30 weeks of Marathon training.

just a spot to write about the next 30 weeks….of running.

Lighthouse Loop Race Report, in which I run, and more….

So on Sunday October 26th, I ran the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon.

This was one of those odd little B races.  I wanted to do it because I had missed it last year due to injury.  It is a pretty fast course with a smaller field. I love lighthouses.  If you look back though, my history with races with Lighthouse in the name well…I probably shouldn’t love them so much.

Anyway, work has been a bear as of late and I was only kind of looking forward to the girl’s weekend and the race. I’d not been liking my times, even during taper, and mostly I kind of just wanted to sleep. I did not during the very last week that my energy level was picking up…I was wanting to walk the dog more, do more cleaning etc.

So on Saturday we drove over to Ponce Inlet.  The drive was really fun.  We all chatted and enjoyed each other. I felt a little nervous because the two other ladies know each other better than I do.

All of a sudden we were driving over a bridge.  In Florida, most of the elevation in races comes from bridges.  One of the ladies said, OH this is the bridge on the course.

twep 006

As we drove over it the three of us got really silly and you could hear noises like “Grooooaaaaan, O.M.G., ugggh” then we all started giggling. We are from the Hilliest part of Florida. One bridge…nothing to it.

We picked up our packets. Little light on the goodies, but such is the way of race packets and for a race that I paid 35 bucks for…it was pretty nice.  The only sadness is that I picked the wrong T shirt size.  They went with a new vendor this year and again the ladies had the options of shirts that would fit 4 yr olds.  I grabbed a medium since I am usually a small.  I should have grabbed a large.  I gave the medium to my friend who grabbed a small..she has young girls so one will wear the small.  I do have loads of shirts.

We had dinner at a great little local Italian place – Genovese’s


Not the most impressive of buildings. The menu at first seemed slightly limited, but I find that limited menus often mean really GOOD food.

And it was.  All of us ordered something different and we really enjoyed.

After we went and hung out at the hotel.  We chatted and got ready and discussed things, nothing major.  It was a very relaxed time.

The next morning we all of us fooled around and MISSED the ONLY SHUTTLE to the race!!!!!

I was annoyed, because I’m usually more organized.  I had not slept well, and I felt like this race was going to be just one long trial.

The weather was awesome.  My friend drove us down there and we had no problem with parking, though we did have to walk about a mile to the race start.  :(

I shedded my jacket (Giving it to my cold pal) and went and stood behind the 2:20 pacer.  I was not going for any records.  I started to get a little freaked out. Have not run a race in a long time.  The National Anthem was sung, and then…after some announcements we were off.  The Pacer – like everyone else, took the first two miles really fast. I clocked about a 10:30-10:20 pace (too face for 2:20).  I wanted  to walk so badly.  I decided to just try to hold on.  I found the pacer useful, as I could look at her and know that I just needed to hang near her.

At mile 4 she and I spoke briefly, she was nice. I told her I wasn’t sure I could hang with her the whole time. She gave some great advice on breathing better and then I shut up.

The miles started ticking by and I was starting to feel OK.  At mile 6.5 the Lighthouse came into view.


Oddly we did not really loop it like I thought we would.  She slowed the group so they could get gels and water. I had all my nutrition in my hand so I kept running.  I made this grand assumption that the group would easily catch me. I forgot that I do also get a “second wind” at mile 8-9.  So I kept running. I glanced at my watch which was ticking off miles at paces that were very 2:20 like.  10:36, 10:39, 10:45.  I started to kind of look for the pacer. I mean it seemed she should have caught me by then.

All of a sudden at mile 11, the pacer and one girl BLEW by me.  I mean at a pace much faster than a 10:38.  I tried to then keep up with them because I foolishly assumed…that they were running that pace. I just could not keep up.  After about 6 minutes, I never saw the pacer again.

I just continued to use my watch at that point, though I had to admit, i was starting to doubt the watch because the pacer was so far in front…So I started to worry that I was actually running a 2:30-2:40 race without knowing it. My Garmin’s been a bit wonky lately.  This really did nothing to help my race performance as you might imagine.

