Monday May 4th
Rest day for me. Now that we are stuck at home, I have been taking a 5-mile walk after work to get the legs moving. I am doing the Yeti 24-hour Ultra Challenge starting on Friday night so this week will be an easy week for me so that my legs will be able to handle the 30+ miles I will run Friday through Saturday!
Tuesday May 5th
I had 7 miles easy on the schedule. I ran outside and it was back to being colder than usual so long sleeves, pants, ear warmer and gloves. Will spring ever stay here? The miles felt good and easy (9:26/mile). My average HR was still higher than normal being at 150. My Garmin is telling me that I am overreaching. I did also ride my bike later in the day my usual 11 miles.
Wednesday May 6th
I decided to run inside on my treadmill to give my body a softer surface to run on. I ran 3.1 miles easy and my average HR was much lower at 127. I think stress also plays a huge factor in the HR. When I’m outside I’m not always running on flat surfaces, and I’m now playing frogger with all those out walking and stressed about running too close to them and I think all of that takes a toll. I also used our rowing machine and did that for 30 minutes. Overall, I felt good with both workouts. However, my Garmin now states that I’m unproductive. How interesting LOL.
Thursday May 7th
Had the option to not run or run up to 3 miles easy. I opted for 3 miles easy. It was chilly but sunny for my run and it felt great. My HR said otherwise. Again at 150. I am not sure what that’s all about but I know my body and I know that I did not run fast or feel ill while running so I’m going to just go with how I feel and not listed to my watch.
Friday May 8th/Saturday May 9th
This is the day that I started the Yeti Challenge. I was originally set to start at 6pm but decided to move it up to start at 4pm. Below are my recaps and pictures from each run. It was a great experience and I’m so glad that I signed up to do it.
Sunday May 10th
I did not do any sort of running today. I did walk 4 miles to help the legs recover and tried to take it easy all day. It was Mother’s Day and I was spoiled by a wonderful brunch, and a lovely dinner, flowers, chocolate and home made cards by my husband and kids❤️. I also got to go see my mom for an outside socially distant visit for about 2 hours. What a great way to end the week.
I have decided that after I finish recapping the last two months that I will start to blog weekly about my training. With everything that has happened with the pandemic and now me working from home I feel like my weeks and months are all mushed together. Not to mention that the month of March and April each felt like two separate years. Anyone else feel me on that?
For the month of March I ran a total of 169.5 miles and for the month of April I ran a total of 173 miles. I kept with running 6 days per week and having one rest day. My weeks were all around 40 miles per week. In March I was focused on training for my upcoming half marathon (Salisbury Half that was scheduled for 4/4) as well as for the Broad Street Run (scheduled for May 3rd). Both races ended up getting cancelled. For March and April my coach kept my long runs between 10-14 miles and gave me some with some speed mixed in, and others were just long easy runs, which by the way are my favorite! The weather was hit or miss for both months. Some days were super warm but most were on the colder side or raining we really enjoyed when the weather was nice so we could spend the day outside.
More towards the end of March I started bringing my road bike out and was riding up and down our street with my kids. My daughter finally decided that she wanted to learn to ride her bike and did so in just two days!! She is 6. My son on the other hand decided that at age 3 1/2 he was going to ride a two wheeler and did! He’s 5 1/2 now. We are fortunate enough to live on a no outlet street so the kids can all play in the street without worry of being hit by a car. I will be honest here and say that once we were ordered to work from home for 2 weeks on March 13th that I really enjoyed no longer commuting to work (40ish mins one way), wearing suits and heels, being rushed every which were, and worn thin from not having enough time to fit it all in. The schoolwork that was sent home was in paper form and we completed that each day with no issues. My daughter did catch the flu, diagnosed on 3/18. That day she woke up with a fever and a cough, both systems of COVID-19. I had to beg the doctor to see us that day. It was crazy times! Thankfully I worked very hard to keep the kids separate and my husband and I took Tamiflu to be proactive and no one else in the house got sick.
During both months I still continued on with having speed work sessions, 2x per week. To me, it was an outlet that I still needed, and now even more, because of the new kind of stress work from home created along with helping my daughter with virtual learning and trying to keep my 5 year old son entertained. The days were super long and to be honest they still are and I dread EVERY SINGLE Monday. I hate saying that because I have to also remember and acknowledge that it could be a lot worse and I have to be thankful for what I have. I also added in biking 11 miles per day 6 days per week, and keeping with having Monday as my day off. On Monday I go for a very long walk (5 miles) once work is over and I then make my husband take over with kids because I’m with them all day long. I am loving the biking and ended up logging 23 cycling miles for March, and then 220 cycling miles for April. I feel myself getting stronger from all the cycling and am going to continue with this as long as I can. Now that I have more time on my hands from not having to go anywhere I decided that I better make really good use of this time. I don’t want to look back on this time and say I watched a whole lot of TV. I want to be the strongest version of myself that I can be!
