What’s next?!

I became a marathoner a week ago yesterday. It already feels like forever ago, although the high from that day still hasn’t completely left me.

I figured that I would finish the marathon with one of two thoughts: Either: Never doing that again. One and done is good for me. OR: WOW I can’t wait to do that again. Starting at about mile 18 and continuing long after I finished, my thoughts were luckily the latter. The marathon is my distance.

With that, I decided a few weeks ago that a coworker (I work at a running store after classes) and I would run a 50k in January for fun. Not to race it for time, but just to complete the distance. My coworker has already done a 50k and will be running a 50 miler in March, so this will be a training run for her. I can’t wait to go through three months of easier training with more of a focus on distance and running on trails rather than the pressure of preparing for a huge race 🙂

I also probably want to run a spring marathon, but I haven’t decided about that yet! I may need to take some time off of distance running for a little bit after my race in January. We shall see!

Until next time,

Sami

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Chicago Marathon Recap!!!

I don’t even know where to begin with this. What an absolutely perfect, incredible weekend.

I flew into Chicago from North Carolina on Friday night. We were a little worried about my flight because of Hurricane Matthew, but everything ended up going smoothly. I met my parents at the airport and we headed to our hotel. After we got everything settled in, we walked over to Whole Foods for some dinner and to pick up some necessities (aka pre-race meal). I went to bed pretty early Friday night.

Saturday morning, my momma and I woke up early to go to the Oiselle meet up and poster making. I met Jess Barnard and fan-girled really hard. She’s even more adorable in person. It was so much fun to meet new Oiselle teammates!

After that, we headed over to the expo. It was run very efficiently and was not as crazy as I thought it would be! I picked up the Saucony limited edition Kinvaras and a jacket as well as a tank from Nike. After the expo, we headed to lunch at the Protein Bar. Highly recommend it! It was delicious and great if you have food intolerances.

We spent the rest of the day chilling at the hotel, walking around a bit, and doing some shopping. For dinner, we went to Harry Caray’s around 5:30. I wanted to eat on the earlier side so that I could go to bed pretty early. I had gluten free pasta with chicken and marinara and it was SO good. I went to bed I think around 9 and actually slept really great.

My alarm went off at 5:30 Sunday morning. I got up, got ready, and ate my pre-race breakfast of a plain GF bagel with almond butter. I left the hotel to head down to the start around 6:40. Everything went really smoothly as far as getting into my corral (F). I had a Honey Stinger Waffle around 7:20, took my throw away gloves and jacket off around 7:50 and was starting the marathon at 8:03.

Miles 1-3: I started with the 4:00 pace group as per my plan. The first three miles went perfectly and honestly flew by. I saw my parents at mile 3 and was so happy.

Miles 4-8: This is when I started to feel like “hmm, this pace doesn’t feel very easy.” I was starting to feel really sick and trying to get a gel in me at mile 5-6 did not help. I also was starting to have some mini panic attacks and I’m not sure why. I was still holding the 4:00 pace through this time, though.

Miles 9-13: I think I hit somewhat of a wall here. I slowed down, had to make a bathroom stop, and started to incorporate one walk break per mile. I just needed something to look forward to each mile. This was the darkest part of the race for me. When I saw my parents again at mile 13, I started crying a little bit.

Miles 14-18: I started focusing on taking it one mile at a time. This was so mental for me. I had “I Run This Body” (from @mileposts) written on my arm and I was looking down at that constantly. I was starting to feel a lot better though at this point.

Miles 19-25: I kept thinking to myself “I think I’m supposed to be in a very dark place right now, but I’m not. Is that wrong?” This was my favorite part of the race. I was picking up the pace without even really trying, my walk breaks were getting shorter or disappearing altogether, and I had a stupid grin on my face the entire time. I was loving it.

Mile 26: When I saw the Mile 25 mile marker, I got chills all over my body and started to tear up. I could not believe that I was so close to becoming a marathoner. I pushed hard to the finish and ended up crossing the line at 4:25:54. Not under my A goal, but still under my B goal. I was so happy. As I walked through the finisher’s chute, I started to cry because I was so happy. I realized how much I love this distance and how much I cannot wait to do it again.

