{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 12}

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This week I only ran once.  If I had to pick a week to be injured, I guess this would have been it.  With lots of responsibilities, life events, and unexpected things popping up, running took a back seat this week.  After sitting out most the week, I am so anxious to go for a run.  My foot is feeling better, but where I go from here is on a day-by-day basis.  I’d love to resume the training plan Monday, but we will see.  The most important thing is giving my foot time off to heal so I can show up to the starting line healthy.  Even more unexpected than missing my running time this week was how much I missed the fresh air and being outside.  Having ran outside all winter this week has been the most I’ve been indoors and it was challenging.

Looking at Ryan’s training this week, I’d say my foot held not only me back, but Ryan too.  Granted we had some unexpected family things happen this week.

Tuesday-5 miles (both of us)

Wednesday-Ryan lifted

Thursday-5 miles (Ryan)

Tip of the Week:  Just because we didn’t do so well sticking to the training plan this week doesn’t mean you have to have the same experience.  If you are injured or something feels painful, then by all means skip your run until you feel better or see a doctor.  If you are healthy, then here are some tips to stay committed to your training plan.

1) Plan Your Workouts-Yes, your training plan tells you what to run and when.  What I mean is look at your obligations and work load for the week.  Are there days you need to move around?  Will you need to move a p.m. run to the a.m?  What might be going on this week that could negatively impact your training runs being completed.  Be proactive and adjust your training plan to accommodate your week in advance to ensure all training runs have a time and a place.  Sunday nights work great for this!

2)  Run with Friends-Schedule a run or two for the week with a friend.  Having someone to meet up with will increase the chance you don’t bail on your miles.

3) Log Your Miles-I log every run in RunKeeper.  I get excited to enter my miles and see my progress towards my goal.  Other apps or social media to try include Daily Mile, Strava, or even Instagram.

4) Spread the Word-Tell family and friends about your race or long runs.  Knowing they might ask you about them and how they went will help you stay committed to your training.

5) Reward Your Hard Work-I almost always think of a personal incentive for after a long run or difficult speed session.  Rewards could be food, but might also be a massage, new pair of running socks, a pedicure, or whatever interests you.

6) Move that Butt-Once you get home from work or out of bed in the morning, get your run on right away.  Don’t make excuses or procrastinate because you only increase the chance you won’t make it out the door or have time for all your miles.

7) Cross It Off Your List-I love lists and crossing things off them.  I have a paper copy of my training plan on the refrigerator so I can cross a workout off after I complete it.  Something is so satisfying about the action of checking off a list.

8) Race for Your Race-Schedule a few tune up races to get some speed training in or a half marathon race as part of your long runs for marathon training.  I love racing; the change in scenery is refreshing to your training, you get the opportunity to have a dress rehearsal for your big day, and it can rejuvenate and remind you of your training goals.

Total Miles-5 (Sarah) and 10 Ryan

Happy Training!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 11}

Thanks to a solid run on Monday, this was a good mileage week for both Ryan and I.  This week brought out some emotional aspects of training that I wasn’t necessarily expecting.  We all have our ups and downs when preparing for demanding physical feats.  When I signed up for my first marathon my only fear was could I really run 26.2 miles?  Would I be physically strong enough?  Would my body hold up to the miles and the pavement pounding?  What if my muscles tired too fast?  Little did I know physical challenges are often the least of my worries when it comes to training, or they had been until this training cycle.  My mind was often the biggest thing to overcome in past years.  This year it seems to be both a physical and a mental battle I’m fighting.  If it’s not one, then it’s the other.  On some days it’s both.

Monday-17 miles, long run (both of us)

20140312-120730.jpgMonday’s long run was supposed to happen the day before (Sunday), but social choices got in the way. Monday’s weather was absolutely, freaking gorgeous, so I’d say it worked out in the end.  At lunch it was 52 degrees and the sun was shining.  I went for a drive with the windows down, sun roof open, radio blasting, and a large fountain drink in hand.  It was a great fifteen minutes.

Post-work Ryan and I got down to business to get this 17 mile long run completed.  We busted out the shorts and had an awesome run in the 59 degree weather. The bare leg feeling made us both feel like we had just started for the first 13 miles.  We finished our run in 2:25, which was speedier than I’d expected for a long run.  Bare legs just felt that good.  Ryan tested taking GU’s earlier in this run so he is prepared on race day, and because when you start a long run at 5:15 after work and have not had dinner yet fueling is super important.  The GU’s went fairly well and held our hunger over until dinner.  We were both starving post-run.  Remember to make sure to fuel with protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your long run to start the recovery process in a positive way.