Finally I hit the bridge.  I was like…oh no. It was actually fine.  It looked steep but it was no steeper than many of the hills we run all the time in town.  I did not enjoy it much, but…there it was, I plowed up it and because I was still not sure about the time, I did allow a small walk break in it which I regret now.  I then plowed down the hill…but not very quickly.

Then I finally finished.  Lighthouse loop has something I really dislike, a hidden finish.  When I finished the hill I was at about 12.8 miles, couldn’t visualize the finish.  at mile 13, I actually still could not see the finish. It dog legs.  I really like to be able to put my head down and see the finish, but no, I was running along with that wonderment of “Where is the finish”

2:20:40 on the dot.  Did I see the Pacer?  NOOOO.  She apparently stank at pacing and ran a 2:18.  Which I wonder about because my friend who ran a 2:16 said she never saw any pace sign come in.  Weird.

My friend who beat me by about 20 seconds came and was QUITE happy (about beating me).  I saw herin front of me and knew she would beat me but I was running my own race.  She was a little gloating and knew it so she left quickly.

My friends that I had travelled with headed back to the hotel, we showered, and got cleaned up and had a fantastic lunch!

Softshell crab BLT.  Yeah, thats what I’m talking about.


Our race bib got us in free to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and the Marine Science Center, so we took advantage of both. I climbed the 206 steps and discovered I really do not like heights.  Ah well!  I LOVED the marine science center, I got to pet stingrays, and see a Moray Eel up close and personal.


So, all in all, a pretty good weekend.

The aftermath of the weekend has been HORRIBLE.  But I’ll write about that next.

Taper week one: will I find speed?

This taper week is amusing.

I got an email stating…

“This week is a little different”


When I looked at it, I had the usual reaction to taper.  A little bit of GLEE, and a bit of confusion…thinking, Gee, why is this so little, does he not think I can do it?

I realized it’s getting kind of close to Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon. I thought, OH…this could be the start of a TAPER.

So on Monday I did the workout.  simple little 1500 swim.

Of course, it was the cold front.  Pool is outdoors.  It was 55 degrees.  Pool is heated, but not in October (too hot), Pool also not covered overnight.

SO Darn it all 2719_what_is_the_purpose_of_goosebumps

Goosebumps!  Whee!  It was a cold cold swim, but it got done.

Tuesday I had a 3 mile tempo and some weights.  I had a massive day at work, so the 3 miler was done in the morning and the weights in the PM.  I also indulged in the super heated physical therapy  hot pack.  Talked for a while with my coach.  I finally plucked up the courage to ask very quietly,  “am I actually on a taper?”  He paused for a second, and then said, Yes, you are.  We discussed the odd emotions brought up by taper.

While I always think my tapers with him are too long, I’m taking this one.  I have horrible employment challenges right now with changing jobs in the middle of our Ebola panic.  So I need to work on that.

I’m also waiting for speed to return.

I now seem to have very fine endurance…I did 5 easy miles today.  No problem on all the graded hills.  But I could not get my legs to pick up to the speed I would have expected. I’ve been off on speed since my minor injury in July.  I am delighted that my endurance has really improved, but the lack of the speed has me mystified.

Let’s hope I find some before the race…otherwise, it will be an odd one.

The rest of Peak Week.

So the rest of peak week was “exciting”

Holy Heck.  It was SO HARD.

Thursday I had on the docket 10 by 800 repeats.  So I put on my game face and went for it.

Apparently I really LIKE 800 reps.  By the time I got to the end of the workout, I had run actually what appears to be 11 by 800 reps.

The last one did feel harder.  It took me hours to figure that one out.

It was a disgustingly sweat producing workout.


Seriously.  see the dark spot under all the clothes?  That’s the sweat that dripped off during my shower.  GROSS!

So I was super proud on thursday.  And a little bit stiff.

