{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)

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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
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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.
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Saturday-7 snowy miles (both of us)
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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!
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Sunday-14 miles (both of us) Ryan’s longest run ever!
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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.
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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!

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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.

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 3}

I’m not going to sugar coat this week in terms of running. It wasn’t good, great, or impressive. I struggled to make myself run EVERY SINGLE DAY! I put in long days everyday this week (except Friday) of 11-12 hours trying to get stuff done at school that I needed/wanted to do.  On top of that I felt sad, lazy, and like the only place I wanted to be was under a blanket by the fire place when I finally got home. I shamefully did not complete all my runs this week and missed my minimum weekly mileage goal by 2.5 miles (#wintermiles). I’m annoyed with myself-big time. With Ryan still out of commission I didn’t have any extra motivation to get those miles in. Excuses!

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Ry guy’s heel this week.

Tuesday-(3 miles in 5+ inches of snow half the way) This run was extremely challenging the entire way. I tweaked my ankles running on uneven surfaces you couldn’t see. This led me to skip a run the next day. It was a great core workout though and fun to run in the fresh snow.
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Wednesday-(5 miles elliptical) Ryan hit the gym and put in 5 miles on elliptical. While this is not replacement for running it has him doing something cardio wise.

Thursday-(5 miles-elliptical) Ryan on the elliptical

Friday-(6 miles-elliptical) Ryan again hit the gym and rocked the elliptical machine.  I hit the bar with coworkers, rocked some pitchers of beer, and got a new temporary tattoo.  I needed a mental break and simply some FUN!  Plus, the black panther now on my arm is FIERCE!

Saturday-(8.5 miles-me running, 8 miles-Ryan on elliptical) This was a good run. I started out feeling cranky, but getting some vitamin D and seeing the beautiful sunset put me in a way better mood even though a total of 3 blocks were NOT snow covered.  Seriously, who could get enough of sunsets like these.

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Sunday-(6 miles) I was starving on this run, it was getting dark, and I just really wasn’t feeling it. I put this run off to spend time with the husband (good choice), but it did impact my run. Then I thought of Meg and her family, and I pushed through those miles.

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Wearing blue for Meg. #megsmiles

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Found this plastic bag with the contents inside of it scattered all over the road a quarter mile from my house. One of my biggest pet peeves is littering. GRRR. How hard is it to throw your trash into a garbage? I picked up the garbage, put it in the bag, and ran the rest of the way home.

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Hydrating after my run with Tropical Nuun. Trying to think warm!

When reflecting on this week’s training, the reality is as much as I preach to not make weather excuses or wait for the perfect conditions (I do fully believe this), it is sometimes exhausting to be mentally tough during EVERY SINGLE RUN during winter in Wisconsin. There are very few to no clear roads. It is always slippery. It is cold. Snot freezes in your nose and sometimes onto your face. Eyelashes freeze. You step onto what you think is frozen ice and it ends up being a freezing puddle that comes up to your ankles (Sunday’s run ;). I say this not to complain, but just for all of you to see there is really nothing special about me and my training over the winter. I fight the same battles all of you winter runners do too. Some weeks we win the battle, while other weeks we lose.
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Another training battle I always find myself in is the balance between having a social life and getting in my miles. As soon as running seems to put a kink in my fun plans, I start to resent it. This week with my funky mood, I did not put running first. I chose drinks after work on Friday with coworkers over freezing cold miles. Saturday I cut my run a mile short to go to dinner with the family. Sunday I ran later, when I was starving, and as a result didn’t run as many miles as I’d planned/hoped. That choice was in exchange for a day date with the husband. Sometimes we just have to acccept that the miles will be there later, but the people in our life might not be.

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Chose this guy over getting in all my miles Sunday. Sunshine, coffee, and my love-always a good choice!

Reading the story about Meg on Sunday morning reminded me of the importance of people over miles.  Her tragic story is the reason I pushed my run to later in the day so I could have a day date with the husband. Running and miles are important. Running doesn’t take more than it gives back. It makes you a better person. Yet despite all these wonderful things, sometimes we just need the people in our life more. I filled my cup this weekend with good people and miles. Even if those miles weren’t quite as high in number as planned, I’m better for the chance to both run and spend time with people I love. I strive for the perfect balance in life everyday. When I figure it out, you guys will be the first to know. Until then, we are all works in progress.

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Losing the battle with running this week has renewed my determination for the upcoming weeks. I refuse to sit and feel bad about the missed miles. I can’t change them. The week is over. All I can do is work towards a better mileage week next week.

Ryan’s Total Miles on Elliptical-24 miles
Sarah’s Total Miles Running-17.5 miles

Ryan’s Tip of the Week: If you are injured while training, do other cross training that won’t aggravate or make your injury worse. I lifted three days this week and put in miles on the elliptical. Injury doesn’t mean stop training, it just means a different type of training.

Sarah’s Tip of the Week: Don’t play basketball when training for a marathon if you can’t not hurt yourself. Just kidding. My actual tip is…

Balancing social lives and running is never easy. Do your best to get all your runs on your training calendar in. The more you miss the more you risk not reaching your goals or finishing the distance you are working to complete. Do this consistently enough and you can forgive yourself some weeks when life gets in the way or you just need a mental break from the demands of training. A few missed runs or miles don’t mean you will fail, but try not to skip long runs-they are essential to marathon training. And remember when running is put against friends and family, sometimes the ones you love have to win!

Happy Running!