12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheels Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheels Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:31:44 @ Boston Marathon 2011
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
Category Archives: Training
When making a training plan, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is the dreaded Saturday versus Sunday long run decision. Now don’t get me wrong, your plan is always flexible, we have to start somewhere, right? Let’s work our way backwards and look at Sunday first.
Running long on Sunday allows you to…
- Potentially have a life on Friday night.
- Sleep in on Saturday, regaining energy for Sunday.
- Drink and eat throughout Saturday, preparing you for Sunday.
On the other hand, running long on Saturday allows you to…
- Get your run DONE so it’s out of your mind and not thinking about what you still have to do the rest of the weekend.
- Who are we kidding? Friday night rolls around and I just want to go home and drink wine after the week. This party animal never has wild Friday nights anyways.
- The rest of Saturday is fair game for naps, going out and other weekend shenanigans.
- Sleep in on Sunday, watching The Food Network with Chicken Face in bed. No pressure to do anything but indulge in absolute laziness.
While Sunday runs technically allow one to properly rest and fuel for the long run, having it done, being relaxed and enjoying time with Chicken Face is worth any long run preparation.
It’s Sunday and I’m currently drinking (more) wine, hanging with this little monkey and watching 17 Again. Damn you, Zach Effron.
(Thanks auntie Caroline for the bow!)
Moment of truth: Saturday or Sunday? Why?
With every new training cycle there is a sense of vigor, freshness and overwhelming excitement that is hard to imitate…
You spring out of bed at 4:30 with no problem. Sleep? Who needs it?!
You smile, and perhaps even chat with, the gym’s front desk attendant. He always says good morning, after all.
You welcome the idea of 10 miles on the dreadmill. Admit it, those hamsters always look so cute running on their wheel so why can’t you?
You actually enjoy the taste of PowerBar chews for breakfast. While not ideal, that’s all you remembered to grab and you’re totally ok with it.
You easily eat up every moment of the 2009 remake of Fame streaming from Netflix to the dreadmill TV. Oh teenage angst, how we love to hate you.
You cruise through your miles – legs ripe with energy and the hot pursuit of your goals with every step you take.
You forgot to pack the shirt you were going to wear, but who cares?! You just got 10 miles under your belt all before 6:30 a.m., so that wrinkled, hot mess of an extra shirt at the bottom of your bag might as well be draped across Blake Lively because you’re gonna make it work!
I love days like today and I love blogging about them even more. I can look back on the second best day of my life, the best day of my life, my BQ, moments where I lost my mojo, Boston, and days like today, and reminisce about the journey that running takes you on.
But for now, I’ll soak up every moment of these early weeks in training as the possibilities are limitless. When week 14 rolls around and I have a bad case of the taper crazies, I can look back to posts like these a remember it’s all part of the process and it’s why we love it.
This weekend I received an email from a reader in Germany asking about how to start marathon training. First and foremost, I want to say thank you for writing to me! Whenever I get an email from you guys it makes my heart smile. Plus, I can’t help but to want to travel to all of these fabulous places that you all are from! GLOBAL ROAD TRIP — HOLLA!
But on a more serious note, it’s a great question that I wish I had a little guidance on when I first started. With my personal training ramping up, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite tips with you. However, please remember that I am not a professional and can only share with you my two cents. Marathon training is completely individualized – so please listen to your body and do what works for you.
Below are five “essentials” to start marathon training. Of course there are tons more (if there weren’t, I wouldn’t have anything to talk about on the blog everyday). So check ‘em out and let me know if you have any questions.
1. Build A Base
Before anyone sets out on a 16 or 20-week journey to marathon training, you need to have already established a solid running base. We don’t build our houses on grass…concrete, people, CONCRETE!
Ensure that you are able to easily run for at least a solid 45 minutes straight 3-4 times a week for at least a couple of months before beginning any program. Again, I am not a doctor here, so please listen to your body. Once you are able to do this, we can begin looking at beginner training programs. Hal Higdon has a great base training program that you can find here.
2. Pick A Training Plan & Prepare To Stick To It (As Best As You Can)
One of the most confusing parts of training for a marathon the first time is picking what training plan you’ll use. The two that I keep coming back to are the Runner’s World Rookie Marathon Training (I used this for one of my firsts) and Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Training Plan. They are simple to understand, not too overwhelming and ease you in the entire training process. Make sure to choose a plan that has at least four days of running per week, and at least one (if not two) rest days per week.
3. Invest In Good Shoes & Some Wicking Clothes
I used to buy shoes because of the color, brand, the way that I thought they felt, or because some kid in a referee jersey threw out a bit of running jargon. Little did I know just how important shoes are. Given that running can be a fairly simple sport to get into (all we really need is shoes, right?), it’s crucial that the one piece of equipment that you do have works with your body, not against it. So please, for the love of Mac ‘N Cheese, go to a running store where running professionals can analyze your foot and stride to put you in the perfect shoes. Expect to put down anywhere between $80-120, but it’s incredibly important.
