False Start and Some Training Goals

While I’m a sucker for happy endings, I’ve always enjoyed the start of things more. Whether it be a movie, first day at a new job or a vacation, the first day is always full of possibilities and potential. Over the course of whatever it is there will certainly be ups and downs, but the start is filled with hope and anticipation. It shouldn’t come as a shock that this is also how I feel about my marathon-training schedule.

I woke up yesterday morning after a pretty rough night of sleep and hurried myself off to my first day as a full-time grad student. It all seemed so fitting: first day of school, first day of training, all my new beginnings rolled into one. I got to class with 30 seconds to spare, opened my planner to see how much mileage I’d be doing when I got home when I saw a note I never expected.

Yes, I have every run for the next 16 weeks written out. And non run days. Just to clarify.

Yes, I have every run for the next 16 weeks written out. And non run days. Just to clarify.

How I didn’t realize that I had created my schedule to have Monday rest days is a little beyond me, but somehow that fact had exited from my mind. A normal person may have thought “Perfect, first day of school and all I need to do is study. Great planning, Brittany.” All I thought was “No, this can’t be right!”.

There was something about starting everything at once that I was quite excited about. I slumped in my chair a little and reminded myself that it was still the first day of my training schedule and by resting I was abiding by the schedule. I didn’t like it but I agreed to it. Hmphf.

I’m pretty excited about taking on a new kind of training schedule, this one having two long runs each week. This weeks workouts look like this.

Monday- Rest

Tuesday- 3 miles with hills

Wednesday- 3 easy miles

Thursday- Rest

Friday- 3 miles at MGP

Saturday- 13.1 miles (Jamestown Half Marathon)

Sunday- 6 miles

I had to reverse the long runs this week to accommodate for the Jamestown Half being on Saturday rather than Sunday. Other than that, I think the run I’m most nervous for in Friday’s MGP miles. I think if I knew what my goal pace was I’d feel better but I’m still trying to figure that out. I guess I have until Friday to figure that out.

So while I didn’t get to run yesterday I did use the time wisely. I got to spend the afternoon with my dad who is currently down with a couple broken ribs thanks to a graceful fall from a ladder on the 4th of July. I swear the man is gifted in coming up with new ways to injure himself. There was one time when I was in high school and I came back from vacation to find my dad with 12 new stitches in his chin. Apparently when he got home from bringing me to the airport he went back into his bedroom, put one foot in the laundry basket and tumbled into his dresser. He went to work with a band-aid before a co-worker informed him he was still bleeding pretty profusely and may want to have that looked at. That’s my dad!

With my dad on college graduation day. His most recent stitches had just healed.

With my dad on college graduation day. His most recent stitches had just healed.

I also used the time to think about my training more than the actual race. I thought about my past few training sessions and where I could improve. I went through a lot of my old Nike+ data and came up with three goals for this training session.

  1. Every run will be outside. Every. Single. Run. I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t predict the weather on race day. The only way to not stress out about that is to train in every possible condition so no matter what race day brings you can say “No biggie. Been there, done that”. So from here on out, there will be no treadmill love in my life.
  2. Cross train at least 3 days a week. I tend to focus solely on running when I start a training schedule. This time I want to make sure I’m not cutting out spin classes or Group Power just because I’m running a marathon in the fall. I love my cross training and I honestly believe my running is strongest when I’m hitting spin and yoga on a regular basis.
  3. Fuel my runs with real, healthy food. I tend to be the person that will eat a big bowl of pasta or a pizza the night before a long run and say “whatever, I’m running 17 miles in the morning!”, then wonder why I felt like crap 5 miles in. I’ve been cooking a lot more recently and coming up with some amazing healthy, fueling recipes that I can’t wait to share.
This is a frittata filled with veggies and healthy cheese. I'm unusually proud of myself.

This is a frittata filled with veggies and healthy cheese. I’m unusually proud of myself.

I know there will be good runs and bad runs. Some days I’ll wonder why the hell I signed up for this is the first place and want to sit on my couch with a bottle of wine and a plate of mozzarella sticks. And on days like that I’ll remember people like Ali, Jeff and the countless others who can’t run right now no matter how badly they want to. I’ll remember that on April 21, 2014 I’ll be back in Hopkinton getting my third chance at Boston. And then I’ll start.

What Fall races are you training for? Any training advice you’d like to share? Did your dad hurt himself in some ridiculous way too? I would like to hear all of your stories. Please and thank you. 


Favorite Friday: Weekend Workouts

Happy Friday! I know I haven’t written much this week, but to be fair- I haven’t had a lot going on. It’s a recovery week, so there has been some quality time with the elliptical. I planned on doing spin on Wednesday, and Zumba last night but both were cancelled at the last minute. Boo.

Anyways, if you’re new around here, today is Friday and I like to look back at my week and think about my favorite things. If you read Ali On The Run, she has a great Thankful Things Thursday, which was an inspiration for this.

