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20 min circuit workout

Last week I taught a great bootcamp class that required just weights and a mat and an interval timer.  The class was an hour long and consisted of five “rounds” that we repeated two times each.  I’ve put two of those rounds here for you to try at home.  Go ahead and try!  It doesn’t require much equipment or time!


Best Advice for Getting “Fit” again after injury…

During tonight’s ENERGYbits Twitter chat we’ll be hearing from lots of people with their tips and suggestions for  getting back into running, cycling, SPINNING, weights, hiking…. (you name it, we do it!) after experiencing injury and or surgery.

If you participated in tonight’s chat and want to win a FREE sample of ENERGYbits that will be shipped directly to you, please comment here with the best advice you read tonight during the chat.  I’ll pick a winner using at some point on Wednesday.  (I have to teach bootcamp at 5:45 am and then have Group Training at 8 am, so bear with me if I’m behind in the morning!)

If you haven’t tried ENERGYbits, what are you waiting for?  You can read about my first experience with ENERGYbits here.  Go ahead. Click it.  You know you want to.

Thanks to all for participating and I certainly hope you try the ENERGYbits and RECOVERYbits soon!  Remember to use my code: apprecfitness for 30% off your entire purchase!!


Our WINNER for the ENERGYbits sample is….


Comment #2 wins!

Comment #2 wins!

Marynan (hmmm… Maryann, maybe?!)

Congrats!!!  Email me your address and we’ll get your bits sent out to you ASAP!  Thanks for participating in the chat!

Coming Back from Injury

Why am I talking about coming back from an injury/surgery?  That’s easy.  I’m currently doing just that!  Let’s go back… in the summer of 2006 I was stepping out of the back of a friends minivan after buckling up her two children and my two girls.  As I stepped out “POP – holy cow – what the *^#$? – that hurt” happened.  Long story short I partially herniated a disc.  (L5/S1 to be exact.) I didn’t fully realize this until the next morning when my husband had to help me get out of bed (read: I wrapped my arms around his neck and tried with all my might to stand up as he pulled me up and I yelled in pain).  I passed out, remained unconscious for a minute and the morning ended with an ambulance ride to the hospital.  An MRI confirmed a partially herniated disc.  (To anyone who has fully herniated a disc – I’m sorry.  I can’t imagine what that pain feels like.  I have naturally birthed four children and I think this partially herniated disc was the worst pain of my life.)

Fast forward to May 7th.  I taught my normal strength class that morning.  I had run the Country Music Marathon just 10 days earlier.  I think I was in decent shape is my point.  Throughout the day these thoughts went through my head “huh, I must’ve worked a lot of back today”, “wow, my back is sore”, “damn, I think I pulled a muscled in my back”, “crap, I think I partially herniated the disc again.  Tomorrow morning isn’t going to be pretty.”  I was right.  The next morning wasn’t pretty.  Another MRI (this time my dad and husband were able to get me into the back of my husband’s car, lying on my side) confirmed I did partially herniate the same disc.  Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as far bulging as in 2006.

So, that’s my injury.  That’s what I’m coming back from… let’s chat tonight about how I’m getting back to running and fitness with plans for a half marathon this fall.  For those of you who have dealt with serious injuries/surgeries I would LOVE to hear your tips and advice as well!

#PoweredbyBits chat Tonight.  July 9, 2013  9 pm EST.  Hosted by ENERGYbits and ME! (@apprecfitness)  Hope to see you there!

And for those who participate you’ll have a chance to win a free sample of ENERGYbits!

I’ve been Powered by Bits….I want you to be too!!

Some of you may or may not know that during my marathon training for Nashville (coming up this Saturday!) I became an ambassador for Energy Bits.  I did so because I tested their product for a while and loved it. (Read here for some more reasons why I love Energy Bits.)  Now I’m just about finished up this round of training and have more thoughts on why I love them:

1) I just plain feel better when I take them every day.  More alert.  More with it.  More energized.

2) I no longer take vitamin supplements.  Energy Bits have everything you need (except for D3) and their all natural and easily absorbed.  Plus, the body absorbs way more of the nutrients in Bits than supplements because they’re a natural food source.

