'm sure will come up in the next coming weeks as I try to balance training and my normal life. But dang, that Florida humidity is no joke!

Running Mama 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cowtown Marathon Training Week 1

 "Welcome to week 1 of marathon training... with a small child".... that's what I told myself when I started this week on Monday. I could make 4 different excuses why this is not a good idea (actually, I'm sure I could come up with more than 4) but I'm only going to list the 4 that were in my mind....
  1. You are going to start training on Monday, then you'll fly to Orlando to begin vacation on Saturday (where there is tons of humidity).
  2. You are going to be busy this week "preparing" for taking 10 days off of work, how will you find time to run sleep?
  3. Brad works this week so you'll need to run, shower, get Jo ready and be out the door by 7am... how will you find the energy to do all of that?
  4. You are going to be doing some runs in Florida... and it will be hot! (did I mention the humidity)
You see that? I could find every excuse in the book as to why I shouldn't be trying to train for a marathon with a small child. Or, I can push myself to be the best version of myself (this usually happens when I am running). Plus, I found this awesome new dry shampoo that goes so well with the cold weather. So there goes the excuse of needing to spend a lot of time in the shower and styling my curly hair when its 30 degrees outside :D

Miles: 5.15
Time: 57:09
Pace: 11:06 avg

I woke up at 4am and got this in watching Fixer Upper on the iPad. I usually eat a yogurt and drink a cup of spark before my morning runs. I was in the shower by 5:45am.

Here is the workout provided by my coach:
1 mile warm up
2 minutes @ zone 3 pace - no incline
1 minute @ zone 2 pace @ 3.0 incline
1 minute @ zone 3 pace - no incline
1minute @ zone 2 pace @ 4.0 incline
Repeat the above "five minute" set 5 times through
Finish out the run to hit five miles total.

My zone 3 pace is 5.8 on the treadmill.
My zone 2 pace is 5.3 on the treadmill.

Miles: 4
Pace:  11:03 avg

Another 4am wake up, yogurt and cup of spark. This felt great.

I was scheduled to run before work but I stayed up late after I put Jo down for bed trying to get some work done before I left for vacation on Saturday. I knew it wasn't realistic to go to bed late and wake at 4am to run so I slept-in and planned on doing this at night after Jo went to bed. Then, I came home with a stomach ache from work so I just called it quits.

Miles: 3 (makeup from Friday)
Time: 32:40
Pace: 10:53

I got these miles in before Jo woke up (5am wake up) and cruised at 5.5 on the treadmill while watching TV. I'm learning to embrace the treadmill :) This was followed by breakfast with Santa at Brad's hospital! As you can tell by Jo's face... she did not enjoy the strange man with the beard... not one bit.

Miles: 10
Time: 1:53:44
Pace: 11:22 

Jo and I flew to Orlando on Saturday and arrived around 8pm. I got some rest and ran around my parents house on Sunday morning. My mom agreed to watch Joanna and feed her pancakes (I prepared the egg-free batter while I was eating breakfast myself) so I didn't feel rushed to get back to the house.  Around mile 3-4 I met up with my sister and did a run/walk - she lovingly brought me a bottle of water which I downed by mile 6. I didn't pack any gu so I definitely felt sluggish towards the end of the run. The humidity wasn't awful and there were cooler temps that kept this run feeling pretty comfortable.

This was a good first week of training. Just like I planned, a few things came up (working late, tummy ache and traveling to Florida) so I just worked with my coach to make some adjustments. Since I'll be doing some back-to-back long runs later in the plan, I'll need to try my best not to move too many of my runs around.

Running Mama Stephanie 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cowtown Marathon

Hi friends!
Last we left off, our little family was making big moves to find a home in Austin. This is still front and center but I think it's calmed down since we found the neighborhood we want to settle down in. Now we are going through the motions with the builder to make everything official. If its God's will, we will be building a house that should be ready in summer 2017.

On the running front, last week I started marathon training for the The Cowtown Marathon! I'm rolling right into marathon training after building up my base all summer for the half I ran in October. I have been running consistently 3-4 days a week with most of my runs on the treadmill because of my parental constraints. Although, the weather in north Texas is absolutely perfect for running right now and a run while the sun is out is high on my Christmas list!

I haven't officially signed up for the race because I'm still trying to convince Brad to run the half (so I can have some company for the first 10 miles of the race). I love the cold weather for running but I don't think that's a motivating factor for him :) I hear that Cowtown is usually very chilly and has a few hills.

After taking off 9 full days of running (coincidentally this was also the time where we were hard core traveling to Austin for house hunting), my legs are feeling back to normal again! I'll try my best to post weekly updates of my training progress, this will help me stay accountable to my runs and check-in with how I'm doing. For now, I have to share a few things that will make this training cycle unique for me:

Split Long Runs - Instead of your typical long run Saturday, I asked my coach to be creative when planning my long runs. Every-other-Saturday I am able to do my long run solo & outside (when Brad is off of work). The catch is the weekends that Brad is working. Our plan is to break up my long run between two days (Friday and Saturday) so I am not stuck doing 15+ miles on the treadmill at any given time... that is just completely unrealistic for me. Friday is a mid-long run ranging from 6-8 miles and on Saturday is the remaining miles split between the treadmill and the stroller. Doing these runs back to back should help simulate the long run feel on my legs come Saturday.

Treadmill Runs - Between the cold mornings in Dallas (temps in the 30-40s before the sun comes up) and those mornings that it's just Joanna and I at home... we are planning for lots of treadmill runs during the week. I'm taking suggestions for Netflix shows filled with drama and suspense!

Strength - I never really focused much on strength in my other training cycles. This time, instead of running 6 days a week - I'm running 5 and putting 1 day of focus on strength. I've been trying to focus 1 day on strength since I started back up running but I haven't been consistent every single week.

My biggest goal for this race is to finish strong. But my second goal is to finish at 4hrs and 45 minutes. I'm hoping this moderate goal will push me to train without putting a lot of pressure on me to PR. I know that I don't have the dedicated time to train and beat my marathon PR of 4:30 but I'd like to definitely finish under 5 hours. I also realize that marathon training with a child is much different than pre-parenthood and so I'm giving myself some grace that I may not be able to make every single run... because.... life.

Let's do this! By March (and my 29th birthday) I'd like to be able to call myself a Marathon Mama!