Archive for the ‘Miles Log’ Category

Miles for Meals virtual marathon route on the Santa Ana River Trail

Just two more days until I run 26.2 miles down the Santa Ana River Trail to raise money for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County! Thank you to all who have donated to the fundraiser so far. Donations are still desperately needed though with less than 1/4 of the goal reached at $602 of $2,620. If you have the means, please consider donating here. Remember, every $1 donated provides at least three meals for those facing food insecurity during the pandemic.

Training has been going very well. It’s been four long months of five workouts per week — a speed workout, a tempo run, a long run, and some combination of biking and rowing on two other days. Here’s a peek at the last month of training leading up to Saturday’s virtual marathon:

Marathon training log from January/February

I had to shift some workouts around — even moving my 20-mile long run to a Friday instead of Saturday — but I managed to get them all done. I feel ready, although I have the usual butterflies in my stomach now that the big day is so close. I definitely am at the “what have I gotten myself into” stage! For today’s taper run, the last run in the training plan, I ran three miles at 6.6 mph pace. It’s a little crazy that on Saturday I will run 26.2 miles (8.73 times longer than today’s workout, to be exact) at that approximate pace. I am reminding myself to trust the training and remember that the magic (okay, fine, science) behind tapering will help carry me through the additional miles in the marathon.

I don’t have a particular time goal in mind, although I do want to stay around a 4-hour marathon time. We’ll just have to see how I feel and how much time it takes me to stop and refill/mix my own Gatorade bottles along the way. My husband Mike will help for the first leg, and meet me with two of my girls at the end (I’ll have to FaceTime my college daughter from the finish!) but I’ll be on my own the rest of the time.

I plan to listen to podcasts and audiobooks to entertain me. But the main thing that is going to power me through is the thought that donors generously gave money to the food bank, and I want to honor their generosity. One last plea to please donate to the Second Harvest virtual food drive here!

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Happy New Year! I hope you’ve gotten 2015 off to a running start (ha ha)! I got out on New Year’s Day for a speed workout — 8 x 800m at 10K pace (in the 7:30s). Training for my next full marathon is going well. There are just over eight weeks left until the Phoenix Marathon on Feb. 28. Two months seems like a long time away and a short time away all at once.

I have set some loose goals for 2015 — more “things to work towards” rather than resolutions. For January I intend to work on meal planning, both to save money and to work on maintaining good nutrition leading up to the marathon. My exercise-related goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon with time to spare, so I actually meet the cutoff for registration for the 2016 race.

Looking back on 2014 makes me grateful for what a fantastic year it was. I didn’t realize it at the time but I nearly sampled the whole running menu! In addition to the running relay at Ragnar Napa Valley, I did eight races at almost every distance: one 1-miler, two 5Ks, one 8K, one 10K, two half marathons and one full marathon. (Ultra in 2015??) The really surprising thing is that I got on the podium in my age group in 4 of those 8 races (the mile, 5K, 10K and 13.1). To go from not being a runner at age 39 to getting on the podium at age 43 makes me appreciate all of the wonderful, positive changes that running has brought into my life in the last four years.

My favorite race of the year turned out to be the inaugural REVEL Canyon City Half Marathon in September. Just a gorgeous course and a really positive experience for me to end the year on.

Some more number crunching (perhaps only interesting to me but I like to document it):

Miles run in 2014: 1,084.39

Miles biked in 2014: 1,644.78

Miles of swimming in 2014: 2 (can I even call myself a triathlete anymore?!)

Miles walked on warm-ups or cool-downs: 75.84

If you add up all the running, biking, swimming and walking, I covered the driving distance from Los Angeles to New York City — over 2,800 miles! And what helped me get through a lot of those miles? Reading!

Number of books read: 76

Number of those books that were audiobooks listened to while exercising or cleaning house: 39 (over 50%)

One of the best changes I made in my training over the past year was to add in 40-60 minutes of strength training each week (for a total of 33.94 hours for the year, to be exact). Not only did that change my body shape, more importantly it gave me some core strength to draw on when I get tired toward the end of a race and I’m tempted to let my running form fall apart and my pace drop. Strength training offers a lot of returns on a small investment of time.

What about you? What strikes you when you look back on your year? What’s one change you were glad you made in 2014?

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With ten more weeks to go until the Santa Rosa Marathon, my training plan has kicked into high gear. This past week, I laid down my highest training volume ever with 13 hours of running, spinning, and strength workouts, capped with this ride to the beach and back yesterday:

That's a personal distance record on the bike!

That’s a personal distance record on the bike!

