Glass City Half Marathon: Race Recap

I wasn’t sure how to write this race recap because it took me a while to process the race. I’ve PR’d twice at GCM before, but this year, it was not my goal race. Last year I worked my tail off to PR in the full marathon and I had a lack luster day at the races; this year coming off of LA training, I really wasn’t training very much more than to finish the race. So going into race day, I was not sure what my expectations were.

Race Week Training

I. Did. Not. Taper. You read that right. No taper. And if you read my 2015 PR Race Recap of Columbus, then you’ll recall I did the same thing. My mileage since LA has been low, so there wasn’t much to taper. I ran every day what felt good,  and I didn’t run when I didn’t want to.

Training Review

This year I transitioned from training for LA to training for GCM, while substitute coaching for Dave’s Running Marathon in Training program. During this transition period, I noticed that compared to this time last year I was running on average a minute/mile slower.

Race Day Wake-up

Sunday morning’s wake up came at 3:30am. Breakfast was a oatmeal with blueberries and peanut butter, and coffee. I used my morning walk with Addie to help me determine what I would wear for the race. After our walk, I packed my bags and we headed to campus. After a quick photo op with the Oiselle Volée flock, there wasn’t much time for a warm-up so I headed to the Start Line.

Start Area

I still had no game plan. I decided to start with the 1:55 pacer, except I couldn’t find them. I had set my watch so I had to manually lap each mile, and I was hoping this wouldn’t have me watching my garmin too much during the race. As I waited for the race to begin, I had 3 Raspberry ProBar Bolts and 2 Margarita Clif Bloks to start the race off.

Miles 1-3: 9’00″/8’41″/8’43”
I wanted to keep it relaxed early on since I really had no idea of my racing capabilities. I saw a fellow Dave’s MIT coach pacing her group, so I began with them as my rabbits. Shortly before Mile 1, I spotted Cory and Steph, hoping I wouldn’t regret trying to catch up to them early on. I stuck near them until right before Mile 2. I grabbed water around Mile 3 and decided to try to drink while running (and hopefully not choke!).

Miles 4-6: 8’40″/8’35″/8’31”

I was expected to feel fatigued and slow down at this point. Around Mile 4.5, I ate 3 Raspberry ProBar Bolts and 2 Margarita Clif Bloks. I was pleasantly surprised that my legs felt fresh and I had energy enough to sustain my current effort. I was pretty happy so far in the race. I was seeing my dad multiple times and Bob, one of the head coaches for Dave’s MIT, which helped keep me up beat being able to spot them along the course. (Side Note: this made me super excited to spectate the Cap City Half Marathon the following weekend.)

Miles 7-9: 8’32″/8’44″/8’39”

Around mile 8, I wondered if I had the potential to PR. I knew there was plenty of miles of the race remaining, but focusing on the possibility kept me moving forward. I was pleasantly surprised about how I was doing as we made the “turn-around” on Central Avenue and headed back towards campus. I forgot to fuel so I grabbed it around Mile 9.5.

Miles 10-13.1: 8’40″/8’19″/8’31″/8’11”
I passed Steph around Mile 10 and I knew she was struggling. I wanted to open up at this point in the race, but quickly realized I didn’t have the legs for a huge push. I knew without it that a PR was out of reach, but I would be damned if I wasn’t going to hang on and try for at least a sub-1:53.

Finish
Official Finish Time 1:52:30 (only 47 seconds off my PR)
Average Pace 8’35”

Holy Batman! My previous races at GCM had me working hard for my finish times. Relatively speaking, this race felt like a cake-walk. I was reminded why Ottawa Hills is called “Ottawa Hills” but really surprised (and absolutely amazed) how my body handled them and my pace.

Pros:  It was the perfect weather (probably because it was almost the perfect “date”–you can laugh if you’ve seen Miss Congeniality and know what I mean). GCM still isn’t my favorite race or course, but I’m trying to learn to see why so many people do love it.

Cons: I can’t get it out of my mind but I think there are some major security issues with this race (yeah I said it).

