Friday Five: Running Resources

And I’m back with this week’s Friday Five. This week I’m sharing Five-ish Running Resources.

First up, four (4) places to find training plans:

  1. The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training
  2. The “Non” Runner’s Guide to Marathon Training
  3. Hal Higdon Training Plans
  4. Couch-to-5K Running Plan

A follow-up, four (4) articles about running/training:

  1. Yasso 800s
  2. Two Types of Marathon Long Runs
  3. McMillan Pace Calculator
  4. Treadmill Pace Conversions

Next, eight (8) books about running that I’ve read:

  1. Run Less, Run Faster – Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, And Ray Moss
  2. YOU (Only Faster) — Greg McMillan
  3. Marathoning for Mortals – John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield
  4. My Life on the Run – Bart Yasso and Kathleen Parrish
  5. Born to Run – Christopher McDougall
  6. Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning — Hal Koerner
  7. Daniels’ Running Formula — Jack Daniels
  8. Advanced Marathoning — Pete Pfitzinger

Short and sweet, but that’s it for this weekend. Feel free to leave a question in the comment if you are looking for additional resources.

GRH Honor the Fallen AAR

Last year when I signed up to complete my first GORUCK Heavy, I signed up with one of my closest friends. Unfortunately life happened and I ended up going it alone. Almost. Thankfully I knew so many of my teammates. But after that event, I didn’t know if I wanted to attempt another Heavy because we were such a cohesive team, I couldn’t imagine an event any better (or easier for a Heavy). But when my friend asked me to do it with her…I couldn’t say no.

Going into this Heavy (or HZL aka Heavy, Sleep, Light), my biggest issue was how to train. Last year, I rucked event weight plus 5-10 pounds often and fast. I focused on push-ups and sit-ups and some other PT style movements. I utilized Pure Barre to increase my core strength and also to mentally prepare to push through when your muscles start shaking. Training for this Heavy was going to have to be different, because what I did before was not enough. Before I had kept up with my running, and this training period as soon as I could, I was going to cut that out. I had the LA Marathon in March, and I was coaching (plus “training”) for the Glass City Half Marathon at the end of April. I had started back up at CrossFit in December to get ready for lifting heavy shit. I also started rucking after Glass City; in order to make up for only having a month to train, I doubled my ruck weight and tried to get out there 3-4 times a week.

Two weeks before my event, I attempted my 12 Mile Ruck. Under the extra weight, I suffered more than usual, and called it around 5 miles. This made me nervous, but every other training ruck before and after when smoothly. Two days before the event, I loaded my ruck for the event (at event weight) and my body sang with happiness at my ruck’s weight. I easily went out and comfortably hit well below the required 12-Miler pace.


May 25, 2017

Class 180

Cadre Karl, Montreal, and Shredder

Once again, I tried hard to sleep in. When that didn’t work, I tried to be as lazy as possible. Around 10:40am, I headed to Chipotle to fuel before the event. I had packed my ruck on Wednesday and only had my Pelican case to load prior to the event. Since this would contain my cell phone and car keys, this was going to wait until the last minute to get packed. I made some updates to my packing list after my last heavy. I included more food (which of course I didn’t eat half of), I switched to my 2L Source Bladder, and only packed 2 pairs of socks instead of 3. I included my long sleeve, my beanie, my buff and my Columbia Rain Jacket.

I left my friend’s house in Columbus around 3:15pm with a 30 minute drive to the start point. Unfortunately due to work, she had to drop the event, so I was on my own. Because of construction, traffic, and some pretty heavy storms, I arrived to the Three Creeks Metro start point around 4pm. I knew more people than I realized.

Around 5pm, the Cadre pulled up and told us we were in the wrong location and we had to hike quickly to another parking lot not far away. Roll Call and the safety brief went quickly. There really was no gear check other than to make sure we had our weight.

