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MCM Training – Weeks 2-4

28 Jun

So. About this training thing…. Obviously (or maybe not so obviously) things haven’t been going well on that front!

Week 2 was not great :/ I mean…it was okay. At least I ran three times.

I’m starting to think that three runs a week isn’t going to cut it for me – I know I thought I’d be okay adding a Wednesday run to the Galloway plan but I think we know by now that if it isn’t on the plan it isn’t happening. Heck.The plan often doesn’t happen so….

It likely didn’t help that I was jumping in about 8 weeks late so my first long run was going to be 10 miles with no real build up. (Spoiler – I didn’t do that 10 that was on the plan)

I did manage to do my Tuesday and Thursday runs – they weren’t bad. Decent pace for early days but not great distance.

Sunday was just like another mid-week 2-ish-miler. I just wasn’t feeling it!

Week 3 was….well. I did my Tuesday run! And I actually felt good doing it so that’s a bonus, right?!

Tuesday evening Jen came over from Pennsylvania to volunteer at the Travelers Championship. I’ve been on the volunteer Executive Committee for the last few years so I was going to be there the rest of the week. So even though I didn’t run for the rest of the week I *did* manage to get in a LOT of steps on a lot of hills so I didn’t feel *too* bad about not running.

And then there was/is week 4. I am almost at the end of week 4 and have done FA as far as running this week – I’ve not done much of anything really, but spend time with the Phredders and continue my job search!


I’ve also decided I need a new plan and luckily it’s early enough that I can find a new one and build up my long run miles instead of jumping in at 10!  So stay tuned on Sunday for my NEW plan and my NEW commitment to it!


Sunday Night WrapUp – and Look Ahead!

11 Jun

So last weekend I *finally* settled on a training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I think. I mean, I’m pretty sure but….we’re going with this because I needs a plan!! And I’m going with 100% full disclosure on my updates, slow times and all!

image may be subject to copyright

This week’s Galloway plan called for:
Monday:  Day Off
Tuesday: 30 Minutes (this is constant all the way through the plan)
Wednesday: Day Off
Thursday: 30 MInutes (another constant!)
Friday: Easy Walk
Saturday: Day Off (third day off this week so you can see what I REALLY like about this plan!!)
Sunday:  4 Miles

I used 40:30 intervals – my plan is to work up to 60:30 by October which according to Jeff’s chart should give me an 11:00 minute mile. Of course this means my walk can’t be my usual stroll 😀 And since I need to be at a steady 14 to avoid being diverted or swept I think this will work well since I know there will be slowing along the way, especially if it is as hot as it was the last time I ran this!

I was really good at the Days Off this week!! Seriously though, I did Tuesday’s 30 minutes actually ON Tuesday! Then I did Thursday’s on Friday.

Tuesday went fairly well, for a starting run. I decided to run up Long Hill to set a baseline time –

Time up the inclining street behind my house – this is my time to beat as training goes on!


Run Recap (mapmyrun)

Thursday/Friday was not so great. I was slower and my legs felt heavier. But I went out (finally!) and did it!

Thursdays run on Friday

Sunday I planned to actually haul myself out of bed early enough so that I wouldn’t boil. Plus, I had things to do so had some motivation! I didn’t start as early as I hoped but…I did start!! And finish!

Sunday – 4-miler.

Next week’s schedule is almost exactly the same as this but Sunday calls for 10.5!! Yikes!! I may attack it in bites but I have 10.5 miles to run next week!!

It’s that Time again!!!

4 Jun

Every year around this time I sit down with books and calendars and lists and….I try to decide HOW on earth am I going to train for my marathon THIS time!

