Sunday, July 19, 2015

And so it begins...

Marathon training starts...with a bike ride?
Today I started training for the Chicago marathon. Ironically, Becky had a bike ride for me on the plan! But that was actually a good thing, because we've been blessed with some really steamy weather conditions and the idea of a long run in this heat (which I'm not acclimated for) was not at all enticing. Even my short runs have been tough as I slog through the 90% humidity. Why, oh why do we do this to ourselves?

It's got to be the morning after...an ultra..Christmas in July L to R: Kim, Michelle, Penny, me, Maggie, Teri, Karen
After all, I saw these ladies cross the finish line of their 6 hour overnight ultra. I didn't want to do this race--I'm a morning person, after all--and I had the perfect excuse of work in the morning. So I got up early, showered, and brought donuts. Which none of them wanted to eat. The heat really took a toll on all of them, but they all crossed that finish line and were still coherent, even at breakfast!  They were hot, sweaty, and drained. There were lots of blisters and chafing. In spite of their misery, there was that sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. And they all still had a sense of humor. I'm so glad I was there, and it was great to spectate the finish of the race. Sitting with them at breakfast, I realized to myself how lucky I am to have such wonderful, supportive, kind women in my life.

clockwise from left: Penny, Michelle, Maggie, Teri, Karen, me, Barb, and Kim
I think a big part of the success I've had with my running over the past couple of years has to do with the support of the running community. I've got cheerleaders all over the county who encourage me and tell me I inspire them with my miles. And in turn, I'm inspired by those same people. I can be pretty hard on myself, and it's nice to have people in my life who help keep me in check. My coach Becky is another one of those people, and to me, she's more than a coach. She pushes me, but she also encourages me. She's determined to get me to that sub-4 marathon with a similar training plan to the one we used last year. I haven't seen it in total, but she assures me she's tweaked it a little bit.


We're done with that tough strength cycle, and I have to admit I'm a little relieved. This was the toughest strength cycle we've done so far. The weight wasn't anything heavier than I've ever lifted, but there were a lot more reps. Last week I had that hamstring scare, when I felt a tweak in my right hamstring during a deadlift. I was nervous for this week's session, and Becky surprised me with a little bit lighter weights and more reps. She told me she knew I was going to be nervous, and she also told me she didn't want me to injure myself. She also told me that she felt that what we had done was effective, based on my progress. I agree. And near-injury aside, I felt those deadlifts and squats all week, as I struggled with my runs a bit. Oooh, my legs were tired. All good. Just like money in the bank.

So what's on the plan for this week? Flexibility, apparently...
-Sunday: bike ride
-Monday: 5 miles at race pace
-Tuesday: CrossFit intervals 5 mile run
-Wednesday: yoga
-Thursday: Speedwork aka mile repeats x5, CrossFit
-Friday: rest
-Saturday: 4 miles at faster than race pace Venus de Miles bike race


It feels good to be training again. I'm excited to get my head back in the game! Chicago Marathon, I'm coming for you! Will #3 be the charm?

Are you training for anything? What's your plan? Goals?

I'm linking up with Tara at RunningNReading! There's always some great posts over there...check it out!

86 comments :

  1. Right now my sport is life :-) but I'm training my ass off anyway…

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  2. Oooh, what's the Venus de Miles bike race? Road race, Crit, TT? Sounds exciting! Glad you are done with the strength block. I am going to need to hit it again this winter. I have certainly lost strength since I've been in racing season. Have a good training week!

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    1. Venus de Miles is a women's road race/ride. I have no expectations, in fact, my friend who is an Ironman turned her nose up at it! That's ok, it's just a training ride, anyways...

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  3. I even kept my cycling indoors yesterday -- too hot and humid! I'm excited for you as you start this new training cycle. Sounds like you have a great coach and support!

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    1. I'm excited and nervous! But I was glad to have that bike ride yesterday. The conditions were brutal!

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  4. I'm so excited to follow you on your training for Chicago. I'm sure you'll be great! Great that you and the women from the Ultra have this nice supportive network, that's always so inspiring.

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  5. Yay!! Happy training!! Can't wait to follow your training! Chicago will be amazing! Thrid times the charm! :)

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  6. I was so worried about everyone running this weekend. Let's do it this year at Chicago!

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  7. Exciting! I love getting into a new training cycle :) I'll get to Chicago one day...

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  8. So great that you have a great supportive network and so nice of you to bring donuts! Looking forward to watching you train for Chicago!

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  9. Great work! The running community is so awesome! I don't think people outside the sport realize how supportive and amazing it can be.

    Next up for me is the one two punch of Tour De Pain (4 mile beach run on a Friday night, 5K road race on the next morning and 1 mile sprint in the afternoon) and RnR Virginia Beach half. I'm pretty amped up for both.

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    1. Haha! What a great name for a race! Good luck on both legs!

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  10. I LOVE that last pic of you. Your strength and determination are so inspiring. You'll kill your sub-4 goal, I just know it. As for me, I am struggling with motivation lately. I've gained a few lbs, haven't run a single step, and just feeling pretty meh. I'll get it back eventually, tho! <3

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    1. I sure hope so, Michelle! If all the pieces fall into place, that is...

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  11. Getting into a training plan is a great feeling! I love that "I Can And I Will" pic with your silhouette! Very inspiring. We are experiencing extreme heat as well. I am about to walk with a friend in a few minutes, and I fear that by the time we are walking it is going to be way too hot to enjoy my run! We will see what happens...

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    1. Summer training is always tough! I hope you get your run done.

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  12. I love that you met up with the ultra group for breakfast.... I have never done a night run, but I think it would be fun to do one....I'd probably start with a 10k or a half at most to see how that goes.... I'm so routing for this sub-4 for you!

