Marathon Training Begins!

Or it should have.

Monday marked Day One of marathon training. Nothing special, three miles on the schedule so of course I did five miles instead. Tuesday, about the same.

Yesterday: supposed to be a rest day. But since it’s not a difficult week, I thought I could keep up with my regular “off season” running schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.

Oh how the mighty do fall.

I made it approximately 1.5 miles into my run when my left knee (the GOOD one!) just…stopped functioning. Every foot strike was pain and locking. It felt like the tendons weren’t moving the way they should. I tried powering through it, thinking it was due to the cold or just a little glitch. No good. Luckily, walking had almost no pain so I decided to stop risking serious injury and made my way home.

So today, I rest. Tomorrow I swim. And Saturday–scheduled for an 8 miler–we shall see how things go.

Belated October/November!

October was…AMAZING for my running. I smashed my Half Marathon PR in Baltimore and enjoyed some really lovely fall weather on my runs. But slowly…well, rather quickly really, that lovely weather gave way to dark dark dark. The end of the month had me tripping over hurricane debris at 7am while running in close to pitch black. Thankfully daylight savings saved me this weekend and I’m back to some daylight runs!

Miles Run: 117.91 mi according to Garmin but add 10 for two treadmill runs and then maybe another 5 for the Garmin not working…. 132.91

A Whole Weekend

I don’t get whole weekends off, usually. I work at least one day at the ski store so it really does cut into my free time quite a bit. However, due to a happy (but still slightly irritating) schedule, I have the whole weekend off! So of course, this called for some serious overscheduling.

I’ve been feeling pretty good the last part of this week. My first run after the race (the report is coming! I promise!) was brutal. All those overworked muscles in my legs were feeling sore and tired. I’ve been taking it fairly easy this week because I’m feeling some pain in my right knee and ankle. I really really don’t need an silly injury right now.  But I also don’t want to take off of running completely because in a mere four weeks I should be starting a marathon training program!

For my long run on Saturday, I decided to do something a little different.  I headed to Great Falls National Park (where I paced Ashleigh for her North Face 50k in the spring) and hit the trails.

From the Great Falls Park Facebook page

It. Was. Perfect. Exactly what I needed. The weather was fantastic, the trails were calm and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so relaxed on a run. I had my Garmin and Nike+ to keep track of the time but tried ignoring my pace. You can tell that I was taking it SUPER easy:

And I am totally satisfied with that. I do think I went a bit farther than the Garmin says I did–it’s been acting a little wonky for the first 12-15 mins of my runs lately. But who cares–the entire goal of my run was to let loose and have fun. Which I absolutely accomplished!

Saturday afternoon I set out to Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch for some good ol’ corn mazing and pumpkin picking with friends.

Finding our way through the maze was disappointingly easy. I prefer longer mazes.

Our bounty!

After wandering through the patch, making animal friends, and buying all sorts of random items at the general store, we headed back for MORE pumpkin activities (pumpkin carving and beer drinking. Obvio)

After a jam packed Saturday, I was grateful to take a quieter track on Sunday. Sadly, I didn’t take full advantage of another gorgeous fall day but I feel like the pajama wearing, late breakfast morning and grocery shopping were still well worth it.

Spoiler Alert: Half Marathon PR!

 

I’ll have a real race report up later this week but for now, enjoy the visual of my negative splits!

Taper Time! Baltimore Half Edition

I can’t believe it’s race week! I’ve been signed up for this race for about…nine months? Ten? It’s part of the Maryland Double so you can register for the Frederick Half and Baltimore Races at the same time for a slightly discounted price. So it’s hard to believe that I’m finally at the end of this particular race series!

This week the temperatures dropped dramatically. Saturday I was at Virgin Freefest, rocking shorts and a tank top and then Sunday I bundled up in sweater, jacket, jeans for another fun day at the ski store.

Monday and Tuesday’s runs found me in long sleeved tees, bandana, hat and all that. It warmed up today but we got our first taste of winter! I am SO EXCITED.

