Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Looking Ahead to the Marathon Relay + This Week's Training Plan

I have the itch to race.

It's been building for awhile now. I thought I would get some relief at Run Into the New Year but the weather didn't cooperate and I decided not to race. Initially I felt a little bad about skipping out because of the weather but Coach Matt said it was a great call to pass on this one. And if Coach Matt says it was a good decision, I'm okay with it.

But that means I haven't raced since Thanksgiving! For a girl that thrives on competition, this feels like an eternity. Fortunately, I have a race in less than two weeks - the Fleet Feet Sports Marathon Relay. This race is held at the Pettit National Ice Center indoor track and I'll be racing with a few fellow Oiselle teammates, Kim, Kristine and Sheila. 

Last year's relay team - we took 2nd Female Team!

While this race is definitely more about team camaraderie and having fun, I still intend on getting in some fast laps. I can tell I've lost some speed over the last few months but an all-out effort, no matter what the actual pace, will help satisfy my need to race!

Anyhow, things on the training front are going decently. I ended up taking a mini-step back between Christmas and New Year's with a few skipped runs but am now back where I was and hope to build from here during the remainder of winter. 

This week's plan includes:

Monday: 5 mile run w/strides + Y-Kettle Bell Intervals + Strength Training
Tuesday: 8 mile workout + Core Work
Wednesday: 4 mile recovery run + Y-Fuse + Y-Core
Thursday: 6 mile run w/strides + Y-Blitz + Y-Kettle Bell Intervals
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 11 mile run w/60 second surges
Sunday: 5 mile recovery run

Total: 39 miles

My questions for you:
  • It's been wicked cold in WI lately - how do you stay motivated to run during periods of bad weather?
  • What weather conditions keep you from racing? Or, will you race through anything?
  • Have you ever participated in a relay race? If so, what was your experience?
  • What are you most looking forward to this week?

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe for Coconut Chicken Chili - and making a few tweaks to lighten it up!

- ST


  1. i actually wrote a post about staying motivated in winter for women's running mag last week -- http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/eat-pray-run-dc/eat-pray-run-dc-motivate-run-winter_34363 i'm so excited to hear how this race goes for you!

    1. Great tips, Courtney! I couldn't agree more with having the right gear - it really does make all the difference. And handwarmers - talk about a lifesaver during the really chilly winter days :)

  2. A relay race really needs to go on my running bucket list. I've done a couple, but they were in high school and college, and I think there was just too much pressure to really have fun with it. I would totally still be competitive if I did one now, but I don't think I would be as nervous :). I would like to say I would run in any kind of weather, but I've never ran in snow..I've literally only seen in like two times haha so I'd probably fall flat on my butt like two steps into the run!

    1. I used to get super nervous about the relay races but last year I forced myself to take a step back and focus on having fun. I think it really helped running just two laps at a time - more like an extended workout with spectators :)

  3. Good Luck in the Relay - our club did it last year and had so much fun - this year, I'm running on the coed team. It is something to help keep me motivated during the winter, because i'm not an outside guy much lately. I will race 5K in winter, but not much longer. After a season of hard racing and marathons i use winter to take an emotional break as well as physical - hitting the gym for few miles on treadmill and SPIN class helps the time go by.

    1. I'm the same, Steve - 5k is the longest I'll race during the winter months. And I think it's smart to use the time for a physical and emotional break. See you at the relay race! :)

  4. I feel bad complaining about the cold that we have here because I know it has nothing on yours. Most of my runs lately have been treadmill and it's easy for me to stay motivated for those since I'm inside and wearing shorts. I have a pace run tomorrow morning that I'm not looking forward to though (outside, 6 miles, 10 degrees).

    I almost did a relay this past November, but it ended up that I had committed to something else and couldn't do it. I really want to do one sometime soon though! It sounds like such a great experience!

    1. Hey, cold is cold, no matter what the temperature reads :) And I think it's impressive you stay motivated even when doing lots of treadmill runs - that would probably be the thing that would kill me ;) Although like you said - at least it makes it possible to wear shorts!

  5. How exciting about your upcoming relay! I have done Ragnar relays before, and they are a lot of fun. It's a completely different race experience when your on a team than solo. I think you'll enjoy it!!!
    I have heard how cold its been up there for you guys!
    I am okay to run in almost any temp, dressing appropriately and keeping my mouth and nose loosely covered with a bandanna usually makes any temperature doable. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I hate it when it is freezing and windy!!! If I absolutely have to I will run in it, but if I don't have to, that is the one condition I will skip and go indoors for the day!
    I don't really know if I have any advice on how to keep motivated for it, other than each day run in it is one day closer to summer, LOL But really there are so many people who can't run, so I figure I should enjoy all of it, when I can because not everyone can do it:)

    1. That's a great tip about using a bandanna to cover the nose and mouth - never thought to do that before.

      And I love your attitude about each day is one day closer to summer. I'm going to remember that :)

  6. We've had negative wind hills which is really cold for Nashville! I lay all of my clothes out the night before and make a date to meet my friends for our morning run.
    I will race in anything! I count on the race sore toe to cancel if it's dangerous.
    I've never run a relay.

    1. I think it's great you have a group to help you stay motivated during the winter! That's one thing I've never tried - running outside with friends during the winter months. But there are still several months of winter left to give it a go :)