{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 7}

and in the snow, ice, and slush!

and in the snow, ice, and slush!

Let me preface this post with what an awesome week of miles I had.  I’m excited to see my miles increasing, and to be feeling as in shape as I do.

Tuesday-4 miles (Sarah)



Even though most weeks in January I was a few miles under my weekly mileage goal on my training plan, I’m really feeling strong going into February. Today’s 4 mile run felt so easy and effortless. Yoga on Sunday definitely helped stretch out some tight muscles. Running through snowy and icy miles throughout the winter has also helped build endurance for runs where I get some sections of bare road like tonight.

Wednesday-4 miles
Wednesday was four easy miles. Ryan had parent-teacher conferences two nights this week and reffed baseketball a different night, so he didn’t get many miles in during the week. We both planned to hit the weekend up for miles.

Friday-5 romantic miles…err something like that (both of us)


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After an easy five miles and a little romantic sunset, we came home and got ourselves ready for a night out and dueling pianos with friends. I’ve been to dueling pianos in Minneapolis several times, once in Austin (amazing!), and a couple other smaller places, but never locally. They were good, and dueling pianos is always a great time.

Saturday-7 snowy miles (both of us)
After enjoying myself perhaps a bit too much the night before it was amazing that I ran seven miles on Saturday. Once I got myself out the door, the miles flew by. Ryan and I had so much to talk about, the snow was falling lightly, and we just enjoyed the run. We talked about how we love to run in freshly falling snow. It surprisingly isn’t all that slippery, has such a silent beauty, and there is a rhythmic relaxation to the sound of your own crunching feet hitting the ground. Even though I didn’t feel the greatest earlier in the day, sometimes you just have to do something!

Sunday-14 miles (both of us) Ryan’s longest run ever!
To fuel up for today’s run we went to brunch. I had whole grain blueberry banana pancakes, apple chicken sausages, and egg beaters. The pancakes were amazing! I forgot how much I love fruit and pancakes together. This was the perfect pre-run fuel.

Despite fueling properly pre-run, I have to honestly say I was not looking forward to my run. The weather was sunny and probably the warmest its been this year (24 degrees), so I’m not sure exactly what my funk was. I am just really getting sick of running in the snow. The night before it was all silent and peaceful. I knew today the snow would be packy, slippery, slushy, and hard to run in. I was exactly right.

My foot has also been bothering me all weekend. I have no idea what is going on with it, and the pain isn’t intense, so I did what any runner does…and ran through it. We’ll find out if that was a good idea Monday morning I’m sure. Again, not all things I do are advice for others.

To make this long run seem less daunting, Ryan’s longest EVER, we broke it into two halves. The first seven miles were decent. The snow and slush was annoying, but there was some open road. Ryan and I chatted some of the time, while other parts we were silent. I think he was afraid to poke the bear-that was me :(.. Luckily I snapped out of it after a few miles. For part of the first seven miles I wasn’t sure if I’d finish as my foot was sore.

Halfway through our run, we stopped at the house to grab a drink, a GU, and for Ryan to apply some Body Glide to his foot. He had a hot spot started, and we wanted to prevent it from becoming a full on blister. Then we were back on the road. I brought my music with for the second half. Music is so motivating to me and makes my runs significantly more fun, feel easier, and go quicker. Ryan still refuses music for reasons I still don’t completely understand, but everyone trains differently. Some runs and races I don’t use it, but most of the time I enjoy my runs more with music. I made sure to belt parts of every chorus out so Ryan would know what song was playing at all times. I’m sure he loved it!

We both took GU’s at mile 10 to prevent the long run hangry experience we had with our 12 mile long run two weeks ago. Properly fueling before and during the run made these miles so much more enjoyable. Enjoying runs also builds confidence that you can complete the entire 26.2 distance. Ryan and I both felt great on our run. When asked about his training so far, Ryan says he feels strong, in shape, and confident about the marathon distance.  I feel like the 14 miles was not a challenge, and that I could have easily ran 20 with some more open road. Now I’m sure I just jinxed my next 20 miler.  I am fairly superstitious when it comes to running.
My foot is still sore, so we will see what develops from that. Hopefully I’ll have nothing to report back. If I do, I blame Ryan and his heel incident as I’ve NEVER had a foot problem before. I know there is no way the heeled wedges I wore to work followed by stilettos I wore Friday night to dueling pianos have anything to do with the pain (17 hours in heels). I wear heels often so I’m seriously doubting it, but who knows. I’m optimistic it will be back to normal in a day or two!


