Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Fall Goal Race + Training & Everything Else!

Has anyone else noticed that the fitter you are, the more motivated you are to train hard? But during times when you're feeling less fit, training is ... meh? At least, that's how it is for me. And it seemed for the longest time as I was recovering from my back injury and then working through plantar fasciitis, there was a whole lot of meh.

But lately, I've been feeling extra energized about training and working out, and I think it's because I'm finally feeling fit again. It's like I have an extra gear during workouts that I was lacking for awhile and my recovery between runs/workouts is faster than ever. All good signs as I start really working toward my fall goal race, the Milwaukee Running Festival Half Marathon.

I'm in a bit of disbelief that I'm training for a half marathon since at the start of the year I thought I would work toward a fast 5k and 10k this year. But plans change - it turns out my body had other ideas and right now my strength is running strength, not speed. I recently did a quarters workout and the fastest I could muster up for the last interval was 5:56 pace. So that was a tad depressing but I know I'm on track for a great longer distance race given other recent runs/workouts.

Here's this week's plan from Coach Matt, the first week of the fall half marathon training!

Monday: 7 glue miles w/strides + Y-Blitz + Core Work
Tuesday: 7 mile workout, inc. 3x3 hills + Y-Blitz
Wednesday: 4 recovery miles + Y-Fuse + Y-Core
Thursday: 6 glue miles w/strides + Y-Blitz + Core Work
Friday: 13 mile run
Saturday: 5 glue miles + Core Work
Sunday: Y Beach Camp

Total = 42 miles + 5 non-running workouts + 4 core sessions

I had to switch a few things around - mainly the way the weekend is arranged. I swapped Friday and Saturday because I really have to get to Y Beach Camp on Sunday. At the beginning of the summer I bought a set of six classes but have failed to make a single one. So this weekend I'm determined to get there for what will surely be an incredibly tough hour!

To fuel this week's training, here's a sample meal plan for a day. You'll notice it includes chili, typically more of a cool/cold weather food. But I love it any time of the year and while this week's chili is more traditional, I sometimes modify my recipe to include more summer vegetables, i.e. zucchini, summer squash, corn, etc.

Breakfast: Summer Cooler Smoothie*
Snack: Greek Yogurt + Raw Veggies
Lunch: Power Salad + Banana
Snack: Popcorn
Dinner: Chipotle Beef Chili** + Spinach/Snap Pea Salad + Blueberries

*Summer Cooler Smoothie =  Pineapple, Tart Cherry Juice, Almond Milk, Vanilla Protein Powder, Ice
**Chipotle Beef Chili =  Lean Ground Beef, Black Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Onion, Garlic, Chipotle Pepper, Chili Powder

To wrap up today's post, here are a few things that made this past week marvelous!

Planking - When I first injured my back in January, I could barely hold a plank for 30 seconds before pain would force me to collapse. After several PT sessions and some very effective dry needling, I was finally able to start working on core strength again in April. Since then I've been challenging myself to increase the amount of time I can hold a plank. My recent best is 4:15. I'd love to get that to an even 5 min by the end of this month! 

National Cheesecake Day - I went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch on Saturday and saw a sign about National Cheesecake Day when I arrived. Of course this meant I was having cheesecake for lunch. I had a slice of Caramel Apple Struesel Cheesecake, which is mega sweet. So sweet I couldn't even finish my slice! 

Fun With Friends - I had the most fun on a recent night out with a few really great friends. We had a blast getting dinner (we somehow went through three orders of guac before even looking at the dinner menu!) and then going out dancing after. There were several times I laughed so hard I cried and had to check for mascara smudges ;) These are the kind of friends that I know I'll be laughing with for years to come!

New Running Shoes - I've been on a bit of a running shoe kick lately. I recently bought a pair of Saucony Run Pops, which I absolutely love. And since the newest Saucony Kinvara model didn't seem like the best fit for my foot, I stocked up on two pairs of the previous model. But my most favorite of the new shoes is a pair is the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2. I love the color and feel of these lightweight shoes. I know they're going to be perfect for days when I need to feel speedy as well as days when I just want to look speedy ;)

My questions for you:
  • What are your fall running goals? Have you already picked out a goal race?
  • Chili during the summer - yay or nay?
  • What is something that made your week marvelous?

I have a feeling this week is going to be nothing short of excellent :)

- ST


  1. Since I am so injury prone, my goal is to also work on strength and not speed! Hope your training goes well!

    1. Thank you! It's hard to have to deal with injuries but hopefully by building strength there will be fewer injuries - and then more opportunity to work on speed :)

  2. Yay for a 4:15 plank! I love pineapple in smoothies! I couldn't make it to the restaurant for National Cheesecake Day, but I wanted to! I haven't had chili yet this summer, but I ate chicken noodle soup after a tough run on a hot day - felt like I needed more sodium!

    1. Pineapple is the absolute best, especially during the summer months! Chicken noodle soup sounds like a great way to replenish sodium :)

  3. I'm not a big chili fan, summer or winter! Congrats on the plank--core strength is so importment.

    1. Thanks Wendy! I agree core strength is mega important - although I sometimes think it's also the easiest thing to skip out on. Best to make it a priority :)

  4. 4:15 plank is outstanding. With my calisthenics training we plank a lot but usually shorter timespans because they are worked in with all of the other calisthenics.

    After doing a 1/2 marathon trail race at Pike Lake last weekend I am just trying to recover and get ready for Ragnar Great River. Following that the only thing I have on my plate prior to the start of the Winter Series is Ragnar Hawaii!!!

    Food should not be categorized by season. It should be consumed when desired.

    1. Ha, I fully agree, Bob - food should be eaten when desired! Perhaps I'll see you at the Winter Series this year - I'm already planning on the Pumpkin Run!

  5. (This is Kristy @Runawaybridalplanner, cant login at work but wanted to try and comment.)
    Great job on the planking, wow you'll hit that 5 minute for sure. I'm not sure if I could even hold 30 seconds right now.
    Chili - love it any time of year. Especially love it in the summer up camping above 9,000 feet. The elevation does something to it and makes it almost double the yum!
    Good luck with the half training!!!

    1. You're so determined I'm sure you could hold a plank for however long you decide :) Lol - when I first read your comment I read it as you loving chili especially when carrying it above 9.000 feet :)