1. It definitely needs to be “doable” – this varies every year for me! I NEVER have so much on my plate that a few runs a week and long weekend run is impossible. But as you may know, I don’t always manage to fit everything in.
2. It should be “tested” – if I can ask my running friends about a plan, I like that I can get feedback from them. Or a google search can give me answers
3. It has some flexibility – and by this I mean, if I can’t do a long run on Sunday maybe I can move it to Saturday or, depending on my circumstances, even Monday. Or, I can shift my weekday runs by a day either way to get them in.
4. It should give me the opportunity to improve – I know I have to put in the work and any improvement is up to me, not the plan. But as a slower runner, it can be discouraging to do the work and not get better

In the past, I’ve “followed” the Hal Higdon plans generally, though I’ve also looked at the Jeff Galloway plans over the years. Huge differences in these plans are the short runs mid-week and the long run distances. Higdon does a Tuesday, Wed, Thursday – from 2-6 miles throughout the plan and the weekend long runs get up to 20-22.  Galloway has you do 2 runs on Tuesday and Thursday. Each of them are 30 minutes for the duration of the plan. And his long runs go up to 26 miles.

I do like the idea of the 30 minutes so I don’t have to remember if it’s 3 or 4 or 6 or what! I’m a bit concerned that it’s only 2 times a week (and only 30 minutes). And, I know me (and you know me!) and we all know that there is no way I’ll ever hit a 26 mile long run in August and September!!

Also, the Galloway plan is 30 weeks so I’m already 9 weeks late! Higdon starts at the end of June.

So I think what my plan is is this:
I am going to start with Galloway this week – and I’m going to add a 30 minute run on Wednesdays, at least until it becomes a habit.

I think it was helpful for me when I would track here my training plan and how I did each week so coming up every Sunday evening we’ll get to give me a gold star or…not!

Wish me luck and send all the encouragement you have to spare!!!

(may be subject to copyright)

Time to Take the Hill – Hospital Hill

26 May

Last weekend I returned to Fredericksburg, VA for the fourth time to run the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon.

Now, I LOVE the events that the Marines pull together because…well, they’re the US Marine Corps and kind of know what they’re doing!

My BRF Jen and I make a full weekend out of the trip. I headed over to Pennsylvania with Phred on Thursday. He is always excited to see his best little buddy B and go for walkies! Friday was a day to sit and hang with my dog and try to finish the library book I’ve been hauling around for a month and a half!!

One of Jen’s friends came over Friday evening and we went out for Mexican food before settling in for wine drinking, Tarot card reading and watching The Last Jedi.

Saturday was travel day to Fred.

Phred heading to Fred!!!

It was rainy but the forecast for Sunday’s race day was warm and sunny. The drive down was pretty easy compared to past years when traffic was awful! Once we got into town things backed up due to flooding in the Rappahannock (pictures)

River almost to the walking path….

The expo was small, as usual, so after grabbing our bibs and a couple of freebie items we headed over to the Wegmans next door for ‘supplies’ – bananas mainly but also possibly some wine. Dinner was at a tiny vegan-ish market and cafe called Kickshaws  They *do* serve meat so I had a turkey and bacon sandwich.

Gluten Free – that’s right!

We wandered downtown a bit before heading to the Hyatt Place (our new favorite place to stay for this race!)

After getting things ready for Sunday morning we headed to sleep early. The plan was to head out to the start around 6 to be sure to get parked and bags checked and all that other fun stuff!

Flat Me – Skirt Sports Lioness in Wave print and wear blue singlet.

Jen was running her first half marathon in quite a few years and she was ready! I was as ready as usual 😀 Well, possibly a bit more than usual.

Heading out, I felt pretty okay. My plan was to take it slow (haha) and hopefully get off of the road before it got *too* hot and sunny out. The first few miles went as I hoped but I started to notice that even using my usual fuel and stopping at all water stops my energy was really dropping. To make matters a little worse, my CGM wasn’t transmitting so I was guessing at my blood sugar based on how I felt. And I felt either VERY low or VERY high.

