Saturday, January 14, 2012

Let's Talk Training Runninghood

For those of you that read this blog mostly for the "hood" part and want to see more motherhood stuff...I did write a more motherhood related post yesterday. I suppose you could include it with training for running too since parenting my two year old son is quite the cross training.  For those of you that have mentioned wanting to hear more about my training and workouts, this one is for you.  Nothing too exciting really.  

Training for:  Well, this is obvious for most of you but for those that are new, I'm training for the Boston Marathon in April.  

Training Plan:  So far it has been mostly an Amanda plan with lots of base building.  I'm using the bones of Brad Hudson's Run Faster plan.  Today was the first day of week 8 of a 20 week plan.  I have not officially followed a full week yet since I was base building and then had to slow down because of a hamstring and lower abdominal strain.  

How's the strain?  Feeling a lot better with my hamstring.  No pain here when I run now and I'm feeling myself getting stronger.  My abdominal area is still a little rough.  Hopefully seeing my sports Chiropractor (he's really amazing) and having him do painful Graston therapy along with stem and laser therapy will get me feeling great in no time.  I've just got to watch the way I'm moving and lifting my son around.  I've also got to be more diligent in STRENGTH training.  

What am I doing for strength training?  Not a whole lot right now.  Wish I would have built up some great strength this summer by following a weight program for my total body.  But I didn't so now I'm just doing lots of planks, push ups, isolated leg work without weights, and thinking Core Core core in addition to working a bit on my legs and arms.  

Goals for Boston?  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure where I'm at and where I'm going.  It is hard to make a time goal right now since I feel so far from where I hope to be by the time Boston comes.  I'd love to break 3:20 and PR but as the weeks go by, I will be able to more accurately assess whether or not a more ambitious goal is in order.  Otherwise, my main goal is to show up on race day INJURY free, feeling strong and healthy, and ready to enjoy my weekend with friends and my husband.  

How many miles a week am I running?  Before these strains, I was close to 70 miles a week. It was time consuming but fun. This mileage was mostly base building with some speed work.  Last week was an easier week at 50 and honestly, I think that keeping my mileage right around 60-70 is a great place for me if I can stay injury free.  

How do I fit my runs in? Time management!  I'm not any busier than you, you and you.  :) Just have a different lifestyle and I make it work.  Having three young kids is a circus act most days but I find ways to make it work.  I just recently got my first treadmill so a lot of my runs are on that.  I also find a day or two a week to hit the gym when my girls are in school and my son feels up to going to the gym day care for a couple hours.  He loves this and so do I.  I feel very blessed to have this as an option. Getting in my runs BEFORE my husband comes home at night is a new thing in my running life and it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to enjoying training.  The idea of hitting the gym at 7 p.m now just makes me tired thinking of it.  This year is so much easier than ever before when it come to training for a marathon and being a mom if I consider that I have more time to workout during the day.  Still trying to make a point to stay present with my kids and make being a mother my number #1 focus.  It is easy to get distracted with other things and lose sight of what is most valuable to me.  

Most recent workout:
Today's plan called for 16 miles with last 30 minutes hard.  I really didn't do this right since I probably started off too fast instead of working my way up gradually. 

  •  I ran the first 6 on the TM ranging the incline between -2 and 4 and varying the speed between 7:40's and 8:34 pace.  
  • I ran the first part on the treadmill because it was pouring cold rain outside and I just wasn't up for a hilly, windy, rainy run.  
  • while on the TM, I watched Ryan Hall videos on youtube.  Inspiring.  
  • The hilly, windy rainy run happened anyway since I left for the last 10 miles outside because there was a break in the rain...until I got outside.  Oh well. 
  • 10 miles outside were pretty good.  I didn't do last 30 minutes hard but mile 12 and 13 felt hard for me after the other miles being low 8's and high 7's.  MIle 12 was 7:22 and mile 13 was mostly uphill (quite the hill too) in 7:54 and felt really hard.  I was happy to break 8 on that stupid hill.  Then my lower abs hurt too much for comfort so I took last 2 miles easy @ 8:30 and 8:24.  
  • Total 16.46 in 8:01 avg pace.  
Best workout this week:
I've been taking it pretty easy the last two weeks so that I can heal these strains so when my 2x15 min@ half marathon workout came up this week, I thought that I might just do them at marathon pace so that it would be easier on my body.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was stronger than I thought.  It ended up being a nice 9 mile run that made me feel good about my healing.  This is how it went down:

2 miles easy
15 min @ 6:58 (last half mile @ 6:31 pace)
2-4 min AR going down to the gym childcare to take my son pee
15 min @ 6:53
3ish miles easy

Workout I'm most looking forward to next week:
I'm really excited about my threshold workout next Thursday.  2 miles easy; 5 miles @ half marathon pace (will try around a 6:53 pace even though I have not proven that I can run a half marathon at this pace); 2 miles easy.  I really do like doing this workout on the TM.  So much easier for me than on the road even though some would highly disagree.  Others would also say that doing them on the road is better for you to get your body used to running this pace away from the TM.  I would agree here.  I'm not sure where I will do this workout but since running on the road isn't really an option for me all the time, I will probably have to do the TM. And I usually put it at a 1% incline with the 6:53 pace (or whatever pace) even though apparently this 1% rule isn't really agreed upon by everyone. I like how it translates to the road after training on the TM at 1%.  