3) Everyone I’ve shared the Energy Bits with have enjoyed them.  I’m serious.

4) I take Bits even on a rest day.

5) I love that I haven’t felt hungry on a single 20 mile run (and I’ve done 3 of them, plus ran 15.5 miles after teaching an hour SPIN class).

6) The clarity of mind has been refreshing.  (This isn’t to say I don’t sometimes get in my own head during a run.  I’m a runner. Of course I do from time to time.)

7) I can’t help but sound like a commercial for them when I talk to others about them.  Sorry about that.

8) I’ve figured out how to easily take them while continuing to run!

9) My overall fatigue level has drastically improved.  I know this is fact.  In January I had a goal to run 100 miles.  By mid January I was feeling exhausted every night.  This lasted for weeks.  I tried Energy Bits mid February I believe and can honestly say I haven’t dragged in the same way I did in January and I ran 133 miles in March (33 more than January!).  So do I believe Energy Bits helped me with this?  Absolutely.

10) And this one is more for women… you know you need more iron 12 times a year, right?  I’ve noticed a huge difference there as well!  Without getting in TMI mode… they help that too.  Email me with questions!

Okay, okay.  So I’ll stop sounding like a crazy advertisement and get to the good stuff!

ENERGYbits has agreed to give away another sample for one of you to try.  And I’m upping the ante and adding another sample of ENERGYbits from me AND a sample of RECOVERYbits!

So, up for grabs:

- 2 samples of ENERGYbits

- 1 sample of RECOVERYbits

- AND something fun I find at the Run Rock n Roll Expo in Nashville this weekend!

What do you have to do to win?

Leave a comment GUESSING MY FINISH TIME FOR MY MARATHON!  Because honestly, your guess is as good as mine! LOL

I’ve recapped all my training for you so you can look back at those to help you guess.


- Time must be guessed in hours:minutes:seconds.

- Comments must be received by 3 am EST Saturday morning (4/27).

- Person who comes closest without going over wins, in event of a tie –  the names will be placed in a hat (literally) and one winner will be drawn.

- Winner will be announced when I return from Nashville and am functioning again. :-)

Good Luck!

(Duffel bag not included in giveaway.)

(Duffel bag not included in giveaway.)

Final training for Nashville!

ok… total Reader’s Digest version of my last few weeks of training for the Rock n Roll Country Music Marathon coming up in just 4 days! AAAAAHHHHH!!

Monday, 4/1 – Yoga after a long weekend of workouts resulting in really tight leg muscles.

Tuesday, 4/2 – Taught strength and then did 4 miles (38 min) on the TM.  Unremarkable except legs feeling fatigued.  I need a rest day.

Wednesday, 4/3 – Ran 5 miles outside (44:51) - I wanted to do the 3 middle miles at tempo pace (8:30 just a touch slower than my 5K pace) but it took 2 miles for my legs to feel like running… so then miles 3 and 4 I did an 8:26 then a 7:54! It wasn’t easy and I didn’t quite realize I was at that pace! So i guess that’s all good news… right?!

Thursday, 4/4 – Taught FIT (Strength/Cardio Circuit) – tough and fun!

Friday, 4/5 – coached SPIN – Intervals Week 3 – whew!


A friend in class texted this to me after class. (Our class ends at 1!) Score 1 for the SPIN instructor! (me!) LOL


Saturday, 4/6 – A REST DAY, FINALLY!

Sunday, 4/7 – 19.25 miles (3hrs 14 min – my watch died at 18.90 miles! 10:04 pace) This was a good run up until 10 miles… then I started to fall apart unfortunately. Was supposed to do 20. Called it quits at 19.25 and hobbled home…. (Looking back, I fell apart mentally first, then physically, and I had a hard time getting back in the game.  If not for my friend G running with me, I think I would’ve called my husband at mile 17 to come pick me up.  Thanks G for pulling me through at the end!)

Monday, 4/8 – Another rest day… hooray!

Tuesday, 4/9 – Taught Strength followed by 3 easy treadmill miles (28:26) and chatted with a friend on the TM next to me.