For the month of February, I logged 146 miles. I was training and maintaining my fitness last month to complete the fairytale challenge in Disney on February 22nd and 23rd. The challenge was a 10k on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday. I will be writing a full race recap on the race but must overstate just how much fun both of these races were. Run Disney should be on everyone’s race wish list. They put on an incredible race and I now want to do every single other one!
During the month of February, I continued with having 6 running days and 1 day of rest. Monday’s are my rest day and I stuck with that day all month. When I was younger, I never ever took a rest day. I thought I would lose fitness by doing so. Now I know better. Your body needs rest to recover so that you can train better. Some runners take 2 rest days per week. I am good right now with the 1. But I could change that based on how I feel. Utimately you can have a race training plan but you have to listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to rest and when you need to run‼️
For all weeks this month I did 4 runs that were easy paced and then 2 runs that had some speedwork included. More recently my coach has been giving me directions for my long run to either go in progression (start slow and get faster each mile) or go easy pace then do a fast finish for the last 2-3 miles. This took a little getting used to because most of my long runs were ‘easy’ runs with no speed. But I think and believe mixing in the speed with the long run will definitely help prepare me for race day! The other speed work days I did a mix of things…. ladder workout, mile intervals. Out of all speedwork my favorite is mile intervals. What is your favorite?
I mentioned in a prior post that I work with a coach. I am now working with another coach and I started with her on March 1st. She has become a friend of mine and got into coaching so I wanted to support her, and also feel more connected with her so I decided to make the change. The last coach I worked with from 2019 through the month of February. She did nothing wrong but sometimes you need to make choices and decisions and go with it and so I did. I had another coach before my second one. So now I’m on my third. Haven’t they always said, third ones a charm?! I believe this one will stick!
Happy Training everyone!
Disclaimer: I received a set of Knockaround Fast Lanes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews! This review is my own and is my honest experience with the product.
The pair that I received were the neon summer Fast Lanes and boy are they FUN! They are light, pretty to look at, have not gotten scratched and STAY ON MY FACE! I don’t know about you but if I’m running or biking and my glasses keep moving that is a big fail in my book. I want them to do their job; I don’t want to constantly be adjusting them! Here is me wearing them and then a quick picture of them from their site.
There are many, many more colors and styles to choose from. I almost forgot to mention that they are affordable! Even for the polarized ones. You can order a bunch of pairs to help match your clothes😎. I think that is way more fun than paying $200 for only one pair of sunnies. Just my opinion.
Also, really helpful is on their website they have a sizing guide for you! Not all heads are alike and this can help you pick out what might be best for you while not being able to try them on.
After trying these out for the past few weeks I highly recommend them and think you should check out there website and place an order – you won’t be disappointed! You can even use my discount code ‘BibRaveKnocks4’ for 20% off your entire order until 4/30🙌🏼.
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Salisbury Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave pro (ambassador), and check out Bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews.
Update: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was able to defer my entry to 2021. All 2020 participants will be mailed their 2020 medal and a custom Hoo Rag. We can then run the distance virtually and share the results with a picture on social media.
Back in January I decided to sign up to run the Salisbury Marathon on Saturday, April 4th, 2020. This race is located and run in none other than Salisbury, MD. I am from and live in Pennsylvania so this was geographically not too far from where I live and made sense for me to run because we could drive there Friday, stay over, run and then plan to spend the rest of Saturday exploring the town of Salisbury. I have never been to this part of Maryland before and also have not run a race in Maryland so this will be exciting on all fronts!
Some of the amazing facts about the races offered:
- The course is not only USATF certified (Full and Half) but is designed for our Physically Challenged athlete friends as well. Special categories exist if you are physically challenged or if you are part of a team or group that helps our Physically Challenged friends!
- The Marathon course is a Boston Qualifier!
- All races are flat and FAST!
- The Half Marathon is run on the same course as the Marathon for 11 miles.
- There are aide stations every 1.5 miles and bathrooms at every one of those stops
- If you aren’t ready for the mid to long distance you can always try the 5k.
- FREE, professional photos – what could be better than that? I don’t know about you, but I struggle sometimes with the cost to buy my race photos because most races charge way too much for them.
- Post-race party – Beer and Live Music – Can’t think of a better way to celebrate after a race.