Fueling:  I experimented with fueling today.  Ate eggs with veggies and toast for breakfast with my coffee.  Then at mile 5.5 and 11.5 I had one of these:

These have OMG caffeine Jenn!  :)  I have to say that these did work in giving me energy and making me feel good.  However, they are not the easiest for me to get down.  They are more watery than the other gels I've tried and I had to play tricks with myself to swallow it.  When I got home, I ate cottage cheese, broccoli, half a tuna sandwich and some chocolate milk.  Oh and I drank some water with some Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tablets in there.  All this while watching the end of the women's Olympic Trial marathon.  So inspiring.  Oh, and then I took a cold bath.  Not fun.  

Next time I do a long run, I think I will go back to my new favorite gel.  I thought it was a Hammer product but after doing a google search for an image of it, I realize it is a Clif product.  So yummy! A much thicker consistency but it was like eating real food.  Almost like frosting.  And 99% organic...that sounds nice.  

I'm a bit tired but I'm going to try getting myself geared up for a date night with my husband since our sister-in-law is visiting and we really should take advantage of the fact that we have an adult in the house when the kids go to bed.  I won't last long though.  Maybe a beer or two and then this lady is going to be hitting the pillow.  

Who watched the Olympic Trials today?  Who were you rooting for?  
Any exciting races this weekend?  

Good luck to all of you running in Houston tomorrow!!



  1. I love reading all of your posts, but these days the training posts inspire me the most because I hope to be able to manage time and family that well in the next year. Glad to hear your injuries are healing. Are you going to run a half-marathon during training?

  2. I'm not a fan of liquidy-gels. I prefer them gooey. But I'm a cliff-bloks gal. I have the same question as Margie, do you have a half on your calendar?
    And, BTW, I loved your post on your two year old. He sounds like quite the character. I have a boy and girl and I'm astounded by their differences...sometimes good, sometimes bad. Congrats on taking it a bit easy for the muscle strains I know that's not easy!

  3. So far no half marathon on the calendar. Can't find one that is around the same time as when I'd need one. MIght do a 30k and use the first few miles for warm up easy and then use 13.1 of it at marathon pace or a bit faster. It is always a shame to NOT race a half marathon during marathon training IMO since we are doing so much work and chances are we are in a good place for a decent half marathon without having to train specifically for one.

  4. I LIKE my liquid gels. Preferably with Caffeine!

    Doing so well in your training, Amanda! Sounds like you are good at adapting Hudson's plan around your needs and life.

    Hope the G is not too painful. Great job doing the strength. I have no doubts about that time goal :)

  5. Oh, and you might see how this works into your schedule.??
    (Sorry I don't know how to paste it as a link)

  6. OMG caffeine-ha ha! I remember that!

    I don't know if I've tried the Clif Shot Chocolate? I don't think so. I do really like the Clif gels though!

    I won't comment on too much of the info here since I already know it but you're doing Great! Hope you had a great date night!! I'm jealous of your options. This Rock Creek place sounds cool, much better than our options here. I have not put a headlamp on for a date yet, but we've rode our bikes SEVERAL times. One time I took someone else's bike least it wasn't someone else's husband.....ha ha! Of course I'm much more mature in my 30's. You will see this in Boston!

    Keep up the good work!!

  7. love the clif shot chocolate, but my favorite is the mocha. it's like rocket fuel.

    glad that despite your challenges right now that you are still killing your training. you are one truly strong woman!

  8. My PT suggested Graston Therapy - now that you say it is painful I am nervous for my appointment tomorrow!!!

    Have you ever tried dates as fuel? I found 'The Fruitarian' website awhile back when I first started running (he ONLY eats fruit) but on his ultra marathons he uses Dates as fuel - I gave it a try and LOVED it. You should try it:)

  9. vanilla and chocolate gels...some of my faves! glad to hear your training is still going well :) hope those strains continue to heal!

  10. I wouldn't feel too bad about running on the treadmill. You know you can run on the road. It works better at times for you to go on the TM and it lets you get your mileage up. And the mental training you get running on the TM must be invaluable.

  11. I won't get into the training tidbits bc you know that I think you are doing great! And I have never tried cliff shots. Must get some!

  12. I am so with you on running before my husband gets home... it's so nice to crash in the evenings! I was lucky enough to watch the trials yesterday, and it was Brought lots of crazy fast runners in for the marathon this morning, too!

  13. So much info in this post! I especially liked the glimpse into your most recent workout - it's good to see what others are up to; what kind of distances and paces you're doing. I really need a less-fluid plan myself.
    Funny you like the Cliff gels - I tried my first today and struggled to hold it down; I think the thickness that I wasn't used to just gagged me. I really thought it was coming back up but somehow I kept it down!

  14. tell me more about Graston therapy. do you think could help with my PF? Great all how balance it all!!

  15. Great post, Amanda! You will do great at Boston. I did a Nike+ Half this weekend. It was SO cold but awesome. Got a PR!

  16. The Clif chocolate gel is my favorite. It really does taste like chocolate frosting! Clif blocks are easier for me to get down though and I love black cherry!

    I am only running 40 miles/week and my legs are feeling it -- I can't imagine running 70. Hopefully ONE day I'll be injury free long enough to be able to slowly build up to that kind of mileage.

    I hope your hamstring issues go away soon. :) You're doing such a great job.