Wednesday, 4/10 – legs were tired so another rest day today

Thursday, 4/11 – Taught Power Pilates – loved this workout!!   And did a NIGHT run of 5.3 miles with 6 other members of my Reach the Beach team.  Crazy, ridiculous fun!!!

Part of our upcoming Reach the Beach MA team heading out for a night run!

Part of our upcoming Reach the Beach MA team heading out for a night run!

A friend said we looked like construction workers when he drove by us.  Another said, coal miners.  LOL

A friend said we looked like construction workers when he drove by us. Another said, coal miners. LOL

Friday, 4/12 – Taught SPIN – Week 4 Intervals (Week 12 in a 13 week progression!)

Saturday, 4/13 – Rest

Sunday, 4/14 – Ran 20.8 miles (3:36:24) in the 26.4.26 relay marathon.  This was for the 26 victims of Newtown, CT.  Talk about moving.  I’ll do a separate post on this amazing event.

26426  26426signs

Monday, 4/15 – Let the TAPERING begin –  Rest day – that quickly became a heart wrenching day. So relieved my good friend, her husband (twice my long run running partner) G and their beautiful girls made it out of Boston physically unharmed.

Tuesday, 4/16 – Taught Strength (No run after teaching Strength today for the first time in a loooong time! Felt good, but weird!)

Wednesday, 4/17 – Outside taper run.  (4.72 mi in 49:21) This was a challenge.  Everything I read says all taper runs should be run mostly at 1 1/2 – 2 min slower than marathon pace!  I’m already slow! LOL  Each mile was SLOWER than the previous one.  That just seems so wrong!  My shins were burning on this run too.  Strange.

Thursday, 4/18 – Rest Friday, 4/19 – Taught SPIN – It was supposed to be Race Day.  We’ve been working for 3 straight months first building endurance, then strength in our legs, then our VO2 max and lactate threshold.  However, we all agreed that after Monday’s events nobody was emotionally/mentally ready to perform a true race day ride.  We did a high end endurance ride instead and that felt right. Saturday, 4/20 – Taught STEP.  Then had an amazing time watching my 9 year old daughter do her first 5K with her BFF!

Couldn't be prouder of my daughter for completing her first 5K!

Couldn’t be prouder of my daughter for completing her first 5K!

Sunday, 4/21 – an amazing 9 mile run with a friend.  Yes, it was all at marathon pace or under but the run just felt so good and so right.  We chatted a lot about Boston and all about running.  I could’ve gone another 1 1/2 hours I think!  Hopefully I feel this good in Nashville.  Unfortunately, I haven’t run in very warm temperatures and humidity has been non existent.  Nashville looks to be warm and quite humid.  Ugh!

Thank you friend for running with me at a much needed time.  #BOSTONSTRONG

Thank you friend for running with me at a much needed time. #BOSTONSTRONG

Monday, 4/22 – Rest

Tuesday, 4/23 – coached Strength.  It’s really hard not to do everything you’re coaching!!!  But I tried really hard not to push anything so I didn’t break down any more muscles.  It’s all about rebuilding and repairing muscles right now!  Also, an easy 2 mile run on the treadmill to keep the legs loose. (and 1/2 mile of walking on the TM)

And now just 4 days til the marathon…. deep breaths!

Some overdue Training Updates for RnR Nashville

Well, I started this post almost four weeks ago!!!  And am just now sitting down to finish it when there are several other things I need to be doing instead.  I know you all get that!  So… here’s a lot of recapping!  I’ve tried to keep it succinct.

What I started writing on 4/1/13:

Wow the weeks are flying by!  Just four more weeks til my first full marathon in 12+ years!!  Yikes!

Week D Recap:

Monday 3/25 – rested from my 20 miles on Saturday and 2 mile fastest run ever on Sunday!  I actually couldn’t believe how good my legs felt… I thought for sure stairs would be interesting and walking would feel like a workout but I felt great; just tired.

Tuesday 3/26 -Taught Strength (heavy weights in an interval style class).  Did a treadmill run of 4 miles in 37:13 and felt good.  I loved that the 4 miles felt easy peasy (I guess they should at this point, right?!)

