Seven weeks! I can hardly believe it. After last week’s pretty good high (feeling like I can actually do this), it’s no surprise that this week wasn’t quite as magical. Not terrible. I just didn’t hear any angels singing and hallelujah choruses while running. Hmmm.

Week #7’s Workouts

-Monday: ran 3 miles in the early a.m. – took our puppy Maggie (1 year old golden retriever) running with me for the first time since I’m scared of the dark (no really, I am) but realized she still needs lots of practice to run without it being a terrible upper-arm workout for me to keep her in line on the leash. It was kind of an exhausting run because of that but she’s awfully cute so I’ll let it slide this one time.

-Tuesday: loving your suggestions, did this video on FitnessBlender.com (great site with tons of free videos, many of which I’ve already bookmarked to try out) in the morning + some good stretching.

-Wednesday: had an already early start to a busy, busy day so didn’t end up running until the night (which I hate and usually lose my motivation). Thanks to a crazy schedule between me and Brian that night and not being able to leave the kids and run outside, I had to do this 4 miles on the treadmill which I was dreading (3 miles on the treadmill has been my max so far), but surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought (I mean, I wanted to die, but not die-die, if that makes sense)

-Thursday: rest day (I take back what I said in the opening paragraph, I actually think I did hear angels singing this day)

-Friday: my kids were out of school today so I did a quick yoga/stretching video (again on FitnessBlender.com – this one) while they ate breakfast and then we went on an hour long bike ride down to the pet store to get Maggie a bone since it was her one year birthday. Talk about a quad workout – we encountered some serious hills magnified by the fact that I had a 40-pound toddler on the back of my bike.
Half Marathon Training Week #7

-Saturday: ran 5 miles. I was very, very nervous since this distance isn’t one I’ve run yet during training. I know it’s only one more mile from last week’s long run but one mile might as well be 100 miles right now. Because of our loaded Saturday (all-day wrestling tournament + grocery shopping + house chores + church meetings), I rose at the unearthly hour of 6:45 a.m. (unearthly only because it was Saturday, I guess, even though I know it’s not really that early) and started out. My sweet friend, Deb, had let me borrow her Garmin earlier in the week so I didn’t bother mapping out a running course (which I usually do in advance in my car to judge the mileage). Come to find out, you have to actually push the start button on the dang Garmin for it to track your mileage (no comment, I know). About halfway through when I stopped to stretch, I looked down at the watch (I hadn’t earlier because I didn’t want to psych myself out that I had run, like, 4 miles and it had only been half a mile or something) and realized it still only said 16 ft. Bummer. I had no idea how far I had run or how far I still needed to run to get my 5 miles in and I was already really tired. I mentally calculated what I thought would be about a 5 mile course based on where I’d run in the past and kept chugging along (oh, and remembered to push the start button this time). The picture below is what the Garmin tracked the last half of the run when I was almost home.
Half Marathon Training Week #7

I was so exhausted at this point. I had been running for an hour and could barely make myself keep going but the alternative (sitting down on the curb for the rest of forever) was worse since I knew if I stopped, I’d never start again. If this all over the place run taught me anything, it was that I benefit greatly from structured running.

In the end, after I drove the course to check the mileage, I realized I had actually overrun – by almost a mile. The good news is that I ran almost 6 miles (no way!). The bad news is that I ran almost 6 miles (I’m so sore today, it’s not even funny).

So there’s the not-so-quick recap to the week. I’m very relieved that this upcoming week is a lighter week (3, 3, 4 mile runs).

I’m Realizing…

…how difficult it is to fit running in with my busy family and life. I know thousands of people do it but that has hands-down been my greatest challenge and is partly why we ended up on a family bike ride Friday to get exercise in and why I’m trying to embrace the early morning or late night runs.

Brian and the kids have been very supportive – it’s just the fact that time is time and I usually feel like I’m out of it (not to mention that because family time is more and more precious these days with the kids getting older, I’m not willing to sacrifice much or any of that time to get a run in by myself). When I got back from my unplanned-extra-long-gonna-die run Saturday, I blazed into the house right as Brian blazed out of the house to get Jackson to weigh-in at the wrestling tournament 30 minutes away. I hustled in our bathroom to get showered and saw post-it notes scattered across the mirror and doors with notes from Brian. And I realized I’m so lucky to have a husband who is not only supportive but also insanely proud of me. It kind of, almost made the sore muscles and early morning worth it.
Half Marathon Training Week #7

Also (stop reading if you don’t want TMI), I’ve wondered how my stomach would fare with running after all the horror stories I’ve heard of people having “issues” during a run. So far, my runs are just fine (still not eating anything beforehand and so far it’s working although I’ll probably have to add something in as the runs get longer) but the 1-2 hours after the 4+ mile runs? Yeah, staying close to home is a really good idea, if you know what I mean.

Coming Up + A Few Notes

-Running 3 miles Monday, 3 miles Wednesday, and 4 miles probably Friday or Saturday with some cross-training a couple days + stretching

-I have one particular hamstring that likes to tighten up after running and used my foam roller Brian bought me for my birthday for the first time this week – and it was fantastic. I couldn’t believe how quickly the soreness went away after rolling for 5-10 minutes.

