VCM Training Week 8: The Final Countdown


Week eight of training for the Vermont City Marathon is here!  Well, it just passed, actually.  TAPER TIME.  (Should I create a video re-doing the Hammertime video as Tapertime?  Probably.  Maybe it’s been done before?)  In addition to getting in some last-minute training, this week I also picked back up the old My Fitness Pal app to see if I can start shedding some of this weight that’s slowing me down. Continue reading

Asheville Marathon Training — T-Minus Three Weeks

Yikes… How did that happen?… Now only three weeks until the Asheville Marathon??? Maybe that honeymoon break was a bad idea, especially given my goals for this race?  Well I had my wakeup this week and jumped back into it with both feet…

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Running in compression tights and short sleeves!

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MS Blues Recovery/Asheville Marathon Eight-Weeks Out Recap

So two Saturdays ago I ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon.  I asked a fellow runner there — who had run like 136 marathons or something absurd — what he recommended for the spring.  His first suggestion was the Asheville Marathon.  I haven’t run a marathon in North Carolina, so that sounded good to me.  Last Monday I registered and mapped out my training plan.   This first week was a recovery week, of course, with lots of rest and extra protein in my smoothies (I used the usual Vega All in One plus Wild Foods whey protein).  But I didn’t want to completely let myself go and become one with the couch because there’s another race around the corner.  I’ll spend these first few weeks getting back to fighting weight, strength training, and doing shorter long runs.  Here’s a recap of this past week.

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Up Next in March 2016…

OK, now that I’ve wrapped up the Mississippi Blues Marathon (recap here), I’ve decided to get serious about picking some spring races.  As I mentioned in my Mississippi recap, I ran a good portion of that race with a very friendly and seasoned 3:50 pacer.  I asked him his suggestions for spring marathons and…

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MSB Marathon Training T Minus Two Weeks: Christmas

IMG_9030This past week was obviously Christmas week.  I hope everyone had a merry Christmas!  I had approximately (no, exactly) five Christmases: one with my immediate family, one with each side of my extended family, and one with each side of my husband’s family.  Although it was lovely to see everyone, it took a TON of energy out of me.  I also had no fewer than three meals prominently featuring macaroni and cheese.

I had anticipated being busy and tired around the actual holiday, so I got in some workouts earlier in the week before heading out of town.  I also did pretty well on Christmas Eve at my parent’s place, with some walking (while listening to Serial), horseback riding, and hitting balls at the driving range.  I unfortunately did not make it to yoga with the fam as I had planned (aka, I unfortunately could not drag my family to BOTH the horse farm and the yoga studio, so I had to choose one).

Here’s the full summary…

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MSB Marathon T-Minus 9 Weeks: A Still-Bruised Toe and Continuing No Sugar November

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As I mentioned last week, I was ready to start No Sugar November on Sunday.  I stocked up on No-Sugar-November compliant snacks such as apples, bananas, Babybel cheeses, avocados, and some olives.  But physically, I was hurting from dropping my computer on my toe on Saturday night.  (I swear I am not a complete baby.  I’ve run through lots of pains.  But this toe thing was something else!  Even putting on a shoe was tough.)  Luckily the pain subsided after a few days.

Short Recap: This week was not what I would call “spectacular” from a fitness and nutrition perspective but I am not really in the mood to beat myself up about it.

Long Recap

Monday: Soulcycle

  • NSN Day 2: Halloween candy at every turn in the office.  But I resisted!  Leftover frittata for lunch and devoured a Shophouse rice bowl for dinner.  Feeling mostly in control.

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My Name is Athlettuce. And I’m Addicted to Smoothies.

 My name is Athlettuce.  And I’m addicted to smoothies.

I’ve had a smoothie almost every morning for at least six months, and I’m showing no signs of stopping.  I have one on days I run, on days I lift, on days I sleep in.   They make me feel so, so good, and like I’m starting my day on the right foot.  They are also portable–I can tuck them into the side pocket of my backpack and drink once I get to work or after Orangetheory.  I can drink while walking the dog.  Or I can enjoy at home on the couch.  They are easy to digest, so I don’t need to wait long after drinking one to work out, but they are also refreshing and protein-packed to help with recovery.

I should note that I’m not like those creative folks on Instagram coming up with a variety of colorful smoothie bowls with lines of seeds and nuts and coconut strips on top.  No, I’m more of a practical smoothiewoman.

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Here’s what I throw in the blender:

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Mapping (and Starting!) My Mississippi Blues Marathon Training Plan

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I’ll start by saying that there are millions of philosophies about race training.  Here I’ll share what has worked for me, and what I am planning to do for the Mississippi Blues Marathon, but this is not the only way (or even the best way) to train for a marathon.  I’d love to hear thoughts about what has worked well for other people.

In short, I like to make a rough sketch of a training plan for each marathon so that I don’t get completely off-track, and so that I can anticipate holidays, travel, and work events and prepare accordingly.  Usually I just jot it down on a calendar or in a Googledoc (or now, in a blog post).  The most important runs for marathon prep are the long runs, so I make sure to note what my goal long run is for each week, and then I have the option to do that run any day during the week (but usually Saturdays or Sundays).  I don’t generally write the week’s non-running activities (Orangetheory, pilates (upcoming post!), barre, yoga (also upcoming post!), swimming, etc.), or my run commute, in my training plan, and while I do sometimes put in shorter runs, all of those are subject to change.  Each week is different, and I vary based on my own schedule and how I’m feeling.  Missing a few runs isn’t going to totally kill your training.  Really.  I take at least one, but usually two, rest days each week. Continue reading

Planning My 2016 Race Schedule

First:  CONGRATS to everyone is who running/ran the Marine Corps Marathon today!  What a great race!  Hopefully it isn’t too wet out there today.  I saw folks picking up packets earlier this weekend and I got super jealous, but this morning I am cozied up in my home and sort of happy about it.

And now to the topic at hand: When possible, I don’t like to sign up for races too too far in advance, just in case something comes up and my plans need to change.  At the same time, I also don’t cut it so close that the race might fill up, and my plans are thwarted, or so close that I have the option of quitting the whole idea when I get to my 17-mile training run.  But even when I haven’t hit the “Register” button, I still need to map things out well in advance.  In fact, I have a nice little Google spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my races and states, completed and uncompleted.  Here is a snapshot:

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As you may be able to see, I have the columns sortable by state and month, so I can say “hmmm… let’s go to Indiana!  What’s there?” (No, really, that’s a question.  Any answers?)  Or I can say “February is looking open… let me choose a race then.”  I also include the city of the race because some of these states are damn big, and I might be excited to go to one corner but not the other.  And when the city doesn’t have an airport, but I’ll need to fly there, I include a reference to the appropriate airport.  Finally, I include a note if there is a lottery or qualification requirement for the race.  It doesn’t make sense to plan a whole marathon cycle around the New York City Marathon, especially if you forget to register for the lottery.

So now that 2015 is coming to a close, it is time to refer to my spreadsheet and really start thinking about 2016 and what races/states I’ll be tackling.

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