Wednesday 3/27 – Yoga – I really think adding Yoga into my weekly routine the last five weeks or so is helping a TON with my nagging hamstring injury.  I’m thinking of doing Yoga on Monday’s as well instead of taking a full rest day.  Any of you not take a full rest day in your training plans?

Thursday 3/28 – Today was our first real SPRING-like day!!!  It was sooo great I couldn’t bring myself to get on the treadmill so I paid a sitter so I could get a run in outside!  It felt amazing.  It was a little bit of a tough run on the books: 2 miles easy, 4 miles between 5K  (8:30)and 10K (8:50) pace, then 2 miles easy.  Here’s what ended up really happening:

8 miler Speed vs Elevation

8 miler paces

So yes, I was pretty happy with this run!!

Friday 3/29 – Taught SPIN.  Week 2 Intervals in our Periodization training.  Felt tough but great at the same time.  See my playlist here:

interval playlist

Saturday 3/30 - Taught Step (such a great group of ladies!  They make me feel so good!!! LOL And I had a new music mix which was SUPER fun!) AND Taught Strength (another good group of people) – worked hard all over, but my arms were especially tired at the end.

Sunday 3/31 – Happy Easter! – Taught SPIN.  I tried to keep it low key for myself while still coaching a kick butt Interval class for them.  I think I succeeded.  They were grunting at times and sweatballs at the end and I had burned 300 calories and completely sweat through the front of my tank…. okay, maybe I should have taken it even easier! Oh well… then I headed home….
AND Ran 15.5 miles.  I have to say, I’m exhausted still as I type this Monday night!  I was pretty impressed with how well I did.  I started out with negative thoughts but feeling pretty good (well, besides my sore calves from step and abductors from strength the previous day!).  If you’ve read any of my posts before, you’ve probably figured out by now that I tend to overthink things, especially when it comes to training for this marathon!  I considered not doing the run at all, I mean wasn’t teaching 3 classes over the weekend enough?  Then I thought about running 10 miles.  But then I know myself too well.  If I had done either of those two options I’d drown myself in “should I have?” thoughts…

15.5 mi

If I could do this pace for another 10 miles I’d be thrilled….


My little guy on the hunt!

My little guy on the hunt!

Checking out the contents of his Easter eggs!

My older guy checking out the contents of his Easter eggs!

easter humor

A Circuit Workout with minimal equipment

I don’t share all of my workouts on here for lots of reasons; mainly because you all have a ton of great ones out there already!  I’m sharing this one I taught this morning because (a) I enjoyed it (what fun is exercise if it’s not enjoyable?) (b) it requires very little equipment so anyone can do it virtually anywhere and (c) it kicked our butts, or rather, we kicked its butt!!  Report back and let me know if you do it and how it went!

Circuit Workout

A Confession…

I love Subway Surfer on my iphone SUGAR.  Specifically… chocolate.  I think of it and want some EVERY day.  But I am picky in the kind of sugar I crave.  If I had to guess, when my mind starts derailing and thinking only of eating something sweet these are generally what I think about…

1. Plain chocolate – dark and milk

Blocks of chocolate

 Image Source: (and a quick read on healthy foods to help satisfy a sugar craving)


2. Ghirardelli chocolate chips

ghirardelli chips

3. peanut butter and chocolate (no, not the PB cups, real PB and chocolate together!)


 Image Source: Pinterest

4. Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream


Image Source: Wegman’s

So, ya, numbers one and two are pretty much the same thing, oh well.  At least you know I’m serious in my quest for chocolate that hasn’t been messed with!  I don’t want cheesecake, cupcakes, cake, cannolis, whipped cream, ring dings, twinkies, etc.  However, I have been known to eat 5 Samoas (think Girl Scout cookies) in 30 seconds okay, maybe like 60 seconds, but I know you’re picking up what I’m putting down.  I know I’m not a dog, but I do love treats!  I just need to stop rewarding myself these treats for things like “making it to 4 pm in a given day” and “successfully putting the kids to bed on time.”  I mean, yes, those are great milestones every day, but really?