The only other clothing investment that I would say is an absolute must is “wicking” clothing. Clothes with “wicking” material (like Nike DriFit) wick the sweat off of you to help you stay cool and can prevent chafing. You can find some pretty great wicking gear at Target and TJMaxx these days.
4. Be Prepared To Devote Time & Sacrifice A Bit
You will go to bed and wake-up early on both the weekdays and the weekends. You will most likely have to make difficult social choices (e.g. sorry, I can’t have that cranberry and vodka tonight. I have my long run tomorrow). You will spend a majority of your time in workout clothes and your husband will hate it. You will chafe and your toenails may fall off.
But why do we do it? Just wait until you cross that finish line…everything will become crystal clear then. Just trust me on this one.
5. Get Organized
You may have heard me talk about this before, but with work, relationships, family and a semblance of a social life, you’ll need to stay organized. For me, this is ensuring that I have access to my training plan wherever I go (see my tips for that here), my friends and family are aware of the my goals so they can be supportive, oh, and my Netflix treadmill set-up ready to go. Check those links out for the deets!
So here comes the cheese: I really believe that anyone can run a marathon. For all of those folks out there that say that they just can’t run, well, I’ve got news for them: NO ONE starts out an amazing runner, or even liking it for that matter…well, unless you have Olympic athlete in your blood. When you start running I will almost guarantee that it will not be fun. In fact, you will probably hate it.
You will hurt.
You will be sore.
You will want to throw in the towl about half a mile down the road.
But if you keep the end goal in sight and your ass in gear, I guarantee that you’ll grow to have a slight obsession with my BFF running and the high that comes with it. Plus, then we can all go on a blogger run together and that sounds like a win-win situation to me!
For all of those folks who have already started marathon training, how did you start it? What is your one essential marathon training tip?
In the midst of all of the July hoopla, I secretly started something else: TWO CITIES MARATHON TRAINING and I wanted to share my training plan with all of you.
Over my past marathons I’ve learned a few key things and have adapted those learnings for this training cycle:
- Log more weekday miles. Half marathons are my bag baby, but for some reason, I haven’t been able to have a seamless, yet still competitive, full. I think that this in part is due to my training. Throughout the last cycles, the most I would get in on a weekday was eight, maaaaybe nine, miles as I have to be out the door by 7 a.m. to get to work on time. If I want to up my ante for this race, I need to make some more efficiencies in my morning routine.
- Get ready at the gym! As much as I love coming home and getting ready with Chicken Face and Lola, I need to log more miles in the morning and the only way to do that is by getting ready at the gym.
- No more taking 25 minutes to wake-up and get my shiz together before I even go to the gym. Be packed and ready the night before (including lunches made).
- Have my Netflix queue already picked out! Since I do all of my weekday training on a treadmill, I need to watch TV or a movie, or I’d jab my eyes out because of pure boredom. Too many times I’ll stand there on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes just oogling what movie I should stream from Netflix. NO MORE!
- Utilize different training techniques to help with speed and endurance. More speed work = increased speed. More hill work = using muscles that normally don’t get touched and can build your speed by enhancing your strength. Far too often I would just crank out the miles to get them done, but with redefined focus on each and every workout I feel like I can optimize the training.
For the first time ever, I’m using a training plan from Run Faster. Please note that I have changed it a bit already and BY NO MEANS is this final. A training plan is always fluid and adaptable. Given that I’ve never done something like this plan, I could find out in two more weeks that it simply doesn’t work for me a scrap the whole damn thing. So without further ado…
To be quite frank, the intensity of this training plan DOES scare me. So I am going to be extremely in-tune with what my body is telling me and adjust as needed. Also, I realize that this extremely difficult to read, so you can access the entire spreadsheet via Google Docs here.
So there you have it folks, my training plan for the Two Cities Marathon in November. What training plan are you using? What questions do you have?
If today is Monday, July 18th this means two things: 1) FIVE DAYS UNTIL THE BIG DAY, and 2) HOLY CRAP, this is the first day of marathon training for the Two Cities Marathon! Wha-what?! How did this happen?
In the midst of wedding planning, working, and well, life, I failed to be in my normal pre-race mind-set. I would have usually made my plan, printed it out and flashed it in Chicken Face’s face. While I knew that training would be starting soon, I finally counted out the 16 weeks and it led me to today! Oh shiz…
Chicken Face and I were in Reno all weekend (more on that later), thus, I haven’t had a spare moment to begin tailoring the new plan. To ensure that I was at least starting, I ripped open Run Faster and found the new training plan I have had my eye on. So wouldn’t you know it: HAPPY FIRST DAY OF MARATHON TRAINING! As soon as I have a spare moment, I’ll share the plan with you all here!
