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February 2014 Mileage

February was a month of half marathon training. I used the Hal Higdon intermediate plan which consists of 4 days of running plus 1 long run. I had used this previously for the Nashville Half Marathon that I PRed in last year so I thought this would be a good plan to follow. I incorporated in weight lifting and exercises for my legs, especially for my hips and piriformis to try to prevent injury. I went to boot camp 2 times a week to add in variety, sometimes I really enjoy working out with a buddy and bootcamp is prefect for that.

Mileage: 101.25

Average Pace: 8:25

2014 Mileage: 132.83

 

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2014 Races & Goals

By the end of 2013 I knew what my running goal was going to be for 2014 and that is to attempt to PR in a half marathon. Since I am getting married in August I knew I wouldn’t have enough time and be able to fully dedicate my summer to running another marathon so stuck with the half marathon as my farthest distance. I think the half marathon is the perfect distance to train for and work hard at while still having a life outside of running. You marathoners may disagree, but since I have only ran one I consider it a big dedication. This is the time I am trying to beat!

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By the end of January I had decided what races I wanted to run and signed up. All are new races to experience except the traditional Shamrock Shuffle. I may add a couple of fall races but for now this is what I have signed up and where I am focusing on my attention on.

I’m starting out my race season in 2014 with a half marathon in March the Get Lucky Chicago. This is very unusual for me since I have started out the previous running seasons with the Shamrock Shuffle, but I looked at the calendar and decided I could get in enough training in before hand and it would be a good way to start training earlier in the year, even if it would have to be on the treadmill because of the winter conditions outside. I also thought it would be fun to do a race on St. Patrick’s day weekend. The race isn’t through the city, but located on the lake shore path close to the Museum of Science and Industry. My race buddies and I never understand why the Shamrock Shuffle is always so much later, yet it’s based on St. Patrick’s Day.

halfchicago

Two weeks later I will be running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. This race is tradition for the start of the running season in Chicago. It’s also a great race to PR in the 8K. I have gotten a better record from year to year and most people I run with improve as well. Plus it’s a great race to run through the streets of Chicago and see the sights. I highly recommend this race if you are new to running or in the Chicago area. It’s a great experience and the crowd cheering the runners on is awesome!

shuffle

Next on the list is the North Shore Half Marathon at the beginning of June. This is the race I am hoping to PR in the half marathon. I am hoping to follow the Hal’s advanced half marathon training plan for this to vamp up my training and push for my goal. The only concern I have is the weather, if it’s hot I know I won’t even have a chance to PR in, so I am hoping for a cool start to June. The race is located in the north suburbs and it should be great to be so close to the race location without having to battle traffic on the way to a race.

northshore

A couple of weeks before my wedding I am actually planning on running 2 races. I guess I was hoping for stress relief when I signed up for these?! The first one in July is the Esprit de She Chicago 10K. This race is located in Lincoln Park and is actually on a Thursday night which works out well since I work in the city. The race is women only and ends with champagne and tapas. I signed up for this with a few friends and intend to have fun and not worry about my time for this. Sometimes I get too caught up with trying to do better in every race and I think this will be a great change of “pace” to just have fun with my girlfriends.

she

I haven’t signed up for the Bix 7 race in the Quad Cities, but I attend to soon. It’s a 7 mile run with the famous steep Brady St hill. I think it will be great to add in more speed work to change-up my training routine. This race was a big deal when I was growing up and was something I never thought I would do, but I think it would be a great experience.

bix

The last race I have on the list is the Urban Hoedown 5K at Soldier Field. Live country music, beer, and a mechanical bull?!? I just couldn’t say no to this race and once again attend to have lots of fun at this one. It’s soon after I get back from my honeymoon so I don’t attend on taking it to seriously. This one again is during the week which works well with working in the city.

hoedown

I probably will sign up for a fall race or two. If I don’t hit that PR earlier in the year for the half marathon I could see myself trying again in a fall race, but we will see. Maybe married life will consume me and I will just give up racing all together?!? Ha-”as if”! It will probably be on the contraire where I don’t have wedding planning and as much to do that I will actually pick-up my running.