And with all this marathon training I’ve been doing the sugar cravings have been stronger than usual and I’m getting worse and worse at resisting.  Examples? I thought about a peanut butter and fluff sandwich for 4 hours straight the other day.  I finally had one at 4 pm… and then another dinner a couple hours later.  A few weeks ago my husband rolled his eyes as he saw me grabbing the bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips from the pantry.  He knew what was going on in my head.  No, I didn’t make cookies (although I do make great chocolate chip cookies with these chocolate chips if I can say so myself!) or chocolate chip pancakes or brownies with chocolate chips (yum!).  I ate the chips straight out of the bag for days until they were gone.

So, as a result of these cravings I’ve actually put ON a couple of pounds during the last month even as my mileage has increased.  Not good.  Added pounds are only going to make me slower and make me have to work harder to complete the 26.2 miles on April 28th in Nashville.

In comes a friend from Twitter, Laura, of  Her post caught my eye within seconds:


the last word from her tweet: accountability.

the last word from her tweet: accountability.


YES! YES! YES!   By the way, I almost said ‘no’ because she posted with it a picture of a peanutbutter/chocolate pie.  Cruel, I tell ya!

So, now I’m in.  I’ve accepted Laura’s challenge for next week.  You can choose to go hard core (no bread, no energy bars, etc) or soft core and just avoid the extra sugars like the sweet treats I mentioned above.  So I went soft core  (eh, that doesn’t sound good.  I want my core to be rock hard! anywhooo…) when I signed up.  I don’t really believe in giving up a whole food group (grains) and I really do need carbs for my marathon training and teaching at the gym (we all do!).  Oh, and I also LOVE my Clif Energy bars – they’re deelish, easy on my tummy before my workouts, and my go to breakfast on the run.  But I digress. I am psyched to be in the company of other great Tweeps and see how one week of NO EXTRA SWEETS (basically getting back to normal eating) will affect not only the number on the scale, but my running, fatigue, etc.  Sugar causes inflammation in your body which upsets your blood chemistry, weakening our immune system. (source for previous statement)  Sugar does A LOT to your body and hardly any of it is good.  But you already know that.

Want more info?  Click on some of the links I’ve provided above and/or…

Sign up for the one week sugar detox here (great prizes are up for grabs!) on Laura’s blog.

Laura gave some tips on how to curb the sugar cravings here.  My favorite tip of Laura’s is to stock up on the sweet veggies and fruits.  I love this because I already do!  You know, red peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.


Image Source (and a great article on understanding and curbing your sugar cravings):

So that’s it.  There’s my confession… I love sugar and could desperately use a little detox!  Now excuse me, I need to go play another game of Subway Surfer.

Question: Do you have any confessions you’d like to share?


Tuesday Totals & Shamrock Shuffle Recap

So let’s recap Week C shall we??

Monday, 3/18 – rested after my 18 miles the previous day.

Tuesday, 3/19 – taught strength (heavier weights today!) and did 4 miles on the TM (0:37:50) – legs were definitely feeling fatigued.  Snow day for the kiddos!!

Wednesday, 3/20 – Yoga – oh man did this feel good – especially happy baby pose!

Thursday, 3/21 – 7 mile tempo run on TM (1:03:27)  First 2 miles I slowly increased pace from 9:40 to 8:50 pace.  Middle 3 miles did at 8:41 pace (just under 10 K pace and about 10 sec over 5K pace).  Last 2 miles did at 9:20 pace.  This definitely felt tough, but not impossibly so.  I just had a general feeling of fatigue but the run was much needed and I was happy with it. Did some extra foam rolling and stretching… I will not let my left hamstring stop me from getting to the Country Music Marathon!

Friday, 3/22 – taught SPIN.  Week 9 of our 12 week training program leading us to Race Day.  Week 1 of Intervals… played some fun Irish tunes and a couple new songs that my pal R on Twitter introduced to me!