I’m done racing for the time being while I train for a GORUCK Heavy! If you’re interested, you can find all of my Race Recaps here!

Thanks!

Jes

The Real Cost of a Spring Marathon

Last Fall (2015), I broke down what your registration fee pays for. In preparation for this upcoming Spring season, I thought I’d break down what it really costs you to run a marathon (or any race) by sharing with you what I spent training for GCM 2016.

The first cost to consider is the registration fee. The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon registration fees start at $70.

The second is going to be your running shoes. Depending on what kind of runner you are, you’re probably going to need at the very least 2 pairs of shoes for training (because of all the miles). A lot of non-runners think that this is all you need…if they only knew. My Nike LunarGlides cost approximately $125 each, so $250 total.

Next will be your training plan. There are free plans on the internet. Or you can purchase a book. You can also hire a coach or join a training program. This year I signed up for Dave’s Marathon in Training Program at $125.

You’ll have to learn some way to track your mileage and training time. If you live where there are easily marked courses/roads, that’s awesome and you can probably get away with your standard stopwatch. But if you want to know how far you’ve gone and your current/average pace, you’ll probably want a GPS watch. This year I upgraded my outdated Nike+ Sportwatch GPS to a Garmin Forerunner 230 at $250.

I also prefer to run with a little background music. Thankfully my old iPod Shuffle is still alive and kicking, but due to rain/sweat/use I replace my headphones approximately every two months. Estimated at least two pairs for the training period at $15 each, so $30.

I also use some energy fuel during my long runs. Currently I am using PROBAR Bolt Chews. They come in a box on 12 packs; each pack contains 2 servings. At an estimated $30 per box and approximately 2 boxes to get me thru my training period, total cost should be $60.

I didn’t buy any new clothing during this training period, so that amount was $0.

Obviously it’s winter in Ohio. The weather isn’t always conducive to training outdoors. Last year, I joined Planet Fitness ($21.50/month) because they have the best treadmills in town; honestly, if the treadmill isn’t good, it’s going to make it even harder to get through your workout. For January-April, total cost was $86.

If you do any additional cross-training, such as Yoga, Pure Barre, or CrossFit (I do all 3), your monthly fees will also creep into your total cost. Yoga at approximately $65/month, Pure Barre currently at $149/month, and CrossFit at $100/month. For January-April, total cost was $1256.

Previously, I’ve used massages as a last resort when it comes to body maintenance; I relied on foam rolling (which I own), and a lacrosse ball (less than $5). As a Christmas present to myself, I purchased a membership to Massage Envy and worked a massage into my training schedule every 3-4 weeks. This costs approximately $90/session (90 minutes), and an estimated 5 massages to include a post-race recovery massage brings the total to $450.

Other considerations are tune-up races built into your training schedule. In the Spring I think there were maybe 2-3 races, running a total cost of less than $150.

The last costly venture of running a race is actual race weekend costs.

  • Spending at the Expo. I encourage budgeting to limit your spending. I think after all was said and done, I walked out with a $10 Nike Hat.
  • Parking (Expo and Race Day). For GCM this was FREE, but other races (hello Chicago and Detroit), parking was pricey.
  • Transportation. See above. Not an issue for GCM because it was local. But for big city races, and especially races that require you to travel (by land or air), transportation can be a cost factor.
  • Hotel. For any race requiring more than a 30 minute drive in the AM, a hotel can be nice to cut down on your time in the morning. But this comes with a cost.
  • Food. Most runners enjoy a pre-race meal, often coming in the form of a meal out. Mine is Chipotle for lunch and Sushi for dinner! This usually runs me anywhere from $30-40.

Total cost of Race Weekend was approximately $50.

Using my 2016 expenses for my own Spring Race listed above, to race this Spring it cost approximately $2777.

Obviously if I was on a tighter budget, I would forgo spending money on a new training plan (if I knew my previous training methods worked for me), not purchase a new watch or other equipment unless absolutely necessary, reduce the number of memberships I have, cut down on my massages (unless necessary, which for some people they are), participate in free tune-up races when possible, and stay local to reduce race weekend costs. This tighter budget still includes race registration fees, running shoes, energy fuels, one gym membership, massages and my local race weekend spending and has a total cost slightly under $1000.