My legs felt great after the ride but my everything else hurt! Today my shoulders and neck remind me that they held a helmet up yesterday for four hours, but no other body parts register any complaints. I am still grateful though that the plan calls for just 30 minutes of core work today.

Generally with marathon training I put in about eight hours of exercise a week, so this plan is taking me into new territory. The plan actually called for about 10 hours of exercise, but I had to bump the long run to Monday instead of Sunday and that put the total for the week at 13 hours. I’m on high alert for overtraining and/or injuries but so far so good. Putting a lot of miles on the bike allows me to increase the training time without increasing the strain on my legs.

Bike: 105 miles (25 miles on Tuesday, 20 miles on Thursday, 60 miles on Sunday)
Run: 37.75 miles (long run of 18 miles that got pushed from a week ago Sunday to Monday, plus the killer 12.25 mile ladder workout on Wednesday, plus 7.5 “easy” miles on Friday)
Strength: 30 minutes (I’ve been doing at least two strength workouts per week for an hour total but this week I traded one of the strength workout days for the long run)

Saturday was a “rest” day if you call five hours of housecleaning “rest.” I celebrated the accomplishments of the day by harvesting the apples from our trees:

These are the low-chill varieties of apples called Anna and Dorsett Golden.

These are the low-chill varieties of apples called Anna and Dorsett Golden.

Yes you can grow apples in Southern California! The Annas grew to a nice size this year and the Dorsett Goldens are tiny but tasty.

How many hours of exercise do you generally get in a week?

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Well hello! I’ve been so busy with my latest project — Get All the Laundry Washed AND Put Away at the Same Time — that I’ve got a lot to catch up on around here.

The year 2013 ended in a whimper with a serious case of the flu that wiped out most of my family for over a week. There’s nothing like wrapping Christmas presents on Christmas Eve when both my husband and I had a fever of 102. The one kid who didn’t get sick declared the next day “the best Christmas ever” in spite of the fact that we had frozen burritos for Christmas dinner (well, those of us who felt like eating, anyway). Good times.

It took me a while to crawl back to my prior level of fitness. After conquering three full marathons in one year (Santa Barbara, Mountains 2 Beach, and Long Beach) I tried to be a good girl and cut back on working out in an “off-season.” Basically that meant I went from working out seven hours per week to four, and cut back my long runs from a max of 20 to 6 miles. Unfortunately, then I got hit with a cold and then the flu and I stopped working out altogether for that week of the flu. Not only did I feel miserable physically, I felt miserable mentally. I seriously look at working out as a (near) daily pill for mental health. So, I slowly scraped my way back to running and biking, in spite of the fact that my legs felt anything but rested and fresh and my lungs screamed in protest.

Thankfully, now I’m back on track and even managed a PR of 24:09 in the 5K at the iTry 5K trail race in February, where I came in first of eight in my age group.

My girls surprised me with a cake to celebrate my 5K race. It says "Go M!" for Go Mama!"

My girls surprised me with a cake to celebrate my 5K race. It says “Go M!” for Go Mama!”

Then I raced the Brea 8K — the only race I’ve ever done three times — and came in 6th of 174 in my age group with a time of 38:46 (a 7:47 pace for nearly 5 miles). In 2012 I came in 5th of 180 but that’s okay because the person who knocked me out of 5th place is Boston Bound Brunette (who, by the way, just rocked the LA Marathon in spite of the heat on race day).

The year 2013 turned out to be a great year. I cut 10 minutes off my full marathon time to 3:52:42, putting me within seven and change of a Boston Qualifying time (3:45).

My total mileage breakdown for the year?

Swim: 13.67 miles.

Bike: 829.54 miles.

Run: 1132.64 miles.

Strength training and other workouts (DVDs, skiing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding): 49 hours.

Up next?

I run my first one-mile race next weekend at the Encinitas Mile. The next weekend I race the La Habra 10K (recap from the first time I did that race). On May 3 I’ll do the iCureMelanoma 5K in Fullerton for fun and fundraising (see my team’s page to sign up to join our team or make a tax deductible donation toward melanoma research!) At the end of May I’ll do a hilly but beautiful half marathon in Santa Ynez, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half. At the end of August I’ve got full marathon #4: the Santa Rosa Marathon. After watching people struggle in the heat for the LA Marathon last week, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Santa Rosa in summer isn’t scorching hot! Finally, I’ll take on my first Ragnar Relay from San Francisco to Napa Valley with the Ragnaritas!

Any tips for me on racing the mile? My strength is long distance and if I left my body to its own devices it would settle in at marathon goal pace of 8:35. Based on recent speed workouts I think I can do the mile in under 7:00 but I’m really nervous. The course is a half mile out, half mile back and I have no idea how to keep myself from going out too fast and not blowing up in the first quarter mile. It will be a learning experience for sure!

