Delaware Marathon Training: Week 5

It’s hard to believe we are another week closer to Delaware. Training is continuing to go well, although I have to admit I’m having some pain in my left heel that feels disturbingly close to plantar fasciitis. I don’t think it’s anything too serious yet, but I have been making a concerted effort to ice, foam roll, and stretch my calves. I’m going to keep monitoring it and if I need to skip a run or two to give my body a little more rest, then that’s what I’m going to do.

But moving on, here’s how the week went.

Monday – I did my 10 miler, which I included in last week’s recap.

Tuesday – 4 very easy miles. In hindsight, I probably should’ve switched around my rest days to give myself a little more recovery after the 10 miles the day before…

Wednesday – 7 miles on the treadmill. This was supposed to be a hill workout, but as I mentioned in my last post, my EHL tendon on my other foot had been acting up a little (what the he*% is it with my feet???) so I decided to stick to 1.0 or 1.5 on the elevation setting. I did try to make up for skipping the hills by keeping the pace up a little bit (I  alternated between a 9:05 and 8:35/mile pace). This run didn’t feel fantastic, but I think that was more the result of treadmill boredom than anything else, especially since I’ve been hitting faster paces on my long runs and usually feel pretty good on those.

Thursday – REST DAY!!!

Rest Days and Dwight Schrute | 2 Generations RunningMy legs definitely needed this one. I did 20 minutes of abs in the morning and then chilled out the rest of the day and it was glorious.

Friday – 4 miles on the treadmill, 2 at goal pace. I felt much better on this run. The 2 goal pace miles felt solid and I did my last cool-down mile in 8:35, which felt easy and comfortable. In the evening, I took the train home to visit my family and the dogs for the weekend. I hadn’t been home since Christmas, so it was a much needed visit. 🙂

Saturday – My mom and I opted to do our long run on Saturday this week since our running club was having its monthly brunch run on Sunday and who are we to say no to a run followed by a delicious potluck brunch? We headed out for 13 miles together, figuring that I would start with my mom and then head off about halfway through to do some speedier miles. It was cloudy and in the 40s when we first headed out, but after the first couple miles, we both warmed up and the sun came out. It ended up feeling more like an early spring day than February! So weird to think that just the week before it had been -18 degrees (and -30 with the wind chill)! Guess that’s New England for you.

My mom and I ended up splitting up just after 4 miles, when she paused to do a GU. I continued on, dropping the pace down into the 8:30/mile range. I was able to continue this way, except for when I hit the giant hills on my route. I’ve gotten so used to the new, much flatter routes around my apartment that these rolling hills felt TOUGH. It didn’t help that even with the warmth, there were still some icy patches on the sidewalks in shady areas. Around mile 9, I was stepping off the sidewalk to run a short stretch on the street to avoid some ice. Well, I guess I got distracted by the cars on the road, because I ended up stepping directly onto a different patch of ice and nearly went down. I swear, it felt like my body was inches from the pavement. Somehow, I magically caught my balance and continued on, this time being a little more cautious on the icy patches.

I ended up finishing the 13 miles in about an hour and 55 minutes. My pace was a little slower overall than on some of my other long runs because of the hills, but I felt ok with that. I have to admit, I was kind of excited that I was able to run a sub-2 hour half marathon on just a basic training run, when only a couple years that was my big goal for the Oak Tree Half Marathon.

Later that afternoon, I relaxed by first getting my haircut, and then my mom and I got special race day manicures for Augusta!

Race day nails

Augusta Half Marathon NailsThat’s a check mark for GA on my mom’s nails. 🙂

Sunday – 3.2 miles very easy with our running club. My legs felt surprisingly ok on this run, but I was still happy to be taking it easy and running low mileage. Afterward, we celebrated with some awesome food.

Total Mileage for the Week: 32

Motivation Levels: Running strong 🙂

And for a little inspiration, I’ve been listening to the rap song “Me, Myself, and I” quite a lot on my runs lately, so here is a little excerpt-

“Oh, it’s just me, myself, and I / Solo ride until I die / Cause I got me for life / Oh, I don’t need a hand to hold / Even when the night is cold / I got that fire in my soul”. 

Perfect for those long, hard solo runs. 🙂

How was your week? If you’re training, how’s it going? 


Delaware Marathon Training: Week 4

After a busy and work-filled weekend, I’m back!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I escaped some of the frigid temps in the Northeast this week by traveling to Austin, TX for work (about an hour and 15 outside of Austin actually). Austin was actually experiencing warmer than usual temps while I was out there, and it was in the mid 70’s and perfectly sunny everyday.



Austin | 2 Generations Running

Austin | 2 Generations RunningThe trip scrambled my training up a little, but not too badly and with the marathon still 12 weeks out, I know I’ll be fine.

Monday – Rest/Core day, so I did a 30 minute boot camp class. I felt so strong during this class! I think doing the Fitnessblender ab and oblique workouts for so long has really given me a good base of core strength. I worked up quite a sweat during the 30 minutes, and then I went back to my friend’s house to watch the Bachelor. Mondays are all about Bachelor and Boot Camp now! 🙂

Ben Higgins | The Bachelor

Tuesday – 4 miles easy on the treadmill in the evening followed by foam rolling and stretching. I was pleased to discover I wasn’t too sore from Monday’s class, and the miles flew by easily, despite being confined to the treadmill.