Question: What items are including in your racing/training budget? Are there things you have to have and things that you can forgo to cut costs?

Jes

GCM16: Race Recap

16 Weeks of Training. 680.3 Miles. Resulted in a 2 Minute 25 Second PR. Disappointment doesn’t begin to explain how I felt crossing the finish line. While I realize that a 2+ minute is a great PR, it wasn’t what I had trained for (you can view my race goals here).

But first let’s recap the race. It was the 40th Anniversary of the Glass City Marathon, sponsored by Mercy Health.

The weather was perfect. Starting in the low 40s/high 30s and climbing comfortably. The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day to run a full marathon.
We will fast forward through the morning and begin at the start line.

Start: I lined up slightly behind the 1:50 Half Marathon pacer because I couldn’t find the 3:40 pace who showed up right before the wheelchair race began. The corrals seemed really crowded, but I didn’t figure out why until after. The race started almost 8 minutes late (at 7:10am). But there was a beautifully sung National Anthem and a “fly-over” from Mercy Health’s LifeFlight; however, there was a lot of grumbling in my corral because having LifeFlight at a marathon doesn’t exactly give you warm-fuzzies!

Miles 1-6: Once we were off, I realized those crowded corrals made for a crowded first mile, and I quickly lost the 3:40 pace group. My plan was to take the first 3 miles comfortably easy even if that meant not running with the pace group. I wasn’t going to repeat last year, when the pace tried to make up for lost time in the second mile. I was running passed too many walkers, when I realized that because the corrals and sidewalks were so overly crowded they were unable to get back to their actual corrals. At the Mile 2 water stop, I quickly ducked into a porta-potty because I had to go. Around Mile 3, I saw my Dad, and then shortly after I passed through the Girls on the Run NWO water stop. I grabbed gatorade here, which I never do anymore, because my stomach was hungry and I knew this wasn’t good. Of course when Mile 4.5 came and it was time for my fuel, I dropped one chew. I had settled into a comfortable 3:45 pace.
Average Pace: 8’46”

Miles 7-13: I was really enjoying the race. I loved the signs and the crowd involvement. I even “participated” in the race atmosphere by responding to cheers and signs. I may have asked the beer stop before mile 7 where the shots were. I was feeling really good; confident that this was going to be the perfect race. After we headed into Wildwood and lost the half marathoners, I noticed how thin the crowd was. It almost felt like there was a loss in the energy. When we hit the “hill” by the manor and my legs felt sluggish. It should have been an easy. I’ve run that “hill” so many times. When we hit the university trail I noticed my pace was starting to struggle even though my legs felt fine. Between Mile 10 and 11, I thought the 3:55 was behind me and got really nervous, but it wasn’t them…yet. Once that came into my head I saw my pace begin to slow even though I was trying to get my legs to keep on track. It of course didn’t help that at Mile 13 the fresh pairs of relay legs came onto the course.
Average Pace: 8’53”

Mile 14-21: King Road wasn’t my favorite stretch of the course. The road was still open to traffic as the marathon course was utilizing the bike lane. Vehicles were NOT obeying the posted speed limit signs or even or even taking into consideration that there were runners on the road. I walked through the water stop at Mile 14 because I wanted some Vaseline for the chafing under my arms, but none was to be found; my right foot also felt like it was on fire, similar to how it felt around Mile 25 during WDW Marathon. It also was getting difficult to drink on the run with all of the walkers at the water stops. Around 14.5, I tried using my Aquafor to address my chafing issue, but it didn’t work. I was carrying a water bottle, but tossed it around Mile 15 and then pulled out my iPod to start listening to music to give me a little bit of motivation. At the Mile 16 water stop, I stopped for some Vaseline. Right before Mile 17, I felt a hand on my shoulder and there was Krista. I cussed a bit because that meant the 3:55 group was with me. Her words of encouragement and the feel of the pack behind me motivated me slightly to get back into my pace, but it didn’t last long. My legs didn’t want to move faster (although the pace felt really easy). When the 3:55 group passed me at Mile 17, I started walking and the tears came. I felt completely defeated. And mentally I was done. I tried running, but kept stopping to gather my thoughts and get back in the race. By mile 20, I knew my PR was on the line. At the last relay point which was up the hill in front of the manor I was walking just to save my legs I saw a coworker and then a grade school friend. I ran to her for a hug because let’s be honest I needed it. And she was cheering and smiling and who wouldn’t want to feed off that. I left and started running. I took a GU because I was out of chews and didn’t want to bonk when I needed to finish strong.
Average Pace: 9’38”

