A glimmer of hope

Thursday is practically the weekend, right? Well, I’m celebrating early with a glass of red wine and my favorite chocolate bar. And although the rest of the US and even Ireland is getting hit by winter storms, here in Utah we are having our warmest winter in years. It was in the mid 50s this week. What the hell? It would be the ideal winter for marathon training……

So where am I at with this calf injury? Actually, I’m feeling pretty good – my calf is behaving and I’ve mentally taken a big step and am surprisingly relaxed. So let’s get physical first.

On Saturday I decided to test out my leg with some run-walk injuries. My last really serious injury was hip bursitis (6 weeks out back in 2013) and I recovered from that using a run-walk strategy. It basically started with 5 min walk + 1 min run repeated 5 times. I like to think that this was what I needed starting with zero base, and I felt as if I could be a bit more aggressive with my interval splits this time around. But I still started with a 5:1 split #sensible. I did decide to push myself a little and see what I could do interval wise before I felt a the slightest hint of a twinge. This ended up being a 3:3 split – although the run portion was at just a little faster than my recovery pace (6.5 mph on the treadmill). I managed an hour – my gym now has individual tvs for every cardio machine and I spent my time watching the first Sex and the City movie. I think being able to watch tv and distracting myself with intervals helped me cope with the dreadmill. 5.5 miles total followed by lots of stretching and PT exercises.

One thing I changed was wearing some new kicks. I have been running in Brooks PureCadence shoes for the last 2 years and I managed to find a pair for $60 last fall. I was wondering if my current shoes might need to be replaced, and whether they might even be contributing to my injury.

Not my photo - sorry I forgot my phone. But aren't they cute?

Not my photo – sorry I forgot my phone. But aren’t they cute?

And holy crap – they felt so much stiffer than the shoes I had been wearing. Thinking back on it – I starting wearing my old shoes back in the summer and wore them for most of my long runs and my marathon so I think they needed to be retired.

I have also been taking it super easy. No fast runs. No tempos. No speed. Pushing off works your calves and that just ain’t happening for me right now. The overall consensus from comments after my last post was to slow down. That it’s better to run slow and easy rather than push things and end up injured again. My first race of the year is scheduled for next Saturday and will be my first ever road 5K. I still plan on running it but will need to repeat this in my head – I’ll probably have to shout it at myself and not get carried away with a race atmosphere. Think long term!

I’m swapping out long, slow runs for long, slow swim sessions. Sunday was about 80 mins in the pool – nice and easy. More run-walking on Monday and Wednesday (4.5 miles each – 3+3 intervals) and then a yoga class this morning where we did zero down-dogs and chatarungas!

I don’t know if it’s coming across in this post but I am surprisingly at peace with this injury. I mean I can run-walk at the minute which is good – some running is better than none. I’m still feeling a little tight in the calf but not when I am on the treadmill and it seems to be improving. I’ve also pretty much accepted that this marathon training season is not going to be perfect. And that’s ok. Not every race is going to be a PR. And that’s ok too.

Getting to the starting line in one piece and finishing the race still in one piece is my number one goal. And if I can’t manage that – well I guess I’d have to skip a race. And that’s not going to be the end of the world either. There are plenty more races in my future and what I’ve learned most from this experience is that you can’t fast forward through healing. It takes time and you have to accommodate that into a plan. Of course, I would have loved to do the perfect training schedule and aim for that BQ time. That’s going to have happen some other time. And you know what? I’m fine with that. I can wait because some things are worth waiting for.

That time when I had a running blog………..

Skiing picture

So my return to running after my calf sprain has not gone so well. In fact it hasn’t gone at all. I took a rest week and then decided that I should run three days in a row. Not smart, but I was putting pressure on myself to get into my marathon training schedule. And you probably can guess what happened next.

Mon 1/12: Rest

Tues 1/13: 3 treadmill miles at 8.41 min/mile

Wed 1/14: 6 miles at 8.19 min/mile

Thurs 1/15: 2.5 miles at 8.35 min/mile

Fri 1/16: Rest

Sat 1/17: Strength + 40 mins AMT

Sun 1/18: 2500 m swim

If you guess that I would pull my calf muscle even more painfully than before………..Congratulations! Please come and claim your prize. The actual story of how it all went down is a lesson in running misery. My calves were feeling OK on Tuesday and Wednesday – just a little tight but not terrible. And the first 2 miles of my Thursday morning run actually felt pretty good. Then. BAM! OMG my calf hurts like a MOFO and I am 1.5 miles from home. Wearing my early morning running gear – headlamp, hi-vis vest. With no phone. And it was cold. I walk-limped slowly home – the runner’s walk of shame. Pissed off at my calf. And frustrated that I couldn’t move any quicker. By the time I got home the tips of my fingers were numb and I was Cranky McCrankyson, the mayor of CRANKYTOWN. I wasn’t really surprised though – I usually get swept up in the “too much too soons”, and although my marathon isn’t until May 16th I guess I wanted the security of completing ever single run in my marathon training plan. Well, that is not going to happen (Sarah – any thoughts on a 16 week marathon training plan?).