Post-run hydration-Fruit Punch Nuun for me, Grape Nuun for Ryan.

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Train with a partner who is reliable and encourages you to complete your workouts. Train with someone who doesn’t make excuses for why not to do a workout. If you don’t have someone to train with, then find someone who shares a common goal or interest of running to discuss your training and workouts. Hearing about another person’s training can both reassure and motivate you in your own training.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s advice this week also applies to me. I wasn’t very encouraging before our long run. I actually suggested multiple alternatives to running our long run even though I didn’t really want to skip the run (much).  Once I get going, I’m all lovin’ every minute of it.  It is just the getting going part that gets me sometimes.  Ryan helped ME a lot to get my butt out the door. I’ll work harder next week to not whine and complain before our long run. It should be noted that during the long run I was completely supportive. 😉

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Make a playlist of songs you like, that are upbeat, and that motivate you to push yourself and complete those miles. Music is one of my biggest motivators. Having the right songs on my playlist can make or break a longer run. I change up my playlists every month or two to incorporate new songs and so I don’t get bored. Some songs make it a year on my playlist while others only last a month or two. Once a song loses its mojo, its gone. This keeps my playlists new and exciting all year round. My current long run playlist is below!  Don’t judge!
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Week 7 Total Miles-
Ryan-26 miles
Sarah-34 miles

Happy Training!

*All opinions are my own. I’ve not been paid or compensated in any way for any products mentioned in this post. They are simply favorites of mine I’d recommend to other runners.

{Motivation Monday-Create a New Playlist}

So even though yesterday’s run was not really helped that much by the awesome playlist I created a couple of days ago, I still have faith in the music. Just because Macklemore didn’t help get my quads going, doesn’t mean anything for future runs. Music has always been a huge help for me when running. I tend to change my playlists up at least each season. Yes, I put some Christmas music on during the months of November and December. I always change up my list before a big race, too.
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When I opened the newest addition of Self magazine, which came in the mail Saturday, they are had chosen 50 songs to power your next workout session. Selections were made by Ke$ha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ellie Goulding, and employees of Self, and some other singers. Their choices are below.
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My current playlist has several of their choices on there, too. I like to throw some slower songs on in the middle to make sure I’m not running too fast. I also often start playing my music with these songs so I don’t start runs too fast. I’ve been known to get into my music a bit too much and soon I’m flying along too fast or worse-singing quietly while I run. Nobody wants to hear that-trust me! Often I’m high when this happens. People relax, a runner’s high, that euphoric feeling when all is right with the world and the run. My current playlist is below.

Side Note: Yes, Justin Bieber is on my playlist. Boyfriend is about to be cut though. I used to like the song; now every time I hear it I skip it. I imagine runner hell to be handcuffed to a treadmill with Boyfriend on repeat (or Call Me Maybe) for an indefinite amount of time. Scary stuff!
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When making your own playlist Self gave several tips to ensure they help you with your next workout. The list should not be just songs you like and the worst part-they say you shouldn’t be listening to these songs at ANY OTHER TIME! How am I supposed to jam to Get Lucky and Blurred Lines during the day if I follow this rule.

I refuse to follow this rule. I get it, but if I get sick of a song and it stops motivating me then it is cut from my playlist. Then I search for something new. That is part of the fun! Making a new playlist makes me want to run just so I can listen to it.

Self Playlist Tips-
1) Warm Up Music should be about 120 Beats Per Minute (BPM)
2) Sprint or Kick It Up music-around 145 BPM
3) Recover music-130-140 BPM
4) Cool Down-under 110 BPM

If you go on iTunes you can actually search for music by the songs BPM. I usually just choose catchy songs that I like and arrange them by how much they pump me up. Less so at the beginning, more so in the middle, fist pumping next, followed by some chill tunes. Since everybody has a different fitness level and fitness goals, below is a more structured approach if you’d like to get your heart rate going higher than the Self suggested rates.
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Stuck in a rut? Feeling unmotivated? Make a new playlist! All this music talk; it’s time to run!

Happy Monday!