Wednesday – 5 miles hills in the morning followed by an evening boot camp class. What can I say? I knew it was going to be tough to get good workouts in while I was away, so I figured I’d be a little more ambitious. I have to admit though, I may have felt the beginnings of my EHL tendon acting up a bit during the hills. This was the tendon I strained training for my first marathon – which not so coincidentally began hurting shortly after I ran the Mad Half Marathon, which had to be the hilliest half I’ve ever run. Calf tightness can sometimes be a cause, and there’s nothing like a tough hill workout to wreak havoc on your calves. I think going from doing almost zero structured hill work to pretty intense hill repeats on the treadmill (where your biomechanics are already a little bit altered) may be the cause of the issue. So for now, I’m going to take it easy on the hills. I think I’ll try to throw some gentle inclines in when I have hill workouts scheduled, but I’m going to be careful to listen to my body – if I feel more pain across the top of my foot, I’ll cut the hills completely.

Thursday – My travel day to Austin! I ended up having time to kill before my coworkers’ flights got in, so I drove to the nearby state park, McKinney Falls where I had a blast hiking around and enjoying the sun. I definitely did a lot of walking, so I guess it was active recovery?


Austin | 2 Generations RunningFriday – Did some squats and wall sits in my room in the morning, followed by lots of walking all day long.

Saturday – 3 spur-of-the-moment miles (after a 6 mile hike). I originally thought this was going to be another missed run. But then I had a break in the afternoon, right after we ate lunch. Yes, it was the hottest part of the day. And yes, I had just eaten a lunch that was a little heavy to run on. But I had the time, so I figured I would go for it anyway. Unfortunately, the area right around the hotel was not as convenient for running on as it was on my business trip to Ohio a couple weeks ago. It was a busy road without much of a shoulder in many spots. I had thought I was going to do 4 miles, but I turned around early and ended up finishing up 3 miles with a couple loops in the hotel parking lot. There was no way I was going to do another mile’s worth of loops, so I called it at 3. Still, I’m glad I took advantage of my down time.

Sunday – It was supposed to be my 10 mile long run, but I was also flying home this day. Record-breaking cold temperatures in Boston caused my flight to be delayed 3 hours, so I ended up hanging out at the JFK airport for a long time reading Runner’s World articles about the marathon Olympic Trials, which had been the day before. It sucked being so delayed, but at least with Monday being a holiday, I knew I could get my long run in then.

Monday – As planned, I got my 10 miles in (in 12 degrees!). I took layering up to a whole new level for this run – Underarmour cold gear leggings, Nike thermal, with another long sleeve shirt on top of that, topped off with a heavy sweatshirt, a scarf, and gloves.

Cold | 2 Generations RunningI actually felt pretty good after the first 3 miles or so, once my blood really got flowing! I wasn’t sure how I’d handle the cold, but I ended up being thrilled with my splits.

Mile 1 -8:51 Mile 2 – 8:44 Mile 3 – 8:46

Mile 4 -8:44 Mile 5 – 8:22 Mile 6 – 8:05

Mile 7 -8:28 Mile 8 – 8:09 Mile 9 – 8:02 Mile 10 – 9:04 (cooldown mile)

BOOM – 8:31/mile average. My fastest long run of the training cycle so far! This run gives me a lot of confidence going into the Augusta Half in 2 weeks. I’m planning on doing a separate post on my thoughts on that race, but needless to say, I’m really looking forward to getting out and racing the half marathon distance again.

Total Mileage: 22 (I’m counting Monday’s long run since it was supposed to go with this week of training, even if I ended up moving it around).

Motivation Levels: Good. I’m happy not to be traveling again for a while and I’m looking forward to hopping back into my normal routine this week!

And the theme of this week, from someone with a GREAT name –

Nora Roberts Quote | 2 Generations Running

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week! Did you do anything fun on President’s Day? 

The Structure of Training

Hey guys, hope you’re having a good week so far!

As I enter the 4th week of training for Delaware, I find myself marveling at just how much fun I am having with running right now. This kind of confused me for a second. After all, marathon training is tough on the body and mind. I’ve been waking up just after 5 am three days a week to get my runs in before work. My weekends have been structured around my long runs, and making sure I get to bed early enough to feel fresh for them.

Sounds like fun, right!?

Jennifer Lawrence GIF But so far, I kind of love it. I actually really look forward to my long runs. I don’t know how I’ll be feeling 12 weeks from now, but right now I’m just soaking up the adventure and the challenge of finally having a goal that’s simultaneously thrilling and terrifying.

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of what sets your soul on fire | 2 Generations Running(Love this saying.)

It’s been a really long time since I actually followed a structured training plan. After running 10+ half marathons, I kind of figured out the lazy way to train – as long as I kept up a long run of 10 or so miles on the weekends, and maybe a little mileage here and there during the week, I knew I could complete 13.1 miles. It worked pretty well for me. On a cold day with a flat course, I was even able to run a PR on that system (the Baystate Half). But it also meant, that I developed a sort of lackadaisical approach to running. If I was tired during the week or had a long day at work, I just wouldn’t run. Any runner or coach will tell you, mileage matters. So I really wasn’t doing myself any favors. I still enjoyed running, but without something to really work for, it was easy to make excuses to skip it.