SPIN playlist

SPIN playlist

playlist 2

Saturday, 3/23 – well this was supposed to be my rest day and I was going to tackle 20 miles by way of Eastern States race on Sunday but my running partner for this one broke a rib a few weeks ago (so sad, right!!) and I couldn’t convince anyone else to do it with me.  Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue but because Eastern States is a point to point race the logistics and the time needed to actually get to the race, let alone run the race, started to bum me out.  So, a friend’s husband, G, is training for Boston and had a 22 mile run on his schedule.  We chatted and decided he’d run to my home and then we’d run a 20 mile loop from here.  So, that’s what we did!!  It was so great to run with someone.  Not only does it make the time go by faster but it keeps me out of my head.  It was a cold day with some wind here and there… I think when we started it was a feels like temp of 22* if I remember correctly.


Here we are at Mile 8.  Still looking refreshed.  Stopping to take some ENERGYbits.

Here we are at Mile 8. Still looking refreshed. Stopping to take some ENERGYbits.

Okay, starting to look a little more ragged (well at least I am!  G - what the heck?).  Had just climbed a bunch of hills and were fueling up with more ENERGYbits for our final 5 miles.

Okay, starting to look a little more ragged (well at least I am! G – what the heck?). Had just climbed a bunch of hills and were fueling up with more ENERGYbits for our final 5 miles.


Some decent hills... but not overwhelming.

Some decent hills… but not overwhelming.

Pace - nice and easy.  (yes, slow)

Pace – nice and easy. (yes, slow)

HR - love that my HR stayed pretty low ... and didn't go too high on the tough hill near mile 14/15.

HR – love that my HR stayed pretty low … and didn’t go too high on the tough hill near mile 14/15.



That afternoon I took 3 of my kids to their cousin’s birthday party.  Fun! (My other daughter had her first lacrosse scrimmage and they won in a GREAT game that apparently went point for point all the way to the end.  Sorry to have missed it.)

And that night we went out with friends to a fun charity dinner!  I really wasn’t sure high heels were even going to be in the cards, but surprisingly they were!  I attribute that to our slower pace.  The more I think about it the less bummed I am about our pace.  I think it was supposed to be that way for a reason.  And NO!  Not just so I could wear my cute high heels!  LOL Keep reading to see what I did the next day!

Girl talk in the bathroom! LOL

Girl talk in the bathroom! LOL

These girls will be part of my Reach the Beach team in May!  So fun!

These girls will be part of my Reach the Beach team in May! So fun!


Sunday, 3/24 – (Happy Birthday Sis!) – again, another rest day turned non-rest day.  :)  Back a couple months ago (well before I decided to train for the Country Music Marathon) we, as a family, signed up for a local Shamrock Shuffle.  It has a few fun runs for the kids and then a 2 mile race.  I kept going back and forth in my head… jog it as a recovery run…be a spectator… jog it… spectator… run it?… spectator.  Aaaaah!  Finally I decided to just run it.  My dad was at the race (his wife ran her 2nd race ever!!!) so he could watch the kids while my husband and I ran.  So that’s what I did.  I thought maybe I’d just run super slow.  Or maybe I’d run with my husband.  I asked him what he thought of that.  He said ‘no’.  LOL  We are kind of two peas in a pod when it comes to running.  We like our music in our ears and don’t want to worry about anyone else.  So, in the end, I did what any responsible runner would do.  I raced it.  :)  It didn’t start out that way.  I was way back in the 11:00-12:00 corral with 3000 runners taking part.  I had a LOT of people to get by, strollers to run around, etc.  It was pretty frustrating.  just frustrating enough to make me want to get away from them all, so that when I did find a good stride I didn’t want to stop!  My first mile was a 9:03.  Certainly not fast (not even my 10K pace) but on the way back down the crowd seemed to thin out so I had way fewer people to weave around and ended up running 0.98 miles in 7:24!  I couldn’t believe it.  (Actually, I didn’t look at my splits til a while after the race.  I was just pleased with my 16:27!!  I thought on a good day (read: not having run 20 miles the day before) I coud’ve done 17:00 and been happy.  But 16:27?!?!  Sweet!  I did push myself that last mile.  I could hear my breathing over my music.  I could feel my quads burning, but I kept going.  Well except for having to come to a near screeching halt because a kid (maybe 9 years old) decided to suddenly jump out in front of me so he could jump over something in the road!  He looked back at me with a scared face when he realized I was all of a sudden about to land on top of him!  Hopefully that’s a learning experience for him!  LOL  I also may or may not have clipped someone in his arm as I ran by him but it wasn’t on purpose.  Hopefully he forgives me and realizes I was as close to the edge of the course as I could be and thought I had plenty of room to get by him!