So I’ve been switching up my cross-training.

Mon 1/19: Skiing at Powder Mountain

Tues 1/20: 4 miles on the elliptical

Wed 1/21: 2000 m swim

Thurs 1/22: Yoga

Fri 1/23: Strength workout

I managed to hobble around work on Thursday and Friday – seriously guys, everyone was asking what I had done to myself. It was not pleasant. Days like that really make you appreciate the simple joy of being able to walk normally. I was feeling slightly better over the weekend and managed to get in some low impact cardio – including my first time ever in a 50 meter pool! It was awesome – until some guy broke lane protocol and we nearly collided. I hope he managed to get the full impact of my stink eye from behind my goggles.

Luckily, MLK was a holiday for me and I scored an awesome deal on ski tickets for Powder Mountain – one of the ski resorts that I have never visited before. It was so quiet there – no lift lines, beautiful views and low snow coverage. We still managed to get a ton of runs in (of the ski variety of course), and I even managed to conquer my fear of skiing between widely spaced aspens on a mellow downhill slope. Living on the edge over here! Skiing is such a great way to get outside in the winter (plus it was around 30F with no wind), and this particular resort has a ton of backcountry-type areas where you feel like you are skiing through a forest away from civilization. Plus a great way to crosstrain – that quad burn!

Tuesday and Wednesday were back to cardio. It’s funny, when I’m swimming I never feel like I’m working that hard but as soon as I finish my set I can feel my heart-rate and boy it is racing. As for the elliptical – I just have to play mind games to stay on that thing. Yoga this week was all about the hips – and it felt great. I felt lighter (even though this sounds weird) all day Thursday and even today – like a weight I didn’t even realize I had been carrying had been lifted off me. In yoga class, they often say that you carry stress/feelings in your hips. To be honest I’ve always felt as this was a little quacky (hello – scientist) but something was unloaded after that class.

I’ve also been doing consistent strength work (the number one thing that usually gets left of my list when I get busy) – mainly the exercises recommended by my physiotherapist over the last year. For me, this means focusing on building leg strength, and because I have a clear muscle imbalance between my right and left legs, this means a lot of single leg work – squats, leg press, leg raises, bridges. Although I can see feel differences in the stabilization between my left (stronger) and right (weaker) legs, I think that things are improving. It’s a little ironic that right now I’m in the best shape of my life – but I can’t run. Damn you Alanis!

So the plan for now……….Well diving straight into a marathon training plan is not going to work for me. So I think I’m going to do what worked for me before. Start back with a walk-run program until my calf pain is gone, and then increase mileage without worrying about pace. It sounds so easy/impossibly difficult for this inpatient chick.

Any advice for starting marathon training in less than ideal conditions?

And so it begins……..

stepstorunamarathon

……….with a whimper. Last week I did something to my already tight calves which meant lots of limping on Thursday and complete rest on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday morning I was feeling better and headed to my local yoga studio for a more chilled out flow class. It was great for stretching and relaxing – exactly what I needed. Sunday afternoon was a full body workout at the gym including one whole mile of running on the treadmill. This mile was pretty slow but I only felt a slight twinge in my calf. My plan was to take another full day of rest (and to deal with post-gym DOMS) on Monday and then try 3 miles on Tuesday. Because this week in WEEK ONE of marathon training! Woohoo! Well woohoo! in my mind. Mentally, I am totally ready to dive in to a full marathon training session (I spent Sunday evening drinking wine, watching Downton Abbey and putting together my marathon training plan). Unfortunately, my body is not quite on the same page.