I’m loving the structure of finally following a training plan again. Now, when I think about going back to sleep when my alarm goes off (because of course, it’s still tempting), I can’t do it. I want to do everything in my power to run my best race on May 8th, and if I skip a run, it’s only making my goal that much more improbable.

I don’t know what will happen on race day and there are a ton of factors outside of my control. With a race that’s 26.2 miles, there’s a lot of time for things to go wrong. But maybe, things will go right and all the training will pay off.

I’m going to keep running as if there isn’t a maybe in the equation.


Delaware Marathon Training: Week 3

Hey all, happy Monday!

Guess who finally got hit with the snow this week. Marathon Training | 2 Generations RunningIt started snowing Friday morning and snowed pretty much non-stop until 5 or so in the afternoon. And we’d been doing so well… Could be worse though, temps were in the high 30’s and 40’s on Saturday and Sunday though, so it’s melting fast.

This week was a little weird in terms of my training, but overall, I’m really happy with how it went. Luckily, my travel ended up corresponding with a rest week, so the lower mileage made life a little easier.

Monday – Rest/Cross-Train day. Did a lot of resting and no cross-training. I flew out to Ohio on Monday, so I was ok with cutting myself a little slack.

Tuesday – I had 3 miles easy scheduled. Luckily, the hotel I was staying in was right next to a paved bike trail that ran along a river. I had been a little nervous when I found out the hotel didn’t have a fitness center, but now I’m kind of glad it didn’t since it forced me to get out and explore a little.

Marathon Training | 2 Generations RunningI was feeling so proud of myself for this short (and chilly) run, and then I found out my coworker (who runs a lot of ultras) had gone out and run a casual 10 miles. Haha, my measly 3 didn’t seem all that impressive after that!

Wednesday – I had 5 miles of hills scheduled, but… I didn’t do it. I was really tired from a long day of work the day before, so I figured I could make up the run later on if I wanted to. I did end up walking around a lot all day, so it wasn’t like I was TOTALLY lazy. Also, check out these scary trees that I saw while in Ohio-

Marathon Training | 2 Generations RunningCheck out those spikes!!!! I think the cactus has some serious competition in the prickly tree department.

Thursday – Got up at 2:30 am for the long drive to the airport, and then went straight into the office after I landed in Boston. It was not exactly the low-key travel day I would’ve hoped for, but work has been picking up a lot lately, so I had tons to do. Weirdly, it was almost 60 degrees back in Boston! It was still warm in the evening when I finally got home, and I knew I had to take advantage of it (and make up for Wednesday’s missed run), so I suited up in my reflective vest and flashing lights and headed out for a night run. I did 4.5 miles and managed a pretty decent clip for the dark.

I was also super excited to come home to this-

Build Your Running Body | 2 Generations RunningI had read some good things about this book online and really wanted to check it out for myself! I know my running goals are pretty ambitious, so I want to learn everything I can about different schools of training, cross-training, and anything else that will help me reach my potential. It’s also almost 400 pages long, so I knew it would be comprehensive. I’ve been browsing through it for the past few days, and so far I really like it! I may have to do a full review in a few weeks.

Friday – 5 miles, 3 @ goal pace. After running the evening before, I really DID NOT want to wake up early for this run. Somehow, I managed to talk myself into it. The warm temps from the night before were gone though, and it was rain/sleeting out (which switched over to snow by the time I left the gym) Back to the treadmill. I warmed up and then managed to do my tempo miles fairly easily. It never feels like cake, but I’m hoping that I’m building mental toughness with all these treadmill miles. On the day of the actual marathon, all the excitement and new sights  should make it feel that much easier. At least, I hope that’s what happens. 🙂

Saturday – 5.5 miles easy. All the snow from Friday was melting and turning the sidewalks into a slushy mess, so I decided to take my run to the treadmill, again. I tried to be careful with the pacing on this run to keep it on the easy side for me so that my legs would feel fresh to run long on Sunday. I know these easy miles are important, and I need to be careful not to push myself too hard. I also did some quick core work and stretching after I finished.

Sunday – 12.5 miles. The sidewalks were still super slushy in places, but there was no way in hell I was going to run 12 miles on the treadmill. I wanted to push myself on this run to try to get closer to my goal marathon pace on at least some of the miles. While I know there’s a benefit to running easy sometimes, if I’m going to hold my goal pace for 26.2 miles, I better at least try to run somewhat fast on my long runs. Here’s how it panned out:

Mile 1 – 9:54 (This was one of the worst miles in terms of slushy/iciness and I was still warming up.)

Mile 2 – 9:15 (A little better), Mile 3 – 8:53 (Navigating some tricky turns and icy sidewalks, but getting better)

Mile 4 – 8:19 (On the running trail, which was mercifully clear of ice and snow. Finally able to pick up the pace!)

