Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 16

Another good week of running is in the books. I realized this week that by the time of the marathon, my new shoes will have more miles on them than I’d like so I had to order another pair that I will switch into in about a week and a half. I want my marathon shoes to have about 100 miles on them when I line up on race day. I can’t wait for this month to be over! Race day, my birthday, I can FINALLY file for divorce. So much to look forward to! Onto the recap.

Sunday: 8 miles @ an 8:43 average pace. My legs felt pretty heavy all day from my long run the day prior and Kevin, myself, and the kids met up with the rest of my family for brunch to celebrate my stepmoms 50th birthday so this run didn’t get done until late in the day. It almost didn’t happen but thankfully Kevin understands the importance of each and every run and pushes me out the door – or into the garage in this case – even when I don’t want to! 😊

Monday: 1 up, 2×3 mile repeats with 1 mile recovery, 1 down for 9 total miles @ a 7:52 average pace. Splits were:

1 up – 8:52

2×3 mile repeats – 7:32, 7:27, 7:25, 8:38 (recovery mile), 7:24, 7:23, 7:23

1 down – 8:37

I used this run to test out my marathon outfit – though I’m still on the fence about my compression socks – and everything worked out great so I’m happy about that! And I’ll be wearing contacts for the race too! 😜

Tuesday: 6 miles @ an 8:37 average pace. I closed out the month of January with an easy 6 miles to bring my total monthly mileage to 240. 240!! That number is insane to me. I’ve never run over 200 miles let alone come close to 200 miles in a given month. I’m so happy because I feel stronger than I ever have when I thought I would feel incredibly tired. To celebrate, Kevin and I went to a tap house for dinner and drinks before heading home to catch up on some of our TV shows. 

Wednesday: 1 up, 9 tempo, 1 down for 11 total miles @ a 7:46 average pace. Splits were as follows:

1 up – 8:56

9 tempo – 7:37, 7:35, 7:34, 7:33, 7:33, 7:32, 7:30, 7:30, 7:30

1 down – 8:36

Considering I feel a slight cold coming on, this run felt really great. I was able to hold a consistent pace that is between 10-20 seconds faster than my goal marathon pace and I felt strong doing so. Not to mention I was up at 5:15am in order to get this run done. I’m NOT an early riser!

Thursday: Rest day. I actually wasn’t looking forward to this day. I always feel like I’m getting into such a good rhythm and then, bam! Rest day. 

Friday: 8 mile easy paced run @ an 8:37 average. I struggled to get through this run mentally and physically. The first run after a rest day is always so tough for me. While running though, I did decide it was time to let go of all my retired running shoes so after my run, Kevin and I went through our belongings and donated a bunch of clothes and my running shoes. 

Saturday: 12 mile long run @ a 7:52 average pace. I’m trying to run my last few long runs close to or at race pace to get myself ready for the marathon. Throughout the run I thought to myself “I feel like I’m slowing down” and when I would look at my watch, I was running faster than my previous mile so that’s a great sign! Kevin rode his bike with me and we rode through his old stomping grounds. We parked at Heroic Aleworks – a new brewery near us that has a comic strip super hero vibe – and ran through Veterans Park where he used to play baseball and then ran by Belmont Bay where we got married – albeit not to each other (can’t wait for that day to come!!) – and back to the brewery to enjoy some beer. A wonderful little Saturday. 

Total Mileage for the week: 54

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 15

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Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 15

Another good week of training is in the books and I’m so happy with how it went. I was really nervous at the start of the week when I had to skip Monday’s run because of rain and travel and then had to cut my 7 miler down to 2 on Tuesday because dinner didn’t agree with me. I rebounded really well and am proud of myself for not getting down about it all. I ended the week with the strongest 16 miles I’ve ever run! Here’s the recap! 