Cadre informed us that our PT test was going to be on-going until it wasn’t. We should consider everything a part of our PT test, because we could be performance dropped. The first movement was the push-up. The Cadre gave us the standard and wanted us to grade each other according to standard. I made sure that these were the most perfect push-ups I’ve ever done and completed only 29. Next we ran as a team to the wood line and back before being given our time hack to cover 7 miles in 1 hour and 24 minutes to our community service project. Cadre emphasized that there was no missing this time hack because we only had a window of opportunity to complete our service project.

At this point we only had our rucks, our team weight, a 15# bucket for holding the flag, and our flag. We were tied into a rope which didn’t hinder our movement in my opinion.  Unfortunately, one of our 24 teammates couldn’t hold the pace and we took their ruck within a quarter mile. Even still this teammate was holding back our pace significantly. It took us over 2 hours to cover the 7 miles. Thankfully we still had enough time to complete our project. This project was to clean up construction debris from a home renovation project to help make a former Marine’s bathroom wheelchair accessible. Afterwards we did 22 ruck swings for the 22 service-members who lose their personal struggles each day.

With that done, we moved single file to pick up a paver stone from a U-Haul van. This paver stone (weighing roughly 23 pounds) would be carried by each teammate for the remainder of the event to represent the tombstone/headstone of the service member we were memorializing that weekend. It was at this time, the first teammate dropped. We were now a team of 23.

Our next movement was to Nelson Park along the Alum Creek Trail. Here we did the second PT movement: sit-ups. I successfully completed 55 during the two minutes and felt happy with that number. Then Cadre taught us various maneuver movements and how our American Military’s tactics have changed over time. It was a great history lesson, and I learned quite a bit. After this was completed, Cadre encouraged us to stow our tombstones in our rucks if we could. Mine at the time just would not fit, so I was left carrying it using a climbing runner to sling it over my shoulder on top of my ruck.

During our next movement to Innis Park, we had to clear bridges (both over and under passes). After a failure, we sustained casualties. We met our next time hack, however, so we had an advanced team clearing our bridges for us. After meeting another time hack, we were relieved of our casualties. To be honest, I don’t remember much from this stretch of the night. Upon arriving at Innis Park, we were informed that we would be completing the last movement of the PT test. It would be a run and the standard was a 9-minute mile regardless of gender. I headed out at a comfortable and sustainable pace, trying to push it but not too much. I didn’t know how my legs were and I did not want to go out too fast and fall apart at this point in the night. As I rounded the turn to the finish, I heard 1-2-3…and then 8:04 as I crossed the finish line. In my state, I thought they were counting 9:01, 9:02, 9:03, so when I heard 8:04 I breathed a sigh of relief. Thankful I made the time, I turned around and headed back to the course to find teammates and run them in to the finish. After three shuttles, we were all in. During this we lost another teammate, which I should have known when my head count was only 22, but ever ruck was covered. We then were directed to complete 6 pull-ups. After which we were given time to do foot care. I changed my socks and realized that through the rain and the puddles, plus sweat, my feet were not doing well. This was right around the time the cops showed up. I don’t think it’s a GORUCK, if the cops don’t make an appearance!

The Cadre unloaded some sandbags from their U-Haul. I don’t remember the count, but at least one 120 pound, maybe two 80 pound and a 60 pound or two. We definitely were suffering under this weight, because we realized just how many of our teammates were just either unwilling or unable to assist. This didn’t stop us from meeting our time hacks. And because of that success, we were granted more rest breaks than I’ve ever had at any event. This was a relief because with my 2L bladder running down, I was able to fit my tombstone in my ruck and that weight was vicious. The sun came up and we had around 15 minutes for a sock change. Moving on again, we finished our time on the Alum Creek Trail and headed west on Schrock Road to Sharon Woods Metro Park. Sometime during this movement after Innis Park, we were allowed to break up the sandbags. This allowed me some time under the “40” pound sandbag. I use quotations because a 40 pound filler can hold at least 50 pounds of sand and usually Cadre expect fillers to be filled to the very top. Not to mention because of rain, this sand had gotten wet.

