Posts Tagged ‘miles’

Welcome to my last “first trail race” training post!

Week Four Training Recap:

Sunday: rest.

Monday: p90x “ab ripper x”.

Tuesday: 4 mile road run.

Wednesday: no workout. not sure what happened here…

Thursday: 3 mile road run. 10 sets of 15 push-ups. (to try and make up for yesterday)

Friday: 40 minutes of p90x “stretch”.

Saturday: Wild Thang Nine Mile Trail Run!!! ūüôā

Week Four Nutritional Recap:

Well, it has been four weeks of no soda and no “junk” food (with the exception of my birthday on which I did enjoy some cake and ice-cream!) and I can’t say I’ve really missed it (yes, it’s been shocking to me too). So what have I learned from this experience? What have I gained? I have learned that our bodies are incredibly adaptable and so are our taste buds! I’ve learned that the more I eat “real” food, the more I crave “real” food (and the more “junk” food sounds, well, yucky). I’ve learned that real food fills you up faster and for longer, making eating less, less of a big deal. I’ve learned that eating real food doesn’t have to be time consuming and complicated unless you want to make it that way (fresh fruit, fresh veggies, cheese, yogurt, nuts, beans and whole grain anything- so easy! so simple. It only has to be as complicated as we make it.) I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for God’s Creation- God created our bodies, God created “real” food to nourish our bodies. Beautiful. Simple. Functional. I’ve also gained (or perhaps simply reignited) a conviction that treating our bodies well is so important! So vital to our well being and quality of life. “We are what we eat.” I believe that with all of my heart. Stay tuned for more on my real food journey. This story is not over yet.


The end of this week marks the end of a challenging but rewarding commitment that I made to myself and to you, my readers, four weeks ago. It has been good. It has been hard. I am so grateful for the legs and feet that carried me through to the end of my training. Tomorrow I will post about my race experience. It was incredible!!! Thanks for reading. Thank you for your encouraging comments. I hope today finds you happy, healthy and moving! ūüôā


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Welcome to week three of trail race training! Three weeks in and things are going better than expected. So excited about Saturday’s race!

Week Three Training Recap:

Sunday: rest.

Monday: 5 sets of 20 pushups, 5 sets of 20 situps, 5 sets of 20 squats and 5 sets of 30 seconds of superman in 20 minutes.

Tuesday: 2 mile walk pushing my youngest in his stroller. 4 mile road run.

Wednesday: so sore. everywhere. skip workout.

Thursday: 4 mile road run.

Friday: 40 minutes of p90x “stretch”.

Saturday: 12 mile road run at Shelby Bottoms Greenway.

Week Three Nutritional Recap:

Not much to report. Enjoying my fruits and veggies. A lot. Have increased my protein consumption in an effort to speed up my recovery time. Sometimes I think it’s helping. Other times I don’t think it’s making a difference at all really. Feeling lighter and, on most days, more energetic. Planning to write a “real food” post soon!


The past few weeks have been a good reminder that we are capable of so much more than¬†we think we are. My 13 mile trail run last Saturday was a good example of that. And my 20 minute circuit on Monday, that I could barely complete, was as well. If you had told me on Saturday morning that I was going to go out and complete 13 miles that day, I would have told you I wasn’t ready for that, wasn’t in the shape to do that. But we did it! We finished 9, got back to the car, realized we didn’t feel done yet, turned around and¬†banged out¬†4 more. Finished strong. And it felt great! And Monday. Monday I would have told you I couldn’t do a hundred of anything in 20 minutes, much less a hundred of 3 different things. But I did it. Barely. But did it.