Not so secret, secret: I LOVE WINTER. Winter means snow, which means snowboarding, which means  Happy Mallory. Last year was a disaster as far as winter is concerned–great for outdoor running and training but TERRIBLE for snowboarding. So, pray for snow!

Saturday was my 12 miler–it went pretty well, I think. Slow, steady pace and no crash which is great. It left me in a good mental place for the race.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  felt great. I think partly because of the weather and partly because I had a pretty good sleep-eat-work cycle happening (it’s so interesting how all of these things tie together). I’m feeling really really good about Saturday. I’ll tellyou how it goes!

 

A week in the National(s) spotlight!

NATIONALS WIN! I’m not a huge baseball fan (or really, a baseball fan at all) but I am proud that DC can field a decent pro sports team these days.

Monday, I attended the Nats game with one of my best friends (whom I love, despite her Phillies shirt):

 

Tuesday, my crazy awesome ultramarathon running friend and I attended Diane Van Deren’s  speaking event! She’s an INSANE and awesome lady: she routinely competes in some of the world’s most challenging ultras. We’re talking Iditerod  (sans dogs), Yukon, Hard Rock 100…and she recently completed a 1000 mile trail through North Carolina.

 

Usually, this kinda stuff leaves me feeling inspired. I have to admit, though, I have NO URGE WHATSOEVER to do what Diane does. She’s insane. Awesome, but insane. I’ll stick to my can-be-done-in-a-few-hours distances.

Sidebar: this was my third North Face Speaker Event Series and I HIGHLY recommend them. Even if you aren’t familiar with the sport or athlete, it’s still interesting to listen and interact with people who live to push themselves. It’s always a fun time.

Of course, last night was the presidential debate. I tried watching but honestly don’t have the attention span for such things so spent most of my time reading the twitter reactions.

On the running front: it’s still happening? DC decided it missed summer and hit us with a dose of OMGHUMIDITY the past couple of days so I’ve been coming home covered in sweat and disgusting again.

Other than that…I’m tired, kids. Saturday has my last long run (12) scheduled and then we dial it back for a week until BALTIMORE!

Oh, and it’s been an epic fail on the no alcohol front. Nats stadium had DRAFT BLUE MOON PUMPKIN ALE. I can’t say no to that. I mean, I’ve had a lot less in the past couple of weeks and plan on continuing but the NO ALCOHOL plan is not going as…planned.

Goodbye September, Hellooooo October!

At the beginning and end of every month I think to myself “what the HELL happened to this month? I did absolutely NOTHING!” Looking at the beginning of this month, I am still thinking it.

Here’s to a new, clean, AWESOME October!

(Click for source)

September was mostly uneventful but ended rather hecticly and stressfully. I am not sorry to see it go. Most of my stress was work related–some of due to my own actions, some of it due to other mistakes. But I really really hope that this week goes more smoothly on that front. I also did not enjoy ending last week with a three day stretch at the ski store–I got 15.5 hours of work in there! On TOP of my 40 regular work hours. Heinous.

Miles Run: 128.62 mi (plus 5 because my Garmin DIED halfway thru one of my long runs. Laaaame.)

Goals Achieved: Two? (I had really stupid goals with no real plan–which is an amateur mistake in goal setting. I’m going to work on that below. ) I have been amping up the veggies and fresh foods in my diet while also trying to tone it down on the processed foods. I really need to work more on keeping a food diary because I believe I have some gaps in my nutrition. The problem is I eat a lot of homemade meals so trying to list every single component is very tiresome.

I also managed to stay injury free. There have been some hip flexor twinges and my knees protested a few steps here and there but nothing major.

Absolute, epic, speed/track work FAIL. It scares me and I have NO IDEA what to do with it! Also, in the mornings, I don’t want to think, I just want to go out and run.

Coming up in October is the Baltimore Half Marathon! I’m also taking the GRE at the end of the month. Those would be my two notables as far as events. There’s going to be some other fun sprinkled in, promise

October Goals: 

No alcohol. Whaaaat, you say? I know, I know. Okay…not for the WHOLE month maybe but I’m really trying to not drink until after my half marathon. It’s not because I fear addiction or even because I think it’s bad for you or unhealthy but…I’m curious to see if it affects my every day life in a certain way. Will I be faster on my runs? Less tired? MORE tired? Who knows. Also, taking a break from things is always a good idea.