Upon our arrival at Sharon Woods, we received our next task. We were given additional weight, and instructed to construct two apparatuses to carry our current and additional weight. After construction, we would conduct a short test before storing the apparatuses and weight for a future mission. And by short it was an estimated 3 mile test. During this iteration, I suffered carrying the bucket and the flag simultaneously. The only people not contributing were the two individuals who were unable to fit their tombstones in their rucks and thus unable to suffer under additional loads. They were not permitted by Cadre to give up their tombstones to any teammate. The heat picked up because the sun was shining. This only made the suffering worse. I also had the 40 pound sandbag filler for at least one mile. This part of the suck was when I started to get angry at the teammates not contributing. We had very few bodies to switch out under the heavy loads and we were taking rests every 50 meters or so. Yet during this time, we had one teammate who was holding an ALICE pack of nothing but the rope used to construct the apparatuses. I at times begged him to switch with me for at least one movement and he refused. Eventually another teammate and I were switching on and off either the 40 pound sandbag filler or the 50 pound teammate every other movement. I would have loved to suffer with my teammates under an apparatus but when the shortest guy is 5’10” and I’m 5’6″, I would have been no help at all. My contribution was trying to manage the rest of the items as best as I could to give them relief. We were really breaking down as a team because everyone was suffering. But finally after 3 miles from hell we arrived. We were able to give up some weight and Cadre instructed us to change our socks.

We had a one mile movement and then 20 of us were pilled into the back of the U-Haul van. One road in the front and I was throw in the back seat of a shadow’s truck. The van ride was miserable for my teammates, but I felt blissful when we arrived at the field across from Thomas Worthington High School. I knew where we were and where we were headed. I glanced at the clock in the truck and knew it was around 1:30pm with an estimated 3-5 miles to the proposed ENDEX location.

Of course, it couldn’t be that easy. The Cadre gave us two large ammo cans. Once we began movement, it became clear that our team was still breaking down. Even more teammates began gray-manning. Cadre instructed another female and myself to switch off on one piece of equipment, which made me feel like a poop-stick because my teammates were struggling. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t suffering, because I was. And as our team continued to break-down, I felt my willingness to continue rapidly dissolve as I entered my dark place.

Then it happened. Because we failed to follow instruction, Cadre gave us some logs to carry. If I thought the 3 miles from hell were painful to witness, this was worse. We were so close, yet so very far. Traffic was picking up on the trail, and our lack of communication made for some very dangerous situations. Eventually Cadre directed us to an off-the-path hidden trail that wound its way to an underpass also known as storm drain passing under 315. We were then instructed to sit down in the water. At this time, we shared stories of who we were carrying for the weekend. We gathered together and sang the Ballad of the Green Beret and proceeded to move out of the tunnel across the field. Cadre indicated for us to form up, retrieve our bricks from our rucks, and take a lap around the baseball diamonds. When we returned, our patches were on our tombstones.

So let’s get on with the AAR.

What was supposed to happen: “a test of your desire to overcome under conditions of significant physical and mental stress. There’s more weight, more miles, and no sleep which makes for a lot more time for the Cadre to push participants past their limits. ”

What did happen: All of the above.

What can improve: In my last heavy, Cadre encouraged us to get under every piece of equipment. There was some equipment that I couldn’t physically get under due to height restrictions. I think (hope) I did my best to carry my share of the weight, more so than any other event I’ve completed. I can’t say the same for some teammates, as there were a few that refused to carry some of our heavy items.

What we should sustain: I loved the planned out route. I enjoyed the education we received throughout the event. I was also thankful that I trained with a heavier-than-event-weighted ruck because I was prepared for carry the tombstone.

Final thoughts, I’ll explain later that I was quite delirious throughout the night. I recorded the events above to the best of my recollection. It rained, but I don’t remember when, for how long, or how much. I may have missed details or incorrectly recalled the order in which things happened. Overall, we covered approximately 31 miles on foot in roughly 24 hours.

I’ll be back shortly with my AAR for the GORUCK Light that occurred the next day!