So. My friends. That is my¬†challenge to you this week. Find one thing you think you cannot do. And do it. Whatever it takes. Do it.¬†If you think you cannot go an entire day without drinking soda, go without. For one day. No matter what. Whatever it takes. No excuses. If you are sure you could never walk a mile without stopping, walk that mile! If running sounds like an impossibility for someone like you, go for a short walk and include just a bit of running. Even if it is only for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 3! The point is to complete something that you never thought you would do, could do. Or maybe you are already a runner but just¬†know you could never run a 1/2 marathon…or a full marathon! Well I say, sign yourself up! Start your training. And see what happens. See how empowered you feel. See the snowball as it builds. See how many things can change just by changing one. Truly, we are remarkable creatures. If only we would treat ourselves as such!

And In Other News:

My dad and youngest sister started a 90 day commitment to p90x this week, my husband¬†biked 22 miles for the first time ever on Saturday, one friend of mine is training for her first Warrior Dash as of this week, another friend of mine has decided to run her first trail race this month (same one I am training for!), still another is in the middle of training for her first FULL marathon right now and¬†I have a¬†fourth friend¬†who is¬†now a couple months into training for his first Death Race. So many firsts!¬†I love it! So inspiring. I love seeing people trying new things, taking care of the remarkable bodies that God blessed them with, choosing to challenge themselves instead of just staying comfortable. So amazing. So exciting.¬†So inspiring.¬†ūüôā

I hope this week finds you healthy and moving and trying new things.

What is a “first” you have accomplished this year??

What challenge will you be taking on this week?

Five days to go until my very first trail race. Wish me luck!!! ūüôā

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Sorry for the belated post! How quickly I lose track of time these days! Maybe when the baby is two my days won’t stay so busy? Ha. Or maybe not. ūüôā

Had another great week! Really enjoying my training.

Week Two Training Recap:

Sunday: rest.

Monday: poor planning. no workout. ūüė¶

Tuesday: 50 minutes of p90x “yoga” in the a.m. (yesterday’s workout). 3 mile road run in the p.m.

Wednesday:¬†3×10 curls. 3×10 hammer curls. 3×10 static curls. all with 15lb weights. 3×10 of 3 types of tricep raises (so 90 total) with 5lb weights. 3x1min supermans.

Thursday: 5 mile road run.

Friday: 40 minutes of p90x “stretch”.

Saturday: 13 mile trail run at Percy Warner.

Week Two Nutritional Recap:

I am two weeks “junk” free at this point and it feels GREAT! Every one should try this “real” food thing some time. Seriously. I have barely missed my junk food. And am considering not going back after my four weeks is up. Better portion sizes this week too. I know that has helped me feel better as well.


I would describe this week as slightly more than just the right amount of challenging. Not the workouts really. I am enjoying the workouts. But I have been sore almost every day for two weeks now. That is getting tiresome. Would like to continue the same amount of workouts because I like doing something most days of the week. But may need to make a few of them a bit lighter or easier. Just so my soreness isn’t so overwhelming. Hard to function when my entire body hurts all the time…

Saturday was definitely my favorite workout of the week. Percy Warner is so beautiful. And peaceful. And there’s nothin’ like running for hours with one of your best friends, lost in the woods, catchin’ up on life. I am so blessed.

That’s all for now, folks.¬†Stay tuned for next week’s recap as I continue my adventures in trail race training! ūüôā


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Well, it’s been an interesting week.

First, a training recap:

last Saturday: 8 mile road run. 200 pushups. 200 situps.

Sunday: rest.

Monday: 160 push-ups. 160 sit-ups. 160 squats. 160 curls w/12lb weights. all in sets of 20.

Tuesday: 3 mile road run.

Wednesday: p90x “back and biceps” with the hubby.

Thursday: 4 mile road run.

Friday: 40 minutes of p90x “stretch”.

Saturday: 8 mile trail run at Ellington.

And a nutritional recap:

I ate a lot of good food this week. A lot of good food. Probably too much. Too much keeps me feeling less than my best. So that will have to be different this coming week. While satisfying my palette with fruits and veggies and proteins and whole grains (and a few treats like two glasses of wine and a few cups of coffee) is better than choosing processed junk “food”, I am remembering today that eating the right amount is really important too. So this week must be better. It will be better. I will do better.