Wednesday-easy 5 miles (Sarah)/8 miles (Ryan)

I was still sore as I did not drink hardly any water on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  I did not do my body any recovery favors…oops!  Sometimes I need the reminder though that being sore doesn’t always mean you need to skip a workout.  My legs felt better than before the run after knocking out this easy pace recovery run.  I contemplated skipping this run for about 20 minutes, but thought better of it.  I was so glad I came to my senses even though it was back to running in the teens outside.  As for my foot, that is another story.  Damn that foot.

Saturday-8 miles (Sarah)

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Sunday-18 miles (Ryan)/10 miles (Sarah)

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Pre-long run stretching in our house!

Sunday’s run started off on the right foot, that is until my right foot started hurting again.  The pain is hard to describe, but it is constant when running and walking.  At mile six I was questioning if I should continue.  I decided to head out for one more loop, but at mile eight I tearfully admitted to myself that it was stupid to push through the pain I was feeling.  I handed Ryan the Garmin, and turned back for home defeated, upset, and feeling sorry for myself.  How could the marathon runner be having worse training weeks than the first-time marathon trainer?  I still feel frustrated by this, but have had an hour to mentally come to terms with today’s disappointing run.  Monday’s run was awesome; no pain.  Today-Grrr.

Sometimes training is great and other times it’s a bitch.  But, I guess that is what training is for.  It prepares you for the mental and physical rollercoaster you might have on marathon race day.  I’ve ran marathons that have felt easy and effortless.  I’ve ran marathons that felt difficult and challenging from mile 11 on.  I’ve ran marathons where I ranged from jubilant to wanting to quit to ecstatic in a matter of miles.  Sometimes the highs are high and the lows are really low.  We come out stronger and prouder for taking on and overcoming the challenge.  That is what the marathon is about.

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No matter how many marathons I train for and run, I feel like I learn something new about myself, my body, and my spirit.  It is a journey that is not always rainbows and sunshine, but what great things are always great?  I need to focus on the quote above in the coming weeks.  It is so frustrating to want to do something and have your body not want to.  I know my mind wants to run the distance.  My body just has to come along.  For now I am busy scrunching a towel with my toes, stretching the foot, rolling arches with a soup can, foam rolling, and doing yoga stretches.

Tip of the Week-When aches and pains start (and they will!) foam rolling will be your new favorite love-hate relationship.  The pain it brings is worth the pleasure in the end.  I use my Trigger Point Foam Roller, which I bought on Amazon.  I love the different spaced pressure points that allow you to vary your foam rolling experience.  No idea how to foam roll?  See the graphic below to get started.

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Ryan’s Total Miles-43 miles

Sarah’s Total Miles-40 miles

Happy Training!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 9}

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For me I would call this the training week that wasn’t. I ran one day this week…and I don’t even feel (that) bad. I know, what happened? Work. Work happened. I put in 80 hours at school this week in crunch mode between grading with mid-quarter grades due in a few days and cramming with kids to prepare for their Science Olympiad competition. I typically spend 10-11 hours at school or working on school stuff on a school day. This week I spent 12 hours at school Monday through Thursday. Friday I got to school at 7:15 a.m. and left at 11:45 p.m. after which I put in another 30 minutes at home for a total of 17 hours. Saturday I was up at 4:30 a.m., left the house at 5:00 to get school vans gassed and loaded, spent all day at our competition (which went well), and returned home at 7:00 p.m. for a total day of 14 hours.

Today I woke up with a pounding headache, a nauseous stomach, and just felt bad. My body was coming down from a week fueled by constant caffeine, adrenaline, nerves, and sugar. I spent all morning laying in bed and on the couch trying to get my head to stop feeling like I drank two bottles of wine the night before (which I didn’t, but sadly I do know how that feels). I finally started feeling better this afternoon, but not enough to run on a treadmill. It is once again below zero here. Shocker right?!

The positive to the week off from running is my foot feels almost perfectly normal. I doubt that would be the case had it not been for the extra work load this week. Normally I would be a freaking mess at missing this weeks miles, but oddly I’m not. I’m too mentally exhausted to care. It was a down week in miles for us too which helps. I worked my arse off this week and deserve to give myself a break over missed runs. I should be content with my own miles since ultimately no one else cares!

There is someone who had a solid workout week. That my friends, would be Ryan. Below are his workouts from the week. He is doing so awesome training for his first marathon. Not that I’m surprised, but yet I am slightly. He is so motivated, undeterred, and in shape. His body is responding to the miles just the way a runner would hope it to.