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?



The following post is over 6 months late. I drafted it that long ago but then stepped away from my blog. As I close out 2016, I decided to publish one last event recap.

What do you do as you recover from 2 Full Marathons in 7 days? You train for another event. This year I decided to accomplish one of my goals: Completing a GORUCK Heavy.

My first GORUCK event was the 4th of July Challenge in Detroit. (You read my after action review of a previous GORUCK event here.) So in 2016, I returned to Detroit to attempt a GORUCK Heavy on June 16th. A GRH (GORUCK Heavy) is approximately a 24+ team-based event, covering an average or 40+ miles, with a completion rate of 50%. It is not a race. There is no course. Just a start point and a group of weirdos who become family during the ensuing madness.

Being around the GORUCK community for going on two years, I’ve heard various experiences at Heavy events. There are so many factors that you can’t control (think Cadre, weather, etc), but there are some things that you can do to improve your chances of passing a GRH.
-Be mentally strong.
-Be able to carry heavy stuff over long distances.
-Be a team player.
-Know your weaknesses.

Primarily for Training I used a Training Plan from Military Athlete. This was a 6-week training program designed specifically for a GRH event. I didn’t follow this training plan completely. Additionally, I continued to run and attend Pure Barre because I enjoy running and couldn’t imagine giving it up completely, and Pure Barre was strengthening my core which was a major weakness for me. One component of a Heavy is the Physical Fitness Test consisting of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups and a 12 mile ruck in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. The Military Athlete plan focused heavily on this aspect, completing various of pushups and situps throughout the week.

One criticism I had of this plan was the time commitment to complete. Training schedule and times:

Sunday: Total Rest
Saturday : 4-6 hours (Mini events)
Monday/Wednesday: up to 4 hours. This depends largely on personal ruck time.
Tuesday: less than 60 minutes.
Thursday: 3 – 4.5 hours
Friday: Total Rest

My time constraints was a major factor in my modifications for the training plan.


June 16, 2016

Class 121

Cadre CT and Heath

Like pre-race/event nights, I had trouble sleeping Wednesday evening. I wanted to limit my time awake prior to the event so I tried as hard as possible to “sleep in” and take a nap, but I ended up being awake around 9am.

I had packed my ruck on Wednesday and only had my Pelican case to load prior to the event. Since this would contain my cell phone and car keys, this was going to wait until the last minute to get packed.

I went over my packing list, and made some last minute deductions of food. I was getting nervous and worried about overpacking vs underpacking. I love my GR0, but when it comes to events I always feel like its too small. I had my super slim 20# plate, my 3L Source Hydration Bladder filled, a 2L Sea to Summit dry bag with some first aid supplies (IBU, Contact Solution, a small roll of athletic tape, nail clippers, safety pins, Body Glide), 3 Clif Bars (with caffenine) and 1 pack of ProBar Bolts (with caffinene), 2 Climbing Runners. I also had an 8L Sea to Summit dry bag with 3 pairs of socks, a long sleeve dry fit shirt for when it dropped below 60 over night, a spare dry fit shirt, spare gloves, beanie, buff.

I left my house around 2pm the day of the event and dropped my doggie off before swinging by Chipotle for one last meal. I had almost 3.5 hours to make a 90 mile drive which was expected to take 2 hours. Well it took almost 3 because of traffic.

I pulled into the parking lot at the start point right around 5:30pm. I loaded my Pelican case into my ruck and headed to wait with everyone else. I was a ball of nerves. I’ve read so many AARs of Heavy events, that I had developed so much self-doubt. It was comforting to know a few people at this Heavy event.

The event started smooth, roll call, safety brief and gear check. I was dinged for forgetting my spare headlamp batteries. WTH, I remembered packing them. I normally grab 3 packs to share, but decided I only needed the minimum required. I couldn’t remember what happened to them. When packing I keep all of my event supplies together and then sort what I need and what I don’t. Somehow my batteries, all 3 sets, were in the “do not need” box. Oops.