-I’m getting excited to meet many of you at the race in June! I have some fun details to share in the next few weeks about a meet-up after the race + some t-shirt announcements for those that might be interested in getting one for before, during or after the race.

Thanks for your support everyone! Share with me how YOUR running week went. In other words, distract me from my pain, pretty please.

26 Responses to Training Update: Week #7

  1. Pam says:

    Way to go, Mel! Here’s how I measure distances for my runs: go to google maps where you want to run, right click on the map and then select measure distance. You can just click along your course and it calculates it for you! Much easier than driving in your car, which is what I used to do too 🙂

  2. Mary Sorensen says:

    I did my first five mile Run on Saturday as well! It helps me to think that I used to DIE just running 1.5 miles. And now five was hard, but not impossible. I’m dealing with runner’s knee right now. I’m hoping some hip exercises will help. Thanks for the update! I look forward to them each week. Oh, and I switched over to Pandora and it’s been awesome. I like the 80’s Cardio station.

    • Mel says:

      Good luck with your knee problem, Mary. And thanks for the recommendation on the Pandora station. That one sounds like just the perfect one to change up my listening track.

  3. Jackie says:

    Those notes from your husband are so sweet! I totally agree that finding time to run is the hardest, especially on Saturday when I want to do my longer runs. I planned on doing 8 miles last Saturday but with the rain, unexpected company for the weekend and hosting a baby shower at my house it didn’t happen. Oh well, it was a great day anyway. Maybe next week.

  4. Julie says:

    I look forward to your training updates as much as or more than your recipe posts and I’m a die-hard fan of your food! I love the picture of you and your crew riding bikes to get a bone for your dog 🙂 Just love it! Once you got it going, did you like running with the Garmin? I have one just like that, and I love being able to know exactly how far I’ve gone and get a feel of my pace every once in a while. I was planning on the scheduled 3 mile run today, but I wasn’t pushing a stroller full of kids and actually felt strong enough to keep going and ended up doing 5 miles! It also helped that I was listening to “Into Thin Air”– my first training run this year that I’ve listened to anything. I also did 5 miles on Saturday, and it was really tough. For me, I have to eat before I run or I just bonk and don’t have enough energy to go the length or pace I want. So I had eaten more before my run this morning than on Saturday and I think that helped. My need to eat before and after runs probably also contributes to the fact that I don’t seem to lose much weight when I run consistently 🙂 Have you tried out your water bottle belt yet? I’m getting to the point of really needing water on my runs and that might be a good solution.
    Good luck this week- you are amazing for doing it all!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Julie – glad you look forward to these updates! And way to go on your five miles…that’s awesome – especially since you ran the same distance on Saturday. My legs are kind of jealous of your legs. And I laughed at your eating comments because I’m the same. I am starving all day after I run and I’m sure I pretty much negate every calorie burned during the run with what I eat the rest of the day. I haven’t used my water bottle pack yet but I’m planning to start strapping it on every Saturday from here on out to get used to it. I’ll let you know how it goes. I agree about needing more water while running.

  5. Jolene says:

    I use http://www.mapmyrun.com to plan and calculate mileage. You can create and save your routes. I look forward to your training updates too! They have helped motivate me more than you know. Thank you and good luck with your training!

    • Mel says:

      I’ve been using that one, too, Jolene – but last time forgot to turn on the app when I started jogging although it probably could have helped me. I’ve noticed there are some saved routes in there from other local runners in my area which is kind of cool. Thanks for the tip – every one helps this little beginner runner. 🙂

  6. Tanya M. says:

    I love the family bike ride pic! So awesome! And what a sweet note from your husband! Love it!!
    I totally get it about leaving kids and going running (especially Sat when everyone is home!). A few times I’ve taken my 6 year old along on her bike.. her ride is as fast as my run.. so it works great! Exercise + time alone with Mom= win/win! We chat about the clouds and the flowers and the horses we pass — and it makes the time go by quickly.
    My big feat this last week was running 8 miles on my 40th bday… my longest distance so far! Whew! I was sore the next day but not completely unable to move like I feared… 🙂 I also swam my longest distance (1000meters) and rode my longest distance on my bike. (24miles) I think I just had to prove to myself that turning 40 isn’t the end of the world! 🙂 Now if I can just manage to do all those in the same day I’ll be just about set for my triathlon. Wahoo! Good thing I still have several months to train!!
    I totally laughed about your Thursday “rest” day… because we all know you weren’t sitting around eating chocolate with your feet up all day… it still means a busy mom day, just minus the exercise! I bet if you clipped on a pedometer you’d see you’re still walking miles on your “rest” day. 🙂
    I love checking in and seeing your progress… It is inspiring me to keep going! Hope you have a great week!!! (And don’t forget to push “start” on your garmin next time, haha! That is so something I would do so it made me laugh! Good times!)

    • Mel says:

      Tanya! That’s awesome about 8 miles (and happy birthday!). I’ve decided since 40 is just three years away for me, I better step up my running game. I think it would be fun to do something like four half-marathons the year I turn 40. Of course that’s easy to say since I don’t have to actually do it right now. I’m proud of you, especially with your swimming and biking, too!