Since there hasn’t been much going on this week, I don’t have many favorite things from the days behind me, so I’m looking ahead. This weekend I have some kick ass workouts planned. I like to plan. Have I mentioned that?

Double Morning Sessions: My favorite Saturday work out since Boston training ended has been a spin class from 8-9am followed by Zumba from 9:30-10:30. Spin still kills me. I’m terrible at it, and my quads aren’t fond of me at all after I get off the bike. Other parts of me aren’t fond either, but let’s not discuss that. After I get off the bike I head back to the locker room where I stretch for 20 or so minutes, then do a nice little walk on the treadmill to shake my legs out. From there, it’s back upstairs to Zumba where I dance like an idiot for an hour and try to get my sexy back. I was not born with hips or boobs. I don’t know how to move these parts of my body in any sort of attractive way. I’m working on it. But the workout is super endorphin heavy and I love it.

Beach Walks and Yoga: I know this isn’t really a super heavy workout, but there’s something really peaceful about just walking as far as you can down a beach on a quiet morning. With the weather finally cooperating, I think this weekend may see a really long, quiet walk along the beach.

Not me, but you get the point.

I also love waking up at the beach (this happens at least once a week over the summer) and sneaking out at sunrise to get some yoga in. It’s hard not to find some inner peace with that view.



Long Runs: Let’s face it. These are my favorite. The thing I loved most about training for Boston this year was knowing every Saturday morning I had a group of people to run an obnoxious distance with. I have seriously missed waking up ready to face the 15 miles ahead of me. I can’t wait until June 4 when I start officially training for Newport. It’s going to be amazing. I hope.

Ahh, spikes. I miss you.

Post Workout Bloody Marys: They have sodium. Tomato. A full serving of vegetables. Totally healthy, right? That’s what I told myself after Providence last weekend. I passed out halfway through. It was wonderful.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend and kick your workouts butt!

What’s your favorite weekend workout? Yoga? Runs? Spin? Rock climbing? Let me know and give me some new things to try!

Favorite Things Friday: Things That Cheer Me Up

Welcome to Friday everyone! It’s been tough, but we made it. Overall, I had a pretty productive week, which is always nice. I ran, I yoga-d, I Zumba-d and I even took the time to foam roll last night. Exciting stuff.

Last night’s Zumba class was everything I remembered and more. Yes, I looked like an idiot because I haven’t been in so long I forgot a lot of the moves. Yes, I thought I looked super sexy at certain points and most certainly looked like an idiot. And, most impressively; Zumba kicked my butt! It’s such a different workout than what my body is used to I could feel my underused muscles screaming with joy. My instructor incorporates weight training into the class as well which I appreciated. Makes it feel like a more legitimate workout to me.

Today is a rest day, and tomorrow will be 19 miles, out and back in Wellesley. This means HeartBreak Hill- again. I’m hoping these runs of it actually do make it seem easier on race day, and aren’t just a cruel torture. At least I know what I’m getting into?

So, where I’ve needed a significant amount of cheering up this week, I was reminded of the little things in life that can cheer me up when I’m feeling down. Therefore, tin he theme of this Favorite Things Friday, I present to you the things that cheer me up:

Jim Singing to Billy Joel: Few things can make me snap out of a bad mood like Jim rocking out to the Billy Joel greatest hits album. He takes it very seriously. To the point where he made us listen to it on repeat during our Saco trip last summer. So if I’m ever in a cranky mood and there is an iPod hookup in sight, you better believe I (not so) sneaky put on the greatest hits and within 5 minutes I’m feeling better.

Puppies: Pictures of puppies, actual puppies, bulldog puppy stuffed animals. If there is a puppy involved, it will make me smile.

This is my bulldog, I named him Bondi. He's a good cuddle buddy.

Reese Peanut Butter Cups: You would be surprised at what has been the one recurring theme in every relationship I’ve had in my adult life (all 3 of them). If you bring me a Reese cup, I will probably forgive you for whatever I’m mad about. It will also make me very happy, and you’ll get all the credit.

Last year when Jim left for Florida my aunt had this combo waiting for me when I got home. The Reese's didn't make it through the weekend.

Yoga: Running helps me clear my head, but if I’m cranky odds are I’m going to run so some angry, angst filled, sad white girl music. I’ll feel powerful and all that jazz at the end of it, but it doesn’t always fix the mood. Yoga on the other hand will always put life in perspective and help me reach my happy place. And for that I’m grateful.

I can totally do that. Sort of. Definitely not on a beach.

Country Music: I’m given a never ending amount of crap for this at work, but I love country music. Love. It’s just happy (mostly), cheery, let’s just forget about life and get drunk good music. Yes Toby Keith, I will lift my Red Solo Cup.

There are other things, but those make the top of the list. So if you’re having a bad week, I suggest you try some of these things out. They may not bring Peyton back to Indy (and you thought you were gonna make it through a full post without me mentioning it?)- but it could put a smile on your face for a few minutes.

What is your favorite “Bad Mood Turnarounds”? Anything I should be trying?