My 5 year old doing the little dash.  Didn't see him start but he finished maybe 5th. My 3 year old did a dash too, but I was running behind him so no picture.

My 5 year old doing the little dash. Didn’t see him start but he finished maybe 5th. My 3 year old did a dash too, but I was running behind him so no picture.

shamrock bib

instagram of family

instragram of race results


Top 11% for my age group!! WOOHOO!

Tuesday Totals…

Okay, so it won’t be Tuesday here when this posts, but it’ll still be Tuesday somewhere!  LOL

So here’s a recap of Marathon Training week…. ummm… let’s just say “B”.  Because I just officially signed up for it last week!  But I have been training (with my 2o miler in mind) so it’s not like I’m starting from zero.  (Runners are crazy, but not THAT crazy!)

So, I actually did post my vacation week training that started with a 12 miler and ended with a 14 miler…. so we can consider that “A”.  I won’t bore you with the week in between… so we’ll call this week “B” and take it from there!

Monday, 3/11 – totally rested – I was tired from my 16 miler the day before!

Chilling out in bed, watching some TV.

Chilling out in bed, watching some TV.

Tuesday, 3/12 – Taught my Strength class - I loved today’s format: 4 exercises for 35 seconds followed by a 25 sec “rest” but in that 25 sec three push-ups (any style) needed to be done. This left them anywhere from 10-15 sec to recover before the next exercise started! Four rounds, four exercises each, (repeated twice) meant 98 push-ups there… not to mention the set of push-ups with a high five to their partner I had them do!  I seem to be throwing cardio blasts at them too and they LOVE it!  As do I!
- Ran on TM - 4 miles – 38 min – shaking out the legs… (I hesitate to call it a recovery run because it certainly wasn’t done at a recovery pace.)

Wednesday, 3/13 – TM hill repeats – 4.5 miles – 47:10 – included a 1.5 mi warm up, followed by eight 1 minute hill repeats.  (6% incline 6.6 mph, last one 6.7 mph) First 4 hills, changed incline 1st, then speed. Reverse order last 4 hills. Walked recoveries (one min).  Followed with a 1.5 mi cool down jog, then another 0.5 mi walk (which I NEVER include in my totals, all my totals are running, with the exception of the walking recoveries!) to try to make my hamstring happy.  I had hoped to push the hills higher, but my hamstring wasn’t having it.

- #Plankaday – elbows on bosu

bosu plank

Thursday, 3/14 – (My baby turned 4!) – TM progression run – 5.1 miles – 47:55 min – started at a 9:40 pace, ended at an 8:49 pace.  These are my favorite runs but I could tell I was fatigued (my heart rate was indicating that as well!) Bonus, that a friend showed up on the TM next to me so we “chatted” (as much as I could while trying to up my speed!) for 3 of the miles.

- #Plankaday – elbow plank


What I saw when I came into the childcare room after my Workout! LOL Love this kid!

What I saw when I came into the childcare room after my Workout! LOL Love this kid!

Friday, 3/15 – Taught SPIN class – we’re in Periodization and it was the last week of Strength so we climbed ONE hill for over 31 minutes!

Saturday, 3/16 – Rest day – My oldest had her Swim State Championships this day.  She participated in 5 events, 2 relays and 3 individuals and she PRed in 2 of her individual events!  Their team also won the Championship for the 3rd time in 4 years!

Sunday, 3/18 – 18 miles!!! 2:53:05 – I was SOOOO nervous for this run!  But in hindsight, I can see it was a pretty decent run.  Some improvements could’ve been made – like not getting lost!
(Note: The following ramblings are more for my records, but maybe it’ll have some valuable tidbits in there for others as well!)