Mile 22-26.2: My legs and head were still fighting after I left the relay point. But I knew that as long as I didn’t give up, I would PR and maybe even break 4 hours. Around Mile 24, I had to stop and untie my shoes. My feet were swelling and it got really uncomfortable. When I got up, my legs decided they felt like running. I saw my Dad at Mile 25. Right after passing the student rec, I saw my fellow ambassador Lisa, and thought if I could just catch up to her we could finish together, but my legs having finally decided to work I cruised passed.
Average Pace: 8’43”

Finish: As I rounded the last turn at Mile 26, I knew I wouldn’t break 4 hours, but I sure as hell was going to come close. With 0.1 miles to go, I let it all out. Immediately at the finish, I really just wanted to curl up into a ball. I felt like the last 16 weeks were a complete waste and that I failed.
Official Finish Time 4:00:30 (6 Minute 26 Second Course PR)
Average Pace 9’10”

Summary:
-Fast Mile: 26 (7’58”)
-Slowest Mile: 19 (10’45”)
-Number of Miles under 9 minutes: 13
-Number of Miles under 10 minutes: 11
-Number of Miles over 10 minutes: 2

What Went Right: I finished the race and didn’t feel my usual puking sensation. I honestly felt like I could run a few more miles easily afterwards (why wasn’t this a 50K? lol); I felt better after than I did during my last 18 mile training run. I loved the light-weight feel of my Hoka Tracers and was happy to try out my new racers; despite having sore feet and having to adjust my laces because my feet started to swell, my legs felt amazing. There was great support out on the course and I learned to fall in love with the volunteers. My shoulders/back didn’t bother me. Even though I had a mild meltdown that could have completely derailed my PR, I was able to pull it together and pull it out. I finally successfully completed an entire training plan! Let’s be honest, the first three fulls were kinda fly by the seat of my pants sort of things. And this one I gave it my all. I wanted to see what I could really do with the right training- and I learned that while this training made me a better and more confident runner, I have some tweaks to change in the future and I am so excited for what comes next.

What Went Wrong: I spent too much time on my feet Saturday. Partly due to my recent poor eating habits, and my personal habit of overworking, I felt exhausted all week and not having a day of rest on Saturday didn’t help. I was not at my racing weight; I didn’t notice it physically slow me down, but I can’t help to wonder if the mild weight gain I had towards the end of training had any effect on my racing abilities. The weather was perfect, my legs felt great, my heart wanted it so bad, but my head got the best of me.

What Did I Learn: My race pace replicated my long run pace, although I had better long runs; next training period I want my long runs to represent my goal marathon pace more accurately. I need to get my nutrition back on track and get back to a comfortable racing weight. I need to take time off of long distance training and focus on building speed at shorter distances to increase my turnover (which was lacking on race day) and I feel like this will help get my mind and legs together on the same page. Obviously I need to work on my mental game; my PMA (positive mental attitude) carried me far, but not quite far enough!

What’s Next: Currently I don’t have a fall marathon; I really wanted to run Wineglass but I could possibly lose out on a critical month of training and I think I need to use that time to focus on other adventures. I’m looking at shorter distances, maybe a 10K come the fall or even a half marathon.