Friday I slept in and planned the bigger brick for the evening. The sleep in was fantastic.  The evening workout…well. Had a nice chat with my coach before he left for a weekend of cave diving.   I always get nervous before he cave dives, because well….ever met an older cave diver?  So I had to say goodbye.

I eventually got on the bike and spun for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was LONG.  It went on, and on.  My legs were feeling already a bit strange from the thursday workout.

By the end of the spin, I hobbled off the bike with the unpleasant thought that I still had a 7 mile run.

I changed shoes, strapped on the garmin and started off on what I knew was going to be a slow slow run.  This route has some super hills on it.  It went ok for the first 4 miles.  On the hill on the way back at about 4.2 miles I just lost it.

The sun had gone down and my town has no street lights so I was running in the darkest dark.

science_of_tearsA few tears were shed.  My legs ached and hurt and felt terrible. I silently curse my Coach.  The actual words that eventually came out of my mouth were “Skeletor can go suck it” This was a horrible workout.  I could barely walk when I finished.  I sat down and then couldn’t get up.  Yugh.

Saturday was an interesting day.

I firstly had to get up at 3 am to go volunteer at Disney for a 5K, as part of the tower of terror weekend.  We did Gear check and had a pretty good time, even though it rained.  I was not entirely recovered from that Brick though.  By 9 am I was yawning.  When I got home, I slept for a few hours and then swam.  What’s amazing is that after all the torture…my legs felt OK in the morning.  Not like bouncy happy, just ok.  but OK was perfect compared to Friday.

3700 yards, a little over 2 miles.


It was a bit tiring, but much easier than running.  One odd thing happened after the first 1000.  My nasal passages seemed to swell up so that breathing was a new an unusual challenge.  Very glad to have finished off the swim.

Sunday I had 13 miles.   We have had this fantastic cold front.  It was 57 degrees.  I actually thought I would be running really fast.  Yeah. Right.  My legs are flat.  At least they did not hurt. My pace calculator on the Garmin failed entirely today.  I ran slowly, but the pace guy kept telling me that my pace was slower than it was so it made for a confusing run.

It got done, and I think with a little rest, I might be doing ok for the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon which is in a few weeks.

We shall see.

I got my training week from the coach today..

Crying is allowed. Friday was a hard workout, then to have Sunday 13…..

Yeah.. so glad it was “ok”.  This weeks training looks like a severe taper.  I am trying not to freak out about that.


This week has lower miles than last week….but…

it’s still….  exciting.

Monday I had a swim.  This was not exciting. It was peaceful, and long and stretchy. I was still tired from the longer run on Sunday, so…

Monday night I had a deep tissue massage.   It was a challenge to get through.  The massage therapist was going kind of deeper than I’d like, and it was just miserable.  I have to admit, I prefer when he emphasizes the stretching part of things.

Monday night I had horrible GU upset all night long.  Up and down to the bathroom…

Tuesday had my “baby brick” workout (friday will be the big or long brick)


I did the cycle and was feeling pretty lousy. I was trying to tank up on electrolyte solution, but it tasted funny.  Knowing I was low, I drank it anyway.  The little 3 miler off the bike started out terribly. My legs ached and I could not seem to get to a speed that I wanted. After a half a mile I resigned myself to “just run and get it over with”.  I have found that I’d much rather just muscle slowly through a workout than explain to my coach that I didn’t do it because, “My legs felt funny”.  Oddly as I hit the one mile mark things loosened up and I ended up doing a pretty good run including running all the way up “hospital hill”  which is something I usually do not do.  At one point, I thought that if I had stopped and walked I would have been moving faster, but…thats probably a perception thing.

In the afternoon, I foam rolled for 30 mins and stretched.

This morning I had a swim/run/swim/run laundry generator workout. So long…. 2K swim, 3 mile run, 1K swim 2 mile run.  I finished at 7:52 am, and clocked in for work at 08:07 am.  The workout went really well again, and I managed Hospital Hill again, so there’s a confidence booster.