I’ve decided to use a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 plan but incorporating some of the things I learned from the Pfitzinger book – specifically adding in some tempo and fast finish long runs. The mileage should top out around 50 (which is a little more than last time) with one tempo-ish workout per week. I also have 4 (!) races scheduled between now and May 16th (M-Day) that I had to work into the schedule. Yay for racing! I think that if I had been in better (not injured) shape I would have totally committed to the Pfitzinger plan, but considering where my body is at right now I think that this would have been an injury in the making -> Day 1 is an 8 mile run with 4 miles at half marathon pace! So I’m pretty happy with my plan and excited to see where I can get to in 18 weeks. My current goal is to PR and in the later stages of training I’ll see where I am in terms of running a BQ. I’m torn between wanting to get more marathon race experience – and – just gunning for that sub 3.35 time. I feel like I’ll have a better idea of where I stand with some serious mileage behind me -> this time I’m planning on two 20 milers and one 22 miler.

As for the calf? Well it was feeling a ton better by Monday. And on Tuesday I got to try out my new gym after work. The weights area was crazy packed but surprisingly I had my choice of treadmills. I started out just fine but after a while my calf decided to let me know that it was not happy! It isn’t a bad pain – just uncomfortable-ness (word?). This is a hard choice for me. When I went to my physiotherapist last year I was surprised that she never told me just to stop running. Even though I had knee pain that required about 6 months of exercises to cure I was given the go-ahead to run through it all. The caveat was that the pain should never be higher than 3 on a pain scale of 10. If I had been doctoring myself I would have wimped out and stopped completely. My current thinking is that a little bit of constant pain (i.e. it doesn’t get more painful as the run progresses and never gets higher than a 2-3) is OK.

I decided to see how outdoor running felt this morning (clean air!!!!!) -> it’s awesome! Again a slight uncomfortable-ness in my left calf but low on the pain scale and it didn’t seem to be affecting my gait. I have been rolling with my stick all day (+ compression calf sleeves) and it is feeling so much better – and completely different to the pain of last Wednesday. The plan for the immediate future is to keep running unless the pain starts to get worse, but to keep everything at a pretty easy pace. The marathon is a long way away and part of me feels a little foolish for even running at all. So I’m trying to find a balance between being a little braver and trying not to be too foolish. At times like this I wish I could trade my PhD for an MD……….

 

 

Friday randomness

Friday already? I don’t know about you but this week has just flown by over here in Utah. Today seemed to call for a little bit of randomness.

Calf update: I figure that everyone wants to talk about my calf as much as me, right? Or not. But I will say that I’m feeling a lot better. There was some limping on Wednesday but also plenty of stick rolling, compression sleeves and ibuprofen. Thursday was a little improved – no ibuprofen but still sleeves. I was able to stretch a little and really got stuck into that muscle with some finger massage. Today – even better. Still a couple of twinges when I walk up and down stairs but am definitely on the road to recovery. My medical research (thanks Google!) suggests 7-10 days until you’re back to normal so that should have me trying some easy runs in the middle of next week. The perfect start to week 1 of marathon training?

Speak of marathon training, I have become a little obsessed with my Advanced Marathoning book. There is so much useful information in there. (Random fact: they recommend cooking with cast-iron to increase the iron in your diet -> more iron -> increased hemoglobin -> carry more oxygen in your blood -> run better). If you plan to race a marathon I would recommend it. I’m still not convinced that I am in the right shape to launch into this program right now (Week 1 is 33 miles starting with an 8 mile tempo run), but I can see myself incorporating some of the things I’ve learned into my marathon training program. One thing that really spoke to me was their recommendation of even pacing throughout the race. They even say that if you run a negative split that you likely ran the first half too conservatively and are capable of a faster time. For my marathon I ran my second half two minutes faster than the first so I’m not crazy for thinking that there might be a PR on the cards this spring.

But in one way it’s kind of the ideal time for me to take a break. My gym is closed for this week – no pool, no treadmill. But it will open on Monday and looks awesome. Thank you students and your ridiculously high tuition fees for funding this!). We are also experiencing the dreaded January inversion. This is the dark secret of Salt Lake City that nobody ever wants to mention. In winter we can get a temperature inversion here. Basically, when it snows the cold air gets trapped in the valley (because the ground is so cold), meaning that it is warmer in the mountains (9000 ft) than on  the valley floor (4500 ft). You’re probably thinking that it doesn’t sound so bad especially because our highs have been in the 40s for the last week. But this cold air traps all of the pollution (cars, wood burning, oil refineries) in the valley. And if there is no storm to mix up the air the pollution builds and builds. For most of the past weak it was in the “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range, but yesterday it was in the “unhealthy” range. This means exactly what it sounds like – that our air was unhealthy to breathe in, and you should minimize your time outside. During January, not only do I check the weather so I know what to wear to stay warm but I check our Division of Air Quality to make sure it’s safe for me to run outside. Luckily, the pollution varies during the days so if you get up early enough you can run outside but man January SUCKS!