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Before I get to my monthly recap of miles and goals, I want to note my progress on National Novel Writing Month. In the first three days I’ve written 5,534 words. That puts me 533 words ahead of schedule (a whopping 1%)! I have already learned a lot. I am proud of myself for keeping up so far and yet wholly intimidated by the fact that I’m a tenth of the way through and need to keep this up day after day for many more days.

Miles for October

With October being full marathon month for me, I ended up running relatively few miles during taper and the recovery week after the marathon. I have been battling a torn calf muscle that wants to morph into shin splints. I’m a little ticked that running less has resulted in more injury. But I’ve been mixing up my workouts and throwing in some serious yard work and housework too (I’m not talking dusting, I’m talking full on attack).

Swim: 0 miles. It doesn’t fit into my schedule well this school year and without a triathlon on the calendar I simply don’t make it a priority.

Bike: 52.1 miles in 3.85 hours in 4 workouts.

Run: 70.55 miles in 11.2 hours in 9 workouts. That is likely the lowest number of miles I’ve run in a month in well over a year.

Walk: 1.16 miles in .72 hours in 9 workouts (I never know whether to count these cooldown walks as part of my running miles, not that it matters to anyone, anywhere).

Weight training (including some Jillian Michaels DVDs that are indeed shredding my abs): 3.43 hours in 6 workouts

Yard work and heavy housecleaning: 8 hours 40 minutes in 5 workouts.

Random Photo for October

Isabella of France and Braveheart for Halloween

Isabella of France and Braveheart for Halloween

Goals for November

1. Win National Novel Writing Month by completing 50,000 words of a novel!

2. Run my first trail race!

3. Beat my calf and shins back into submission.

What did you dress up as for Halloween? What are your goals for November?

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I can accept that it’s fall. I love fall, even in Southern California where the temperature merely goes from “really hot” to “not quite so hot” and the grassy hills go from “fire-tinder-brown” to “probably-won’t-spontaneously-combust.” What I cannot accept is that it’s October. And that the Long Beach Marathon is 10 days away.

A mere two days ago I was all, “I love taper!” and then wham! This morning I woke up with a sore throat. This should not be surprising to me given the sore throat my husband has been battling for the last week, and the strep throat my daughter had a couple weeks ago (mine is not strep according to the rapid strep test I had this morning, just in case). So, not surprising, but definitely disappointing. Now instead of “I love taper” it’s all “What if I can’t run tomorrow? What if I shouldn’t run tomorrow? What if I’m not better by next week? What if I spike a fever? Should I take the antibiotics the doctor prescribed in case I do get a fever, or the sore throat gets worse? What if my husband can’t find me on the marathon course and I miss a water stop? What if I bonk at 18 miles again?” Apparently sore throat germs have a way of infecting the brain as well. Time to remind myself to trust in my training, and what better way to do that than to review my miles for the past month.

September Miles

Swim: 0.5 miles, 30 minutes, 1 workout

Bike: 59.94 miles, 3.35 hours, 4 workouts

Run: 139.91 mi, 23.13 hours, 13 workouts <—– Now that is what I like to see.

Strength training: 0.57 hours, 3 workouts <—- This is embarrassingly low.

Other: Walking for 6.35 miles, 3 hours, 8 workouts; serious yard work for 45 minutes.

Random Photo for September

Mike and me all dolled up for a YMCA fundraiser

Mike and me all dolled up for a YMCA fundraiser

Goals for October

Well, I’ll write up a separate post about my goals for the Long Beach Marathon on October 13, 2013, but let’s just say they involve a P to the R and not so much a B to the Q.

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The Southern California summer was nice and mild until about three weeks ago when it decided to hit the high 90s and low 100s and stay there. For extra fun, Mother Nature cranked up the humidity, too. So it’s been a challenge to complete outdoor workouts, especially since I’m too lazy to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat. (When I said that to a friend he was kind enough to say that anyone who runs as many miles as I do cannot be called lazy!)

August Miles

Swim: 1 mile in 32 minutes in 2 workouts

Bike: 72 miles in 4 hours in 6 workouts

Run: 126.61 miles in 20 hours in 13 workouts

Strength training: 1.25 hours in 5 workouts

Throw in an hour of tennis on top of that!

Random Photo for August

Campsite #1, poolside

Campsite #1, poolside

My family usually camps in a travel trailer but my girls had been begging to use this tent ever since my parents passed it on to us. I decided it would be fun to put it up in the backyard and the girls and I spent two nights out there. It was a ton of fun, right up until I forgot to take down the tent before the yard guy came to mow the lawn, and I found myself out in 96 degree heat, trying to pry the tent stakes out of the ground with a crowbar, a wrench and a hammer (my “helpers” had done a stellar job of pounding those stakes in!)