Tomorrow is speed work, Friday is Bigger Brick.  Saturday is a swim and Sunday one more longish run.  13  I looked all over for  a half marathon to run as the predicted low is 57…YES..  57 My best running weather.  No 13.1’s  so it will be me out on a trail running it by myself….

My endurance has been getting better and better.  Very encouraging.  My speed though…

So we will see how the rest of the week goes.


Training week Wrap up….


So Wow.

This week in training.

40 running miles. 87 total miles.

The 40 mile week is my first 40 mile week  in at least 20 weeks, so I guess I am supposed to be tired.

I Am indeed. TIRED.

My legs feel solid and strong, but my pace is really disappointing.  I’m running so slowly.

I have a race in about 4 weeks.  While we have not really discussed it…Not going to be a show stopper.

Hoping the blah feeling is an effect of the load of miles that I handled this week and my employment situation.

Little bit concerned about next week’s plan!!!!

Lesson learned…(again)

So today on the docket was a medium sized Brick workout.

Bike an hour

run 6 miles.

I awoke at 4 am and stumbled/shuffled around.  Made an executive decision to crawl back to the bed.  Slept til 6:30 am.

Felt better.

The yasso workout is so tough that it followed me into the next day.

Since I slept in, I had to do the workout in the afternoon.

The bike was unpleasant, but it got done.  As a Bonus, I heard a new song thats old.

This wasn’t it.  The Blind Boys of Alabama sing it, but apparently it’s not popular and not on a Youtube video so you get Deep River… Instead of “Don’t Play with God”

Anyway the Five Blind Boys are pretty darn incredible.

So the cycle ended on a high note.

Then the run.  THis is the week of:


Lots of running on the schedule.

I started my legs felt like super flat and actually kind of achy.  I had been worried about it being too hot.  No need to have worried, it was raining and cold.  somewhere in mile 4 I realized my legs today hurt more than they ever had during my marathon.  and yet…I was still running.  I had done a ton of walking at the end of my last marathon.


Ding ding ding!

Light Bulb

Suddenly I realized the lesson in this.  I have seen this lesson many a time since that fateful marathon.

Yes, one can run while in miserable. pain.  I did however, kind of wonder if running an ultra would be this painful and exactly when this type of pain would start in the Ultra.

tomorrow all I have is swimming….   then just 12 more miles between me and the end of the week….



I have not been very faithful about posting for a bit now.  I have been entirely full up of “life”  on time, which I think is a great thing.  I’m frankly amazed at myself that since the end of August and beginning of September, I’ve managed to go to Nigeria, interview for a new job (Fingers still crossed but not so hopeful there), keep my current job, train, compete in an enormous open water swim- where I met a wall of Jelly Fish and did not win anything, but stings.  I was surprised yesterday thinking about how bizarre and interesting my own life is.

BUt I need to post a bit about yesterday.

On the plan was 9 times 800 repeats.  I’ve done 8, but never in my life 9.  The coach made a notation that  “This is a tough workout”

I guess all the stings toughened me up a bit.

I walked into the gym yesterday and put on what I imagine to be my “Game face”

I think I looked like:


Probably more like:



I nailed every single one of the repeats.  After months of piddling around with slower interval times and missed workouts, I just got on the stupid treadmill (Track is only open 8 odd hours a week now)  and did them at the Yasso pace for a marathon in the time I want.

After the very last one, I sat on the edge of the mill and if there had been a few less people, I probably would have cried out loud….tired, happy…finished.

and boy am I exhausted.  Actually slept in today….

Long run gone wrong….ish

So… “long run” of a rest week today.  5 miles.

I again did not sleep well last night.  That really affects everything.

Plus I ate junk food yesterday so I was fueled by…errrr…. Junk.


SO I started out jogging along, and hit the hill then I noted some yellow police tape up.  BIG tree down across the trail.  so I had to go round which threw me off a bit.

Got back on the trail/path and continued on.  feeling tired.  At mile 2 ish I ran by some friends and that put a smile on my face a  bit.