Mile 5 – 8:30, Mile 6 – 8:17 (Woohoo!), Mile 7 – 8:09 (Speedy!), Mile 8 – 8:23

Mile 9 – 8:48, Mile 10 – 9:04 (Considering, there was a brutal half mile long hill during this mile, I’m ok with the slower split), Mile 11 – 8:51, Mile 12 – 8:39

Avg. Pace: 8:45/mile, but I was happy that I ran 5 of the 12 miles at 8:30 or faster.

I also got a tiny bit lost around mile 9, trying to navigate myself back to the running trail. I never actually found it and ended up running through residential areas where the sidewalks were still not in great shape. Still, I managed not to get too lost and ended up calling it quits at 12.5, just a half mile over what was scheduled. I happened to be right by CVS when I finished and I happily went in and got a chocolate milk. There is NOTHING better in the world after a long run than chocolate milk.

Marathon Training | 2 Generations RunningWhen I got back to my apartment, my roommates were shocked to see me so soon. It was fun surprising them with how fast I was able to run 12 miles. 🙂

Total Mileage for the Week: 30.5

Total Marathon Training Mileage to Date: 95.5 (I can’t believe that I’ve put almost a hundred miles on my sneakers in 3 WEEKS!!!! I guess that’s marathon training for you!)

Motivation Levels: Remaining solid! If you need a little boost – read this blog post from Miles to the TrialsThe Evolution of 2:42

And the theme of this week –

Be Stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods. | 2 Generations RunningWhat is your FAVORITE beverage/snack after a long run? If you’re training right now, how’s it going? Did you do anything special for the Super Bowl? 

Thoughts on Marathon #3 (Guest Post)

I asked my Mom to write up a few words on her thoughts on training for her 3rd marathon, and here is what she had to say!


I remember when Nora and I started talking about doing a half marathon, my husband immediately began teasing us that pretty soon we would be planning to run a full. I remember standing by the stove as we cooked ,) telling my husband that I would NEVER EVER run a full marathon…

Ok, so now – as I plan for my third one – he gets to say a big “I told you so!!!”

Baystate Marathon 2015And frankly, I guess I’m a little surprised too. But I’ve been lucky in that my first two marathons have been great experiences, so that it seems only natural to want to keep challenging myself a little bit more each time.

This time, we have the challenge of training through the winter – a new one for Nora and me – and the additional goal (that I almost don’t want to voice) that we would like to BQ at Delaware.

Nervous | 2 Generations RunningSo that adds a little stress to my usually laid-back approach to training – which has always worked out for me in the past.

So what will I do differently this time, with this loftier goal in sight?

I am following the same training plan as I did for Bay State, (the intermediate plan from the Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training) but this time, I will try to really stick to the pace recommendations. Training in the summer, the heat and humidity made this difficult for me, so we will see if the cooler temps will make this part easier. (Of course, I’ve already tried to do some pace runs that have been slowed way down due to icy and snowy roads, so that will obviously be a big factor. (Sorry, Mid-Atlantic States, but I have to admit that I was pretty happy we dodged the big snow storm last weekend!)

Cross Train: I don’t know why, but training over the summer I didn’t seem to have the energy to do much cross-training. I feel like I should try to be more aggressive about implementing some cross-training sessions now but I also didn’t like any of the options offered by the local gyms. No worries.  I will simply be doing lots of Fitnessblender videos on YouTube – which I really like and always find pretty challenging! (Try Kelli’s Upper Body Workout for People Who Get Bored Easily)  The only downside is that I won’t have the option of treadmill runs if the weather suddenly stops cooperating.  (But that’s why I bought so much cold weather running gear for Christmas!)

What will I do the same….

Food and Drink: I’m continuing to consume lots of ginger and drink ginger tea for its anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve been so lucky about avoiding injury that I’m really nervous that this time things will change. I get panicky every time I feel a weird little twinge in my feet and I quickly run to the fridge to peel more ginger.

2 Generations Running(What I’m hoping to avoid..)

Socks: About midway into the last training session I discovered wearing compression socks really helped, so I will be wearing them all winter, which will actually be easier than wearing them through the summer – which always resulted in some strange looks, or at least questions.

Stretch and Roll: I was super diligent about rolling and stretching after runs and I realize I have to continue to do that, especially as I seem to feel a little stiffer after running in the cold.

Chilling Out (And this one’s not about the cold.): Whether I’m running or cooking, I am too often finding myself agonizing about paces, comparing methods and theories, and worrying about the difference between a tempo vs a strength run –  and texting Nora about my fears and questions.

[I do get a lot of these texts, but I don’t mind!!]

So I think that this time around I am going to have to work especially hard at remembering that, whatever happens, I need to continue to be grateful for the fact that I can run – whether it’s a marathon training run – or just a few miles with a friend. My twingy feet and legs and all the wonderful parts that keep doing what they are supposed to be doing to enable me to move like this are huge and wonderful blessings – that I will not take for granted.

Baystate Marathon 2015So let’s continue the journey!

Delaware Marathon Training: Week 2

2 weeks down, 14 weeks to go til Delaware!!!!