Goals for September

Eek! Five and a half more weeks until the Long Beach Marathon! I feel that the training is going well. I am relieved to have survived the first back-to-school illness with a very mild sore throat (the girls were not so lucky. You’ve heard the phrase “she tossed her cookies?” Well, in our case it wasn’t cookies. Remember that blueberry pie I had for my birthday? Yeah. Sorry for that visual.)

Anyway, the training is going well but my motivation is flagging. It’s hard to get up to run 20 miles in the heat when your family sleeps in. I do it, though, and I’m extra proud when I’m done. My goal for September is to power through these last tough weeks of training and enjoy a nice taper before the race on October 13.

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When last I wrote, I had just finished my second full marathon, the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, in 3:57:29 (marathon recap Part I and Part II), and signed up for my third full marathon in Long Beach this coming October.

Since then, while I haven’t been blogging, I have been swimming, biking and running and I’ve got the miles to prove it!

May, June and July Miles

Swim: 2.75, 4 and 2 miles for a total of 3.86 hours in 10 workouts

Bike: 54.47, 97.97 and 111.17 miles in 17.87 hours in 20 workouts

Run: 110.32, 73.16, 110.4 miles (interesting to me that the mileage went down in June as I recovered from the May marathon, then picked right back up in July as I started training for the next marathon) for a total of 49.93 hours in 36 workouts

Strength training: 1.65 hours, 2.9 hours, 2 hours in a total of 24 workouts (an average of 2 per week).

Add in a few other amazing workouts hiking, kayaking, and even stand-up paddleboarding (LOVE IT)!

With the kids out of school for the summer I logged a lot of miles at the gym while the kids stayed in the gym day care. That explains the bump up in the bike mileage as I cranked out mile after mile on the gym stationary bike while I listened to audiobooks and/or played backgammon on the bike computer.

I also had the opportunity to travel all over the country this summer and I took full advantage of it to run in Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, and the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains.

Random Summer Photo

This view was my reward for running 20 miles along the trail by Crystal Springs Reservoir in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains in San Mateo County, California

This view was my reward for running 20 miles along the trail by Crystal Springs Reservoir in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains in San Mateo County, California

Fall Goals

Right now I’m in my ninth week of marathon training for Long Beach. Seven and a half more weeks to go until the marathon on October 13th! Training is going exceptionally well. Yesterday I cranked out two 7:11 miles in my speed workout followed by 2 800m repeats at 8.6 miles per hour. My goals for the marathon are simply to improve my fueling strategy and beat my PR of 3:57:29.

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Time to check in with my April Goals:

Book the hotel for race weekend. What a relief it was when I finally took care of this! We ended up booking a vacation rental home in Ojai for less than it would have cost to stay at the host hotel. The rental is within five minutes of the starting line in Ojai and that eliminates the need for me to take the early morning shuttle from the host hotel in Ventura. Also, with the rental home kitchen I can cook my own pre-race dinner and breakfast on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Focus on meal planning. I did focus on nutrition for the past month and made it a point to know by breakfast time what I wanted to cook for dinner that night. Only once, though, did I sit down and plan out a menu of meals for a whole week. I flipped through the pages of magazines a friend gave me and I tore out recipes that looked interesting to me — a meat dish, a chicken dish, a vegetarian dish, a fish dish, a stew (which I will double to freeze a batch for another meal) and a casserole (well, a garlic bread bowl thing that looked good to my husband! I have yet to make it). For the remaining night we had the best kind of meal — a home-cooked meal but one that I didn’t have to cook! Hooray for the spontaneous Sunday dinner invitation!

Run two 20-milers and two 15-milers. BAM! I ran 20 miles on Coyote Creek Trail, and 20 miles on Aliso Creek Trail all the way to the beach, and two 15-milers that seemed short by comparison.

April Miles

Swim: 1.75 miles in 1 hour in 2 workouts. Can you hear me singing: “Reunited and it feels so good!”? I finally got back in the pool after a few months’ absence and it felt fantastic. So good that I was kicking myself for not getting back in sooner. It reminded me why I like triathlon so much. The mix of disciplines allows the body more time to recover (by varying the muscles used) while still permitting you to train at a high level of intensity.

Bike: 53.57 miles in 3 hours in 4 workouts.

Run: It was another high mileage month (for me) with 133.89 miles in 25 hours in 13 workouts. While it’s not my highest mileage month ever, it is the most in hours of running — in the 30 days in April I spent an entire day plus one hour running!