We first started with a PT challenge of ninja pushups. But Cadre Heath beat us. Our penalty was Flutter Kicks. 1701 of them. Then Cadre CT gave us our 23 exercises to work off the deficiencies found during gear check and 3 late comers.

Next, the Cadre explained how they designed this team event. I actually liked that they shared their thinking behind the process. It gave me an idea of what to expect during the 3 phases of the event.

We didn’t start off with the PT Test however. Which was the big focus of my training (according the the Military Athlete training I followed). I was so ready to knock it out of the park too. We did start off with some team PT. Cadre CT gave us a question. A number was the answer so when we guessed a number, if it was incorrect we had to do that many reps of 3 different exercises. Legit early on I was like fudge this stuff. I could see my car. Mentally its hard at this stage but I tried to remain focused on the current mission.

After some fun picnic table PT, a water run and sandbag loading, we were headed out of the park with our coupons. 41 started the event; 41 remained carrying 4-40+ lb sand bags, 1-80 lb sand bag, all linked together, a duffel bag of unknown goodies (it felt like rope). two water cubes/billets, our team weight (50#). and an American Flag on a 30+lb flag pole. The Duffel bag quickly became my baby.

We did so great as a team, changing out on all of the weights. Moving forward. Staying positive. It got dark quick and it made me happy. With sunset around 9ish and sunrise around 5:45ish, I knew that less than 9 hours and we would be halfway done.

After weaving our way through some trails we came across a parking lot next to a river/stream. Water is typically my weakness and on this June night I felt chilly and was hoping the water wouldn’t put me over the edge. We broke into teams of three and one lucky team got to hop in the water. During this one cop car showed up. Then a second. And a third. Finally I think there were 7 cop cars in that parking lot. And there we were holding our rucks over our heads cursing them for making this movement last even longer as the Cadre conversed with these find men in blue. And we were back on the trails.


I got on almost everything except the sandbags and flag pole. But then in one of our stops CT discussing leadership mentioned honesty and asked us who hadn’t been under the sandbags. And this only motivated me to make sure I was in the rotation for those damn bags.

It wouldn’t be a GR event without having issues as a team. Our biggest issue was with people (TL) forgetting a battle buddy. And so we lost strap privileges. ALOT. I really pushed myself here to make sure I was getting under weights, but with no strap privileges everyone was extra motivated to get under them. We got strap privelegse back for a whole two minutes before we lost them again. Around this time we passed a bank and apparently it was 4:30am. I didn’t see that clock AND I was looking hard.

We finally arrived on a beach and were given a break. This was a point where changing out of wet socks would’ve been nice, but you were looking at water and knew thats probably how you were going to enjoy sunrise, so it would be a waste of dry socks. I ate food, just one bar and quickly realized that I may not have enough food. I stored a bag of chews in my pocket for during our next movement.

As the sun rose, we were in the water doing the Tunnel of Love. And then my ankle cramped. I’ve always had bad ankle flexibility, so I wasn’t concerned until we stood up and I realized something wasn’t right.

The next phase we were running missions. We switched out Cadre and had Heath again and the sun was out. He gave us 40 minutes to go 2 miles. I grabbed my duffle bag baby and was determined to carry it the whole 2 miles. Because if I couldn’t at this point in the event then I didn’t deserve to stay. We arrived and then played in the field doing IMT. I knew during the high and low crawls that something was wrong with my ankle. It felt like it was still cramped. When we got a 5 minute break, I stupidily didn’t think I had time to change my socks but did pull them down to look for swelling. Seeing none I was determined to walk it off.

Cadre Heath decided we didn’t have enough coupons so he added a sandbag litter. We had a 3.1ish mile movement ahead. I wanted to carry my duffle bag the entire time, but I noticed the added weight made my ankle feel worse. I was just hoping that if we finished this mission we would lose some weight…hahaha. Then we started experiencing casualties because we missed our time hack.