- Packet pick up is normally two days, and the morning of the race. The first day is on Thursday night and is a local brewery. The second day and race day pick up is scheduled at Salisbury University.
- Our very own BibRave Vanessa Junkin is the coach for race and can provide anyone that signs up with a great training plan.
My goal for the race (half marathon) was to beat my personal record time of 1 hour 44 mins. I was working with my coach on a training plan the last two months that would allow for me to be in race shape and have a really good chance of getting that PR! Even when the race was cancelled I still kept up with my training. I was and still am excited about running this race. I plan to run the virtual run as well as run the race next year on April 3rd, 2021. I hope to see you there as well!
BibRave Discount Code: ‘ BIBRAVE2020’ for 10% off race registration
To check out the Salisbury Marathon check on these sites:
First word: Patience. It takes a whole lot of that. And a different mindset. Before kids I ran whenever, and wherever I wanted. I had the freedom to do anything. Then once we had our daughter things were different. My life revolved around her schedule, not mine. I knew that I wanted to continue to run so I did when I could. I didn’t post on social media back then about my runs so I don’t have any pictures of that. However, my biggest and strongest support system was my husband. He knew that I needed my runs most days and so he let me get out when our schedules permitted that. Prior to kids I was always a night time runner after work and on weekends later in the day. It wasn’t really until a few years ago that I started to wake up early and get my runs done before the kids were up, because that became an easier time. It helped a bit with mom guilt too. That guilt where you should be spending all your time with your kids and not doing anything else. Especially since i’m at work 5 days a week full time. However there’s been plenty of times where I’ve had to stop my run and get off treadmill for various kid related things (change diaper, wipe butts, snacks, get toy for them, etc). That’s when my mindset needed to change. It again was about them, not me. And sometimes runs got altered and I had to be ok with it.
Going back to when Lily was a year and a half and Braeden was the new baby I was running 3x per week and that meant two weekdays and one long run on the weekends. It really wasn’t enough but it was all that I could find the time and energy for at that point in my life. I ended up becoming injured after my first post baby marathon in late November 2015. I took some time off (weeks) and then was back to running and at that point I got up to running 5x per week. I ran two half marathons in 2016 and then decided to run another full marathon in 2017. Despite being in better shape and running way more than before I again was plagued with the dreaded IT Band Injury. I went to see a sports medicine doctor and he diagnosed me. WEAK GLUTES AND HIPS!!! I now see and hear about this so much more. As we get older we cannot just run and that’s it. We must do allllllllll the strength and core work. We must get back to the basics as we call it. That stuff will help ward off many injuries and can be done a few times per week in a short amount of time. Even at any point in the day.
So now that my kids are age 5 and age 6 and doing activities, and both of us working full time, it makes finding the time to run even more challenging. On most week days I have to get up early (5am) to get my run done because the kids now have week night activities and homework and we are super busy. Also, we transformed the basement into a fun area for both us and the kids. It makes working out much easier because they can be down there with me and enjoying themselves as well. It’s great having all the workout stuff at our house so that I can get my runs done early morning without having to leave the house. And that way my husband can go to the gym while I’m in the basement. It’s a good balance and it’s been working well for us.
On nicer days my kids have asked to go running with me. Or I will ask them. We won’t go long of course but it gets them out and about and I love having them with me. It literally WARMS my heart. I hope that they will still want to run with me when they get older and that it can be a family thing. They do come to all my races and again, mad props to my husband who has to watch them and keep them entertained while I’m out running my races. We all do need that special something in our life to make us better, stronger, and more confident. That is what running is for me.
So, to conclude: It has taken a whole lot of patience and a different mindset to be able to run all that I do, and balance the lifestyle of working full time and being there for my kids, and husband. Anyone can do it. You just need to figure out how it can work for you, be consistent and show up, even when days are bad or things don’t go your way. The effort you put forth in your every day will help you more than you could ever know. Remember, results don’t happen over night! Thanks again for reading my blog. I appreciate your support.
What a better time than mid February to do a recap of my January Training LOL. I promise to be more timely on this in the future. I have been busy with trying to keep up with my other social sites.. Instagram and Twitter. Anyway, after coming off a year of running over 2100 miles with 3 full marathons sprinkled in, my December was a light month to give me time to recover.
For January I ended up logging 164 miles. I typically run 6 days per week with one day off from running. In the past I would truly take that one day off and not do any sort of activity at all. However I was involved in a step challenge for January and so I was always doing something on my ‘off’ days to keep up. And I’ve carried over that habit into February- interesting how behavior changes in a challenge.