Closing Thoughts: It was really hard to write this race recap and dissect my performance. I am not proud of how I performed. While a PR is fantastic, I trained for a certain pace and ended up finishing almost a whole minute per mile slower. It’s disappointing to work so hard and yet fail to reach your goals.

Thanks to Toledo Road Runners and Run Toledo for sponsoring such a great event!

To find out more about my GCM Training look here. And you can find all of my Race Recaps here!

Question: Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

Jes

GCM16 Training: Week Sixteen

IT’S RACE WEEK. And I’m in my head. I’ve been changing my mind daily about my Race Goals and pace strategy. I mentioned my goals briefly during Week Twelve. Someone mentioned that I sounded like I was talking myself out of even attempting to run a 3:35, and maybe that is true. So I broke down every speed workout and tempo run this training period and color-coded them as to what MP they matched; surprisingly I didn’t run a single workout at 3:40 MP. To date I have run 30 workouts (not including this week’s) and I ran:

  • 13 of these runs on a treadmill, so personally I don’t feel like these runs are any indication of my actually race pace abilities.
  • 4 runs at 3:55 MP
  • 3 runs at 3:50 MP
  • 4 runs at 3:45 MP
  • 5 runs at 3:35 MP
  • 1 Missed Speed Workout

Watching the Boston Marathon on Monday didn’t help this decision making process. I feel like I am going to stick with my current goals:

  • Goal A is to run a 3:40 marathon,
  • Goal B is to run a 3:50 marathon; and
  • Goal C is to run a PR.

Monday: Training Plan 5 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Who forgot their running shoes and had to move her morning run in 46 Degrees to the afternoon at 81 degrees? This girl. Originally I wanted to get 6 miles in, but with the change in temperature, I figured 4 solid miles was the best choice.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Tuesday: Training Plan 16 x 200m

  • Actual – 6.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • 1 Mile Warm-up. 16 x 200m +200m recovery. 1 Mile Cool-down. The 200m repeats flew by quick and felt great. I’m not a fan of running in the evening and I wasn’t looking forward to this run, but after the first 200 I was in love.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Wednesday: Training Plan 3 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • It was a rough morning. I was on-call, and of course got a call, right before my run. I was worried I would miss my run, but thankfully I was able to squeeze it in!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
  • 60 Minute Upper Body Massage.
    • I’ve been having some shoulder related issues. Lots of tension. For two weeks I’ve been harboring a knot in my right shoulder that won’t go away, so I needed a last minute session to help rid it before race day!

Thursday: Training Plan 5 Miles [Miles 2-4 at MP]

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Last run with the Dave’s MIT crew. I haven’t made it out to many group runs because well let’s just say that 6:30pm is just too late to run for me when I wake up every morning between 3:30am and 4am. But tonight was special. And I also didn’t have time for a morning run. I ran alone for the most part because there really wasn’t anyone there from my pace group. But I felt really good. I was tired and exhausted, but I hit my paces and left feeling confident for Sunday.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – REST DAY!
    • I was restless, but also realized how exhausted I was. Very grateful for today.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 2 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 20 Minute Run Outside in the AM.
    • I ran extra slow to conserve energy, but also because I knew I had an extra long day ahead of me. Yikes! A busy morning, plus working 4 hours at the expo. I was completely hydrated by 2pm, but my mouth was so dry I felt thirsty, which is a sign that I’m very nervous. Ugh. I tried to cutback on the water to avoid frequent restroom breaks (especially during the night). Thankfully I made it home in time to eat my pre-race sushi and get some rest.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Sunday: RACE DAY!

Total Weekly Mileage: 21.9 Miles.
Total Marathon Training Mileage: 680.3 Miles (over 16 Weeks).

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How did you training go this race season?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Fifteen

I’m exhausted. It’s that time during every training plan when Taper comes and I feel like it’s the perfect excuse to slack off. But looking back on my race performance that plan isn’t working. So this year there’s a new plan, thanks to the coaches over at Dave’s Running and their Marathon-in-Training program. The philosophy is to keep the intensity to maintain fitness, but to cutback strategically on total weekly mileage. But I’m struggling because as my mileage increased, my eating habits decreased, and now I’m feeling the effects of all the unhealthy snacks I’ve consumed. So I’ve worked on getting back on track with my meals and snacks, so hopefully I will arrive at the starting line full of energy!