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You can see the smog in this photo. But looking out of my office today I can’t see the top of these mountains anymore :(.

I really enjoyed this article – about the dangers of disordered eating and exercise addiction. A story about a talented runner who is right in middle of the recovery process. While I personally have never suffered from disordered eating, I did have a close friend in college who suffered from anorexia. Articles like this always hit me hard and bring me back to that time in my life when I watched helplessly as a close friend starved herself. Since then, I’ve always been extra-vigilant about self-monitoring for any disordered thinking/behaviors. I think back to how I felt watching someone else go through that, how hard recovery is, and how getting caught up in this pattern can change your whole personality. I like to run. I like to eat a nutritious and balanced diet. But most of all I value my health – physical and mental – and that is my priority. Sure, I’m not thrilled when the number on the scale goes up and when I eat too much chocolate I feel a twinge of regret. But I let it go – and don’t beat myself up about it.

Enjoy your weekend! I will be either inside away from the air or up in the mountains.

Counting backwards from May……….18, 17, 16…….

Right now I’m in the middle of base building (Week 1: 15 miles, Week 2: 17 miles, Week 3: 22 miles, Week 4: 26.8), and it was going so well. Was. Until this morning when a previously tight left calf turned into a seriously sore left calf. Sad face. My warm-up mile went fine, followed by a fast mile (7.13 min) and then OW. I cut my run short and headed home to work it out with a stick. So a RICE day for me and probably a few days off. I think that hilly run on Sunday may have been a little too much. Oh well.

But it has given me time to think about my marathon training (after I googled the hell out of calf pain/strain) and what my approach will be to try and get a new PR. Last time I followed and Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I plan, and I think it worked out pretty well. What I liked about it was that there was two 20-milers (which was good because my first one sucked and I got a redo), and most weekends consisted of a run on Saturday that was usually shorter (5-9 miles) and often done at race pace and a long run on Sunday. It didn’t include any speedwork aside from this race-pace Saturday run, so I added in a midweek tempo run (6-9 miles) after the first month. My mileage peaked at 45 miles but was consistently around 35 miles per week. Despite having an awesome training cycle I have been wondering if I should do more?

For the last week, I’ve been reading Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger. This is the training plan that my husband used when he qualified for Boston last year. They have a couple of different mileage options but the lowest mileage plan tops out at 55 miles. Although I’m not committed to this plan it has been interesting to read about the physiology of different running workouts (lactate threshold, strides to improve form) and one thing that they have mentioned is doing long runs at a reasonable pace. That is doing part of some long runs at goal marathon pace – and this really speaks to me.

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The long runs I did last cycle convinced me that I could run at least 20 miles but I had no idea what pace I could sustain for a full marathon. Pace runs gave me a clue about how far I could run up to 10 miles but how would that translate to 26.2? That’s what I want to try to figure out for this cycle. So, I’m going to listen to both Hal and Pete and incorporate some miles at goal marathon pace (or close to it – 10 to 20% slower) into some of my long runs. Interestingly, both recommend avoiding short interval speedwork. Hal is totally against speedwork (except long pace runs) during marathon training – that should wait for another time of year. Pete – well I’m just about to start that chapter – but he likes strides (which I’ve never done) and longer intervals.

I thinking right now that I’ll follow Higdon but incorporate some of the things I’ve learned by reading Pfitzinger’s book. Or maybe……well I’m not 100% sure but I will decide soon. And by soon I mean next week. Because next week marks the 18 week countdown until marathon number 2 (Ogden marathon May 16th). I realized this on Monday when I was trying to figure out how many more weeks of base building I had left. Oops. Somehow I thought I had another couple of weeks.

Pfitzinger also devotes a chapter emphasizing the importance of proper hydration and nutrition – especially during long runs. It had definitely motivated me to keep my water intake up and to think about fueling as training ramps up. One thing that I have discovered is that there is now a name for my way of eating: reducetarian. People who want to eat less meat (but not ever quit eating meat) for ethical, health and environmental reasons. Finally, I have a pompous name to call myself! One recipe that I have been loving is this one from skinnytaste. It’s simple to make and absolutely delicious.

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                                                                  Any recipes that you’ve been loving lately?