The logistics post-race were a bit of a nightmare, but once I found my mom, I started happy sobbing. That was the best hug ever!

I could not have asked for a better first marathon experience. Chicago’s crowds were absolutely incredible. I didn’t listen to music at all (I didn’t even have my phone with me), but I didn’t feel the need to ever. The crowds were so loud and pretty much throughout the entire course. I had duct tape with my name on the front, and so many people were cheering for me by name which was an amazing feeling and had me smiling throughout most of the race, even when I felt bad.

I cannot wait to tackle the marathon distance again. If you have the chance to run Chicago, DO IT!

Until next time,

Sami

Taper time! Week in Workouts

Hello hello! Just popping into this little corner of the internet that I don’t think anyone reads to record my previous week’s workouts!

Monday, September 19th: I had to move my 22 miler to Monday because of a trip to the hospital last weekend and a heavy dose of Prednisone that was not going to let me run on Sunday. So, I resorted to 22 miles after class on a Monday which actually ended up working out really well. It was around a 10 minute pace overall and felt great. I honestly wish I could have kept going.

Tuesday, September 20th: CrossFit

Wednesday, September 21st: I wasn’t tired the day after my long run, but by Wednesday I was really feeling the effects of 22 miles and the Prednisone. I took a rest day because I honestly couldn’t get my body to move.

Thursday, September 22nd: CrossFit and 5 miles on the treadmill with 3 at marathon pace

Friday, September 23rd: This was supposed to be a 12 miler but ended up being 3.6 miles with a few near-vomit situations. I was not feeling too hot and ended up just calling it.

Saturday, September 24th: 10 miles on the treadmill that felt awesome. I love the treadmill.

Sunday, September 25th: 17 miles with 14 of those on a track. Because I’m insane. But this run was amazing. 10 of the miles were in the rain and it just felt great. So happy that this is how I ended my last long-long run of training.

Weekly mileage: 57.6 miles. On accident. Which is a highest ever for me by like a lot.

Crosstraining days: 2. I want to get some time swimming laps in this coming week!

Less than two weeks!!!

Until next time,

Sami

When Peak Week isn’t exactly going as planned…

As of today, I’m three weeks out from my marathon. This is my peak week before I start to taper. But, there was a little wrench thrown in my plans when I spent most of yesterday in the ER for an allergic reaction (don’t know to what). I’m totally fine now due to the assistance of a few shots in my hips, but this has really messed up what is arguably the most important run of my training: my final 22 miler. I was supposed to wake up bright and early this (Sunday) morning to get it done. Instead, I slept through my alarms because the steroid they injected into me didn’t make it easy to sleep until the early morning. I have a small window of time where a friend can take me 40 minutes to go get my car from the hospital (I wasn’t allowed to drive home because of the Benadryl they injected). I need to get my prescription filled immediately when the pharmacy opens because one of the items I need filled is an Epi Pen. I have to carry one now since we don’t know what I’m allergic to yet. All of these things have to happen in the morning, which is coincidentally when I was going to run that very important 22 miler. I’m trying to remind myself that such is life. It’s one long run. I’ve completed every other long run this training cycle and if this long run is awful because I have to do it at 1pm, then so be it. I will put 22 miles on my legs today even if it requires walking all of them.

Let’s see what else I did this week…

Monday, September 12th: CrossFit which included a 2.5 mile run

Tuesday, September 13th: CrossFit and 4.5 miles on the treadmill

Wednesday, September 14th: CrossFit and 8x200s (6 miles total)

Thursday, September 15th: Rest

Friday, September 16th: 8 miles with 4 at marathon pace

Saturday, September 17th: 5 miles with a Oiselle teammate which I luckily got in before my reaction flared.

Sunday, September 18th: 22 miles WILL happen.

Until next time,

Sami

Sore Calves and Hard Long Runs – Week in Workouts

I was surprisingly not tired or sore after my 20 miler on Sunday, but that soreness seemed to hit later in the week. My calves had huge knots in them which led to me taking two days off of running. I realized that I had run 8 days in a row which would probably be the cause of that!