Bulu Box ReviewIt was another solid week and I’m feeling really optimistic about this second attempt at 26.2 miles. 14 weeks is a long way to go though, so I’ve just got to really focus on getting the most out of each individual workout. Here’s what this week looked like:

Monday – 30 minute boot camp class. I already posted about this, so moving right along…

Tuesday – 5 miles easy. I was scheduled to do 6, but I decided to cut a mile so that I had a little more time to get some stretching done before I had to head off to work. Surprisingly, I felt relatively ok during this run, but part of me knew I was going to be more sore the next day.

Wednesday – And as expected, the soreness really set in on this day. I had 5 miles of hill repeats to do though, so I sucked it up and headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill in the morning. Charissa had left me some GREAT advice on how to do hill repeats on the treadmill, and I was excited to try some different variations. Actually, excited may not be quite the right word, considering how sore I was… There may have been a little bit of dread mixed in. I warmed up the first mile, then increased the elevation to 5.0, and turned the pace up a bit, being careful to keep it in my aerobic zone though. I held that for 2 minutes before dropping the pace and elevation for a 2 minute recovery. When I got bored with those, I mixed in 2 longer hill repeats of 1/2 mile at 3.0 elevation and a slightly faster pace. Those I enjoyed a lot better than the short intense hills.

Thursday – My rest/cross-train day. My friend had tried to convince me to go to another boot camp class with her and I strongly considered it, but ended up passing so that I’d feel fresh for Friday’s tempo run. I still ended up going to the gym after work though, I just focused on my arms and abs. It was so crowded though! Since I’ve gotten so used to getting to the gym by 5:45 am, I had forgotten how crazy it is in the evenings. My gym has a really small area for stretching and core work, and so it can be difficult to snag a spot there. I saw way too much of this on Thursday night –

Delaware Marathon TrainingThis KILLS me. If you’re not working out, stop taking up the space!!!! Ok, mini-rant over. I probably did about 45-50 minutes and then headed out.

Friday – 6 miles, with 4 at 8:06/mile. These 4 fast miles were kind of challenging. I’m getting much more comfortable on the treadmill, and it is more convenient to run these types of fast runs in a warm, well-lit gym than out on the roads in the dark, BUT I find myself much more comfortable running a faster pace outdoors. Maybe part of me is just irrationally afraid that I will fly off the back of the treadmill? (See 9 people who lost to treadmills)

Saturday – I decided to get my long run out of the way even though my plan technically calls for a Sunday long run (I think I may stick with this throughout the 16 weeks). It had been ages since I had done a run with the club I joined a few months ago, and they were planning on 10-14 miles, so I figured I would meet up with them. My plan called for 9 miles again, but I figured I would play it by ear and go a little longer if I was feeling good. I ran to our meeting spot, which ended up being exactly 3 miles from my apartment. These 3 miles I did at 8:51/mile, which is a little fast for a warm-up for me, but I was nervous I was going to get lost and I was cutting it close from the time I left my apartment. Luckily, I made it there, no problem. There was a good sized group of 8 or so runners and we quickly headed off on our route after introductions.

Some of the group was going a full 14 miles, but I peeled off with a group doing 8 miles, bringing me to a total of 11 miles for the day. I’m going to have to do more of my long runs with them! We averaged 8:33/mile for our 8 miles, and I felt great the whole way. There was a lot of stop and go, waiting at street crossings, which may have partially contributed to how good I felt. I forgot how much I love running with groups though! The miles tick by so much faster and it just felt really good to mix things up. The weather was BEAUTIFUL too; it felt more like the beginning of spring than the last day of January!

After we finished up, I decided to take an Uber home, rather than tack on an additional 3 miles, running back to my house. My Uber driver noticed my running clothes – turns out, he had run a couple of marathons many years ago! We chatted about running and training during the short drive back to my house and he wished me luck on my marathon.

Then, I came in and the newest issue of Runner’s World had arrived. I had been hoping it would come for days, especially after I saw the newest issue at the grocery store (and was almost tempted to buy it, despite having a subscription) It was seriously the best morning ever!!! 🙂

So Happy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Sunday – 6 miles. I probably should have run these slower, but I wanted to see how it felt running my goal pace outside versus on the treadmill. My splits were:

Mile 1 – 9:00/mile, Mile 2 – 8:38/mile, Mile 3 – 8:03/mile, Mile 4 – 8:47/mile, Mile 5 – 8:09/mile, Mile 6 – 8:40/mile

Miles 3 and 5 were when I was aiming for 8:05, so I was a little under and a little over, but not bad. Running this pace definitely feels more manageable outdoors (at least on the flats!) It was a gorgeous day to run again, with temps in the mid 40s. All the birds were out, and it felt like spring. I stopped to take a pic during the last mile-

2 Generations Running

Total Mileage for the Week: 34

Motivation Levels: Still High!

And this week’s inspirational quote:

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together" | 2 Generations RunningAnd now I’m off to Ohio for work! Be back soon 🙂

How was your week? Would you rather run long with a group or by yourself?

Delaware Marathon Training: End of Week 1

How would I sum up the first week of marathon training in a nutshell?