 

2015 goals

Well it finally happened. Many of you will have suffered through those post-injury runs, wondering if you’ve come back too soon, if you’re doing too much and if that injury is going to reappear. Yay for runner’s hypochondria! But then you have that one run. The run where you feel strong, and completely forget to worry about your foot/hip/knee/insert other body part. This happened for me on Thursday and it was amazing. And again on Friday. I was a little anxious about Sunday’s long run – mainly because there would be a lot of downhill (the first five miles were non-stop uphill for a little under 1000ft elevation gain), but I feel like I’ve turned a corner and am now out of the post-injury phase and normal running has resumed.

Mon: 2000 yd swim

Tues: 5 miles (treadmill) at 8.11 min/mile pace

Wed: Rest

Thurs: 5.65 miles at 9.10 min/mile pace

Fri: 5.15 miles at 8.23 min/mile pace (2 x 1 mile repeats; 7.10/7.05) + PM yoga

Sat: 2750 yd swim

Sun: 10.6 miles at 9.07 min/mile pace

So now that things are back on track, it’s time to think about some goals for 2015.

Manage injuries better. Last year my number one goal was to avoid injuries. That obviously did not happen. But, I feel like 2014 was a great learning year. I finally started to listen to my body – so that when I was sore I was able to rest properly, and was more consistent with my prehab and rehab. Although I suffered a couple of injuries I was able to bounce back more quickly than before i.e. I didn’t ignore and run through pain this time. I want this to continue for 2015 – and if I could totally avoid getting hurt that would be 100% better.

Run 1500 miles in 2015. In 2014 I managed 1150 miles so an extra 350 can’t be that hard, right? Well, considering I had a few very low mileage (cough*28-looking at you November*cough) months, this seems like a reasonable goal. Ideally, I’d like to go over (classic over-achiever mode), but an average of 125 miles a month sounds like a good target.

PR. PR. PR. PR. I kinda want to get a few shiny new PRs in 2015. I’ll be running marathon number 2 in May, on a net downhill course. I ran my first marathon in October, and I have to admit that I was pretty intimidated by the distance. Would I even be able to run 26.2 miles without hitting the wall and having a miserable time (I did this pretty hard in my first 20 mile training run)? Spoiler alert: the answer of course was yes. I’m totally happy with my time, and this is probably the ideal way to run your first ever marathon. But I feel as if I didn’t really “race” this race. I know I could be setting myself up for a miserable time, but I definitely want to push harder for marathon number 2. I’m not quite sure if I have a Boston qualifier in me just yet (I’d need to run 10 mins faster), but I want to see how close I can get.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be racing my first ever road 5k, and 15K, and my second ever road 10K this spring. These all seem like reasonable PR target races. Flat courses. More miles in my legs. So, why not? As for the half marathon……Well, I PRed in this last April. But that race was so hard. I was hanging on for those last two miles, and really had to have a serious talk with myself to keep going. I got the time I wanted (1.38.57), but I felt as if I could have raced it better. And now, after training for a full marathon, a half marathon no longer seems so scary. My first half of the year will be towards the end of my marathon training schedule so I’m hoping that it’ll pay off with something closer to 1.35 (although I doubt I can make that much of a dent right now).

Do a legit trail race. For the last couple of years I’ve raced in some of the Park City trail race series and had a blast. These races are designed as a way to get people interested in running off-road, and so are on the mellow-er side of things in terms of elevation change and technical difficulty. This year is going to be the year that I sign up for one of those crazy-why would anyone do this for fun-type of trail races that we have out here in Utah. Don’t worry – there are plenty to choose from – most of which go straight up for thousands of feet (fun, right?). Those type of never-ending climbs are a huge physical and mental challenge for me and I’m figuring that this will be one of the harder goals for the year.

Cross-train. Marathon training really ate into my time for other cross-activities this summer and it’s taken me a while to get back into the swing of things. I do not want this top happen for 2015. I think (well I’m hoping) that having made it through one training schedule that my body will be ready to cope with extra activities this time around. My one big aim for this year is to bike to work more: I’ve switched out the tires on my mountain bike to make them more commuter-friendly and got all my crazy-bright lights and a commuter backpack. Now I just have to wait until spring and warmer weather. I also want to continue with swimming as another form of low impact cardio. This should be helped by the new 50-meter pool that is opening in one week right by my work. My mile time is around 36 minutes right now and I’m interested to see where it will get to by the end of the year.