By mile 6.5-7 I was walking a lot more than running. After every run interval it was getting harder and harder to catch my breath. I was just holding on until I got past Hospital Hill (and then the mile 12 hill after!) It was around this point that I texted Jen that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it…but I kept pushing

Around Mile 9 I noticed that the course seemed to be different than in past years and when I headed UP a hill to Hospital Hill I was certain that things had changed! At this point, I was stopping every few minutes to get my breath and am thankful for every person who passed and checked on me.

I eventually made it up Hospital HIll, and headed down the other side where there was a tribute to the Marine Corps – this was something new and I wish I’d had the energy to get pictures so stay tuned for Next Year! When I hit mile 12 I texted Jen to let her know that I was a mile out and would hopefully be there soon!

I did make it to the finish but I had literally no energy to spare! Normally I’m all about the sweaty hug for the Marine who gives me my medal but…I could barely move my arms even.

This was how I looked for much of the last half of this half!!

After making the crazy decision to not hit the beer tent (WHAT???!?!?!)

First time I’ve ever made it home with an intact beer ticket….

I grabbed my checked bag to test my sugar (HIGH HIGH HIGH!) and change my shoes before heading to the car —> hotel —> shower —> breakfast —> PA!  Breakfast was at Legume and I had delicious Huevos Rancheros with a few bites of a gluten free waffle (delicious as well!) and a super spicy bloody Mary!

This was a delicious Bloody Mary! Coarse grated horseradish and seriously yummy olives!!!

TMI Note: At this point – 1 pm- I still hadn’t really pee’d. Which means since about 6:30 in the morning….nothing! It was another 3 hours or so before I had replenished my fluids enough….this explains the pounding heartbeat after each of my run intervals. The big D – Dehydration! Also explains the super high blood sugar.

We wrapped up our time in Fredericksburg and headed back to Jen’s house. I had planned to head home Monday which was probably one of the better decisions I made all weekend! After a dinner of pizza and super hot chicken wings there was time for more book reading before bed!

My big takeaway from this weekend — when you think you’re hydrated hydrate more, especially when the weather is going to be hotter than you’re used to. And, on a day-to-day basis, I drink a TON of water and when I’m running I add an electrolyte drink but this is the first time I have ever experienced such dehydration. Guess what folks — it’s not fun!! Otherwise the weekend was as expected – a great event with an awesome friend (who, by the way, kicked ASS for her half marathon comeback!)

Also, you’ll be happy to know that I finally finished my book and it is safely back at home at the library!!

This Is Ragnar

18 May

Last weekend I completed my second Ragnar Relay If you have been anywhere near the running community you’ve likely seen the big orange Ragnar logo either on shirts or car decals – though the car decals do tend to be white!

In a nutshell – 12 people, 2 vans, anything between 180-210 miles, and more fun than you would think it would be!! Each person on the team runs 3 “legs” of varying lengths. There are ‘exchanges’ where runners tag in the next person in their van and “Major exchanges” where a runner tags in a runner in the other van. Each van runs 6 legs at a time and then gets some time to rest. Or eat. Or shower. Or…rest. Alternately, there are teams of 6 in one van called “Ultra” teams. They get no real down time except when they have a runner on the road! They are crazy 😀

Last september I joined a team of Skirt Sports ambassadors to run from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC. And I was hooked!! (Note – apparently you can drive this distance in a couple of hours without all the hills and van sleeping…but also without all of the fun!!)

This year, a call went out in January for 2 replacement runners for a team to run the Ragnar Cape Cod relay and….well, I have a ton of time on my hands these days so of course I said YES!

When we ran in DC I was runner 12 and riding in van 2. This time I was runner 1. Pretty much kicking things off!

Ragnars generally run Friday morning to Saturday afternoon/evening – your start time depends on your speed. Or lack thereof! Our start time was 5:15 am Friday. There were teams starting as late as 1 on Friday afternoon. And, many of those late starting teams finished before us. Or really close!