Sunday: 8 mile easy paced run @ an 8:48 average pace. I ran an extra .6 to round out the .4 (according to my watch) from the 15k the day prior. Kevin ran the first 3 with me and then rode his bike next to me for the other 5.6. Having him with me makes time fly. It was pretty gloomy and my legs were pretty sore but it felt good to shake them out nonetheless. Love our time in Myrtle Beach together with his family. 

Monday: Unscheduled rest day. My plan called for 3×2 mile repeats with 800m recovery in between but it was raining pretty bad when we woke up and we had to get on the road to drive 6 hours home and get the kiddos so I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was okay with that! 

Tuesday: 2 mile easy run @ an 8:58 average pace. I was supposed to run 7 miles but my dinner didn’t agree with me and was sloshing around in my stomach so I decided not to push further and try and make up the mileage throughout the rest of the week.

Wednesday: 2 up, 3×2 mile repeats with 800m recovery, 1.5 down for 11 total miles. I added a mile to my warm up to make up 1 of the 5 miles I needed from Tuesday. I was very eager to get back on track after an unscheduled rest day and a failed 7 mile run turned into 2 miles. Thankfully, this run went just as planned! Splits were as follows:

Warm up: 9:00, 8:53

3×2 mile: 7:24, 7:22, 8:28 (800m), 7:20, 7:18, 8:27 (800m), 7:18, 7:19, 8:25 (800m)

Cool down: 8:48, 8:43 (800m)

Thursday: 8 mile easy run @ an 8:40 average pace. The goal for this run was to keep it easy so after work I hit the treadmill since it was really windy outside and I knew it would take more effort than I wanted to exert to hold the same pace. I got to test out my  new shirt that I ordered and I love it!! I also switched over to my next pair of running shoes since my previous pair had about 315 miles on them. These are the Launch 4 (previous shoe was the Launch 3).

Friday: 1 up, 9 @ ~10 seconds faster than goal MP, 1 down for 11 total miles @ a 7:52 average pace. Splits were as follows:

1 warm up – 9:11

 9 @ tempo – 7:39, 7:34, 7:38, 7:38, 7:37, 7:38, 7:38, 7:39, 7:34 

1 cool down – 8:49

I had to get up at 5:00am to complete this run in time to be at work and I was so proud of myself for doing so. I’m the furthest from a morning person! My legs felt a little heavy since I had just run the night before but that’s my only complaint!

Saturday: 16 mile long run @ a 7:55 average pace. Yes!!! This run was such a confidence booster for my marathon! I ran an out and back route that can be quite windy at times and is mostly flat to simulate race conditions. I didn’t check my watch for the first 5 miles. I was running what felt like a super easy pace and when mile 6 beeped at 8:01 I though “wow!” and figured I would keep going with what felt good. A mile or two later I figured I would stick close to the 7:50-8:00 range but when mile 11 beeped at 7:34 I was even more shocked than before! I’m coming for you Myrtle Beach Marathon!!

Total Mileage for the week: 56.6 

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 14

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North Myrtle Beach Winter Run 15k Race Recap (2017)

I signed up for this race because I needed a tune-up race to complement my marathon training and it was the best option I could find within traveling distance. I really wanted to run a half marathon but I just wasn’t able to find one to meet my needs that was also 4-6 weeks away from marathon race day. Thankfully, my boyfriend’s family lives nearby so we made a long weekend vacation out of it to visit with them.

We drove down to South Carolina on Friday afternoon after dropping the kids off at daycare and running my scheduled 10 miler. The race was on Saturday morning at 9am which I loved because I didn’t feel rushed once we arrived to eat dinner and immediately go to bed. I did get a good nights rest though after having some really good pizza from a local pizza place and a beer. Pizza and a beer is my go-to pre-race ritual dinner as well as pre-long run ritual dinner. It has worked for the longest time so I’ve “run” with it!