Speaking of Reno, Chicken Face and I went back for a family baby shower and…
TO GET OUT MARRIAGE LICENSE! Is this real life?!
Thus, given it is wedding week, my blogging time is minimal and I’d love to set up some guest blogger posts. If you’re interested, please e-mail me at twentysixandthensome[at]gmail[dot]com.
In the midst of the wedding activities, trying to finalize the plan, getting up to speed with new clients at work and trying to have some semblance of a social life, the beginning of the next bout of marathon training is right around the corner and I need to make my training plan! As I start to assemble it, I thoughts I’d share some of my favorite FREE online resources and books that I used when first getting the hang of things. There are a lot of sites out there that will charge you for plans, but honestly, with so many free plans I’d beg you to check these out before putting down the cash, or use your money to get two specific books.
Please note that when I find a plan, I still tailor it to fit what works best for me. Never think that what is prescribed in a plan is set in stone. Be flexible and make it your own!
Take a look at the sites and books below, and tell me, what other resources do you use?
- Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training: (SITE) Hal is a renowned coach and athlete, and a staple when it comes to training plans. This site is great as it offers free training plans for novice to advance runners – even training plans for multiple marathons.
- Cool Running: (SITE) Cool Running dubs itself as a “complete online resource for runners of all abilities and experience levels.” The articles are good and they offer training plans for the 5K to the marathon, including speed work.
- Boston Athletic Association: (SITE) When I was training for the Boston marathon, I used a combination of the BAA marathon training plan and a few of the others mentioned throughout. With BAA being the holy grail of races, I pretty much trust what they have to say.
- Runner’s World: (SITE) When I trained for some of my earlier marathons, I devoured all of the resources on Runner’s World. This plan was what I used for my first marathon.
- Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger: (BOOK) Don’t let the title scare you away, this book has a TON of great info for any runner and some solid training plans in the back. Pfitz is well-known across the running world for his solid plans, so I’d definitely recommend putting out the $13 to add it to your running library.
- Run Faster by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald: (BOOK) Brad is a former Olympic Trials athlete and now coaches some of today’s top runners. For 10 bucks, this book teaches you to be “your own coach” based on Brad’s strategies. While different from Hal and Pfitz, it still has a ton of information and a variety of training plans.
- Race-Specific Training Plans: With any marathon of decent size, their sites usually have a section dedicated to training plans. Take advantage of this as you paid for it!
- Friends: Once I make a training plan, I share it with some of my other running friends to be my gut check. Am I crazy? Did I miss something? Am I going to burn out? I know that they will keep me in check.
I’m not going to lie…my training for the upcoming half marathon has been deplorable. Like I’ll be lucky if my long run is 10 miles – aye aye aye.
I’m still sneaking in workouts, but the truth of the matter is that they haven’t been anything near where they should be. For a while after Boston 2 Big Sur, mustering up the energy to run was an arduous battle. My legs felt like lead and my body was simply run down. I lost a bit of my mojo.
At one point, every runner experiences a “mojo loss.” For whatever reason, you’re just not in the game. I thought reading blogs would pick me up, I thought watching movies would give me that extra umph, but the reality was I just needed a break and that is exactly what I did. With my mini hip injury, I told myself it was ok to just take it easy for a bit and only run because you enjoy it – not because you are training to smash a PR.
On the trail outside of my parent’s house in Reno with my brother-in-law, just enjoying the run. And see, Reno isn’t all casinos!
With this extra rest and cut in pressure, I may be a bit more out of shape, but I am beginning to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on summer training. I am running without my Garmin and enjoying the experience, something we all too often lose sight of. Do I think I’ll beat last year’s SF half marathon time or PR? Absolutely not. However, this rest time allowed my body to recover and prepare for my upcoming fall marathon – one in which I intend to smash.
Have you ever lost your running mojo? What do you do to regain it?
Good news! After a solid chunk of rest, ice, foam roll, ice and foam roll some more, my hip is starting to make a come back! I have since taken it out of two, five mile runs and I’m happy to report no issues. I’m especially happy that I listened to my body and didn’t beat myself up over taking time to rest and prevent further injury. If you’re in the same boat, PLEASE listen to your body and give it a lil’ R&R.
While it was great that the hip got some R&R, I did fall behind my SF half training plan. However, training plans are never something that are set in stone. Instead, it’s an evolving document that moves with you and your life. Thus, I’ve updated mine and one of the biggest changes I made was removing swimming. While this is still a goal I want to achieve, I need to focus on the appropriate training and not try to overdo anything.