As for my thoughts about the week:

It was a challenge. But not too challenging. Just the right amount. ūüôā There were a couple workouts that wouldn’t have happened, had I not blogged about this last week. So thanks for your help with that. ūüėČ Also, pretty sure I over did it on Monday. The soreness from those squats lasted until Friday. Not good. Will have to rethink that for this next week. And Tuesday’s run happened near midnight because my alarm didn’t go off that morning. Way too late to be running. (Although I must say there is something really peaceful, almost magical, about running at that hour. It is still one of my favorite times to run, though as a mama of three littles who like to wake around seven a.m most mornings, I rarely do it anymore.) Other than that, not much to report. I love working out with my hubby. I love getting up at five to watch the sunrise while I start my day with a run around the neighborhood. I love, loved running trails at Ellington this morning (definitely my favorite workout of the week). I am looking forward to seeing what this next week brings.

There are days when I look back and see how far I have come. On those days I feel strong. And capable. And confident that I can accomplish anything. Then there are days (like today, after this morning’s brutal eight mile trail run…) when I look forward. And see how far I could still go. Those days serve as good reminders to keep going. Keep pushing. Keep trying new things. Our bodies are so brilliantly designed. And they were made to move.¬†I don’t ever want to get comfortable. I believe I have yet to see what this body can really do. ūüėČ


How was your week? Any races in your near future (trail or otherwise)? Any training advice for this trail racing novice?

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So what does one do after running seven 5ks, three 10ks, four 1/2 marathons, one full marathon and one Ragnar Relay? One runs a 9 mile trail race!

I’ve been wanting to try trail racing for a while now. I’ve heard it is a very different experience than road racing. So on Saturday I signed up for my very first! And in the name of accountability I thought I would share with you my training plan. It will be a challenge…but I can do anything for four weeks, right?!?

The goal: To complete a 9 mile trail run with energy to spare.

The countdown (from Saturday): 28 days.

The nutrition plan:

NO junk food

NO soda

LOTSA water

The training plan:

Sundays: rest

Mondays: strength training

Tuesdays: shorter run (less than 6 miles)

Wednesdays: strength training

Thursdays: shorter run (less than 6 miles)

Fridays: stretching

Saturdays: longer run (more than 6 miles)


I will be updating my progress each Saturday until the race. Wish me luck!!


What are you training for these days?? Leave a comment and let me know! ūüôā

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Women's Half Marathon 2010

It is¬†11pm as I lay here on¬†our living room couch and stare at this computer screen, pondering the day’s event, my blistered toes throbbing, my shredded muscles aching, my tired head pounding…

13.1 miles.

1 hour and 54 minutes and 30 seconds.

An 8 minutes and 45 seconds per mile average.

The hardest I have ever run in my whole life.

I can honestly say that I gave it everything I had and more, that with each mile, as I became more and more fatigued, and as my body screamed louder and louder for me to stop, I just dug a little deeper and somehow found the willpower to keep moving forward.

I exceeded my original goal (that being to break my previous PR of 1 hour and 58 minutes and 22 seconds), by 3 minutes and 52 seconds. And for this I know I should be thrilled.

But for some reason, just in the last few weeks, I decided that it might be possible for me to accomplish an even bigger goal of mine: to finish the race with an 8 minutes and 30 seconds per mile average.

I’m not sure why I thought this would be possible. I have done no speedwork and very few “run for time” runs. I have been running 4:1 intervals (run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute) almost exclusively since April (in an effort to combat a lingering knee injury) with only a handful of “run the whole time” runs sprinkled in and the longest run I have completed at a pace faster than a 9 minute mile was 6 miles. So I’m not sure why I thought I could run more than twice that distance at an even¬†faster pace.

But I did.

Silly me.

I was wrong.

This bigger goal would have had me crossing the finish line at 1 hour and 51 minutes and 21 seconds. I missed this second goal, this bigger goal of mine, by 3 minutes and 9 seconds.