Monday: Training Plan 6 Miles Easy

  • Actual – Sick Day.
    • My long days this weekend took a toll. Not to mention I came into contact with quite a few individuals who were feeling under the weather. Less than two weeks from Race Day and a busy work week ahead of me, I knew I needed to take a real rest day if I wanted to stay strong.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • 90-minute Full Body Massage.

Tuesday: Training Plan 12 x 400m with 3 Minutes Rest

  • Actual – 7.45 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • I almost skipped this one. I’m still feeling completely exhausted. And its partially because I’ve been eating like total crap. After work I knew I had to get a run in, this run just seemed so long I wanted to skip it, but I knew it’s clutch time and I just can’t. And I’m happy I didn’t 🙂 It was a pretty solid strong run.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled.

Wednesday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM + 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Who loves extra early morning runs? It’s a great way to start the day. Then lets follow it by another run in the early evening! I originally planned on 6 miles today, but after missing Monday’s 6 mile run, I knew I needed to squeeze in miles today, but not overdo it!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 7 Miles [Miles 2 & 6 at MP, Miles 3-5 with 3 min on/1 min off]

  • Actual – 7.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • This week I’ve lacked energy (primarily due to eating like crap) and last week I struggled ALOT. But holy crap I’ve rocked my workouts so far this week. This morning’s run couldn’t have gone better.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – 3.5 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • The Sun was shining; the birds were chirping. The weather was warm(er). Someone commented on my “dedication.” That made me spend all 3.5 miles of my running thinking about this training period. My effort. And regardless of the outcome, I’m happy that I’ve stuck to it and have gotten it done this far. I’m pretty impressed with myself. And if nothing else, I hope when I cross that finish line I can remember that and be grateful.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 14 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 15.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Another GCM course preview! Got cheered on around Mile 4. Saw so many others previewing the course too. I missed my final long run with the Dave’s MIT crew, but I had other plans for today’s run. It was also significantly warmer today than the entire week, and the forecast is predicting some warmer temps for race day.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Epsom Salt Soak.
  • I also drove the entire (-0.2 miles) Half Marathon course so my mom could familiarize herself with it. Most of the course is labeled with directional arrows, but we did find a few spots. Thankfully there are course marshals on race day, and I’m really familiar with the course already 🙂

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – REST DAY.
  • Red Vinyasa at Red Yoga (90 Minutes) in the AM.
    • I really felt the need to sweat everything out. Get hot. And get a really good yoga practice in. Red was perfect. I’ve been slacking on my yoga practice as I’ve been getting into Pure Barre more, but I knew a week out from Race Day, physically and mentally I needed it.
  • Pure Barre in the PM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Total Weekly Mileage: 41.0 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you handle the frequent changes in the weather?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Fourteen

It’s Taper Time! Well it’s my last cut back week, then it’s taper time, but it pretty much feels like the taper is beginning with the reduction in mileage.

There are varying opinions on the length of a taper and exactly how much mileage should be reduced, but most running philosophies do agree that you should maintain your level of intensity but decrease the total mileage. Personally, my goal is maintaining my current level of fitness. That is my priority.

As for Taper Strategies…
In Advanced Marathoning, it is suggested that three weeks out from race day, you should run 80% of your weekly mileage; two weeks out, 60% and one week out, 30%. When I ran Shamrock and GCM six weeks apart in 2014, I started tapering two weeks out at 50-60% of my peak week mileage. In retrospect, I liked the two week taper, but with Pittsburgh one week after GCM, I’m not sure how this will work out in the end.