So without further ado, I present to you my San Francisco Half Marathon training plan. I created this plan based off of an advanced Cool Running plan and adjusted it a bit to work for myself. As you can see, there is a combination of strength, speed, hills, tempo and long runs.
- Strength on Monday’s will mostly focus on upper body and light lower body work.
- Tuesdays are all about speed work.
- Wednesday and Thursdays are essentially running however I feel. Usually mid-week I’m pretty swamped at work and getting the miles in becomes difficult. Thus, these will be the days that I listen to my body and run how I see fit.
- Fridays are tempo or hill runs. The first number indicates overall mileage. The number in the parenthesis indicates the amount that is to be run at tempo pace.
- Sundays are usually my long runs, but as you can see I swapped some of them around due to personal commitments.
- Each of the strength and speed days are just listed as “Speed X” because I sort of make those up each week and then I can track them on a different chart by saying, Speed 1: XYZ workout.
- Throughout the week I also have “Core” or “100 PU” listed. “Core” indicates ab work and “100 PU” is me attempting to do the 100 push up plan – but please don’t hold your breath on that one.
So there you have it folks…10 weeks of training until the SF half marathon! Oh, and only nine weeks until my wedding. HOLY CRAP!
Today, I was planning on posting about my training plan for the SF half marathon and its integrated cross training. But today, something happened. It’s almost as if I knew this time would come, but have been trying to put it off for a while.
Today…I got hurt.
On Friday, I did a Nike Training Club workout that left me pretty sore on Saturday. To be quite frank, I’ve just never done that many lunges and squats before and my lower half was paying the price for it.
Saturday was a rest day and Sunday I headed out to the Iron Horse Trail for 10 miles by myself. The good news is that the trail was stunning. All of the trees were a rich green and covered the picturesque trail. The weather went in and out from cool, dry temps to 10 minutes of solid downpours. I could feel my booty aching, but I thought I could push through it.
Around mile 8.5, I could feel my hip acting up and I stopped every so often to stretch it out. By mile 9, the sharp pain with each step was enough for this girl to wise up and walk the last mile in. I was defeated and ever since then, I’ve been playing sick mind games with myself – I’m trying to stay positive here!
What happened? I’m not sure yet, but I know that I’ve been trying to ease my way back into training so something happening already is a bit frustrating. To add to my worry, my hip gave out at the end of a two mile race in high school and I was out of commission for the rest of the season, and that is definitely something I don’t need a repeat of.
So what’s next? I’ve had copious amounts of frozen fruit shoved down my Lululemon Wunder Under Crops (they’re tight and hold it perfectly), I’m going to make a trip to a new chiropractor, up the cross-training and the low-impact activity, and just try to rest and stretch as much as I can this week. I’m trying to avoid turning this into something bigger than it can be.
Thus, the training plan is going to be a little modified, but I’ll be posting it soon.
When you faced injury, what did you do? How did you overcome the mental anguish?
It’s been a week since the great Boston 2 Big Sur challenge was completed and in that time, I did a whole lot of…nothing! Well, I take that back, I did a lot of wedding planning, baking and indulging in more glasses of vino than should be allowed. Oh, and all that sleep that I lost over the past 18 weeks? I caught up on a good majority of it.
Left or right? Stud or dangly?
Banana bread from all of the leftover race bananas
I will be honest and say that throughout the week, part of my brain went into this strange arena of, “You need to workout. It’s been too long.” But I had to remind myself that it is absolutely ok, and required, and this week is a much needed mental and physical break – a time to recharge and regain my mojo. Once I overcame that hurdle, I was fine taking in the R&R with Chicken Face and Lola.
Over the past week, I also started planning what’s next. While I’ll save the complete plan for a later post, what’s closest on the horizon are my WEDDING (!) and the San Francisco Half Marathon. Because the SF Marathon is the weekend after my wedding (we’ll be taking a later honeymoon), I’ve opted to only run the half so I can allot more time to the final wedding details. However, the proximity of the big day also means that starting Monday, I’ll be ramping up my training plan in an all new way. So here’s what I’ll be working on for the next 12 weeks:
- Getting wedding ready
- This includes finally vowing to incorporate upper-body strength training into my routine to help out that strapless dress. Mama needs some biceps!
- Re-learn to swim
- I will swim a solid mile again without stopping…dammit. My swim days will act as cross-training and help attain that wedding ready goal.
- Focus on speed and hills
- Because I’m choosing to run the half, I want to make sure that I incorporate speed and hill work into this cycle. This is San Francisco after all!
I’m still putting the final touches on the plan – would you want to see the whole thing once it’s finished? Also, how do you find R&R after an intense training cycle? If you said wine, we can be BFFs.