And though I have tried to be rational and positive with myself all day today, if we are being totally honest in this moment, then I have to admit- I am disappointed that I missed my bigger goal.

I realize that this probably seems crazy to all you non-runners out there (and for that matter, maybe to some of you runners too). I realize this.¬†Give me a couple days and I may just agree with you. But at this moment in time, in my current state, I cannot yet see it that way…

So one of the voices in my head¬†has¬†made a list today- a list of all of¬†the things that¬†worked against my goal, all of that¬†which¬†worked to keep me¬†3 minutes from it¬†(Besides not properly training¬†for this specific goal. I guess that’s kind of a big one…), all of the reasons that it should be understandable, even ok, that I “failed”. This is the voice that always tries to encourage me. And today I think it is trying to¬†protect me from my¬†mostly irrational feelings of defeat.

It is working.

A little bit.

So. The list.

reason 1) Not enough sleep or food. My nerves kept me awake. My nerves tied my stomach into knots, rendering me unable to eat more than a few bites for a breakfast. My fast pace kept my stomach in knots, preventing my usual mid-race consumption of calories.

reason 2) My race playlist got scrambled. Not sure how. But the songs I had in the order¬†of when¬†I anticipated I would need them were jumbled and mixed. So instead of pushing play and sliding the ipod into my pocket, I¬†kept it in my hand and fumbled with it’s buttons after¬†each song ended, my sweaty fingers sliding clumsily over¬†it’s face, searching for the melodious energy I was depending on to keep me moving.

reason 3) Hills. So many damn hills. Picture running up and down a see-saw. Up. Down. Up. Down. With no relief. For 13.1 miles. Damn hills.

reason 4) A searing sun. A blinding sun. And all of the physical reactions that come with that. Squinting eyes. Building headache. Fire to my skin. Chills covering my body, racking my body from mile 10 until 2 hours after the race ended.

reason 5)¬†¬†Negative energy from a fellow runner. I don’t think the negative energy was intentional. But nevertheless it messed with my head in the days leading up to the race. And knocked me off my feet around mile 9.

But as encouraging as this voice is trying to be, this voice is almost always accompanied by another voice. Sometimes the other voice is quieter. Today it is louder.

So here’s the list the¬†other voice has made for why I should have met my goal today:

reason 1) I have been running A LOT. Running 18 miles just last week. Consistently running 3-4 times a week for 5 months (and off and on for 13 years before that). And I have been cross training/strength training faithfully (for the first time in my life) once or twice a week for 9 months.

reason 2) I trained through the heat and humidity of the summer and race day was significantly cooler and less humid than the weather that I trained in.

reason 3) I am in the best shape of my life. (Oh, but how I underestimated what it would take to run that fast for that long!)

reason 4) I am used to setting goals and meeting them. I really thought today would just be another one of those times. That no matter what it took, no matter how hard it got, no matter how much it hurt, that I would just do what it took to meet my goal.

reason 5) I can run 5 miles at an 8:15 pace. And I can run 18 miles. So based on that I should be able to run 13.1 miles at an 8:30 pace. Right?

And as all of these thoughts are swirling through my head today, so are my memories of the race. 

Most of the race was a blur. A blur of cheering spectators and encouraging volunteers, a blur of buildings and trees, water stations and porta potties, asphalt and running shoes, men and women all headed to the finish line. The weather was cool and breezy at the start. A little warmer than I would have liked by the end.

My supportive husband and mom, sister and sister-in-law, father-in-law and one friend spent their morning watching the race. I spotted them and their sign at miles 6 and 8. And they spotted me. Their encouragement gave me a burst of energy for the minutes following. Their support means the world to me.

The winner of the race did not look like a runner. Her 6 minutes per mile pace defied her bigger build and heavy footsteps. Surprised and perplexed would be the best words to describe how I felt when I saw her leading the pack by almost half a mile.

The pacers and the women running beside them were the only other runners that stood out to me. To see the pacers, relaxed and comfortable, running 13 miles for the sake of another and to see the women who were running beside them, women who had a goal, women who leaned on the strength of another, women who pushed themselves, knowing that if they could just keep up, that they could achieve said goal, is an image I will not soon forget.

