Bayshore Half Marathon Training- Update

12310051_565642026927414_9161356891499173427_o

So I’m a little behind- I wanted to write a blog post about each week of my training and progress but life happens and I honestly just didn’t have time. I’m such a slacker! Β So to make it easier I thought I would give a status update about the last four weeks. I’m currently in the middle of week 4.

I’ve still been going to the gym quite frequently in the morning because it is cold when I need to run and because I also lift when I go to the gym so I can hybrid train. Today while I was running on the treadmill my mind also started running and I was thinking about how my husband really does have a good thing going for him. HA, sorry Justin.

He sleeps in until 6 am while the kids are still sleeping and I’m running. He does his run right after work, so I pick up the kids, feed them dinner, put my youngest to bed, and do homework with my oldest son. On top of that he gets to run outside because at that time of the day its warmer and easier to run outside. I started to think I was getting the raw end of the deal, but then remembered that I like getting it out of the way in the morning and I can always pour myself a glass of wine right after work if needed and not have to run. So the perks are there, plus I never have to worry about missing a run if something comes up at night! πŸ™‚ As it gets warmer though in the morning I will start doing some of my weekday runs outside because I miss running in the dark. It’s so quiet and lovely at that time of the day!

Ok- rant over- I’m honestly so proud of Justin! He is a much faster runner than I am, but has never been fully dedicated to training. He decided to get a custom plan from my trainer Run4PRSΒ and isΒ killing his training right now. He doesn’t post much about running but once in awhile he will – his IG handle is Jhads13 if you want to follow him. I’m absolutely certain he will have a big PR at the Bayshore half!

Back to my training:

Week 1- 20.10 miles. I ran the Lucky Dash 5K that Saturday so I didn’t have a long run.

Week 2- Cut week – 17.60 miles. My entire house came down with the flu that week so I missed one run. My long run was 6.5 miles and it was such an awesome outside run that Saturday!

Week 3- 26 miles. I ran 8 miles outdoors for my long run. I was nervous going into it because it was my longest run since my last half in January. The trail I run has a 2% grade going north on the trail. For some reason this gets in my head. I know my first miles are going to be good but coming back is all slightly uphill. When I run from the south I’ve never been able to get good negative splits.

My splits were: 9:19, 9:12, 9:18, 9:13, 9:14, 9:27, 9:30, 9:14.Β 

Not only was I extremely happy with my consistent splits but to have two of the uphill miles negative made me feel so confident about how far I’ve come. This goes back to my last post about the love of running. I want to enjoy the run and not look at my watch the entire time. I enjoyed all eight miles of this run! My only issue was weather! When we started it was about 25 degrees. I wear very warm running gloves but for some reason when I’m done running I lose all feeling in my hands if they are cold. This lasts about 10-15 minutes and it is very painful. If you have any suggestions or tips please leave me a note or comment πŸ™‚

I think you can tell how happy I was coming in to the end of this run by this picture my husband took.

IMG_5677.JPG

Week 4 – I have 26 on my schedule again for this week. I have ran two 6 mile runs on the treadmill. The first one was speedwork with some intervals. The second was a progression run. I laughed when I finished and looked at my time because they were off by 3 seconds and such different runs. I love the consistency though and again it builds my confidence for the upcoming half.

My normal schedule is run- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday long run. I lift and cross train on Tuesdays and Fridays. Sunday I have a complete rest day.

Next week is my son’s Spring Break and we are going on a small family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge so I’m using it as a cut week.

I’m feeling very excited about the Bayshore Half Marathon in Traverse City on May 28th! Hoping for the 1:59 but will always still be happy with finishing the beautiful course along Michigan’s Lake Michigan! Look at those views…I’m so pumped to run this and can understand why it sold out in 11 minutes!!

11112459_475521282606156_183287911642278276_n

I will try to be better with my updates and as always keep running happy and enjoying every step I take!

-Jess

The Love of Running

This past weekend I ran a 5K. It was a fun St.Patrick’s Day 5K and I had been looking forward to it because my training runs have been so much quicker and I really had no doubt in my mind that I would PR. That morning I woke up not feeling my best but still thought I would have no issues beating my personal best. I go into every race not looking to place, but just to beat my last race time. It’s way easier said than done and every run is different but when you are competing against yourself you want to WIN even more!

I went out really fast(for me)- my first mile was 7:40- way too aggressive and not my usual pace. I knew I hurt myself by doing that, by mile two my legs felt like bricks and I had to slow my pace big time. At one point I couldn’t breathe and walked for a few seconds. Every thought was going through my head “this never happens in training runs, why now?”, “you are never going to be able to do a full marathon if this 5K is causing you pain”, and many more self-destructive thoughts. When I came into the finish line my husband was waiting to take a picture of me like he always does and I didn’t even want to look at him. I was mad at myself!  