Monday-4 miles on treadmill (Ryan)

Tuesday-5 miles on treadmill (Ryan)

Wednesday-Ryan lifted

Thursday-4 miles (both of us)
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We had a solid run on the treadmill. I was in a weird, stressed, and pissed mood so I ran intervals to some new party-pumping songs and rocked out 4 miles in 32 minutes. I was not pissed after.
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Friday-Ryan lifted

Sunday-12 miles on treadmill (Ryan)

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Don’t train for a spring marathon in Wisconsin. It was below zero all week. Kidding…sort of!

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Don’t stress over a week off from running if it is for a good reason such as injury, emergency, or a work load that just won’t let it happen. One week off from running is not enough to have major cardiovascular or muscle strength/endurance loss. More than a week and you will experience setbacks. There is a difference between making excuses and truly not being able to run. I literally had no time on any day this week. Even my lunches were spent fundraising for my students’ team. If I used work as an excuse all the time, then that is exactly what it would be-an excuse. The important thing is to get back to your training plan right away. Like stat (as long as you are not injured)!

Ryan’s Total Weekly Miles-25

Sarah’s Total Weekly Miles-4

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 8}

Another week of training is over.
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Tuesday-4 miles (Ryan), I rested the foot

Wednesday-7 miles, Ryan lifted

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The weather was glorious. I seriously felt some warmth radiating off the ground and smelled that warm smell that comes with spring. I soaked up as much of this bliss as I could in preparation for the impending rain, sleet, and snow that was coming Thursday and Friday.

Thursday-4 miles at the gym
As hinted at above, the weather conditions were anything but stellar. When the sleet is instantly freezing into ice when it hits the ground it is time to go inside. I’m so glad we did. We had an easy four on the treadmill, and I was able to up the pace a bit since we were running on a flat and even surface. I was surprised how easy the pace felt as I started to increase the speed a mile into my run. To ease boredom and preserve mental energy for future winter runs outside this weekend, I ran my first mile at warmup speed, then at 1 mile I increased the speed every tenth of a mile by .1 miles per hour. At two miles I ran at 8 mph for a mile, then lowered the pace to 7.5 mph, and started my decent downward, lowering the speed .1 mph every tenth of a mile until I got to 7 mph. We finished our four miles in 33 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this felt. Great to know those outdoor winter miles are paying off.

The best part of going to the gym was seeing a friend who inspired me to run my first marathon. She had a baby six weeks ago and worked out her entire pregnancy. The night before she delivered her beautiful baby girl she was at the gym working out on the elliptical bump and all.  This Thursday she was working out on the elliptical again, this time baby girl was strapped to her in a front carrier. She was rocking out a nice and easy workout while baby girl was instantly lulled to sleep by the soothing motion of the elliptical. Way to go fit mama! Such a wonderful and inspiring person!

Friday-7 miles (Ryan on treadmill)
Ryan had a strong run on the treadmill. His miles have increased by a fair amount, but his body is adapting to the work load well. He felt a bit stiff going into Saturday’s long run, but nothing major.

Saturday-13 miles (Ryan) and 9 miles (Sarah)
Where do I begin with this run.  We knew it was going to be cold and slippery and snowy on our long run today, but we were optimistic because the sun was shining.  Steps into our run we encountered slippery roads and we both almost fell.  As we approached the lake we were met with snow drifts and wind gusts from across the lake.  Our path is below.
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We pushed onward still determined to get this run done. We were slip sliding every few blocks, but most the time this induced laughter as we made fun of each other.  Miles 1, 2, 3 ticked by.  Soon we were hitting miles 4 and 5.  The run actually was going pretty well. We found a bike path that was bare in few rare spots or snow-covered in others so we were able to get some traction with our shoes. However, they say all good things must come to an end.
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As we headed into mile six and turned directions, the direction of this run took a dramatic shift. We ran the next four miles into head on winds. The wind had also made this part of the bike path very slippery. Some parts were all ice, which was making our hips sore. We were freezing cold. By mile eight my legs, arms, and face felt numb. I likened the experience to what the tin man must have felt without oil. My mind was telling my legs and arms to go, but they just didn’t want to.
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When we got back to the house to get a drink, I was done. I was frozen to the bone. Near tears. It just wasn’t fun. Running shouldn’t be that unbearable; it just wasn’t worth the extra few miles I was supposed to run. I knew I could run those miles if I had to, but today I didn’t. I checked the weather forecast and found out why it felt so damn cold. It might say 20, but it felt all of 6. The wind was terrible.

The wind was relentless.

The wind was relentless.


Ryan being in his first marathon training mode, headed back outside to finish four more miles. I don’t know how he did it. He came back talking in explicatives and unkind words about running. I had taken a warm shower and was sitting in a cozy blanket by the fireplace reading an issue of Trail Runner magazine. I think we all know who made the smarter choice here.