Skiing: 2.5 hours in one workout. Can’t forget the spring break trip to Mammoth and the awesome run on the snow.

Weight training: 2.75 hours in 9 workouts. I usually do situps, pushups, and some biceps curls two times a week. Sometimes I get in some adductor and abductor muscle moves if I’m at the gym.

Random Photo for April

My oldest daughter celebrated her 11th birthday in April. She asked for cupcakes with yellow and blue frosting. She shares her birthdate with another friend who is one year older, so we made a yellow “11” and a blue “12”:

cupcake collage

If you’re looking for a great recipe for vanilla cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting, check out this cupcake and frosting recipe from DC Cupcakes (we made the recipe without the filling). Tip: use whole milk in the recipe, not skim.

May Goals

There’s only one goal for May:

Have a blast at the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon on May 26!!

Of course before that I need to complete one more 20-miler this weekend and then begin to taper! I am actually looking forward to tapering this time around. Come to think of it though, I also have a race on the calendar as a training run: the Spring Blast Half Marathon on May 11. The training schedule calls for 13 miles at an 8:35 pace, so why not make it 13.1 and try to PR on a new and interesting course?

What are your goals for May?

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A new month begins and that means it’s time to check in with last month’s goals:

Resist racing the La Habra 10K. I resisted and I’m glad I did. I ended up having a cold and ran a lackluster, slow 13 miles for training that day. It’s better for me to focus on my training plan and not get distracted by racing. Racing is fun but it comes with some stress, even if it is good stress.

Heal my darn adductor magnus/groin strain once and for all. Yes! The right-butt-crease-groin-strain is gone after about four months of babying it with massage and hot baths and also strengthening the muscles with weight training. Now I’ve got some nagging hip flexor / inner groin issue going on with the left leg but the nice thing about that little nuisance is that it feels better the longer I run! I don’t feel it during a run and I feel better after a long run, not worse. It’s aggravated by speed workouts though, so I’ve got to be careful during those.

Do two 20-mile long runs, two 18-milers, and one 13-miler. No (April) foolin’ — I did complete all five of the long runs on the calendar for March. I couldn’t do them all at the prescribed pace, but gosh darn it I put in all those miles and didn’t bonk.

March Miles

Swim: 0 miles. I blame the limited open swim hours at the gym. Since I’m not currently training for a triathlon, I’m not willing to go at the crack of dawn or after 8 p.m. in the evening.

Bike: 97.94 miles in 5.57 hours in 7 workouts.

Run: 140.25 miles in 23.53 hours in 14 workouts. *Head slap.* Duh. This is why I’m feeling a little tired and creaky in my joints. That 140.25 miles is about 30 miles more than I’ve ever run in a single month. I’ve only ever run more than 100 miles in a month three times, counting this March. And how incredible that out of the 31 days in March, I spent nearly ONE WHOLE DAY, A WHOLE 24 HOURS running. My training plan is no joke. If I can get through the remaining eight weeks before the marathon, I’ll be in serious shape to run 26.2 miles on race day.

Strength training: 3.17 hours in 10 workouts. I enjoy doing sit-ups, push-ups, and weight machines that work the adductor, abductor and biceps muscles. I think the time I’ve spent on strength training over the past couple of months has made a huge difference in how I feel and it has definitely changed my body shape (even though my weight remains the same).

Random Photo for March

Since my husband’s iPhone is holding my Easter egg dyeing photos hostage, I’m going to share a new billboard campaign I absolutely love:

Metro is running a bicycle traffic safety campaign in anticipation of Bike to Work Week May 13-17, 2013. Under California state law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as car drivers, and that means that they may use any lane and might need use of the full lane to navigate the road conditions safely. Share the road everyone!

Goals for April

Book the hotel for race weekend. Why have I not done this before? Did I have some mental block? Did I not think I’d remain healthy and ready to race? Or do I just hate calling people on the telephone to try to negotiate a discount rate (I do not wish to stay in the host hotel)? The race is Memorial Day weekend. I’ve got to get on it. Put it another way. This is April. The race is NEXT MONTH. It’s getting real, people.

Focus on meal planning. I eat relatively well but could stand to focus more on nutrition. Turning the month’s focus to planning meals will help me improve my diet and make full use of the CSA boxes of farm produce I get each week.

Run two 20-milers and two 15-milers. I just need to keep putting the miles in even if I cannot hit the pace target. Perhaps my pace will improve as I recover from last month and completely get over the cold I had.

What are your goals for April? Do you have any races on the calendar? No races for me this month. My eye is on the big race on May 26th.

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