Monday, September 5th: 20 minute trainer ride and 4.1 miles on the treadmill

Tuesday, September 6th: CrossFit and 7 faster miles outside

Wednesday, September 7th: CrossFit and 4 miles outside

Thursday, September 8th: Rest day

Friday, September 9th: CrossFit

Saturday, September 10th: 9.5 miles at a quicker pace

Sunday, September 11th: I haven’t completed this run yet as I’m writing this BUT it should be 16 miles total. Full disclosure: I ran 3 miles this morning but wasn’t feeling it so decided to wait til later to finish the other 13. Not ideal, but getting it done.

Next week is my peak week then its time to taper!!

Until next time,

Sami

Fall-ish weather and a 20 miler – Week in Workouts

Between the significantly less sleep I’ve been getting and the higher mileage, my body is TIRED. Which makes me even more proud of the runs I’ve been putting down this past week. I think the tiny bit of cool weather we got as a result of the hurricane helped out just a bit with having better feeling runs, so I’m a little bitter that it is supposed to get back into the 90s this week. Cue more complaining about summer running.

Monday, August 29th: CrossFit

Tuesday, August 30th: CrossFit. I was supposed to run this day, too but I felt really sick so I kind of considered this a rest day.

Wednesday, August 31st: CrossFit and 5 miles outside that felt really good.

Thursday, September 1st: 12 miles at an easy 10 minute/mile pace. This run took place during a rainstorm and it was PERFECT. I love running in the rain.

Friday, September 2nd: CrossFit and a 4 mile run.

Saturday, September 3rd: 3 miles that were supposed to be easy but ended up being at 8:40 pace. Not sure where that came from but the drop in temperature definitely had something to do with it.

Sunday, September 4th: 20 miles. Around my tiny college campus. Not going to lie, it was hard and my legs felt done by about mile 8, but I finished it and that’s what is important!

Mileage: 44

Crosstraining days: 4 (although I wish I’d had more time to jump on the bike trainer this week)

Until next time,

Sami

When is fall? Week in Workouts

I’ve said it before, so I’ll spare you more complaining. I hate humidity. I’ll leave it at that. I feel like I’ve been a HUGE whimp about the heat, but I’m trying to wean myself off of the treadmill and get acclimated to the brutality that is running outside. 5am wake ups have definitely been my friend recently.

Sunday, August 14th: I started with 3.2 miles in the morning. I thought running at 8:30 would be fine, but I was very wrong. It was awful and I quit and went home. So, I finished with 4.2 miles outside as the sun went down. I also spent 20 minutes on the bike trainer.

Monday, August 15th: CrossFit and 30 minutes on the bike trainer. It felt good to be back at the box where I started CrossFit!

Tuesday, August 16th: Once again, I started running outside but quit after 2.67 miles. I tried again later that day and did 5 on the treadmill. That was much better. I also did CrossFit.

Wednesday, August 17th: I changed my rest day to Wednesday because my body just wasn’t having it. I felt exhausted and horrible and went to bed at 7:30pm.

Thursday, August 18th: 15 minutes warming up on the bike and then 8x800s. I did a 1 mile warm up and 1.3 miles down for 6.3 total. 800s are my least favorite thing ever.

Friday, August 19th: CrossFit and an easy 5 miles. I did probably 100 goblet squats and 50 weighted walking lunges during the WOD. I didn’t realize how dumb this was to do the day before my long run…

Saturday, August 20th: OMG so sore. I managed to squeeze out 18 miles but they were not pretty or fast at all. I ran out of water and fuel, walked a lot, and complained but I didn’t give up which I’m really proud of. I was able to run the first 10 miles with some Oiselle NC birds which was awesome and definitely was the reason I even got through the start of that run.

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Weekly mileage: 44.37 miles

Crosstraining days: 4ish

Here’s to another week of trying to acclimate to this heat!

Until next time,

Sami

It’s really hot here! Week in Workouts

The theme of this week has been: heat. I don’t like it. Not one bit. Did I complain when it was cold and snowy outside? If I did, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I want that weather back. Now watch me wish for the summer heat when it’s January…

Sunday, August 7th: 20 mile bike with my dad

Monday, August 8th: 5 slow miles on trails and CrossFit. I can’t wait to get back to a regular schedule with CrossFit!