Sunday-5 miles (Sarah), Ryan lifted
Ryan had a rest day since he actually followed the training plan this week, unlike me. He felt a bit sore today, but totally earned it with the mileage he put in this week. I’ve heard almost no complaining of muscle soreness, aches, pains, etc. from him which must mean he feels pretty good. I feel great muscle wise, and my foot feels better with each passing day.

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Don’t let weather by your excuse for missing workouts. Have a gym membership or pay a daily fee when the weather gets too cold or slippery. Having the option available helps you stay committed to your training plan no matter what the weather is like.

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Listen to your body. With first time marathon training sometimes it is hard to decide whether the aches and pains you feel are really an injury or your body just getting used to higher mileage. My rule of thumb has always been if the pain feels sharp, intense, or worsens with continued activity it is time to rest, ice, compress, elevate, and get it looked at if it lasts more than a few days without improvement. If the pain is more of an ache or muscle soreness, then I try to run through it and make sure to stretch or get it massaged by a certain training partner. I’m no doctor that’s for sure, but this is what has worked for me. Please listen to YOUR body and do what YOU feel is best.

My foot still hurts a bit today, but is feeling much better than it did all week. I sat out a couple of runs this week to give my foot some rest time. I also lucked out with dress up days at school and was able to incorporate running shoes into three days of dress up (blaze orange day, twin day, and favorite occupation-Olympic Runner.) Wearing supportive shoes gave my foot the rest it needed to heal faster. Pushing through the pain might have left me sitting out for weeks at a time. Better to miss a few runs than miss a few weeks of running. Plus, Ryan said he’d be ticked at me if I really hurt myself and couldn’t run the marathon.

Ryan’s Total Miles-35 miles

Sarah’s Total Miles-25 miles

Happy Training!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 5/Fueling for Your Training}

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Monday-3 miles on the treadmill
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It was too cold for outside running today. The weather channel’s choice of background is slightly deceptive. True-the sun may have been shining, but at temperatures this cold it is quite unnoticed. Regardless of the temperatures staying hydrated is always important. One of my favorite ways to get myself to drink more water is to add fruit to water to add some flavor. My favorite-simple lemons in water. Ryan takes his water straight up.

Tuesday-6 miles on the treadmill

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This was a rough run for me. I actually wavered between throwing my iPhone against the nearby wall and bursting into tears. I kept it together (barely) but had to walk .75 miles to regain my composure. Treadmill runs do little for my mental health during the run-that comes later. Ryan on the other hand, rocked his miles out like the devoted-training-for-his-first-marathon guy he is.

Wednesday-6 miles outside (!) and Ryan lifted
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This run was a cold one with chilly winds blowing and gusting, but it was a chance to get outdoors. It was an ok run, but not one that made you love running. It made you more love running when you were done.

Thursday-Danced it up in my cowboy boots for several hours
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Friday-Ryan lifted after work and I skied it up on a school field trip
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Saturday-12 mile long run outside
Saturday’s long run was the warmest day we had this week.  The temperature was 18 degrees with no windchill. That is right no windchill.  As a result, there was no chance of us running inside today.  The windchill was slightly misleading as the wind certainly had a chill, but running in the fresh air on open road was so refreshing.

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That is bare road folks…the first run of the winter that had more than a few open blocks.

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Half way through our run we were feeling great. We swung by the house for a drink and were back on the road. I thought about taking a GU, but didn’t really feel hungry and I usually prefer not to take GU’s on runs of 13 miles or less. Ryan was sticking with the same plan. When I first started marathon training, I needed more calories to finish my runs and learned the hard way what calories worked for me. I don’t believe in set rules for all. We each have different bodies and will, therefore, require different foods and drinks for fuel. I am not a dietician, nutritionist, or certified anything when it comes to fueling needs of runners. I simply have ran and found what worked through my own experiences. Below are some of my personal findings with eating on the run or preparing to run.

During my first marathon training cycle, I started getting stomach cramps that would last hours after long runs. Sometimes they started during runs after taking in some form of fuel. I felt trapped; I needed to eat or I would be starving, low on energy, and unable to finish my long runs, but I was feeling sick from what I was eating.

Learning what foods you can eat and can’t eat on long runs requires some experimenting. There is no way to know for sure until you try things out. I remember it being a frustrating time. You are hungry, need fuel to accomplish quality runs, but know you are going to feel sick later. Ugh! You can try not fueling, but you will bonk and runs will feel way worse than they need to. Try no to get frustrated if this is happening to you. We all learn by doing.