My Garmin kept track of my pace for each mile. I have looked over it several times in an attempt to see where my 3 minutes went.

Mile 1: 7:56

Mile 2: 7:55

Mile 3: 9:42

Mile 4: 7:58

Mile 5: 8:50

Mile 6: 8:40

Mile 7: 8:29

Mile 8: 8:37

Mile 9: 8:18

Mile 10: 8:22

Mile 11: 8:12

Mile 12: 8:58

Mile 13: 9:54

Mile .1: 0:59

I think it is safe to say that mile 3’s potty break, and mile 12 and 13, were what did me in. By mile 12 I had run completely out of self encouragement, run out of all of the mental games I usually play, run out of juice, out of adrenaline, out of ability and out of confidence.

So I am left with three words and three things learned.

Word number one: Demoralizing. (How it felt to watch the runners around me and in front of me continue on strong as my depleted body slowed, their bodies becoming smaller and smaller as they charged into the distance.)

Word number two: Dismaying. (The experience of reaching the bottom of that last brutal hill -cruelly placed, as it was perhaps the steepest of them all- a few tenths of a mile into mile thirteen and looking up, then fighting with myself all the way to the top, as every few steps I slowed to a walk, then took off running again only to find myself walking again, seconds later.)

And word number three: Devastating. (The word that best describes the moment when I knew my goal had slipped through my fingers, slipped right through as I stood -or technically ran- and watched powerlessly.)

And my three things learned:

1) To set more realistic goals for myself. For pete’s sake.

2) That next time, if I want to run a 1:51:21 half marathon, I am going to have to train harder. Or at least better.

3) What they mean when they say “Running is 80% mental and 20% physical.”

Today’s¬†race was harder than I was. The hills stronger. My goal better than I was.

And I am humbled. Which is probably good. We all need to humbled once in a while.

Note: At this point (mostly because I am a really slow editor but also because I don’t always know how to make time for my blog) it has been 2 1/2 weeks since the race and 2 1/2 weeks since the night that I wrote this. Just wanted you all to know that I am feeling much better now (both physically and emotionally). Thank you.

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Training for a marathon means…

…waking up early on Saturday mornings, knowing that the rest of my family will be asleep for three to four more hours…knowing that I could be sleeping three to four more hours too.

…sweating. A lot. Often.

…being best friends with my Garmin, my ipod and my shoes.

…choosing my breakfast based on how many¬†miles it will last. As in- a¬†peanut butter and jelly sandwich will last about six miles. A banana around two. A bowl of cereal three to four and a Clif bar nearly five. ¬†…I still haven’t figured out what to eat on the¬†days I run more than ten. I can’t fit enough food in my belly to last that many miles.

…not drinking that¬†third glass of wine at dinner the night before a run. Because running and alcohol DO NOT MIX.

…encouraging others to run. Because if its this good for me, it might be this good for you too.

…having an unusual awareness of the status of my knees.




…drinking water. Lots and lots of water.

…getting a heavy (and oh so fantastic)¬†dose of endorphins five or six times a¬†week.

…spending more time than most on weather.com. And relating all weather¬†conditions (sweltering heat, freezing temperatures, cloudy days or sunny skies, rain and snow, wind, humidity) to what¬†affect it will have on a run.

…knowing what time the sun rises each morning.

…worrying about my toes.

…having a greater awareness of¬†and appreciation for other runners.

…knowing¬†that¬†getting up when the alarm goes off, after going to bed after midnight, is not going to feel good…and¬†getting up anyway.

…fantasizing about the mornings when I wake up to¬†sunny skies, sixty degree weather,¬†low humidity and a¬†slight breeze.

…having several hours a week to think. And pray. And meditate. And “be still”.

…learning a lot about myself- like who I am and who I want to be. And also, and maybe more importantly-¬†what I am truly capable of.

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