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    1. I'm so not a night person...I just don't think I could do it. It was fun to see, tho!

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  13. Looking great! Love the mix of training, best of luck and hopefully the nice fall weather is just around the corner!

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    1. It hasn't been hot at all this summer, so we're a little spoiled!

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  14. I'm so excited for you, Wendy! I think Chicago is going to be a great race for you this year...I can feel it. :) I won't have another "goal" race until my marathon in December; I'm looking forward to it already! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog; hope your week is starting off well!

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  15. It is so nice that you have such a fabulous support system! Lots of luck as you continue the training :)

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    1. We all need running friends in our lives! I never knew it until I had them. What a difference it has made for me.

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  16. Great to get started and nice to see that your trainer has so much variety built in. Exciting!

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  17. Yey for the beginning of training! You'll do great! I'm currently training for the Dopey Challenge - eek!

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    1. That is a huge challenge and I"m excited to see how you do!

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  18. I have so much respect for you and your motivation. I wish I had a tenth of it!

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  19. woohoo!!! good luck and happy training :)

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  20. Glad you got to ride in the heat instead of run! I'm training for my first Sprint Tri and had a swim/ride brick today with 95 degrees and high humidity today. I was so thankful not to have a run!

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  21. How sweet of you to get donuts for those ladies.
    You are surrounded by a great group of inspiring women... & I'm sure you inspire them as well.
    Good luck on your training!!!

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  22. It's so nice to have such a support system! I look forward to following your training!

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    1. It's fun to have all this support both live and virtually!

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  23. Yay for the beginning of Chicago training! I'm very excited for you - best of luck!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad to finally be back on a plan.

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  24. congrats on day 1! I have 8 weeks to my Atlanta half! I know my GF will not leave me behind so I don't want to hold her back either! A little GF peer pressure works every time! Now, about the weather...........YUCK! it is hot!

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  25. How exciting! Your bike race sounds fun too. It is so hot for running right now isn't it?!

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    1. It hasn't been too bad for us here, but on the downside of that is when we get a blast of hot weather, we're not acclimated at all...

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  26. You are looking super strong! ready to conquer Chicago :)
    How did you find Becky?

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    1. My friends own a cross fit box, and she works there. I was looking for a running coach, and didn't like what I found. When I talked with my friend, she suggested I try Becky. It was a perfect fit. I wrote a whole blog post about it. You can read it here: http://oldrunningmom.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-perfect-fit.html

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  27. Good luck with your training! I can't wait to follow along in your journey to Chicago!

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  28. I'm so excited to follow your training as I do mine. My first marathon is coming up this September! Good luck during training!

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    1. Which one are you doing? I'm excited to follow you too! Let me know if you need any info...not that I'm an expert, but man, that first time is a little overwhelming!

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  29. YES! Great start! You also are looking Incredibly Strong!

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    1. Thanks! All that basework will hopefully pay off in October! Fingers and toes crossed.

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  30. I think you are going to kill it in Chicago this year! Yay for training!

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  31. Great start!! Having support is so important. I tend to be a solo runner, but more and more I am longing for the feeling of a group run.

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    1. I still haven't done a group run...but I love having the support of my group!

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  32. Those girls are super runners! Congrats to them!
    I hope your strength training pays off. It sounds like it will. Looking forward to following your road to Chicago!!

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    1. Seems like the strength training has done the trick. We'll see!

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  33. # 3 is will be THE ONE! You've got this!

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  34. YES! I'm training to kick my left foot's ass. Or if my foot had an ass...

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    1. You can and you will! We have a date for Boston 2017, remember?

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  35. I can't wait to follow along as your training begins! It sounds like you got in a really solid strength cycle and that will definitely prepare you well for marathon training. Good luck!

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  36. Ohhh, i cant' wait to follow you during this training. We are both shooting for a sub 4 marathon. Its pretty lofty for me and I'm hoping to just beat my PR of 4:28. I have a feeling you are going to reach your goal this year. You deserve it!!

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    1. I'm looking forward to training with you virtually and celebrating our PRs together! :)

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  37. FIRST OF ALL: I got stuck on that very first picture and couldn't read any further. MMM sprinkle covered Dunkin Donuts...those are my favorite!

    Moving on ;) I totally agree the support from the running community is half of the fun. I'm currently training for a 4 miler. It feels so funny to say that after so many marathons and a recent ultra. But I have a 4 miler in mind and I want to do really well, so...4 miler it is!

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    1. After doing those long distances, I would think a 4 miler sounds really great!

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  38. And it begins! I'm excited to read about your journey to Chicago! You are stronger than ever before, so expect greatness and it will happen! Love your Soxy Feet! I'm obsessed with those fun socks too!

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    1. I wore those because I needed the mental boost for that last strength session! Becky was cracking up over them!

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  39. I have another big life change coming up so all my plans for starting back regular gym sessions have been pushed to the back burner once again. One day, I'll get it together lol

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    1. Oh no! I hope everything falls into place soon.

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  40. Ugh, long runs in the heat suck. I'm not planning to have a fall marathon again after this year. I'd forgotten how much I hate long runs in the summer.

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    1. I don't know what's worse--long runs in the summer or long runs in the winter!

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  41. I love that you incorporate lifting and biking into your marathon training!

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    1. My motto is that runners can't live on miles alone!

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  42. I'm training for life! That's my new motto. For the first time in what seems like forever I'm not training for a race. I miss the training but not the humid runs. You truly inspire Wendy!

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    1. If I get my BQ, I'll be satisfied to "just run". I like your motto, and that will be the goal after this fall marathon.

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  43. You're gonna crush it at chicago! I really, really need to lift more. I'm hoping for a big PR at chicago but we'll see...I'm really nervous about the weather and the fact that it's totally flat (I only train on hilly routes in my area).

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