Marathon Training GIF | 2 Generations RunningI’m feeling great at the end of this first week, but I know there are still 15 weeks to go, so I probably shouldn’t start counting my chickens before they hatch just yet. 🙂 I successfully modified my plan to get my long run in without getting derailed by winter storm Jonas, though Boston was barely hit in comparison to the DC folks! We probably got 3-4″, but hey, after last year, we were due for a break!

2 Generations Running. Snowfall over my head.Last year’s snow… Saying a prayer that snow drifts are not taller than me this winter.

Anyways, here’s how the first week of training shaped up for me.

Monday – And the first day of marathon training began with NO running. Womp womp. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day though and I had the day off from work so I had time to get a nice cross-training session in. I started with a 22 minute abs and obliques video (Fitnessblender) and then headed over to the gym for about 40 minutes of upper-body work.

Tuesday – 6 miles easy. We had a serious cold spell last week with highs for the day in the 20s (so it was around 7 degrees in the morning when I got up.) Definitely treadmill weather. I woke up at 5:10 so that I could have a quick cup of coffee before getting my butt to the gym by 5:40. I know there are going to be a lot of these early mornings during the next 16 weeks and while the initial getting out of bed part sucks, I don’t mind it so much when I’m at the gym surrounded by all the other early birds. Plus, I love being able to come home and just relax after work and not have to worry about getting my run in.

I ended up averaging around 9:25/mile on this run and I played with the pace and elevation over the course of the 6 miles to keep my mind from going numb. First run of the training cycle complete!

Wednesday – 4 mile hill repeats (again on the treadmill) at an average of 9:22/mile. Once I had warmed up, I cranked the elevation up to 4.0 (sometimes 4.5 for the last bit) and held that for 2 minutes. Then, I’d drop the elevation down to .5 to simulate the downhill and would recover for around .2 of a mile (I picked this recovery distance kind of randomly because I usually felt good enough to for another repeat by then). I increased the pace over the course of the 4 miles, but capped it at 8:57 since this was not supposed to be a speed workout.

If anyone has any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill, I’d love to hear them! An elevation of 4.0 felt challenging, but I’m honestly not sure what that would translate to as a hill in real life. I don’t want to slack off on these hill repeat workouts!

Thursday – Much needed rest/core work day. By Thursday, I think the early mornings had caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED. I was still going to bed around my regular time, but by getting up so early, I was getting almost 2 hours fewer sleep each day. I’m definitely going to need to work on getting to bed earlier as the weeks progress. I called it quits after doing the 22 minute abs/obliques workout again and went to bed by 9:30.

Sleepy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill again. I warmed up for the first mile and a half or so and then alternated between 8:40 and 8:34/mile for the rest of the miles before going into cooldown mode for the last mile.

Saturday – The long run!!!! 🙂 Maybe it’s just the excitement of finally training for a big race again but I was really looking forward to this 9-miler. Despite the brisk temps and impending snowfall, I headed into Boston so I could run this one along the Charles again. I guess this run was technically closer to 10 miles since I jogged the half mile to and from the subway stop!

Running in Boston | 2 Generations RunningIt was cold, cloudy, and windy as hell. And there were still a ton of runners out getting their miles in before the snow, which was so awesome and motivating to see. Even though I was technically running by myself, it felt nice to have the company of other “crazies” out on the path and it helped me push myself through the cold and the wind. I was shooting for a pace around 8:42/mile, but that didn’t exactly happen – I ended up averaging 8:51/mile. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be thrilled with that, but I know this was a result of the god awful headwind I encountered on many of the miles.

Headwind GIF | 2 Generations RunningThat’s what it was like, but running. The wind was actually whipping tears from my eyes. I’m sure it looked like I was having a blast 😉 Those super windy miles ranged from 8:51 – 8:59/mile, but that pace was HARD. When I had the tailwind, I easily ran 8:24 – 8:40/mile. So not exactly what I had hoped for, but I know there will be other long runs to push the pace on where I won’t feel like I’m fighting a tornado.

Adding to all the fun, I took out my phone around mile 8.5 to take a picture or two… and my phone died immediately after the one photo. After that, I just wanted to be done. I quickly finished the last half mile and then headed to a grocery store right next to the subway stop because all I could think about during the run was hot, delicious pancakes. I picked up a gluten-free mix and some syrup and I was on my way!

PancakesBest decision ever. I spent the rest of the day in my compression sleeves and sweats, doing a little laundry and a lot of relaxing.

Sunday – 6 miles, 4 (ish) at marathon pace. I woke up to tons of sunshine and 4 inches of perfect white snow. It was beautiful out, but I didn’t feel like dealing with snow in my sneakers for 6 miles, so I headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill. I warmed up for the first mile, then paused a minute to stretch before diving into the tempo section of this run. I gradually increased the pace from 8:57 down to 8:05/mile over the 2nd mile, then held that pace for 4 miles before slowing down again for my final cooldown mile. I am finding that breaking the run into sections (warm-up, cooldown, actual workout) really helps the workouts seem shorter and mentally easier.

I did a short round of arms and abs after this before calling it a day.

Total Mileage: 31

Motivation Levels: Sky High

And my mantra for this week –

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough | 2 Generations RunningI’m excited for week 2 of marathon training and for the fact that I have a half marathon to race in 1 month!!! I have strong feelings that Augusta could be a new PR for me in the half because of my increased focus on pace during my training runs.