I didn’t want to become a detriment to the team. After this movement we had some downtime and I changed my socks. Wow waterlogged feet for over 12 hours is not a pretty sight. I worked on trying to stretch out my ankle. It didn’t hurt putting weight on it, so I knew it wasn’t sprained or broken, but it hurt to point and flex it. So probably a tendon ligament issue.

During our next movement we came across some uneven terraine and I tripped while carrying a water cube. At that point I knew I  wasn’t questioning anymore, I knew I was in trouble. I hit a low with self pity and fear. I was in tears. I didn’t know if I should pull out and quit at that moment when we were over half way through. I didn’t know if my teammates would be punished if someone dropped especially this late in the event. I didn’t know if I would be able to carry our coupons any longer, and we had so many hours to go. I did my best to contribute during the movements.

Pretty much I don’t remember much between that movement and when we finally hit the trail. On the trail I busted out a flag carry. I wanted to make sure I got my hands on every type of coupon we had. I was put on litter carries too. Eventually we stopped for some instruction and it was nice to take off the ruck and sit down so I wasn’t putting weight on my ankle even though that wasn’t exactly the issue.

After that rest, my ankle was feeling good. We had 15 minutes to knock out a 1 mile…TBH I’m not sure if Cadre’s mileage was wrong, but from someone who has rucked and run a lot of miles, I felt confident in knowing how far we had gone. We were on a trail running about a 13-14 minute pace. And we passed the Mile Marker about 1/10th or more before we actually finished our “mile.” And we made it with 30 seconds to spare. They gave us another break. And because so many people were black on water, they gave us time to refill. They talked to us. Let us drop our coupons. And gave us our last mission. Carry the Flag and Team Weight back to the start point. And here it was our 12 Mile Timed Ruck. They gave us a 3 hour 30 minute time hack and told us this was not an individual movment but a team movement. After our speed mile, I knew I wasn’t able to make that time hack. Two teammates had to convince me to give up my ruck around Mile 2. I was so embarrassed. But deep down I knew that I had to do it if I wanted to finish. Cadre forced everyone to take back their own rucks around Mile 6. I took it back earlier because people were starting to complain about having to carry additional weight and I felt like a piece of doggy poo because of it. There were multiple points during that movement though where I was handed other peoples rucks or the team weight. The entire team was struggling after Mile 6. Everyone was hurting. Everyone one was just in a crap mood. We were hot (it was close to 90 degrees); some of us (including myself) sunburnt. Our pace suffered. We were also back on some trails so the terrain slowed us down, so did having to share with other users. Not that I’m complaining. Seeing people out running and with puppies kind of made me smile. I was seeing Mile Markers going awesome only 3 more miles to go and then someone said we had 4-5. Around the time I thought we had only a mile to go, we were told we were already 25 minutes past our time hack and still had two miles to go. And we had 30 minutes to get there. I broke down. Legit I didn’t think I could go another 2 miles let alone at that pace. I was forced to give up my ruck, and basically told I would be buddy carried if it had to come to that.

And then we were done.  And just like that we were patched. I stayed in that field with my shoes and socks off so long that I missed all of the amazing post Heavy food that people had brought for us. I was hungry considering that I didn’t pack enough food, but everyone seemed to have underpacked food this event. Many of my teammates headed out to the next start point as they attempted the HCL, even though so many of our feet were trashed from water logged. I headed home, stopping for food and a diet coke, and followed the remaining to HCL events on Facebook.

Immediately after this Heavy event I was back in training for the Detroit Marathon. My ankle didn’t seem to be a problem running. And unfortunately I had to back out of my 3 remaining GORUCK events in 2016. The first event I dropped was because I was sick; and the second I had to med drop because I was injured (which also made me drop the third). I have signed up for another Heavy in 2017. I’ll definitely be changing my training because I don’t think I was adequately prepared for the different PT we did. Plus I now know my weaknesses during a Heavy event, so I can work on fixing those; besides focusing on the PT test, which is only a few hours, does not prepare you for the remaining 20+ hours of the even.