Run with people! 2014 was the first time I got to run with people. Not every run. But on a lot of the tougher trail runs that I might have bailed on if I had to do them alone. And boy, does running with people make the miles fly by. By November, I was hoping to check out our local running club. Then BOOM. Injury. So I’m rolling this over to 2015. It might not be feasible until the marathon is over, but my summer is looking pretty free and easy and seems like exactly the right time to start something new.

Check back in in December to see how things went!

 

Happy 2015!

3 days in and so far so good. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with a half day at work followed by a trip up to one of our local ski resorts to watch their torchlight parade. Basically, they let skiers ride the lift half way up and then ski back down with flares, lights and glo-sticks. It looks pretty cool and there were even some fireworks – although they were a little disappointing compared to last year.

My friend took some cool pictures to capture the whole thing.

My friend took some cool pictures to capture the whole thing.

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Afterwards with hit a party and stayed up to the crazy hour of 1.30 AM! About 3 hours past my usual bedtime – which meant I didn’t get out of bed until 10.30 on Thursday morning. I seriously can’t remember the last time I slept in so late. But it was great. 2015 started out pretty mellow but J and I did manage to get our butts outside for a 5.5ish mile run in the sunshine (and 23F……..which no longer feels cold to me). Then back into our PJs for more lounging around the house.

Friday started with a solo run. 1 mile to a nearby park where I tried not to wipe out on packed down snow (clear your sidewalks people!). Then my first attempt at a speed workout thingy since my injury. 2 x 1 mile repeats with a mile in between and then a trudge home on slippy sidewalk. I’ve never really done formal speedwork – I tend to like longish tempo runs when training for my half and full marathons last year. And a mile in between is a little longer than orthodox but it’s a step forward. Mile 1: 7.10 Rest mile: 8.03 Mile 2: 7.05. 5.15 miles total.

I was actually pretty surprised at these paces. It’s pretty similar to what I was doing in the summer. It felt uncomfortable but not impossible. And I’m pretty sure there’s something left in the tank. I hope so at least, because the reason that I even thought of doing this workout is because I’ve entered my first ever road 5K! It’s on Feb 7th, it’s close to my house and the course is pretty flat. If you look at my PR page you’ll see a 5K time (23.33 – I think). That was from a trail 5K I did last summer……….1 week after a half marathon……and coming back of an injury (ha – what’s new!). That particular race was all kinds of awful. I went out too fast and was introduced to the misery that is the 5K. So time for a re-match. Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect. My super-secret-don’t tell anyone goal is to break 22 minutes. But any PR would be nice – weather permitting of course.

This race is part of a series – 5, 10 and 15K – which is meant to culminate in the Salt Lake Half marathon in April (which I won’t be running – I’ll be in Boston watching J run that marathon). $75 for the three races plus a $20 gift card to spend on any Brooks product in our local running store (which is hosting the series). Sign me up……..wait….Anyway it seems like the perfect way to get some race experience. And should count as my weekly ‘pace’ runs as part of my marathon training, which starts at the end of this month.

I also signed up for a half marathon. What can I say? I was procrastinating at work and bing! got an email offering $10 off race registration of at the Canyonlands half marathon in March. I know a bunch of people who have run races in Moab (they have three half marathons per year: Canyonlands, Thelma and Louise (!) and the Other Half, plus a 10K in December) and they all get glowing reviews. FYI: Moab is in an amazingly beautiful location and I ran my favorite ever trail run there last February. So, I am fully booked until May. Bring. It. On.

2015 race schedule so far;

Feb 7th: RUN SLC 5K

March 7th: RUN SLC 10K

March 21st: Canyonlands Half Marathon

April 4th: RUN SLC 15K

May 16th: Ogden Marathon

As for the rest of the year. I’m planning on a fall half marathon. And there are a couple of trail races that I have my eye on during the summer (Park City Trail series 5, 10, 15K and half marathon, and the Jupiter Peak steeplechase) but I don’t want to commit just yet.

The one downside (OK – there are way more downsides) of training for a marathon during the summer is that it sets a pretty tight schedule. You need to do those long runs to make it through the race – so weekends become centred around your training. And while I really enjoy running and was so glad to have trained for my first full marathon last summer, it inevitably meant that I had to miss out on our regularly scheduled summer activities. Newsflash: Utah is awesome in the summer. This year I want to camp, backpack, mess around on rivers, hike and maybe even do activities that involve heights and ropes. So no fall marathon for me. I’m choosing adventure this summer instead.

Watch out for a better-late-than-never goals post next week!