Any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill? How was your week? Are you buried in snow from Jonas????

Goals for the Marathon Training Cycle

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I hope to get out of this marathon training cycle. Obviously, I have a time goal in mind for May, but that is months and months away. I also don’t want to feel like my success is 100% contingent upon achieving that specific time because I know there are factors COMPLETELY outside my control (the weather for example) that will play a huge role in whether or not I hit my fastest times. Yes, the time goal is probably my main focus, but I want there to be other criteria where I can step back and feel proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Since I am only just beginning the 16 week plan, I thought it would be good for me to lay out what those other goals are.

Goals for the Marathon Training Cycle | 2 Generations Running

  1. Run some new half marathon PRs along the way to Delaware. I was able to run my current half marathon PR at Baystate off of pretty low mileage and what can only be described as less than structured training. But I felt fantastic during that whole race. Looking back, I wonder if I felt a little too fantastic. I think I might have left a little too much gas in the tank and I’m looking forward to being even more aggressive at the Augusta Half Marathon in February. I’m also considering signing up for a local half marathon the weekend of my birthday in March as a little birthday present to myself. My plan would be to use that as a hard tempo run for Delaware (and if there’s a PR involved in that, even better).
  2. Run higher mileage (but stay healthy). I feel like I’ve beat this to death on the blog, but getting injured while training for the Rochester Marathon was horrible. While I was still able to run the race, missing so many long runs definitely had a negative impact on my performance, and it was not a pretty race. The plan I am following has me running higher mileage than I would typically be running this time of year, but I’m hoping my body will be able to handle it. I’m going to do my best to keep everything running smoothly (pun intended) by getting back to stretching and foam rolling, even if it’s only for 5 minutes when I get back from a run. I’m also really focusing on core work as part of my cross training.
  3. Improve my nutrition. Like pretty much everyone else, I probably ate a few too many cookies and desserts during the holiday season. But, I’m getting this under control again. After reading some positive reviews online, I picked up the Paleo Diet for Athletes, which I’ve really been enjoying. The recipes are pretty basic, but that’s good for me since I’m limited in the amount of time I have for cooking. I’m not going strict paleo, but I am trying to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates I eat (i.e., pastas, bread, crackers, etc…) Instead, I’ve been eating A LOT of sweet potatoes as a way to get the carbs in that I’ll need for running.
  4. Squeeze in as many runs as I can while traveling for work. I have a lot of work trips coming up in the next few months, some for as short as 3 days at a time, some for up to a week. The hours on these trips won’t be the standard 9-5 either. Instead, I’ll be waking up very early and finishing late in the afternoon or evening. I know I will be tempted to skip runs, but I am going to do the best I can to not let these trips derail my training. If the hotels have treadmills, you can bet your a$$ I’ll be getting up at 4:30 am to get my run in. It would be too easy to use my job as an excuse for missing runs, and I care too much about the end product to let that happen.
  5. Avoid marathon burnout. Yes, I know this goal is far less concrete than the others, but I think it’s important. Right now, my motivation is literally off the charts. If there was some way I could run a marathon tomorrow, I think I would do it (though I doubt it would be advisable.) I don’t want to lose this feeling of excitement. I’m hoping by keeping up reading my favorite running blogs (and maintaining this one of course!), listening to my favorite running podcasts, and by watching the Olympic Trials (the LA marathon on February 13th) that my motivation will stay where it is, if not grow.

It’s going to be a challenging 16 weeks, but I’m ready for it. 🙂

Delaware Marathon – Training Officially Begins!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone is as lucky as I am to be enjoying the holiday and long weekend!

I’m feelin’ very excited right now. Today officially marks the beginning of my 16 weeks of training for the Delaware Marathon!

Delaware Marathon and Running Festival | 2 Generations RunningI know this training cycle will have its challenges and there will be mornings when I wake up and really don’t want to run, but right now I just feel thrilled to have another big race on the calendar and something challenging to work towards. I’m psyched that my mom will be running the full again for her 3rd marathon and that we’ll be going through the training for this race together (even though the vast majority of our runs will be on our own.)

Even though my training hadn’t officially begun, I got some great workouts in this week and I’m feeling confident about my base going into the training. My first long run this Sunday will be 9 miles – PIECE OF CAKE!

Too Easy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Here’s what my workouts looked like this week:

Monday30 minute booty boot camp courtesy of Fitnessblender. I love all the squats and lunges in this workout and I’m hoping to continue to incorporate it as strength training as I train for Delaware.

Tuesday – 4.2 miles on the treadmill at the gym. The first mile I did as a warm-up, the second I did at 8:06/mile and then I slowed down my 3rd and 4th miles to between 8:20 and 8:34/mile. I’m aiming for a goal pace of 8:05/mile, but for whatever reason, this pace feels so much harder on the treadmill (or dreadmill as the case may be.) I know there are going to be tempo runs I’m going to HAVE to get done on the treadmill, so I’m just going to have to suck it up I suppose.