After far too many stomachaches post-long runs, I started to do some research. I bought the book, Performance Nutrition for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald, and learned so much about fueling my body for running. If you’ve had issues with fueling I strongly recommend you purchase this book. He breaks fueling for running down into easy to follow ideas that you can take home to your kitchen and use on the run.
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I learned that so called sports bars and drinks that had lots of sugar were giving me my stomach cramps and really were not designed for runners. I swapped out sugary Gatorade for G2 and felt some improvement.  I later switched G2 for Ultima Replenisher which has no sugars, artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners that were easier on my stomach. I also ditched the Snickers Marathon bars and Power Bars for GU’s and simple granola bars that were easier for my stomach to digest. Some of the experimenting was simply getting used to digesting foods while on the run. I can now eat more real foods than ever before because my body has learned to fuel my muscles and supply blood to my stomach at the same time (in moderation). When it comes to fueling the body for running, eating real food for meals and snacks leading up to runs is almost always the most filling, easiest digested, and the best for you. Since this post is already getting long, I’ve made a separate post for those of you who have asked me questions about fueling for long-runs-Fueling for the Long Run

As for Saturday’s run and fueling, our run continued to go well however around mile nine the damp, cold air started to chill the muscles and joints. Around mile ten we both got hungry. The next couple miles were a little challenging being hungry and having cold set in. The last mile home we talked only of which Bearded Brothers flavor we would eat and the Nuun flavor we would drink when we got home. Definitely should have at least brought a couple GU’s along just in case. Other than the hunger and cold, we both felt great on our longest run of our training plan thus far.
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12 miles is Ryan’s longest training run ever. He has ran four half marathons, but never ran training runs longer than 10 or 11 miles. We are unconcerned by pace right now as winter always causes slower times and greater perceived effort.

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Bearded Brothers is a new favorite bar of ours. Bearded Brothers bars are 100% natural with organic ingredients, vegan, gluten free, soy free AND taste delicious. Plus, they come in compostable packaging.

I am not always a huge bar person, but sometimes they are perfect for a pre-run snack or post-run snack. I love that Bearded Brothers offers a healthy and natural snack. I usually prefer to eat a meal 1.5 hours before a longer run. I can eat a smaller meal or snack minutes before leaving for a run. This training cycle we are both trying to eat healthier and not use our miles run and hard burned. In the beginning of my marathon training I often rewarded myself with treats and candy after long runs. After running more miles and marathons, I felt the need to do that less and less. I’m trying to continue on the healthy eating path as it really does make me feel better on a regular basis and I think I run better, too.

Ryan agrees with the feeling better when we eat better, and we are both looking to get in better shape. After our long run Saturday and Bearded Brothers snack we roasted up some chicken and veggies for dinner. I’d eaten most of my veggies when I thought to take this picture. We did enjoy some frozen yogurt later in the evening as we were hungry again.

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Balancing the hunger you can experience with marathon training and eating healthy can be a challenge. Making sure to fuel properly in advance of a long run and during a long run can prevent post-run pig out sessions. I also follow the rule that I only eat when I’m hungry. I’ve never been a snack just to snack person. I truly eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. Sometimes this gets me in trouble like on Wednesday when I didn’t feel hungry at lunch. I was then starving on my run on Wednesday.

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-As runs start to get longer, break the miles up into smaller sections to give yourself a better mental approach to the distance. This week I looked at the 12 miles, my longest training run yet, as a six mile loop and then an out and back six miles (3 out, 3 back). This approach mentally broke up the run making the distance seem much less mentally challenging.

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Make sure to listen to your body and provide it appropriate hydration and fuel as your runs get longer. Rather than get frustrated if you bonk or have a rough time fueling, think of it as part of the training process. You are not just training your mind and legs to go the distance, but your entire body to travel many miles. Check out my fueling for the long run post tomorrow for more details-How to Fuel for the Long Run.

Total Miles-27 miles

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 4}

Despite less than stellar temperatures to train in this week, both Ryan and I had some solid runs this week.

Monday-6.25 miles + HIIT Workout (Sarah)
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Post-run in my new favorite winter running jacket. More on the jacket later!

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Cherry tomatoes, carrots, starfruit, mangos, apples, oranges, lemons, raspberries, blueberries, and, blackberries.

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Getting a healthy dose of vitamins! We threw in some starfruit this week-yum!

I didn’t have school on Monday, so I had a chance to get in a solid run outside before the temperatures started dropping followed by a HIIT workout that left me sore for days. One of my new years resolutions was to add in a few HIIT workouts this year.

Tuesday-off
My whole body was sore from yesterday’s HIIT workout.

Wednesday-6 miles (Ryan)

Ryan ran at the gym at his school followed by a good lifting sessions. Then it was time to cheer on the Badgers during their upsetting loss to the Gophers. My legs were still sore today.