Thursday morning I dropped the Mr off at his nanny’s for a sleepover and headed over to Providence to meet my team. Oh. Did I not mention that I didn’t know ANY. ONE. On my team?? Yeah…that! A group of us were meeting in Providence to pick up one of the vans and drive to our hotel in Quincy MA. When I got to our meeting spot I met Mindi and Laura (in my van!) and Andrea, Deb, Hilary, Kelly and Kim who were in Van 2. The drive up towards the Cape was quick and easy and we checked into the HoJo to wait for the other ladies!

Loading up the van in Providence!

The plan was to head to the check in spot so that we didn’t have to be at the start SO EARLY in the morning and then head to dinner. The “Providence Van” headed to the check in to wait for the rest of the team. While we were waiting, Kelly decided to get the Ragnar logo shaved into the back of her head – the St. Baldrick’s charity folks were collecting money and getting the shaving done. While Kelly was in the chair I started thinking that I wouldn’t mind losing a bit of hair…but wasn’t keen on a logo so…

Flashing back to the 90’s or so…

While my head was being partially shaved the rest of the team arrived and we got to checking in. It was starting to get late and some of us had to get up pretty early the next day. After showing off our Safety gear we watched a safety video (“Jimmy likes the juice” is pretty much my favorite part of the video!) we headed over to the Wahlburgers nearest the Cape for a yummy dinner and some more getting to know each other!

Almost like family already!!

Side note: I had a great sloppy Joe sandwich and there were a zillion things on the menu I wanted to try so hopefully I’ll find one closer!

After dinner we headed back to the HoJo for showers and sleeping. But First:

Getting in the chair was easy….

And repacking and rearranging my bags for the 1st of many times! I hopped in the shower and then got in bed as quickly as I could, hoping to fall asleep fast. Unfortunately, I guess the sloppy Joe didn’t really agree with me so it took me a little longer to fall asleep than I hoped. I did eventually sleep and woke up around 3:30 to go to the bathroom. Of course there was then the internal debate – try to sleep another 20 minutes or just get up and start moving…I got up, terrified of oversleeping!

At about 4:40 we were ready to go….

Unfortunately we got to the start line just as our 5:15 wave was taking off. Fortunately, Ragnar is flexible and I was able to start my first leg at 5:30.

Van 1 at the start. When we were clean.

Getting ready to go #SafetyFirst

Worth waking up for.


Told ya…#dork

On my way!! #AdventureIsOutThere

I always have a hard time getting started, or heading out too quickly. This was no different! The leg was mapped at 5.3 miles and since it is in the colonies it was a bit hilly 🙂

But it was GORGEOUS! Basically a straight line into Hull, MA past old homes, at least one cemetery and some railroad tracks! People who happened to be out that early were super encouraging and friendly. This was going to be a happy trend. My first mile was my fastest of the whole weekend!!

I came into the exchange feeling pretty good and passed off the slap bracelet to our second runner Paige and headed to the van for coffee!! My next leg was scheduled to start around 5 in the evening so now it was time to stretch and relax. And change. Which I eventually did 🙂

But first, we got the next 5 runners on the road and headed to the first Major Exchange – Exchange 6. This was the start line for Van 2 so there were tons of vans in the parking lot and a couple of vendors and more teams watching the safety video. I grabbed a finisher shirt and a window decal and some RxBars. It was nice and warm and sunny by now. And after runner 7 took off Van 1 had time to go get some lunch.

Lunch in Plymouth

We headed to Plymouth – you know, that Plymouth, with the rock.

Plymouth Rock. #history

Van 1 rocks!

One yummy burger later and I was ready to change and start getting my brain ready for my second leg. Leg 13 was starting in Sandwich but we had to do a ‘virtual’ handoff since runners weren’t allowed on either of the bridges on to the Cape (due to construction we were told). After lunch we hung out in a Pop Warner park where Ragnar provided some fruit and beverages if we wanted. We also had a huge field to lay out and try to sleep. I did not sleep 🙂

Pop Warner field

When it was time we headed over to the actual real exchange point to wait for word that our 12th runner had finished her leg. Due to poor signals, we hadn’t heard when we expected to so I just took off!