Tuesday, August 9th: 10 miles on the treadmill with 6 miles of hill repeats. This run felt strong and GOOD. I biked 20 miles afterwards.

Wednesday, August 10th: CrossFit and a HOT 7 miles. I did it outside but it was the definition of a slog.

Thursday, August 11th: 7 miles on the treadmill. Full disclosure, I started to run outside but couldn’t take the heat and quit.

Friday, August 12th: 13.1 miles real early in the morning. 10.2 of these miles were on the treadmill and then I ran outside to finish the last 2.9.

Saturday, August 13th: Rest day! Although there was not much resting because I was moving into my new apartment at school. Lots of functional fitness!

Total miles: 42.1

Crosstraining days: 4

The key to success over the next few weeks is going to be getting acclimated to the heat. I’m going to need to set some alarms for ugly times (hi 5:30am) to get runs done before the heat gets bad. I’m determined to keep this training going strong!

Until next time,

Sami

How to Continue Training While on Vacation

It’s no secret that I spent the past month in Argentina if you’ve looked at my Instagram page recently. Before leaving, I was so nervous about this trip for many reasons, one of the main ones being wondering how in the world I would continue training for a marathon while in a foreign country. I figured I would join a gym and do all 19 of the scheduled runs on a treadmill. While that could have been an option if I had been somewhere else, I ended up doing 18 out of those 19 runs outside. I definitely learned a few tricks for managing a training plan while on a trip during the past month. Hopefully these can provide some help if anyone is going away anytime soon!

  • Out and backs will be your friend. Especially if you don’t know the area well, it can be really helpful to create little out and back courses. As boring as it sounds, you can repeat the same strip of road/sidewalk as many times as you need and be guaranteed you won’t get lost.
  • Check into a short term gym membership. I got a gym membership and then ended up only using it once because the treadmills in Argentina are NOT the same as the US. But, if you’re in Europe, the US, Australia, or somewhere else with similar brands, the treadmills would be a great option. Many places are super flexible about paying per time you go or paying for just a month.
  • Google is your friend. Google to see if there are local running stores that may offer group runs or have lists of trails and parks in the area. Also, ask around. There might be great hidden gem-type parks that you wouldn’t be able to find on your own.
  • Pay attention to other runners. What are people wearing? Where are they running? At what time? In Argentina, I learned a lot from observing other runners (and there weren’t many of them). I learned that some streets were definitely not good places for running and that I wanted to wear conservative clothes when possible.
  • Try to find a track if you can. This might be a bit more difficult because of usage rules, but you might be able to find a public track or a school track that is open during the day. This is a great way to ensure you’re getting in a safe run.

These are definitely common sense suggestions, but I thought I’d throw them out there so no one uses vacations as an excuse to avoid training! Although sometimes that’s completely necessary…

Until next time,

Sami

Back in the US! Week in Workouts

I made it safely back to the US yesterday after a long night of traveling. It’s weird to be back but I’m so happy to be home again. My first stop was Whole Foods, naturally. I stocked up on all my favorite stuff that I had been missing for the past month. Like, seriously, I had been making a list over the past month as I would get cravings for different foods…Anyway! I’m really happy with how my training went while I was in Argentina. I didn’t miss a single run which I’m really proud of.

Sunday, July 31st: 6 recovery miles and Oiselle’s  Dirty Dozen core video

Monday, August 1st: Rest day!

Tuesday, August 2nd: 4 miles on really tired legs

Wednesday, August 3rd: 7 miles with 8 hill repeats

Thursday, August 4th: CrossFit! The workout left me super sore.

Friday, August 5th: 3.1 miles with the start of a head cold. AKA it didn’t feel very good!

Saturday, August 6th: 16 miles on the treadmill. I stuck to the treadmill for a few reasons: I had been on a plane the entire night, I definitely am not acclimated to the heat, and my legs were pretty sick of running on hard surfaces. Plus, I just wanted to. I listened to a few different podcasts and the entire run flew by. It was so great.

I can’t believe how fast this training cycle is flying by!! I love marathon training so much.

Until next time,

Sami