I woke up really nervous as I usually do on race days and it made it incredibly difficult to eat breakfast. I was able to eat 3 small bites of a plain bagel and that was it. I chose not to bring any race fuel either because the nerves didn’t seem to be letting up. The weather forecast also didn’t look too enticing – scattered thunderstorms for much of the day with a high of 60- but thankfully the temperature was inviting enough.

Kevin accompanied me to the race which was really nice and was the first time I’ve had someone eager to do so. He’s probably my biggest cheerleader and it just really makes me so happy that he cares so much. He waited around with me at the start line, then ran to a few different areas on the course to cheer me on and snap some pictures before seeing me through the finish line. I don’t think I say it enough but I love him so much!!

The race itself was great and the rain held up for most of it. It was drizzling a little at the start and there was a nice downpour during mile 7 that made it hard to see because the rain was flying into my eyes but otherwise it was clear and thankfully didn’t feel humid. Wind was also a non-factor which is something to take note of when running a race near the beach. Non-weather related, I had a side stitch around 1.5 miles until 3 miles in that set me back on my goal pace some but towards the end of the race I was able to pick the pace up enough and make up some of that lost time. Aid stations were conveniently located at miles 1.5, 4, 6, and 8 and I am pretty sure the 2 early ones saved me from what could have been a DNF because of the side stitch debacle.

When I crossed the line and Kevin ran up to me exclaiming I got 2nd overall female all I could muster up was “are you serious?!?!” with a lot of laughter. When I started the race, there were quite a few females ahead of me but most of them must have run the 5k which shared the first 2 miles of the course with the 15k. A few people came up to me to congratulate me on my finish and it really made me feel so good! The running community is so amazing and friendly!

My goal for this race was to finish at a 7:25 pace and I am pleased to say that I nearly accomplished it! I finished in 1:09:09 for an average of 7:26 per mile which was good enough for second place overall female. According to my Garmin my splits were 7:24, 7:36, 7:30, 7:29, 7:25, 7:20, 7:13, 7:14, 7:25, and 6:45 for .3 miles. You can definitely tell what miles I was dealing with the pesky side stitch! I finished this race feeling like I left some time out there which only adds to my confidence for my marathon pace goal.

Overall, it was a great race experience and an amazing tune-up race for the Myrtle Beach Marathon on March 5th, 2017. I am looking forward to closing out marathon training on a really strong note and tackling this race with everything I have. This race gave me a newfound sense of excitement and enthusiasm for what it is I am trying to accomplish – not like I really needed it though!! 5 weeks to go!!


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Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 14

What a week! I ran early, I ran late, I became a Nuun Ambassador, and I placed 2nd overall in a race! I’m on cloud 9 right now! The BIG race is getting closer and closer and I cannot wait!! Here’s the recap of how the week went! 

Sunday: 8 mile easy run @ an 8:38 pace. After running 16 miles yesterday, I was very surprised at how easy this run felt. I feel myself getting more and more anxious for my race by the day. I ordered a new shirt to keep me motivated these last few weeks of training from a new local company that I highly recommend called On Your Marq. This shirt is super soft y’all! 

Monday: 1 up, 4×1.5 miles with 800m recovery, 1 down for 10 total miles @ a 7:32 average pace. Splits for the repeats were 7:00, 6:56, 6:56, and 6:55. I’m starting to feel like I’ve clicked over to a new speediness these past few weeks and it’s been fun seeing what I’m capable of and comparing it with past runs. These paces used to be my mile repeat paces and now they feel much easier and controlled as tempo paces. 

Tonight I also got the amazing news that I was chosen as a Nuun ambassador! I’m very excited to partner with them and share my love for their amazing products. Currently, my favorite is their cherry limeade energy tablets. I drop one in my water bottle for every run! 

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run @ an 8:35 average pace. Kevin and I had plans after work so I knew I needed to get this run out of the way early…like ‘before coffee’ early. I’m definitely not a morning person and struggle with life before coffee but thankfully one thing I do well before coffee is run. This was my 7th day of running in a row and I logged 65 miles over that time span thanks to a busy schedule that required me to move my rest day from today to Thursday.