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January 2014 Mileage

January 2014 as my first month of mileage in 2014 was not high in mileage. One reason for this was I started out the first full week of January doing a cleanse, which consisted of a shake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner only. I did not feel I had enough energy and knew I would be hungry if I added working out into my daily schedule while on the cleanse so I took a week off from running. I participated in a Chicago boot-camp class for 3 weeks with my friend Stacy a few days a week so this also took precedent over running. I had two weeks of free yoga since I joined Corepower Yoga and chose yoga over other training on some days.  Towards the end of the month I started half marathon training and brought weight lifting back into my training. It was a month of various types of training other than running which was good to start out 2014 in since I knew I would have lots of running to come.

Mileage: 31.58

Average Pace: 8:30

2014 Mileage: 31.58

 

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December Mileage

During December I dedicated myself to running at least a mile a day through 2013. I added in weight lifting when I had extra time, but mainly just stuck to running for my workout.

Mileage: 67.30

Average Pace: 8:30

2013 Mileage: 1,179.02

 

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November Mileage

In the month of November I followed a training plan for an 8K since I was running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. I took days off when I wanted and cut out long runs. I was still not up to running long miles after my first marathon in October. I added in weight lifting and calisthenics when I had time. On Thanksgiving day I started a running streak I will continue through New Years day.

Mileage: 87.51

Average Pace: 8:33

2013 Mileage: 1,122.72

A Look Ahead: The month of December I hope to stay true to the running streak I started on Thanksgiving and run at least 1 mile every day into the New Year. Usually I slack on working out this time of year, which I am fine with. As long as I get in a daily run I will be happy with fitness for myself.

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Who wants to go STREAKING with me?

Runner’s World has created an event “The 2013 Holiday Running Streak” to keep runners running during the holidays. The event basically is a promise to yourself that you will run at least 1 mile everyday from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

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For me, usually running takes a back seat during the holidays seasons. It’s cold outside, there are parties to prep for or get to, and many days of eggnog and wine where running doesn’t always sound as appetizing the next day.

christmas eggnog

However, when January comes along I feel sluggish and my pants fit a little too tight.  I wanted to stay active during the holidays so I thought this was the perfect promise to make to myself. Even if there are days where I don’t have much time and can only fit in 1 mile, I pledge to run everyday through the holidays, who is with me? Here is the link if you want to join the event through facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/545028802257323/

Have you ever made a workout pledge before?

Never a pledge, just goals.

What is your favorite holiday?

Any where I am surrounded by family, that is my favorite part of the holidays.

Do you usually hit the treadmill on cold winter days or do you tuff it outside?

I am a wimp when it comes to the cold, I usually hit the “dreadmill”  and hate every minute of it.

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8K Turkey Trot Training

How many people are running on Thanksgiving day? I actually just read that Thanksgiving day is the biggest day for races across the US. I knew before I even finished my marathon training I should sign up for a race to stay motivated with running. I was debating which Turkey Trot to sign up with, but went with one in the suburbs rather than a city race. Plus the gear looks neat too!

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Like any race I wanted to set up a training plan for myself. I decided to use Hal’s Advanced 8K plan, but decided to cut out the long runs. After marathon training I was a little burnt out from long runs on Saturday mornings. I highly recommend using Hal’s training plans for any race here is the link: http://halhigdon.com/. I have used his plans for half marathons and always customize the days to go with the days that fit best in my schedule.

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I also told myself I could skip a training day here or there when needed. After 4 months of marathon training I wanted flexibility in my workout plans aka sit on the couch when I felt like it rather than running :) One week until a large number and range of runners will hit the pavement for another Turkey Trot. I am not setting out to hit a PR for my 8K, more just to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving for the day and to start my day out doing something I am thankful for-running!

What Turkey Trot are you running?

Long Grove-8K

What are you most thankful for this year?

Amazing experiences I went through in 2013, but the highlight is probably being thankful for an amazing Fiance.

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