2016 Running in Review

After a Spring full of being a race ambassador, I took a step back from my blogging life and focused on living life. But I’m back (at least for this post)!

2016 Summary of Events:

  • 1564 Total Number of Miles Ran (As of 12/5)
  • 3 – Full Marathons (April, May, October)
  • 1 – Half Marathon (September)
  • 4- 5Ks (January, March, June, August, November)
  • 1 – 5 Miler (May)
  • 1 – Steel Challenge (May)
  • 1 – GORUCK Heavy (Detroit-June)


  • I paced my first race!
  • Starting off the year with two 5Ks in 12 hours! (Midnight Special and Hangover Classic) This is by far my favorite tradition.
  • Setting a Marathon PR (finally); Glass City Half Marathon in April.
  • Breaking 40 Minutes for the 5 Miler.

Next up, a link up. Last year I participated in Courtney’s Year of Running Link Up, so this year I decided to do it again.

year of running 2016

  • Best race experience: I raced less this year than last year, but I raced longer distances this year. I loved Detroit despite my lackluster performance, but my overall favorite race of 2016 was Pittsburgh Marathon because mentally I was all in and that made the biggest difference.
  • Best run: This fall I coached with Dave’s Running MIT and I loved our Wednesday Night Tempo runs and so many of our long runs were just too much fun.
  • Best new piece of running gear: I rediscovered running in shorts. Hands down my favorite are Lululemon’s Hotty Hot (Long) Shorts.
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: I’ve received a lot of advice this year and most of it from some faster runners that I’ve had the privilege of running with this year. .
  • Most inspirational runner: This year I watched “Unbroken” and “Race.” As an alumni of THE Ohio State University, I’ve always admired Jesse Owens. In addition, I think in modern times we often overlook how much the athletes and runners before us had to go through to make it where they did.
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This picture was from pacing the Boy Scout Half Marathon in September.

    bs2016We were approaching the finish line and both of these lovely ladies were headed towards a PR.

  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Coming out of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel returning to the US!
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Exhausting. Humbling. Reminding. This year I ran 3 full marathons. I was reminded how much training for 26.2 demands of you; not just time, but also effort, energy and attention. I had my ass handed to me twice during races. I learned that I entertainingly have a tendency to over-train and not allow myself adequate time for recovery.

Don’t forget to check out Courtney’s link up, and join if you are so inclined!

How was your 2016 Year of Running? (Be sure to respond in the comments!)







PGH Marathon: Transition Week Training

There is no “training plan” for this transition week. I’m still trying to analyze what went wrong last weekend at GCM. Did I overtrain? Not do enough? Did I not get enough rest on Saturday? But I’m also trying to focus on what went right, and get my mind right for the next one.


    • Monday:
      • 2.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I ran this slow. To shake out my legs after GCM yesterday.
      •  Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Tuesday:
      • 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I wanted to get 3-5 Miles in, and was almost decided on getting 4 Miles in. I started off slow, but comfortable. After the first 2 Miles, my legs felt really good. By Mile 3, I decided I would probably get in 5 Miles. It was a very humid run this morning, which helped keep my pace slower while I recover from Sunday.
      • Pure Barre in the AM.
      • Foam Rolled.
    • Wednesday:
      • Actual – 4.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I wasn’t sure what to run this week. I was using a standard taper strategy mixed with a recommended recovery week schedule. I debated between running 4 and 6 miles, and due to time constraints I settled on 4 miles.
      • Pure Barre in the AM.
      • 90-Minute Full Body Massage.
    • Thursday:
      • Actual – 2.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I was hoping for 4-6 Miles. But after getting out in the windy weather, I settled on a shorter distance; although by the time I hit 2 Miles I felt I could go longer but really don’t want to wear myself out before Sunday.
      • ProCompression Socks.
    • Friday:
      • Rest/Travel Day!
      • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Saturday:
      • Actual – 5K Run Outside in the AM.
      • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Sunday: RACE DAY!

Total Weekly Mileage: 16.6 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you train when running races close together?
Tell me in the comments!



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!