Wednesday: 10 mile long run @ an 8:29 average pace. If I thought yesterday was hard, today was even harder. I had to get up at 5:15am to get this run done in time for me to be at work. I dealt with a slight side stitch for much of the run but thankfully it didn’t wreak enough havoc that I couldn’t finish the run. Kevin went out and got Starbucks while I was running and that was such an awesome treat to come upstairs to. Today’s run was supposed to be a 9 mile tempo run but I’m running that 15k tune-up race on Saturday so I switched Saturday’s long run for today’s tempo run. Today was my 8th day of running in a row. So excited for tomorrow’s rest day!! 

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: 10 mile easy paced run @ an 8:33 average pace. Splits were consistent throughout. We are headed to Myrtle Beach for my tune-up race tomorrow so I had to get this run done early and I’m glad I did because running 10 miles after being in a car for 6 hours sounds terrible! 

Saturday: North Myrtle Beach Winter Run 15k 🏁 in 1:09:09 @ a 7:26 average pace. It was good for 2nd place overall female! 🥈I was shooting for a 7:25 average pace and I am so incredibly happy with my effort! I was nervous at first because around mile 1.5 I had a side stitch that didn’t go away until about mile 3 and mile 2 was my slowest mile @ 7:36. Thankfully I was able to rebound and make up the lost time. A huge shoutout to my boyfriend for coming with me to the start and seeing me through the finish, taking pics, and hanging out afterwards. Love love love having support!! ❤️ Race recap will be posted soon! And how about that backdrop?! 😂 

Total Mileage for the week: 53.3

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 13

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Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 13

Week 13 was good to me. With all that was going on in my personal life – which I leave out of this because I don’t want it to take away any of the focus – I didn’t miss a single run, I ran my highest mileage week ever, I got 2 new watch PRs in the 10k distance during training runs, and I had such a strong long run that left me feeling like my unicorn is nearly within reach! Just 7 weeks remain! Onto the recap:

Sunday: 6 mile easy run @ an 8:48 average pace in the greatest city ever, Pittsburgh!! Kevin and I woke up and hit the hotel treadmills while watching The NFL Network preview the upcoming game. I loved having his company next to me and after he finished his run, he even stuck around while I finished mine. Love him! ❤️ The Steelers won by the way and we had so much fun bundling up and watching the game! 

Monday: 1 up, 6×1 mile at 10 seconds faster than tempo pace with 400m recovery, 1.5 down for 10 total miles. Mile repeat splits were 7:12, 7:09, 7:06, 6:58, 6:58, and 6:55. We got home from Pittsburgh last night around 11:30 and I was so afraid of this run that I contemplated skipping it for most of the drive last night but I was able to drag myself out of bed after roughly 5.5 hours of sleep and it ended up being the exact opposite. My goal tempo pace for this marathon training schedule is 7:49 but I’ve been hitting 7:25-7:30 so I went for 7:10 repeats. I ran on the treadmill because temps were in the teens and it looked slick outside. So happy I didn’t skip this run!! My watch even greeted me with a shiny new PR in the 10k distance after just getting one last week lol. 

Tuesday: Rest day hallelujah! After work, I picked up the kids and Kevin brought home a cake for my daughters 2nd birthday. It was a great night! 

Wednesday: 1 up, 8 @ tempo pace, 1 down for 10 total miles. Splits ➡️ 8:32, 7:26, 7:22, 7:23, 7:21, 7:21, 7:21, 7:20, 6:57, 8:19. I was nervous about starting in the 7:20s but I wanted to challenge myself and it ended up working out quite nicely. I’m starting to rethink my marathon goal – because I’m crushing my paces and I still have 8 weeks left – and am running a 15k in Myrtle Beach next week to see where I’m at. I wanted to run a half marathon as a tune-up race but there aren’t any that are within a feasible traveling distance from me so the 15k will have to do! 