 

Monday: Training Plan 7 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • It was cold and windy, but I was so warm I ran in a tank top! I wanted to get in 6-8 miles this morning, but I was short on time. I also realized that I had too many miles on the schedule this week and I would need to cut back somewhere, why not today!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Tuesday: Training Plan 2-3 x 2000m with 4 Minutes Rest

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • An easy morning wake-up run after PB! A very brisk chilly morning, but it definitely a morning that showed me how much I love running.
  • 5.7 Mile Speedwork Outside in the PM.
    • Well oops! I had my watch programmed perfectly, but I set out on my first warm-up mile (in my new Hoka Claytons) without starting the workout and did a whole mile before realizing it. Darn. So I began my workout and since I couldn’t change it on my watch, I ran a second warm-up mile. I had planned on running all three 2K repeats, but after two I knew it was time. I quickly changed into my new Hoka Tracers and ran my cool-down mile.
    • On a side note, breaking in my new Hokas was a game-changer. I am so very happy with these new shoes, and can’t wait to put more miles on them.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Wednesday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 8.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Some days the hardest part of the taper is not pulling back on all the miles. By this point in training, it’s like the need for a cutback week. It took me a bit to get out on the road today, and it didn’t take long after for me to hit the wall. But I pushed through and smashed tonight’s run. The first 4 miles averaged roughly 9:10/mile, but the second 4 miles averaged roughly 8:50/mile. I felt really strong!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 8 Miles [Miles 2-7 at MP]

  • Actual – 18.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Because of my weekend I had to switch up the schedule, which meant moving my long run to Thursday. I tried to aim for good weather conditions, but there was no avoiding the wind and the rain. This run was a toughie. Physically my body has had enough with marathon training, which is completely normal at this point. But it makes it really difficult to push forward and stay positive. I headed out to my favorite Columbus Trail because I wanted to avoid running in circles but also running places I don’t like running alone at 4am. I ended up doing 9 miles out and back. Which I am so grateful for because after 9 miles out, I had no choice but to finish my run to get back!
    • I gave my Honey Stinger Waffles one last shot, because they are honestly my favorite thing to eat (when compared to gels and chews). But I just can’t eat them while running, I have to be walking otherwise they are too dry and I choke a little. I will pass on them for GCM (but packing one JIC), but plan on using them for PGH.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. Lacrosse Ball. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

    • .Actual –  8.65 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • I had to fit in the Bread and Butter MP workout in this week. So I ran my Thursday Tempo run the day after my long run. It was extremely challenging but I couldn’t be happier just because I did it 🙂
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 18 Miles Easy

  • Actual – “Rest Day.”
    • If you consider 12 hours on my feet on top of a very long day a rest day then yes I swapped my long run for a rest day!.
  • Foam Rolled. Lacrosse Ball. ProCompression Socks.

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – Rest Day.
    • I don’t like taking two back to back rest days, and I had wiggle room for 2.6 extra miles for my weekly mileage, but I was exhausted and knew I need rest more than I needed miles.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.4 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you like to Taper?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Thirteen

Lucky 13! PEAK WEEK!

Here I am trying to get another pair of shoes to throw into rotation before race day. With this high mileage training period, I’ve been cycling through too many pairs of shoes. As two pairs of shoes have reached 300+ miles, I no longer wear them for any runs longer than 4 miles. I love my Hoka’s for recovery runs, but they are increasing in mileage as well so I’m shopping for another pair to use solely when my legs feel like they need the extra TLC. I have a spare pair of LunarGlide 7’s, but they just don’t love me like the previous versions of this model.

Here’s how my current weekly rotation looks:

  • Monday: Nike LunarGlide 7 (Navy Blue)
  • Tuesday: Nike LunarGlide 6 (Pink) + Nike LunarGlide 6 (Purple)
  • Wednesday: Hoka One One Challenger
  • Thursday: Nike LunarGlide 7 (Navy Blue)
  • Friday: Hoka One One Challenger
  • Saturday: Nike LunarGlide 6 (Orange)

I feel like there’s a visit to a local running store in my near future!