  7. alyssa says:

    i’m so glad someone else suggested fitnessblender.com. LOVE Kelly and Daniel. Best home work outs ever. I am reading this and feeling a bit sad, being pregnant with crappy knees doesn’t equal running. wah…
    You go Mel. I’m curious as to the changes you are seeing in your body. Feeling better and looking more trim is always a good pay off.
    When I used to be able to run more frequently, it is the best way to get a flat tummy and tone, slim legs.

  8. April says:

    Hi! I’m enjoying your updates, and am excited for you! I’ve been running for about 4 years – started after 5th and last baby was born – and have gone through really great, and not so great periods with it. One thing I’ve learned about myself, is that my runs feel so much better if I eat just a little something in the morning before I go, even if it is just 3 miles. Usually I’ll slurp down a little cup of applesauce or something as I’m headed out the door, but it really helps. It’s light, and easy on my stomach, and then my body has some ready available energy to pull from. On longer runs (5-6+ miles) I will usually have a bowl of oatmeal or a banana. My runs really were night and day different once I started doing that. Either way, it sounds like you’re doing great!!

  9. melanie ball says:

    You are awesome! Almost 6 miles? Well done. And it’s perfectly normal to want to stop but knowing if you do you’ll never start again. Or wish someone would drive by and offer you a ride home.
    I love running with my Garmin for long runs. The newer models aren’t too expensive and much smaller too. I love using the mapmyrun app during the week (it’s too dark to see my garmin screen) and anticipate hearing that little voice in my headphones telling me I’ve just completed another mile. It’s also awesome because my friends track their running with it too so their workouts show up in my activity feed. It’s so motivating to see their distances and pace and holds me more accountable for getting my runs in.
    Try taking imodium before your next long run to help with “runners trots” and when all else fails, find a nearby bush!

  10. Raxhael says:

    One thing that really helps me with the running guilt is to make it more of a fsmily-centric event. My husband and I use long runs as a date-nigt activity and my older kids love to bike with me while I run (although that sometimes backfires; once I was at mile 18 of a 20-miler and told my daughter I needed some encouragement and she said, “I don’t know, Mom…you look awful, and I’m not sure you’re going make it home”).

    • Mel says:

      Ok, your daughter’s comment made me laugh out loud. And then I realized, dude, 18 miles! Ain’t no one looking that great at 18 miles. 🙂

  11. Colleen says:

    Hey Mel, have you tried a Gentle Leader collar (http://www.petsafe.net/gentleleader) for Maggie? It’s the only way I can run/walk my pup without lengthening my arms. The collar works amazingly well, and the arm relief makes you glad for canine companionship again.

  12. Lindsey R says:

    Thank you for being so generous with your time and letting us know how your fitness journey is going. Reading your posts has caused me to reflect a lot on my fitness journey and just super grateful you are willing to be open and funny about yours. I love that you have joined the runner community. And formed your own! You run girl!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Lindsey – your comment meant a lot to me today (maybe because I’ve had what seems like negative feedback several times today) so thanks for the pick me up. 🙂

  13. Marisa says:

    The Nike+ running app is a great tool! It calculates your mileage/pace, and informs you each time you hit a mile (and your pace for that mile, and overall for the entire run). It also tracks your total miles.

  14. Kari says:

    mapMyRun is also online (not just an app). You can map out a route and it also keeps all your stats. If you have a smart phone, use the app while you run. It’s very fun and addictive!

  15. Ashlee T says:

    Mel you are Rockin this running thing!! I secretly wish that I was your next door neighbor so your determination and awesome skills could rub off and we could run together! And your hubby! What a good man! Thanks for sharing your updates! I secretly want to do like a super chill run with my hubby. Maybe one of hear days soon!

  16. Mimi says:

    Oh man! You are doing awesome! It’s so hard to balance family life with the demands of training for a half. I struggle with it every spring/summer. But, it’s so worth it and honestly . . . after you run your first half . . . it gets slightly addicting. From a nutritional stand point, I suggest you eat a little something before you run. It helps A TON with energy on your run and you’ll feel tons better. It’s also better for your body from a fat burning/metabolic standpoint. I usually do 5 almonds and a half banana, half a yogurt, or my favorite is to mix Tropicana 50 with a half scoop of vanilla protein powder (seriously tastes like Orange Julius without the slushy). I also LOVE to make a tropical protein drink (super easy by just throwing frozen fruit, water, ice, and protein powder in a blender), official recipe here: http://mimisfitfoods.com/tropical-protein-smoothie/. But, that’s if I dare to run the blender and not wake up my little people before I hit the road. Seriously . . . try eating a little something and you’ll soon see that the runs aren’t quite so difficult (although, running is just plain hard work so it’s still hard . . . just not as hard). LOVE reading your updates! I SO wish I could run this half with you, but I’m signed up for one two weeks later and my training schedule isn’t working out to allow me to do both. That said . . .I’m still following your updates because it’s always inspiring to follow others on a similar journey as your own. Props to you for jumping into the running world and for inspiring others along the way. Oh . . . and, your husband is the cutest!

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