Thursday: 8 mile easy run @ an 8:49 average pace. I’m not due for new running shoes for about another 2 weeks but I ordered my next pair – Launch 4s – and they arrived today so I had to try them out! I’ve been a Launch fan since I tried out the 2s (the shoe at the top) I LOVE them and I think the 4s (the shoe at the bottom) will be my marathon shoe. ❤💜 Kevin joined me for miles 6-7 and it really helped speed up the run! And umm how about the weather?! It was 70 degrees!! Only negative was that it was incredibly windy!

Friday: 7 easy miles @ an 8:32 average pace. I woke up at 5:45am to get this run done – something unheard of in my house if you know me. I am not a morning person. Very proud of myself! Because it was still dark out, I kept it to the treadmill which was quite boring but such is life during the winter months. 

Saturday: 16 miles @ an 8:11 average pace. I was relegated to the treadmill again which surprisingly wasn’t so bad! It makes no sense haha. First 10 miles I ran @ an 8:29 average pace and the last 6 I ran @ a 7:35 average pace (a little faster than goal marathon pace). Breaking up the run into two sections helped give me something to look forward to. Even better, not once did I feel fatigued. I could have easily run some more which is yet another huge confidence booster heading into week 14 of training. 

Total Mileage for the week: 57

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 12

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Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 12

Another week of training is in the books and it was another 50 mile week. I had a great week of runs and only had to change up one – my tempo – because I woke up too late to get the entire run done in time to not be late for work. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for 12 straight weeks now and I only have 8 weeks to go! I’m so glad my level of excitement is still the same as it was when I began training! Onto the daily recap!

Sunday: 8 mile easy run @ an 8:40 average pace. I ran 6.4 outside and 1.6 on the treadmill. The weather was gorgeous but I didn’t feel like repeating anymore of the same streets I had already run to get another 1.6 miles. My legs felt good considering yesterday’s 15 mile run and I definitely could have run more. Such a good sign that these higher mileage weeks are working on getting my legs ready for the marathon!

Monday: 2 up, 4×1200 with 400 RI, 2 down for 8 total miles @ a 7:39 average pace. Warm up splits were 8:26 and 8:19. 1200 splits were 4:45, 4:45, 4:47, and 4:46 (6:20-6:22 pace). Recovery splits were 2:07, 2:09, 2:09, and 2:09 (8:30-8:45 pace). Cool down splits were 8:24 and 8:20. I mention all the splits because one thing I’m trying to do is speed up my warm up/cool down and recovery paces to push myself a little harder. Typically I run low 9s for those. This run left me feeling super confident in myself and I wish the marathon was closer because I am itching to race 26.2!!

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run @ a 9:02 average pace. I ran 4 before Kevin got home and then he joined me for the last 2. It was supposed to be a rest day but we didn’t have the kids so I figured I would knock it out and use Thursday as a rest day since we do have the kids then. I love having Kevin accompany on my runs! We get to talk and it makes the run go by so much faster. I had so much fun I forgot to take a picture! Lol

Wednesday: 1 up, 6 tempo, 1 down @ a 7:40 average pace. The tempo miles were at a 7:25 average pace – what!! 💪🏻😄 – with progressive splits! 7:32, 7:29, 7:28, 7:23, 7:22, and 7:19. I was supposed to run 8 tempo miles but my bed was so damn comfy this morning so I had to cut the run short. I was bummed at first but when I saw my splits I was totally okay with it!

Thursday: Rest day. I was very excited for this rest day because not only do I love my rest days but Kevin’s family came into town and we got to hang out and the kids were surprised with more Christmas presents.

Friday: 10 mile long run @ an 8:15 average pace. I ran 4.3 outside and 5.7 on the treadmill after work. I didn’t want to have to think about routes for 10 straight miles. Afterwards we drove to Kevin’s sisters house for yet another Christmas. 😂 And of course I had to get a picture with our Steelers flag because it’s playoff weekend!!