My weeks tend to have 2 speed work type runs and then the rest are ‘easy’ runs. Easy runs should be most of your weekly running and should be 1-2 minutes slower than race pace. I never used to believe that until I started working with a coach. I love my easy run days. I don’t have to stress about intervals or any of that.. I just run.
Some of my speed work days were mile repeats. I had 3 training days where I did 4 x 1 mile repeats, 5 x1 mile repeats, and then 3 x 2mile repeats. I love MILE repeats. Because then you always get a short recovery. When you do more than 1 mile in a repeat it becomes tough! But remember tough means stepping out of the comfort zone and growing. The other 2 speedwork days were ladder workouts. Those are tough but you start off at the top and go down- it makes the run go pretty fast! My other ‘speedwork’ days were some long runs with fast finishes. My long runs tend to be on Saturday unless I can’t fit them in and then I’ll swap Sunday and Saturday and make it work. For my long runs in January I had 11 miles, 10 miles, 12 mile, and 9 miles. Just prepping for my Run Disney Races in mid to late February.
To wrap this up I spent most of the month inside running on my treadmill during the week. I have to run early before work (between 5-6am and it’s dark, and cold) and I’ve become quite the scaredy-cat cat to run outside alone anymore as I get older. I put my treadmill on an incline from 1-2.5% to mimic outside. I put it up to 2-2.5% on most of my easy runs. By the time the weekend gets here I am itching to get outside. Thankfully we have had pretty mild weather for January, as compared to other winters. Though one day I ran outside in monsoon like conditions😩. I just couldn’t bear to run inside another day!
As always, if you are still reading to the end, thanks for stopping by and listening 🙂
Below are some of my photos from my January runs!
BibRave is a running community that connects runners with the best races. It’s the place to research races you’re considering signing up for, and a place to leave feedback on races you’ve completed. BibRave is also a way for races and running brands to connect with socially savvy runners – through our popular monthly Twitter chat, #BibChat, and our large ambassador network – BibRave Pros. The list below captures all of the current active BibRave partner brand discount codes. Use the codes below to receive discounts on products from our partner brands. Visit https://www.bibrave.com/ for more information and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
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BibRave is a running community that connects runners with the best races. It’s the place to research races you’re considering signing up for, and a place to leave feedback on races you’ve completed. BibRave is also a way for races and running brands to connect with socially savvy runners – through our popular weekly Twitter chat, #BibChat, and our large ambassador network – BibRave Pros. The list below captures all of the current active BibRave partner race discount codes. Use the codes below to receive discounts on registration for our partner races. Visit https://www.bibrave.com/ for more information and contact email@example.com with any questions!
3/21/2021 – Oakland Marathon – Oakland, CA
This year marks the 12th Oakland Running Festival and it is on the map to stay. It has been nationally recognized as the Bay Area race to run. Although, in 2021, we will have to endure the Oakland Running Festival virtually due to Covid-19.
Once we are back to our live events, you can be sure to experience Oakland’s diversity and beauty with a race that touches all aspects of Oaktown, and finishes with one hella awesome party.
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3/27/2021 – Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K – Savannah, GA
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4/3/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Philadelphia, PA
Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat
4/3/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Louisville, KY
Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat
4/10/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Minneapolis, MN
Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat
4/10/2021 – Milwaukee Marathon – Milwaukee, WI
The Milwaukee Marathon is returning in 2021 for another fun day of running through the heart of Milwaukee! Join thousands of runners across three distances and experience the premier running event in the region. With all races starting and finishing right at the Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, runners will be treated to ample parking and an awesome after-party to celebrate your achievements!
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4/10/2021 – Virtual Women’s Half Marathon – Anywhere, USA
The Virtual Women’s Half Marathon (+ 10K, 5K, Double and Triple Challenge) is like no other virtual event! Join thousands of like-minded women for an inspiring weekend full of fun and camaraderie. Run, walk, skip, jump or race! Don’t miss out, sign up today and join the fun!
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4/17/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Detroit, MI
Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat
4/17/2021 – Blue Ridge Marathon – Roanoke, VA
The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon Series has earned its title as “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” by challenging runners with over 7,430 ft. in elevation change, more than any other road marathon in the U.S. This race runs along the famously scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and proceeds from this non-profit event benefit the parkway and local charities. The full, half and 10k all prove equally challenging yet rewarding on this mountainous course, and all runners are rewarded with a unique finishers’ medals, a tech-tee, live music and local craft beer at the festival-like finish in downtown Roanoke.
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4/25/2021 – Delaware Marathon – Wilmington, DE
Experience a scenic race course that takes you throughout historic downtown Wilmington. “The course has a lot of variety, and gives visitors a tour of many of the most interesting and beautiful parts of the city,” said one past participant from Pennsylvania.