CROSS TRAINING. I say this all the time but this month I MEAN IT. I am determined to do more regular physical activities than just running. I bought a deal for Earth Treks climbing gym and I WILL USE IT. It’s happening. I also really want to go to a few yoga classes. It’s not always my vibe but with everything getting crazy around me, I need something to help me take life down a notch.

Time to myself. Now, this is not a real firm goal but I need more time in my life where I’m not running around–whether it’s seeing people, things, errands, whatever. I am seriously considering cutting out one or two ski store work days just so I can have a Real Weekend again.

So what are YOU trying to achieve this month?

 

Friday, Friday, Friday

I wish I could say that YAY FRIDAY! But I can’t, tomorrow is my Friday, really.

It’s been a stressful week but luckily I can see the end of the tunnel. Just a few more hours of work before I head to the ski store to work there tonight. Tomorrow, a full day of ski store work and then glorious, glorious Sunday.

This is what we are looking at currently:

 

See that red line? I’m so close!

Tomorrow is going to suck–working last night left me dead this morning so I can only imagine how my long run will go tomorrow before work. I plan on taking it nice and slow and steady. I will NOT feel guilty if I take a walking break!

Happy Friday everybody!

Baltimore Half Marathon Goals

When I returned from my European Adventures, I was surprised to find that I should have been in week 4 of my training plan for the Baltimore Half Marathon. Oops. Luckily, I stayed pretty active while I was gone so I didn’t feel like I was TOO out of shape for running.

Each race for me has a goal–my first races were all about getting to the finish line by running the whole way (actually, this is still my primary goal). I also do have tentative speed goals–more about beating a previous time than having any earthly idea of what a feasible time would be. I don’t go in saying “oh, I can shave three minutes off my PR” or whatever, it’s more that I just want to always go a little faster.

Baltimore is tricky–it was my first half marathon and also my slowest time 1:55. HOWEVER, it is by far the hilliest race I’ve run. So what to do?

Time Goal: Do I think I can beat 1:55 on this course? Yes. Do I think I can beat my 1:48 PR–probably not. So…my goal time is between 1:55 and 1:48 (told you I was bad at this).

Training Goals: Honestly, as much as I’m trying to ignore it, my mind is on the Shamrock Marathon in March. I have maaaaaybe looked at a couple of training plans already. Just peeked, really! But I’m trying to mentally prepare for those loooong runs and just build up my base. I don’t want to over train for the half and injure myself. I don’t want to under train and play catch up either.

Short Story: I really don’t have a goal other than to just get through this and have fun. I have a friend doing the full marathon and my roommates may come out to spectate again so it should be a good race.

Faaaaall!

Fall is in the air. The temperatures have dropped, humidity has dissappeared, and leaves are beginning to change color. Basically, it’s AWESOME.

Despite my love for both summer at the beach and winter in the mountains, I think transition seasons (I just made this up, but it’s spring and fall) might be my favorite times of year. The air is crisper, the sun shines more, you don’t have to dress for extreme weather…aah I could just go on and on!

As such, I’m in running heaven. It’s so nice to not come back dripping in sweat and feeling like you want to die!

This has been a GOOD RUNNING WEEK. My ten miler last Saturday was positively pleasant–the kind of run where I just zone out and GO. The rest of the week has been comfortable but sadly rushed. I’ve had to skip all of my strength and stretching exercises because I’m going out on my runs waaay too late. It’s so dark when I wake up now that I feel like I should still be asleep! I’m also not sleeping very well so I’m tired when I get up.

In local news: Nationals are heading to the playoffs! I’m not a baseball fan but I do enjoy going to games for a bit just for the outdoors and usually to hang out with people. Last night I was invited to the game by someone I haven’t seen in over a year so it was nice to catch up!

Just a little bit of weekend inspiration:

I can’t remember where I found this! If you have the source, let me know!

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