Saturday: 10 mile easy run at an 8:46 average pace. I ran on the treadmill because I woke up to some pretty snow and didn’t want to trip or fall and hurt myself before heading to Pittsburgh. And with that, we’re off!! Let’s go Steelers!!

Total Mileage for the week: 50

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 11

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Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 11

Holy cow I can’t believe I ran 50 miles this week. I had to check the math a few times because I just didn’t believe it. Not only did I run my highest mileage week ever but I also ran my highest mileage month! 167 total miles for December! That is crazy to me because I missed a few runs at the beginning of the month due to bronchitis and even skipped a run or 2 these past 2 weeks. Crazy!! 2016 has been a great year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store! I am heading into the new year happy and healthy both physically and emotionally and for that I am so grateful! Onto the weekly recap. 

Sunday: 1 up, 7 tempo, 1 down for 9 total miles @ a 7:48 average pace. Today was Christmas Day and we didn’t get the kids until 2pm so I needed to fill my time. Kevin and I were able to have our own little Christmas that was amazing and then I set out on my run. I wasn’t sure how I would feel because we had a fun breakfast that was accompanied by Kentucky Christmas Morning (a really great beer) but once I got going my legs felt great! Splits were 7:32, 7:29, 7:33, 7:32, 7:31, 7:31, and 7:23. Merry Christmas to me!! 

Monday: Rest day. Kevin and I were off work and had the kids all day and while I should have run my 6 mile easy run, I really wanted to enjoy the entire day with the kids and celebrate the Steelers making the playoffs so I decided to move my rest day up a day. I’ll run more consecutive days later in the week. I love these kids so the break was so worth it! 

Tuesday: 2 up, 6x800m with 400 RI, 1.5 down for 8 total miles @ an 8:04 average pace. Repeat splits were 3:17, 3:16, 3:14, 3:15, 3:16, and 3:15. We have the kids today so in order to minimize time spent away from them, I took off work early to get this done before picking them up. The last time I ran 800m repeats on the treadmill I set it to the same speed but today it registered 5-10 seconds slower per repeat which was fine as each was still under my goal of 3:20 but they just FELT SO DIFFICULT. I did speed up the recovery pace from 9:15 to 8:25 so maybe that’s why. Very proud of the effort! 

Wednesday: 8 easy miles @ an 8:57 average pace. Normally I take a rest day after speedwork but since I took one on Monday, I had to move some things around. One thing I’m proud of with this training schedule is how flexible I’ve been able to be without freaking out over every detail. It’s been very nice!! I got caught in the dark without any reflective gear on this run so thankfully I was in my well lit neighborhood that has sidewalks. 

Thursday: 1 up, 8 tempo, 1 down @ a 7:42 average pace. Tempo average was 7:29. Not too shabby given the hilly route and wind gusts of up to 15 mph! Kevin mapped out a route for me that had me start and end at different places so that I could try and avoid some killer hills in his old stomping grounds. It worked out well because I finished the run a few minutes after he got off work so he was able to pick me up. I felt so strong on this run despite feeling a cold coming on. It’s given me so much confidence for my marathon goal! 

Friday: Unexpected rest day. I was feeling under the weather and my nose was stuffed up – surprise surprise – and I didn’t want to make it worse for my long run on Saturday so I took it easy and rested on the couch. 

Saturday: 15 miles @ an 8:21 average pace. I was feeling quite sluggish at the start but was able to get into a groove after a few miles thankfully. Splits were 8:49, 8:40, 8:41, 8:40, 8:38, 8:37, 8:33, 8:08, 7:54, 8:07, 8:03, 8:14, 8:16, 8:09, and 7:53. I let the route and how I was feeling dictate my pace so that is why the splits are all wonky. Afterwards I met Kevin at a local playground with the kids and let them run off some energy before heading back home. 

Total Mileage for the week: 50

Last weeks recap: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 10

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