The whole run was completely unevenly paced.  Miles 1-2 were on the paces I wanted.  Mile 3, I struggled and walked rather a lot.  Mile 4 again on target pace and mile 5 was very very close to target pace, but I had to stop and climb over the tree.  Uneven pacing is an issue.  I’m not sure it says I don’t know what I’m doing, or if it is just because I was tired.  I think it also may be that I am getting a tiny bit faster, but am not in control of the speed yet.  I et going at a new pace and can sustain it for a longer period of time (say 2 miles) but can not keep that speed for more…

Even though it feels cooler in my mind, it’s really still pretty hot and humid.

I finished up with my cool down cycle at the gym. Oddly then I spotted someone over in the PT area.  I thought it was the coach but when I looked up again no one was there.  Suddenly his head popped out and he waved, so I went over and we chatted a bit.  His wife came up and we had our usual awkward conversation.  She is focused on the trip to Africa, whereas Coach boy/man and I have moved on to training and life. So she kept asking if I had settled in and he kept giving me the knowing look and well, I’m glad we all had to go to churches…….

New experiences day.

Today I had on the schedule a 5K.  It’s a race I love.

I didn’t do it.

I had to practice with my open water relay team the Kayak thing.

We are doing this awesome swim.

As a relay, which means after about 2 miles each we have to get into the kayak from the water and paddle…

So we needed to practice.


We met at Lucky’s Beautiful Lake.  Did some swimming and some practicing.


I actually stink at Kayaking, having never been on a kayak before.  Luckily some members of our team are EXTREMELY low key, which balances out the errr higher strung peoples on the team.  I eventually got the hang of not being the leader and being the paddle helper.   Being the leader will not be my role we decided.

Kayaking does work the shoulders…intensely.

It was a lovely day.

I then went home and rested.  I admit I had not slept well the night before.  I had a lot of stuff running through my mind.

I finally at about 3 pm got it together to go to the gym.  I ran the 3 miles for the 5K on the treadmill.  Fall has not arrived in Florida.  someone posted a picture of a temp of 103 today.

Major coach miscommunication.  We have talked and talked all week.  I even asked him for a hug, which he can count on the fingers of one hand…10603541_950421561651589_2861440957810505285_n

He really helped my life this week, but he has not kept up real well with emails.  SO…


the 3 miler was challenging…turns out that crab chips, and ice cream don’t fuel runs well.

I essentially ran slow 800 repeats because I wanted to be done, but couldn’t quite sustain the whole way so I’d run a half a mile walk about one tenth and then run another half mile at a faster than normal pace.  Kind of strange.

Kinda looking forward to next week.   Maybe by the end of the week, I will have a new job, new situation and I am going to the Florida Keys, so AWESOME.

Could it be?could it be?

That my legs have recovered from the torture I gave them recently.

Seriously all that travel kind of screwed things up.  I really wonder exactly how Professional runners and other athletes deal with all the jet lag of travel before the big meets in Dubai etc.  I did not deal well with it at all.

Today I had a cycle followed by a run.  This is one of my favorite workouts.  We tease that I should have a stationary parked in front of a start line for a race so I can get a cycle warm up.

The cycle was as cycles have been lately, Ok, but not interesting.  I need new cycle music.  In addition, I was already feeling kind of grumpy from work situations.  Stationary cycle has a way of dredging up thoughts.

The run after was kind of a relief.  My legs felt pretty good and I decided to try to run steady and push a little more than I did the day before.  I have been running SLOW and seeing others times had me a bit concerned.

The first mile started out “OK”  but by about the half point, i saw that I was on pace for what I wanted.  I pushed through the hill at the half way point and was rewarded by the down hill.  Of course what goes down…in C-town, comes back up again.  So I started on the next hill and the next, hit the turn around and went down and up yet again.  Pace remained good.  I felt like I was working but not “Killing myself”.

My little 3 miler ended up being one of the faster runs I’ve had in weeks.  maybe months.  What a relief.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow.


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