The race travels across beautiful Brandywine Park on the Brandywine River, along prestigious parkways, through historic neighborhoods of Wilmington and past downtown’s Rodney Square. Choose from a full marathon, half-marathon, 4-person marathon relay, 5k or kids fun run on Sunday.
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5/30/2021 – Coeur d’Alene Marathon – Coeur d’Alene, ID
One of the most scenic courses in the country in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, ID
Coveted finisher shirt, medal, swag, and finisher food
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6/12/2021 – The Governor’s Cup – Helena, MT
Sometimes all it takes to start a fire is a little spark. That’s the thought behind the Governor’s Cup road races, which are held annually on the second Saturday in June. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana presents the annual event in Helena to provide people with a fun and festive opportunity to celebrate the benefits of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices with their friends and neighbors. The Governor’s Cup serves as the main fundraising event for The Caring Foundation of Montanasm, with all race registration fees going to the foundation
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6/19/2021 – Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, MN
The status of the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend is tentative and subject to change at any time. Our staff is working with state and local officials to develop a COVID-modified race plan to make the race and its surrounding events as safe as possible for our participants and volunteers.
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6/26/2021 – Missoula Marathon – Missoula, MN
After careful consideration, the 2021 Missoula Marathon weekend of events will shift to a fully virtual event that will be held in late June.
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10/16/2021 – Urban Bourbon Half Marathon – Louisville, KY
The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam® is an experiential destination event that celebrates and promotes 200 years of Louisville and Kentucky distilling history, combined with a half marathon route that showcases one of Louisville’s most scenic parks and provides a distinct downtown running experience. The half marathon features exclusive bourbon experiences and a post-race party that was heralded by Runners’ World magazine as one of the best half marathon after-parties in the country.
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10/17/2021 – IMT Des Moines Marathon – Des Moines, IA
The IMT Des Moines Marathon advocates for individuals who actively participate in their own personal health and wellness by engaging, coordinating, and providing community-related running events and initiatives.
Since its inception in 2002, the Des Moines Marathon has provided a positive image of Des Moines as a place to live, work, and play by offering race distances for athletes of all ages and abilities, including the IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half Marathon, Bankers Trust Marathon Relay, MercyOne 5-Mile Run, 1-Mile Walk & Kids Run, and Principal 5K Road Race.
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Yep, you read that right!
As I mentioned in my first ever blog post that I have run the Boston Marathon twice and it was back in 2005 and 2008. Back then I was in the 18-34 age bracket and I needed to run a qualified marathon in 3 hours and 40 minutes in order to qualify and be able to run THE BOSTON MARATHON! Back then it was different though. You could run that time and sign up in January and just get in! You read that right too. Sign ups I believe were in January so you had the whole prior year to qualify and as I mentioned there was no cut off time and NO ONE WAS TURNED AWAY for missing a cut off. Completely different ball game from how it is now.
It’s an experience that I think every marathoner should have. I think it’s probably the only marathon where you have spectators lined up across the ENTIRE RACE. I don’t think there was really ever a stretch of the race that there weren’t spectators. It’s a holiday there so it’s really the main focus of the day along with opening day.
So let’s bring us now to the present time. I got back in to the marathon distance in 2015 when I was 37 and back then in the 35-39 age bracket you needed a 3 hour 40 minute marathon. I missed qualifying in my 2015 marathon and in my 2017 marathon attempt. Running was just not the same after having two children and trying to balance training with working full time and family life. However, I don’t like to give up and so in 2018 I turned 40 (GASP!) and I was then in the 40-44 age bracket which needed a 3:45 marathon. I ran the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September but fell short and finished in 3:51. After that race, and after the September registration for the 2019 Boston Marathon they moved the times AGAIN so the 40-44 age bracket got moved back to 3:40. Which is why I feel like I’m going to forever chase the 3:40 time. I hate to say it but I feel like by the time I’m 45 it will move again 🤣.
Last year I ran 3 marathons. Two of those I was trying again to qualify for Boston. The first attempt was in April at the New Jersey Marathon. I was in the right shape but my knee became a problem in the race and then it got in my head. I finished in 3:42. Not good enough. I figured I’d try again in October at the Atlantic City Marathon. I was sick prior to the race and still not feeling well race day. I finished in 4:03. I was so disappointed but then remembered that ANY day you cross the finish like YOU WIN!
I am not sure yet what marathon I will do this year to try for that BQ. Right now I’m enjoying just running and running shorter distance races.
If made it to the end thank you so much for reading. Anyone out there chasing that BQ please know you are not alone ☺️