I woke up about a 1/2 hour later than I had anticipated (read: the kids didn’t wake me!) so I hopped out of bed and had breakfast right away: a Chobani strawberry/banana Greek yogurt and 2/3 of a plain bagel with cream cheese and a cup of water.  I then laid down in bed again!  LOL  After finally figuring out what to wear for running 3 hours in a feels like 16* situation I went back downstairs to fill my fuel belt.  I added a little Vitamin water zero to each of my water bottles so the water inside them wouldn’t freeze.  I filled the pouch with raisins, ENERGYbits, and a few Gu chomps.  (Note: I’m transitioning myself off the Gu and hope to be exclusively using REAL foods to fuel my runs!) A little after two hours after eating, I took 30 ENERGYbits and I was ready to go on my first 18 mile run in 12 years!  Scary? Understatement. I stopped at about 59 minutes and took 10 more ENERGYbits.  I was still feeling pretty good but wanted to keep up with nutrition before fatigue set in.  At about 2 hours I stopped again (these stops are all of 30 seconds, and yes, I pause my Garmin!) and took another 10.  I had taken my mittens off around mile 3 but oddly needed them back on around mile 12! I continued on (yes, I had eaten some raisins and maybe 3 or 4 Gu chomps as well at this point) and around mile 14.5 I wanted to be done.  My hamstring had been bothering me the whole way and it was starting to affect my gait and my knee felt like it was swelling.  I did some weird looking strides trying to “shake it out” and apparently whatever goofy thing I did helped because the swelling seemed to disappear (or maybe it wasn’t ever there?!).  At mile 15 I was lost.  I had looked at a map to add 2 miles to my 16 mile route from last week.  The road’s name I had in my head was not on the sign at the intersection so I kept going straight… to a dead end.  I was so irritated.  Here I stopped and hunched over like I had just finished a full 26.2 miles.  ”What am I doing?” came into my head followed by a serious rush to just do it and be done.  I know what I’m doing… I’m working toward a goal… and I’ve come this far… I have under 3 miles to go.  I took about 5 more ENERGYbits and headed out guessing which way I should turn – I went up hill… about 0.5 mile until I asked some walkers if I was heading toward “X” road to which they replied, “you’re heading the complete opposite way.”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Ugh.  So now I had to turn around AND do mental math to figure out which way to go.  I ended up just back tracking and continuing on my course from last week.  The good thing was I had a nice stretch of downhill.  ”I kept repeating to myself “3 more miles, just a 5K” and trudged on.  I finally determined I would actually have more distance to get home (not by much) and maybe I should tough it out and run all the way home.  I didn’t.  I was BEAT.  My husband commented “wow – you hit 18 exactly?  Not 18-point-something?”  Ha!  No way.  I was watching that Garmin like a hawk at the end!  I had a 0.3 mile walk home which was nice for the body but boy did I get cold quickly!  I was shivering by the time I walked in the door!  I had some water and a Clif Energy bar (seems weird, right?  I don’t love eating after exercise but always do; and these bars settle well in my stomach and have some protein and carbs so I don’t  feel like I have to eat a full on meal or drink a whole shake.)  I stretched, and then did the dreaded ice bath.

Here’s the rest of the day in pics…


My Mizuno Nirvanas did right by me.

HR 18 miles

I think I did fairly well keeping my heart rate steady and in the 75th percentile.You can certainly see the 3 places I stopped and fueled! Love that my HR recovers so quickly.

profile 18 miles

There are pros and cons to having most of the hills near the end of the route.

A couple hours after my run.

A couple hours after my run.

Maybe 5 hours after my lunch.  (And yes, I had some chocolate in between!)

Maybe 5 hours after my lunch. (And yes, I had some chocolate in between!)

Above is my absolute favorite way to eat a Sweet Potato!


If you have read all of this – I APPRECIATE YOU!!!  And wish you oodles of enjoyment, good eats, and even getting  a little lost once in a while in your fitness endeavors!

What do you prefer?  Hills in the beginning or ending of your long route and why?




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