  I met up with Justin and found out that he had set a PR and also finished first in his division. I was really happy for him but still mad at myself. We sat down in the bar where they had awards and chatted about the race. Justin kept telling me to “not beat myself up” and I knew he was right. It was a 5K- a year ago I couldn’t even run a 5K and here I was being sad over finishing in 27:05.I started thinking about why I started running and finding the love of running again. I don’t want to constantly be checking my Garmin or putting myself down for any run I do. EVER. That’s SO easy to say but hard to actually change your mind set. When I started every run was exciting and each new distance I met was a huge achievement for me. My time was just part of it, but not everything. My goal is to run a half under 2 hours and I want to spend those two hours loving it, not watching my time or trying to be faster than what I know I can. I don’t want to go out fast and try to make up ground because I know that doesn’t work for me, I want consistency at a pace that I know feels good for me and that is my goal.

This week I decided I wanted to fall in love with running again. By running my training runs on my schedule it gives me a nice combo of speed intervals, easy runs, and tempo runs. The paces my trainer has set for me are perfect. Yesterday I had 5 on my schedule with intervals of my 5K pace and it was hard but I was proud of sticking to the fast intervals. This morning I had 3 at my easy pace on my schedule. “Easy pace” is always a struggle for me because again I have a hard time pacing myself and SLOWING down in the first mile. This morning was different though. I ran outside on a path that I haven’t run most of the winter. It was still and quiet outside and the temp was around 45 degrees. It felt amazing- I wasn’t going fast, I was just running with my heart. I didn’t look at my watch once through the entire run. I took it all in!!

This is my goal- to love every step when I’m running. 

Oh and I am still coming for that 5K PR and will still try to beat myself in every race, but if I don’t I know there is always another race and feeling sad or beating myself up is just not worth it! Running is a blessing- running has changed my life in many ways that I haven’t even described yet in this blog, and I refuse to lose the love I have for it because I had a bad race. I plan to RUN HAPPY!!!!!!

IMG_4117

Xoxo

-Jess

 

The Plan Behind my PR’sΒ 

 

dd6072117b8917a19ebc7e84ea1e3b3f (1)

Very frequently people will ask me what training plan I use or how I have improved so quickly. I know many people use plans from Hal Higdon, Jeff Galloway, etc. I looked into all of them after signing up for my first half marathon. They are everywhere- you can google training plans and find them easily. My husband even put a training plan together for both of us to stick to using some of these internet plans. I think they probably work great for most, it worked for my husband for his first half marathon. In my mind, I wasn’t a runner at that point, I needed more and I needed customized help. As I’ve said before my schedule is hectic. I found myself missing a lot of the runs I had on my schedule due to work or travel. Sure, I could find a way to make it up, but my mileage always lacked and I wasn’t getting what I needed to build my endurance.

One of my Instagram friends posted about Run4Prs so I looked at her page and was very inspired by her story. She did not grow up running like some, started running later in life, and is now a Boston Marathoner. I emailed Victoria about her customized plans and asked her what the difference was between her plans and other plans on the market. She replied promptly that her plans are more customized to your needs. What does that mean?

  • I can’t run every day. I just can’t with my schedule. I needed a specific schedule that I could follow that would allow me to get my miles in but also not take over my life. She asks you for your schedule. If you can only run 3 days a week, no problem, she will customize it for your schedule. She also put vacations and events into the equation too. Since I was training in the summer I had many family vacations. Those weeks would be “cut back” weeks so that I would only run short mileage and then build once I return. This sets you up to succeed and not fail. 
  • She builds your plan based on your current PR’s and pacing goals.
  • She builds “workouts” in your plans. Any experienced runner will know what that means but I had no clue. I just got out there and ran each time. I  did not worry about getting certain speed or recovery days in.
  • She is very responsive about changing your program to fit your needs. For example, I had a goal that I knew was pretty much unattainable for my first half marathon. As I started training it became even more evident. She went back and changed some of my paces to fit ME and my goals.
  • You have your own cheerleader. This is a huge one!! Once in awhile when I get done with a good “workout” run I want to email her right away and tell her how I did exactly what she told me to do and I feel great!

These are just some of the highlights. If you look at her Instagram you can see her transformation into a 13 time marathoner. Sometimes it is a little intimidating because she is SO fast and can just jump on the treadmill and run 20 miles but she never ever makes you feel like you are asking a stupid question, or slow, or not good enough to run a marathon.

screen-shot-2016-02-02-at-3-42-44-pm.png

I start training for my third half marathon tomorrow and this will be my third time using her customized plans. If you want to check her out her website is Run4Prs and her Instagram handle is Run4Prs. My goal is to have a sub 2:00 half marathon. That’s a 3 minute PR! I have come a long way in the last year with the help of a running coach and I’m hoping to kill it in my training cycle for the Bayshore Half on May 28th! The best part is that since I started with Victoria I feel like I’ve made a new friend- I don’t think you get that experience with Hal Higdon πŸ™‚ 

As always…

#RunHappy

Jess