Turns out we were almost right on target! Fun (not) fact about running in Sandwich MA – headphones are prohibited…Um…I didn’t get arrested! So that’s all good My second leg was mapped out at 3.9 and it was another pretty straight shot – I happily finished JUST before ‘nighttime’ hours started. Now I was going to have almost 10 hours before my next, and final, leg at 4-ish in the morning!

After our last runner came into the exchange we headed to my next starting point to wait for Van 2 to hand off one last time! We landed at a high school and found a place in the rear of the parking lot to spend the night. The gym was open for sleeping but I chose to stay in the van.

It was surprisingly quiet – until runners started hitting the exchange in droves!

At 3 I woke up, brushed my teeth (in the super humid warm bathroom!) and changed into my capris and long sleeve for my final leg – 6.9 miles partially on a rail trail.

I had started out with my pajama top over my running shirt and that came off about a mile and a half in when it got super warm! It was a beautiful morning and I was so glad I was getting to enjoy it.

Start of my final leg…looks as fuzzy as I felt!

This was on the gorgeous rail trail…

I’d like to blame my slow pace on stopping for pictures but…

It just kept getting better…

And better…

This right here is my favorite one…

And. Scene. #fin

My legs weren’t thrilled and it seemed like I was working twice as hard as the day before and going much slower! There was one van along the way and the folks inside gave me a bottle of water which I most definitely appreciated! I eventually made it to the exchange for one last epic handoff to Paige (well, in hindsight it was epic…it might have been pretty normal!). And my second Ragnar was complete.

There’s a good chance I was doing a happy dance in the van. Also, note the ironic sweatshirt!

The rest of our legs were fairly quick and we did out last handoff to Van 2 – by now it was starting to get more overcast and rain was on the way. We decided to park at the designated van lot and shuttle in to Provincetown to get some food – and adult beverages! It was a drizzly day but we were all happy to not be running in it!

We found the finish line – which, if you’re curious, is UPHILL. We still had a couple of hours before our last runner would get in so we went down the hill and found a brewpub that still had open seats! After a delicious lunch and some beers, we headed across the street to another bar to wait for our finisher!

When we got word that Van 2 was on the way, we walked back up the hill to wait and make our plan to run in with Janine. Eventually we were all together and J was on her way! As she rounded the corner the feels started, and we all joined her for the last few yards of 2018 Ragnar Cape Cod!

Heading to the finish!

Team Picture!!!

More feels.

It was now time for medals, and a bit of celebration!

Awesome bottle opening medal!

Always check the back of your medal.

We headed up more stairs to the lawn and grabbed another beer. There was also chowdah and chili but I was still full from my lunch so I stuck with a beer! Once we had had some time to unwind from the past 48 exciting and wonderful hours, 11 of us got into Van 2 to head to the shuttle. Corrine was staying in Ptown for the night.

At the lot we repacked the vans, stole magnets from other vans (Hey! I needed that “Running with my Gnomies” for a friend!)

Me and my Gnomies

and said goodbyes to some of the new friends we’d made.

Sisters by Relay-tion

Van 1 headed to our starting point…the awesome HoJo…. to drop off some drivers and Uberers before heading back to Vermont.

Van 2 headed back to Providence and my car. Also Mindi’s car. The other ladies were planning on a rocking night out before flying home on Sunday.

Some stats from my weekend – May 10-12:
Hours Slept – 8.27
Miles Run – 16.09
Fastest Mile – 12.25 (Mile 1 of my first leg)
Slowest Mile – 15:41 (Mile 6 of my last leg)
Total Miles – 183.6

And worth every second!!

Dear Ragnar,
I can’t quit you. Help!!

And some more random shots from the weekend….

Van 1

Runners and legs in Van 1

Would you like a discount with that skirt?

Sweaty seat – also navigation!


Van Life.

This is just 100% awesome!!!

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