Thursday-6 miles (Both of Us)
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His face says it all…treadmills are awesome. Awesome as in watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians with my wife.

We hit the gym today as it was too freezing outside to endure six miles (temps were below zero). It was not a fantastic run, but not terrible either. In all honesty, I am not totally confident I would have made it to the gym had it not been for Ryan. Having a training buddy is awesome. The time went by faster than I expected as I watched last week’s episode of The Good Wife on my iphone. Ryan still refuses music or specific TV reactions. What a weirdo! Or he is just significantly tougher than me. Probably the former.

Friday-3 miles (Sarah)
I took advantage of the warmest temperatures all week and ran after work. In a strange turn of events for Wisco winters, the temperatures actually increased throughout the day with the high temps occurring at 10:00 p.m. Even with warmer temps, the wind was fierce. After my run my muscle soreness returned. Very strange.  I say very strange because I’ve never experienced random muscle soreness before.  I also drank way more water than normal this week since purchasing my new water bottle. Staying hydrated is so important if you want to feel good while training. Take a fun bottle to work to encourage yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Saturday-10 miles (Both of Us)
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It was a familiar scene again…the gym and sore muscles (so weird). Ryan didn’t get home until 3:00, therefore we didn’t make it to the gym until 3:30, so we had to cut our run a mile short as the gym closed at 5:00. By the end I was so ready to be done.  Outside runs are so much more interesting.  My legs were very heavy and still sore so I didn’t mind. My quads felt like I had run a PR half marathon. I’ll spare you all the treadmill photos this week mostly because they shut off after an hour so I couldn’t capture a ten mile photo.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Sunday-Skiing date for 4 hours instead of a 3 mile run
Most my muscle soreness was gone today. Ryan’s heel was feeling great. With more winter weather advisories and windchill warnings starting in the p.m. we wanted to get outside.  We decided to hit the slopes to cross train instead of our 3 mile run. Windy, but so worth it to enjoy winter outdoors.  The only downside of the 20-25 mph winds was some of the slopes were icy.  Not much you can do.  It was great to get some fresh air before we are trapped inside for the next couple of days.  Looking at the forecast over the U.S. some of you southerns are in for some cold and winter too.  Stay warm!

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Warming up and where I sit writing this week’s training post.

Ryan & Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Like a newbie, I totally forgot to put on Body Glide prior to our ten mile treadmill run. Like a newbie, oh wait he is, Ryan didn’t put Body Glide on his nipples. As I felt the familiar rub and burn of chaffing setting in around mile six or seven on the treadmill, I knew I had messed up. It was around this time that Ryan mentioned his sore nipples. As I stepped in the shower post-run the all too familiar sting set in. For long runs where you will sweat (for most of you this is all long runs, unless you too live in the frigid North) make sure to lube up any areas that rub. For me this is under my sports bra’s elastic band, sometimes between my thighs, and even my feet. For guys this includes your chest and nipples. Ryan also says his chest chafes more when it is unshaved, so I guess guys shave your chest, too. Hopefully that last sentence is never advice I’m having to give from experience! Body Glide has been my go to since my first marathon in 2008 and has yet to fail me when I remember to put it on.

Week 4 Mile Totals-
Ryan-22 miles
Sarah-25.25 miles

Stay warm everyone! Happy Training!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 2}

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Welcome to week two! The weather was so strange. Monday to Sunday it warmed up 70 degrees…-30 to 40. Crazy! This week we ran inside, in sleet/snow mix, and the heat wave 40’s. Here was the breakdown.

Monday-3 Miles on the treadmill

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No school this day and no gym membership for me. Gyms usually have a daily fee like my husband’s. The $5 fee was so worth the run.

Tuesday-5 miles on the treadmill
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Ditto with school and the gym. Five more well spent bucks!

Wednesday-Ryan bruises heel while playing league basketball. No more runs for him this week. This led to a conversation about getting out of training by hurting yourself. Way to soon for that. He was bummed and has on his own decided to limit the other sports he plays competitively while training. He will continue to lift, but realized throwing hard earned miles away for a game of bball is not worth it.

Friday-5 miles outside. It was freezing rain/snow mix. The ground was getting slippery, but it was 30 degrees. There was no way I was missing that opportunity. I came back soaked, but high on endorphins.
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#midwestrunnerproblems Snow kept getting packed in my shoes!

Saturday-Was supposed to run 3 miles, but with school work, a gazillion errands, and Ryan’s work Christmas party I just didn’t get it in so I moved it to Sunday.

Sunday-Combined 3 miles from yesterday and 6 mile run scheduled for today=9 miles outside. It was 40 and felt amazing. The temps that is. I ate way too much popcorn while watching a movie with the significant other before my run. Around miles 4 and 5 I thought I was going to throw up for sure. Today would be another day of doing something for the first time-puking while running.

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I slowed my pace, took a stretch break, and kept it down. I was so close to quitting because I felt that nauseous, but I kept reminding myself that sometimes feeling better is only a mile or two away. Too often runners quit when they have only a mile or two to get over it. Obviously if you are truly sick or injured this is a bad idea. I wasn’t. Miles 6-9 were much better. I did feel really tired after my run and have basically relaxed the evening away.

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Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Be careful what sports you cross train with. Putting in lots of miles and work training for a marathon can be lost with an injury from another sport. Choose your other sports carefully.

Sarah’s Tip of the Week-Some miles of a run may be hard, but don’t make the mistake of quitting right away. Try pushing through because the miles coming up might actually feel better. My long run was the perfect example this week. Miles 1-4 felt good, miles 4-6 wanted to barf, miles 6-9 felt good again. Feeling good again may only be a mile away (sung to the tune of Annie of course).

Total Weekly Miles-22 miles

Happy Running!

{Wisconsin Marathon Training-Week 1}

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It is only week one so you would think it would be easy peasy to get all of our runs done. Throw in a holiday and some really cold temps and that doesn’t make life so easy. Before I outline our first week training I’ll share a bit about the training plan we are following.

Ryan is following the below plan to gear up to run his first marathon. The plan is not the easiest plan as Ryan has run four half marathons in the past couple years without much training. By not much training I mean running only two longer runs leading up to the halves. It is not an advanced plan by any means either because Ryan’s previous training cycles were not really what I would call training and low in miles. He has never ran this kind of mileage so I do not want him to over do it and risk injuring himself. We are approaching the plan knowing when we get to the upper 30 and 40 mile weeks that we may need to make adjustments to his plan. You do not need to run 40 miles a week to finish a marathon. If your body can handle the mileage though it will usually make you better prepared (i.e. the marathon will be easier–no easy though) and you have a better chance of finishing in less time.
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When choosing a plan be realistic about your past and current fitness level. Choosing a plan that is too high in mileage will leave you injured, burnt out, or both. Choosing a plan that is too easy may not be as rewarding or allow you to see the results you hope to see. More details about training plans can be found in this previous post-Training Plans.

This week we completed the following as our prep begins for the Wisconsin Marathon.

Day 1-Monday (3 miles easy)

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Thursday (5 miles easy)
We ran separately this day.
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Friday (3 miles easy)

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Saturday (8 miles-long run)
Both of us had tight muscles with all the cold weather running. After a few warmup miles (this is important runners) our muscles relaxed a bit. Having temperatures in the low 30’s (wind chills in mid20’s) was like a heat wave. We both overdressed and had to ditch some layers after our first 5 mile loop. The last 3 miles were on a paved trail, which gave our legs a nice finish to our first long run of the marathon training.
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Towards the end of the run Ryan felt hungry. Fueling properly can be one of the biggest learning curves of training for your first long distance race. Once you get more accustomed to running longer distances you will know what to eat, how much, and when. Ryan learned that a small bowl of oatmeal may not be enough before longer runs.  More on fueling right in a future post.
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Bowls of fruit post-run had our hangry selves in a much happier state. Remember, just because you are running more does not mean you can eat everything in sight. Well, I guess you could, but that isn’t going to help things much. Neither of us are training to specifically lose weight, but we each have a few pounds to lose. With proper fueling and training that shouldn’t be a problem.

We missed a 5 mile run this week with our busy schedules and the cold weather, so we made our 3 milers a little longer to make up for it. These are totally excuses, BUT since both Ryan and I increased our mileage a fair amount, we decided this would also be the bet choice to stay injury free.

In the past month I have only been running 15 miles max a week in an effort to rest after a busy November of racing a 5k (PR’d), 5 mile, half marathon (PR’d) and a challenging marathon. Ryan had been running about 15 miles a week on top of lifting at the gym two to three times a week.

Week 1 Total-19.83 miles

Ryan’s Tip of the Week-Be sure to dress in layers for cold weather runs.  If you put on too many layers you can always take them off.  When dressed appropriately for winter, running outside in the cold isn’t too bad.  When you don’t wear enough layers your appendages can get very cold (especially your male parts)!

Happy Running!

{Friday Fab 5-Chicken Tikka Masala, Roadtrippers App…

{#1-Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala}

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Ever since going to Taste of Madison in August and trying Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time, I’ve wanted it again and again. While pinteresting the other day I found this recipe, and we ate it on Monday for dinner. It was yummy, however I will add extra garam masala to add some extra spice. The cilantro and lemon added the perfect balance to round out this dish. Yum!

{#2-Roadtrippers App and Website}
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This app and website are amazing. After taking our first roadtrip last summer, we are hooked. There is something about driving through towns, local food and beer, nature and landscapes so different from our own that we love. We have, of course by we I mean I, been busy planning here and there for a couple of months already.

I discovered this website while planning away this past weekend. It lets you plan your route, which can be adjusted, and then add in things to see, do, etc. along the way. It has tons of options from hikes, to national parks, to out of the way attractions, to breweries, to sweet tooth stops. I’ve got our routes and stops planned with a general itinerary made. On top of that it keeps track of the hours, miles, and gas cost to take your road trip (you punch in you mpg, it calculates $ for you). Check this website out, then add the app to your phone. Your trips will show up on your phone and give you turn by turn directions. Above is a glimpse at our trip-Go West 2014! Check out the quick video below about Roadtrippers, too. Anyone already made a trip out West and have suggestions? Can’t miss stops? I’d love to hear about them!

{#3-Fun Makeup}

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I don’t normally share makeup stuff on the blog, nor do I usually buy discount makeup products as I usually find you get what you pay for, however these colors were too fun and cheap to not buy (clearance @Target for $7.10). I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality. The colors are smooth, long lasting, and highly pigmented. If you’ve been looking for some fun colors to add to your makeup routine, but don’t want to spend all your money, then these are it! Just don’t have too many of number 4 below or you could end up looking frightening!

{#4-Shiner Holiday Cheer}

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My dad and stepmom know how Ryan and I love us some Shiner beer, so they rarely travel to Wisco without restocking us up. We love that they do this! The family reunion packs are always filled with a variety you can’t find here. This year they also brought the seasonal Shiner Holiday Cheer. It is delicious and unlike any beer I’ve tasted before. Holiday Cheer is a Bavarian-style dark wheat brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. It is really smooth, too!

{#5-Happy New Year to you all}

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Thanks to all of you for reading! I hope the new year brings happiness and cheer to you and yours!  Our new year brought us some major gambling cheer as I walked away the big winner in the group with…$40 bucks.  Our lives will never be the same!

Stay tuned for Sunday’s post to find out how week 1 of marathon training went for the hubster and I!

Happy Weekend!

{3,2,1…Happy 2014 Goals}

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Here they are…my fitness related goals for 2014!

{#1-Run my first ultra marathon}

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So this is a big one for me (and a scary one)! I’ve been thinking about going longer for a few months. Registration for the Kettle Moraine 100 opens Tomorrow and I’m signing up. I’m not totally cray cray though…I’m signing up for the 50k (31 miles) in honor of my 30th birthday the weekend before. I’ll save the 100k and 100 mile races for when I really lose it.

{#2-Run more trails}

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This goal goes with goal #1 since most ultra marathons are on trail systems and the 50k is no different. I’ve been liking the trails more and more for the private conversations with nature (not literally) and their scenic beauty. Getting state park passes for Christmas from the in-laws seemed like the ultimate sign. Plus with our amazing road trip this summer I have a feeling there will be some great trail runs!

{#3-Cross off two more states at minimum towards reaching my 50 in 50 ultimate goal}

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I’m registered for both of these races. I’d love to run more than two this year, but alas I don’t have an unlimited racing and travel budget. Without a sugar daddy for a husband, I will be content with the great places I do get to visit this year.

{#4-Complete a Century ride}
After injuring my ankle and rediscovering biking after a ten year absence, I realized how much I enjoy cross training on the bike. This summer I plan to ride the entire La Crosse State bike trail to the Sparta-Elroy trail to the 400 trails end in Reedsburg…exactly 100 miles in a day!

{#5-HIIT workouts after short runs and yoga once a week}
I was very inconsistent with HIIT workouts last year. This year I’m scheduling them after my short run days. I started doing yoga this year and want to make sure I do it at least once a week. More would be great, but I need to be realistic, too.

{#6-Train and Pace my husband to finishing his first marathon}

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I put this one last because I don’t think he needs that much help, but I did make his training plan, buy him running clothes and fruity GU for Christmas, and will be running with him so it counts for something.

Those of you who have ran a marathon before probably remember all the questions and uncertainty you had while training for your first. I’m going to document what it’s like to train with your husband along with all those first marathon experiences in a new post each week. If you’ve never ran a marathon yet or are training for one, join us! Stay tuned!!

When the champagne has worn off start thinking about YOU! What are your 2014 fitness goals? You only get one body…how will you take care of yours?

Happy 2014!