Wednesday – Off. I ended up going out to eat with my roommates in the evening, and had a burger and sweet potato fries, which were pretty amazing. I had been planning on doing some strength training that day, but it didn’t happen. Oh well though. It was my last week of flexibility in that respect, so I’m not going to beat myself up over the skipped workout.

Thursday – Ran 4 miles outside after work in the cold/dark. My pace ended up averaging 9:20/mile which was slower than I wanted, but I kept coming across snowy, icy patches on my running trail and having to slow down until I got around them. It does make me worried about trying to hit my goal paces throughout this training cycle though – basically, my options are to try to run fast through the dark (by running before work or after work), which isn’t a great idea OR to take the run to the treadmill. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

Friday – I did 1 mile warm-up and then 8 x 400 meter repeats (at 7:24/mile) with 400 recovery on the treadmill. I did this after work on Friday, and boy was my stomach not having it. I’m thinking for my future speed workouts, it’s going to be better for me to get them done early in the morning before work and while my stomach is relatively empty, cause this run really sucked. I’m glad I was able to get through it, but I just felt crappy the whole time and my stomach never adjusted. I’ll consider it a lesson learned though.

Saturday – Snowy/Rainy 6 miles.

Tips and Tricks for Winter Running | 2 Generations RunningOf course, it cleared up and the sun came out in the AFTERNOON, after I was done. Typical. To be fair, I could have chosen to stay indoors and do a cross training workout, BUT I really wanted one of my gluten free bagels for breakfast in the morning and I reserve those for runs of 6 miles or more. So I ran the requisite six miles in snow… which changed to freezing rainwhich changed to regular rain. I was a cold, sopping wet mess by the end of the run, but at least I had my trail to myself since no one else was crazy enough to be outdoors in that weather!

Sunday – January Boston run with my mom! Thankfully, the weather cooperated and it was cloudy and in the 30s. My mom arrived in the late morning and we headed into Boston for our run along the Charles. We ended up doing 5 miles along the river and then I took my mom on a running tour through Downtown crossing and the Financial District up to the North End, finishing our run at just about 8 miles. We then got coffee and lunch at the Thinking Cup (<super cute place that I highly recommend if you are ever in Boston!) I got a grilled cheese and my mom tried the “Jittery Hen” – coffee-braised chicken, pickles, and gruyere cheese on sourdough bread. SUPER weird sounding combination, right? Somehow, it worked though and was delicious!

The Thinking Cup, Boston | 2 Generations RunningAfter we had fueled up again on our coffee and lunch, we browsed through Boston Public Market, which was hopping on the Sunday afternoon! It’s entirely indoors, and filled with plenty of delicious and farm-fresh products like honey, cheese, maple syrup, freshly made cider donuts, and so much more. My mom and I opted to get a a yummy-looking pumpkin bread which we enjoyed with more coffee (we’re addicts clearly…) back at my apartment while we booked our flights to Georgia for the end of February! Augusta Half Marathon, we’re comin’ for ya!

So many good things this week. I’d say 2016 is off to a wonderful start. 🙂

What’s your next race? How do you usually feel at the beginning of a training cycle – nervous or excited? 

Christmas Miracles

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Season's Greetings from 2 Generations RunningOur Christmas was pretty low key, but it was relaxing and the weather was PERFECTION for running!

On Christmas Eve, my mom and I went on a short 4-miler in the evening to check out all the holiday lights. Temps were in the high 50s, and we were both wearing shorts. On December 24th.

2 Generations Running(We were lit up like Christmas trees ourselves between the headlamps and reflective vests.)

This weather is weird and glorious and I want more of it. I didn’t even care it wasn’t a white Christmas! Please, just keep the 50+ degree days coming!

The next day, we all slept into a leisurely time before settling in with some coffee to open presents. Santa must be a runner because he certainly brought us plenty of running gear this year! I’m talking compression socks and sleeves, running tops and tights, and a bunch of new books on running. Good picks Santa, I’m pretty darn psyched about all of it!

Merry Christmas GIF | FriendsWe had a delicious Christmas breakfast of French Toast, thanks to my dad (resident breakfast chef), and then after waiting a few hours to digest, my mom and I headed out on another Christmas run. She did hills, and I went off and ran 6.7 miles at 8:32/mile. There were so many people out enjoying the beautiful day, running and walking. I could seriously get used to this type of winter (Of course, by typing this, I’m probably setting us up for a blizzard next weekend).

That evening, we continued to celebrate by officially taking a big step towards one of our 2016 goals – qualifying to run the Boston Marathon in 2017. Yep, we are officially registered for our spring marathon – the Delaware Marathon on May 8th. We also signed up for our next half marathon – the Augusta University Half Marathon on February 28th. I’m thrilled to already have 2 states planned out for 2016!

I know training through the winter for Delaware will pose challenges, but I definitely feel ready for them. 2015 was a fantastic year of running for me (I’m planning a yearly recap post for later this week), and I could not be more excited for 2016. I came across this quote recently (on a school billboard while I was on a run actually!), and it really spoke to me.

Blank Page | 2 Generations RunningI can’t wait to start writing 2016.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Were you able to get outdoors to enjoy the warm temps? Any big plans for New Years?