Monday: Training Plan 7 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 7.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Plenty of wind to give me an added challenge. That also made it feel colder than it really was. Regardless I loved this run. Flooded roads made for more fun, and I couldn’t help but laugh when my running scared some mallard ducks into flight which in turn scared me because it was still dark outside.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Tuesday: Training Plan 8 x Yasso 800s

  • Actual – 7.55 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Skipped my morning run due to unfortunate circumstances. Oops.
    • My evening run was a 1 Mile Warm-up followed by 8 x 8 Yasso 800s and a 0.75 Mile Cool Down. I hit almost all of my 3:35 splits with the except of two really close calls (#1 and #5). I walked during my “recovery.” My last 800 was 3:30 and felt really strong.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Wednesday: Training Plan 3 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 6.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • As warm as it was last week, it’s been cold this week. But I’m enjoying it. It helped me run effortlessly this morning. I ran just enough to stay warm, but at a pace that felt easier than conversational  pace. After yesterday’s hard Yasso 800s, I needed more recovery than Easy Pace. While this morning’s run was still in my “easy” pace range, the goal wasn’t so much focused on pace but on how I felt. Effortless.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 8 Miles [Miles 2-7, 4 min on/1 min off]

  • Actual – 8.2 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • I ran the workout as prescribed. I kept on pace for my 4 minutes on, but because my legs are still fatigued from Tuesday’s Yassos I took my 1 minutes extra easy, and even walked a few of them. It was raining for most of my run, but I didn’t mind. As of today, I’ve ran 224.4 Miles for the month of March!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • [Home Yoga in the PM].
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 6.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
      Since I missed my additional miles on Tuesday I’ve been happy that they’ve added themselves back in organically. Except for today. I had completely planned on today’s 4 Miles, but realized I really wanted to hit my weekly mileage and there was no way I was going to add them on tomorrow or even Sunday. Which was fine by me, because 4 Mile runs feel so short (remind me of this during recovery when they feel so long!). It worked out perfectly.
  • Pure Barre in the PM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Saturday: Training Plan 22 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 22.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • If I didn’t already love my Garmin Forerunner 230, then I fell in love today. The ability to enter my training workouts with appropriate pace is beyond fantastic. I decided for today’s long run to set up my workout by 4.5 mile increments so that I would know when I needed to consume fuel, but I also set the paces so that I wouldn’t go out too fast, but also so as the miles grew on I would be motivated to maintain my easy pace. It worked like a charm. It was also a test run, because I am considering doing this for GCM, but wanted a trial long run first.
    • The weather was almost perfect. Even though it was close to freezing and at times there was a bit of a chilly headwind, the sun was shining and I was running in tights and a tee. Sometimes I needed gloves but my long sleeve was around my waist the entire run. Towards the end of the run I realized that my long tights were just too warm and if the weather was any warmer on race day, I would substitute capris.
    • Today’s run was the biggest test of nutrition. After Pure Barre, I consumed 1 Nick’s Spicy Turkey stick and 1 Banana Bread LaraBar. I think the dates in the LaraBar work my stomach too much, and I won’t be continuing this practice prior to long runs or race days. Even with the sub-40 degree weather, I didn’t have the “freezing” of the chews and waffle that I’ve previously experienced, but I did realize that trying to eat the waffle on the run can be difficult because it is just so dry. I’ll give it one more try next week before I decide to keep it or not. I also carried 8 ounces of water with me, which was just enough to consume with my fuel. I will not carry extra water with me on race day (except I do normally start with a small bottle that I can throw away at any time, because the water stations can be crowded early on with the half marathoners).
      • Mile 4.5-5 ProBar Bolt Berry Blast Chews + 1 Clif Blok Margarita chew.
      • Mile 9-Same as above.
      • Mile 13.5-1 Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle +1 Clif Blok Maragarita chew.
      • Mile 18-3 Clif Blok Margarita chews.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands. Epsom Salt Soak.

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – Rest Day.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Yoga in the AM.
  • ProCompression Socks.
    • I was pretty exhausted from the weekend. My body didn’t feel too bad, but I didn’t want to do too much and cause soreness, so I kept my recovery low.

Total Weekly Mileage: 57.0 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: Tell me about your shoes. How do you track them? How do you know when they need to be retired? How to you find a new pair?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes