Half Marathon Training Week 2 – If I collapse, will the dogs come get me?

Half Marathon Training Week 2

This week, I ran into a big hairy problem on Thursday. It almost got me questioning: Did I really put out to the world that I’m going to finish a half marathon with my best PR ever? Scary to say the least.

That kind of broadcasting is exactly what is called for in my training, though. I need to have an audience holding me accountable on this one. I’ve told several running buddies about this new PR, as well as on social media and this blog.

Accountability partners are so key when reaching new goals.

Here’s what week 2 consisted of in terms of my training plan:

Half Marathon Training Week 2

Monday

Cross-Training (CT) has always been difficult for me.

I think this is a tough thing for many runners. There’s something about strength training that just seems easy to avoid altogether. I’ve trained for entire marathons without strength, which I actually don’t recommend.

The secret that I’ve found, though, is that the strength work is what keeps you going faster and farther. It’s going to be my secret sauce, and I’m taking it seriously this time.

My CT of choice so far has been Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, for its ease of availability and use. I can come home and know I can have a choice between 3 different levels of workouts that I don’t have to think about.

It’s a tough 30 min workout and it’s relatively cheap, cost-wise. The only complaint with this I would say is that the menu previews on the DVD can not be skipped, so I end up wasting almost 5-10 minutes when I want to just get into the action.

Tuesday

This week, Kristin was on board for yoga with me!

We pulled out both mats and searched Youtube for Beginner Yoga and found Yoga with Adrienne series (check her out here). She has some good videos that are well-produced, but it is a little moderate for a beginner course. I couldn’t keep form for long, and Kristin was pretty sore the next day.

Kristin & Yoga

The time it took me to find an adequate video led me to believe there had to be something better out there. Some Yoga for runners, perhaps…

Enter Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials. Looking around for a good DVD on Yoga, this seemed to be well recommended on Amazon. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will be sure to let you know how it goes next week.

Wednesday

20 min pace run went much better than last week’s 15 min. The strength from the previous week’s CT was present. I had about a 7:05 pace, and I keep telling myself that the pace runs get faster, and that I’m not yet fast enough. I’ll have to shave off at least :15 per on this, and I want to cut even more to be safe.

Pace runs are where success is born. I can’t get faster unless I train faster, so these runs will be vital to overcome!

Thursday

Yasso 800s are a true test of preparedness.

I’ve been using them in my training for a long time, and they’ve always been really good indicators of performance capability.

After Thursday’s run, it was obvious I have some tough work cut out for me if I want to achieve this PR.

FYI: The idea behind the Yasso 800 is to run 800m relative to a goal pace finish. I’ve always used them for marathon times, but they can also be calculated for half-marathons.

With Yasso 800s, if you want to finish a marathon in 3hrs 45 min, you run 800m (or about 0.5 miles) in 3 min 45 sec, and then jog for 3min 45 sec, repeating up to 10 times.

 

This week, I started with 2x Y800s, and I had planned to run 0.5mi in 3min 10sec. I was running at a speed of 10.6mph, the fastest I’ve probably ever run. I only ran for 2min instead of 3, and I even slowed down on the second one.

Total running time was less than 10 min. and I was ready to collapse.

Something in me just could not run that fast that long. I thought I was going to fly off the treadmill. It worries me that I’ve set too audacious a goal, but I’m going to hit it again next week and see how it goes.

Saturday

While I had planned some strength training, I switched it up this week to run a 6mi. I waited until very late in the day to do this, and running 6 miles was easier than doing strength and cardio. Sometimes you just gotta switch it up.

Sunday

Did a strength session of Jillian Michaels, and then a brief 20 min run to loosen everything up. A solid end to a solid week of training.

 

I’m really glad I’m making my own schedule. I feel in tune to what I’m doing and I don’t feel bad about adjusting as I go. There is something about taking action and controlling your own success that is so empowering.

Has anyone else ever tried their own running schedule? How has it been going for you? I’d love to get your insights!



 

Half Marathon Training Week 1

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The first week of using my own training plan has been going surprisingly well, but not without its hiccups.

I’m planning for a 1h 30min PR, which will put me at a pace of at least 6:50/per mile, and I should be shooting for a little faster than that in order to ensure that I’m meeting my pace.

On the treadmill, which is where I do most of my training, that means no slower than 8.8 mph. I don’t know about you, but for me, this is fast!

After the first day of speed, I was worried that this goal was too audacious for me. I wasn’t huffing and puffing, but it was still hard to keep up & pain was present. By the end of the week, things have been progressing much better, and I’m already feeling stronger.

Here is what I’ve planned so far:

Training Schedule Week 1

I’m still tweaking the schedule by making sure that there is enough slow and fast-paced days. While I don’t have a heart rate monitor just yet, I’m trying to really key into my heart rate and know when I’m at a low, medium or high heart rate.

I’ve also added Yoga in for the first time, because as I run these very fast speeds, I tend to tighten up much faster, so I’m trying to counteract any issues down the road.

Here’s what I’ve learned from past speed races:

I find structure to be especially important when hitting a new goal. At last year’s half-marathon, I felt like I was guessing all the time with training. Though it did get me a good finishing time last year, I probably could have done much better. This year, I’m vowing to do better.

Here are some things I’m starting to do differently, because it seems they actually work. It also seems to be where I falter in setting awesome times.

1. Knowing the course.

I noticed in my last 5K run that I was doing pretty great, but my downfall was not knowing the course. I faltered in the last few minutes by losing steam with an added turn.

My mind and body were not prepared to do another loop. I was so close to getting in the top 10, but because of my shortcomings, I was not able to get into that top 10 timeframe. That won’t happen this time around.

I’m going to be making a trip or two around the course before race day, to get a feel for what I’m up against. I’ve honestly never done this before, but it seems like a great and important plan.

2. Planning for hills and other tough spots.

Good old-fashioned hill training should do the trick. Have you ever heard the mantra “I eat hills for breakfast”? That will be me. My treadmill goes to a 15% incline, and that is way more than anyone needs!

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3. Analyzing previous race times and training runs

Here’s a breakdown of last year by the numbers. At last year’s half marathon, I was 86th overall out of 1155 registered finishers. I was 13th in my age group. After how much I trained last year (not excellent), I should easily be getting in the top 10 in my age group this year.

Based on last years numbers, when I get my goal of 1:30 finish time, I’ll be in the overall top 20 finishers, in the top 7 runners of my age group, and in the top 2% of total course participants.

4. Visualizing my plan daily.

This means seeing the run I will have, even when its 90+ days away. It means pushing though a tough 20 minute run, even though I feel like calling it done after 15.

This means feeling like I’m running the marathon at every training run. It means not giving up, not waiting until “later”. Just getting it in & getting it done.

In Summary

It’s been a tough but rewarding week. I’ve had some great success, and I’m already starting to see changes. In the next post we’ll go into the diet and meal planning Kristin and I are on, and how it is helping both of us achieve even greater things.



 

My Next Running Goal!

Running in Japan

Accomplishments breed Progress.

Thus far, I’ve achieved two huge running milestones for myself: a sub 4 hour marathon, and an ultra. It’s hard to determine what’s next when you’ve already achieved what you thought might be impossible.

The vision must get bigger and bolder. What can one do in running when they’ve already hit their goals?

Do it Faster!

Coming off the slower but longer pace of the 50K run, I was pondering another street race. There’s something about flat-out speed that just gets really exciting. The speed bug always comes back!

What Race to do?

After some thought, I’m going to run the Cincinnati Half-Marathon Too!, on October 19th, 2014.

I ran in last year’s Cincy Half Marathon exactly one year ago from this race. Aside from the cold and rainy weather, it was a really good half-marathon starting at Sawyer Point & taking me around downtown Cincinnati.

Cincy Half 2013

Frank Dejulius and I after my 1st Half Marathon!

Believe it or not, last year was my first half-marathon, after 6+ years of running. I’d never gotten around to one of the most popular running distances out there!

It was a well-routed and well-marked course, and I had a great time, even despite the rain. It’s also sponsored by our good friends at Fleet Feet Sports!

All successes aside, there were a couple of issues from my first Half Marathon:

1. Unknown finish time

One of my toughest things to plan for last year was determining a finishing time. I didn’t really know what kind of time I’d be able to achieve. This is always a problem with initial PR’s (“Personal records” – Best time in a specific race length).

Last year I made a good PR of 1:42:20, because it was my first, and therefore best, time. It was pretty good, but for me, I felt like I was unsure of my true limits the whole time.

The main problem with last years race was that I didn’t have a good PLAN for how to run a half-marathon. I’m going to fix that this year.

2. Training schedule woes

I’ve always relied on others’ training schedules to carry me through a race. To me, it was great seeing everything laid out and not really having to think about a plan & just follow what someone else had made.

The problem with relying on someone else was I never did find a half-marathon training program that I liked or even used well.

I’m going to look at this year’s Half Marathon in a whole new way by owning my training.

This year, I’m making my Own training schedule!

 

Up until now, I’ve always been a follower with running. The 50K I did in June instilled in me that I NEED to start becoming a leader.

I’ve learned a lot over the past years of running, and it will all culminate into this upcoming training plan. I now know my body and personal schedule enough to craft a good plan.

Not only will this give me a tailor-made plan, but it will shift my race preparation into a new realm where I become the owner of my destiny.

I’ll be continuing this story in the next several months leading up to the big day. I’m excited to share this with the Hello Flecks community. I’m going to show how I fit training into an already busy schedule, as well as some success and failure points along the way.

Follow along with me, and I will share information that you can use to fuel your goals, whether they are running-related or otherwise.

I’m really looking forward to this, and I know you’ll find this info to be a great resource for you!



A New Site Theme and Purpose

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Welcome to the re-imagined Hello, Flecks!

In March, we started this blog project with many ideas. We had a lot to say and wanted to get it all out there for everyone to benefit from. We covered everything that we thought you might want to read about.

In short, we painted with a very broad brush.

The problem with trying to help everyone is that we were not focused. We wanted to cover all topics, yet sometimes we felt like we were saying nothing. It was time to go back to what we know and what we can help others with the most.

If you go back and read both our stories (Kristin’s here, and Ethan’s here) you’ll see that these two posts are really at the heart of what we wanted to share. It tells two great stories about how we weren’t engrained with success, it was a skill that was learned along the way.

This is what we will share with those that are ready for a journey.

We will be focusing on personal health and wellness going forward.

Many of our topics will remain, but the content is directed to start or maintain your success in those areas.

Welcome to the re-imagined site, we think you’ll find it even better than before.

– Ethan & Kristin



50% Complete

50 Complete
I can’t believe the year is already halfway over.

It seems like just a few short months ago that I was making plans on what to do this year. Some goals I thought of were easy goals, and some were lofty stretch goals.

In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” A lot has happened in these last 6 months. This is my snapshot of where we are in our halfway mark with a few of 2014’s Goals.

Exercise

I had planned to run something longer than a marathon this year. “2013 Ethan” would have thought I would need to give myself plenty of time to train for an even longer run, so it had to be in September or October.

As I got closer to my annual Flying Pig marathon in May, though, it dawned on me that it would be much better to pick something sooner, so I signed up for Another Dam 50K in June, only 4 weeks after the Pig.

It turned out to be a great run and very helpful to set those runs close together so I didn’t lose training momentum. I feel like I can now tackle new, even scarier challenges with confidence. I’d even like to set a goal to hit Marathon Maniac status in the future!

Ethan's 1st Ultra

For the 2nd half of 2014, I’d like to keep my good running base by doing another marathon or half-marathon. I’d also like to work more on speed. Kristin and I are even looking at getting a GPS/ heart rate watch!

We’ve already been really successful this year with exercise, and we’d like to build upon that success base in the second half of the year.

Financial

We made great strides in our finances in 2014 as a couple. Kristin got a new job that has much better pay, and we have regained focus on our target to pay down the remaining student loan debt we owe, which is about $30,000.

We had given ourselves a short break from intense saving, and we now have new purpose with which to attack that goal. Paying off the student loans will help us to set up some amazing things in the near future as well. It’s our only debt besides the house!

It feels really great to have the freedom and security that financial success allows. The only money problems we seem to have are the good kind these days, and that is a real blessing.

Productivity

One of our biggest goals this year was to start this blog.

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For a new blogger like myself, It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I get excited, scared, frustrated & satisfied all at once.

Kristin has really helped me along in navigating these new paths, and it’s been really rewarding and surprising to see some of the things that have come out of this project.

In the future we hope to grow this hobby and allow it room to expand. It is not the center of our lives, but I feel like it is helping us to build a solid foundation on which to create our voice, for whatever we do going forward.

Personal Growth

If you had told me that I’d be journaling every day consistently 1 year ago, I would have told you “that’s a nice idea, but it will never happen”.

About 12 months ago, I started journaling as part of the Start Experiment, and it wasn’t until January this year that it became almost daily. I now have 2 journals, actually – a personal journal and a productivity journal.

I should have been doing this years ago. I had this notion in my mind that writing in a journal was embarrassing. That only 12 year old girls write in journals. I admit was wrong.

Journaling has brought some great clarity and focus into my days. It helps me to deal with the issues of the day, it helps me reflect on what I’m doing right and wrong, and it gives me perspective on what is really important in life.

I highly recommend you just start doing it if you’re on the fence. I limit myself to 15 minutes a day using DayOne, and that works out great for me.

House

It may seem easy for most, but another one of our goals was to set up a home office. Kristin and I had gone back and forth about converting a lovely baby’s room from the previous homeowners into an office. They had decorated the third bedroom in Winnie the Pooh with a hand-painted mural, you guys.

We couldn’t bear (pun intended) to cover over that work of art for almost eight months, and finally we realized that it was doing no good for us in its current state. We painted it over with the help of family and bought a desk and lamps to create an office space. I also hung a cork board, and we plan to get a white board as well.

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Conclusion

As I look back at the year that’s already halfway over, I’m proud of all of our accomplishments thus far. This is one of the first years that I’ve written down and then checked back on my goals in a timely fashion. It has helped so much in keeping myself on track and accountable to finish by the end of the year.

92% of New Year’s Resolutions get side-tracked. Don’t become another statistic.

I hope to set and achieve bigger and loftier goals in the future. I want to be the best me that I can be. In order to do so, I realize that, though it will take hard work and dedication, the rewards are worth the effort.

 



   
   

   


 

 

 

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