Friday, January 29, 2010

Now what?

When I don't follow rules, I usually at least know what I should do, but right now I've no clue. Since MCM, I've broken my toe, took about 6 weeks off from running completely, then ran for 5 weeks, and ended up injured again with ITB issues. I know it may not have been totally due to weekly mileage (a lot more sidewalk running then normal, didn't wait to recover from my race, I did way too many hills, etc.), but now that I'm feeling good and I think I'll be ready to go this weekend, I have no idea what to do.

My weekly mileage so far has been:
  • 14
  • 0 (decided toe still hurt)
  • 30
  • 33
  • 34
  • 32
  • 31
I thought I could handle weeks in the low 30s right away, since I was feeling good and I was never sore or exhausted. But I have no idea what to do to get back into training. Where should my mileage begin? Can I handle doing a 16 mile long run right away? How can I adjust my mileage so that I can get back into serious training for Boston right away?

Before MCM, I had taken months off of running. In July, I was about 3 weeks into building my base, when I took 2 weeks off from working out in any way. There were a lot of reasons why, but I got into a big mid-training slump. I came back with two really strong months of training, just went right back into higher mileage weeks, and did very well in my race. So, I'm not completely dismayed by having to take two weeks off, since I've been cross training every day, but I want to get right back into it. It would be stupid to risk another injury, or irritate my ITB further, but I'm really at a loss with what to do and how to plan this. I think I can handle strong training again, but getting injured is just no longer an option. It's just not do able. If I'm out for even one more week, my marathon prep will be crap. That's not a risk I can take.

And, now that I'm two weeks behind, can I make it to the National Marathon as my last long run?

For MCM, I did one 20 and one 23 mile run. For Boston, I planned an additional 26.2 mile run because, hey, what's 3 more miles? And, its catered! But now, I don't know if I'll be ready for that by March 20th.

So far, I think I'll keep up my 16 mile long run. And, I am going to peg a swim workout to the end of my long run since its actually supposed to be 18 miles. I think I'm only going to run four times a week: a "track"/park workout, a tempo run, and a long run, with an easy 3 miler in there somewhere. Every other day, I'll cross train. Hopefully I can ease back into running, while really improving speed through quality workouts and cardiovascular fitness with the help of cross training. Every mile will have to count--I think I might consider just walking as most my warm-up and recovery so I don't have to count them!

Instead of a "long run" on Saturday, I am doing a tri-day of one hour spin, one hour elliptical, and 45 minute swim. It'll keep up my endurance! Then Sunday late afternoon I will try to run again. 

On another subject, through work I got my first professional massage. Perfect time to get one since my ITB is so tight. He's also a marathoner and works with a lot of athletes, I was promised 50% off my next session and a continued discount. I might go in Feb. and again after the National marathon if I run it! It was amazing. My ITB feels so great.

I got my body fat percentage taken yesterday at the gym, and I'm around 16%. Since I'm technically "underweight" and low on the athletic range for women, I think I can eat sweets again. If 12-14% of fat is essential for women, I'd only have about four pounds of fat I could lose. Funny thing is my weight is higher then ever, so I'm really packing on the muscle! Goodness, negative body image issues are so weird. I thought I was at 20-22%. Totally off...

Today, I have a 2 hour yoga sesh planned. Can't wait. Its my first class ever!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I'm pretty sure that the worst thing about running injuries, is that you're just fine, and then in one moment there is a pull, a twinge, a break, or an ache, and then weeks of recovery that interrupt your training schedule, your endorphins, your race plans... basically your life.

I've decided my knee pain (which went from light while running to HOLY CRAP THAT HURTS) is IT-band related. From what I've read, this can last from two weeks to two months. It was feeling really good, so I decided to try running on Saturday, and I lasted about 15 seconds. I've done research and found out what I was doing wrong:
  • A hilly race followed by a hilly run (it was hurting on the downhills)
  • Too much too soon (I was really focused on recovering from every run but I still should have took it slower)
  • Running on the edges of streets, and always on the left, so that the left leg was always a grade lower than my right
  • Too much running on sidewalks and cobblestones (I did a lot of speed-work around Lincoln Park and decided to go from the dirt path to the cobblestone--bad call)
I'm not going to let this stress me out. If it kills my Boston training, its ok. If I need to defer the National Marathon, no big deal. Luckily, I have fallen in love with swimming, I have a gym membership, and I can cross-train all I want.

I bought a foam roller today, and I plan on stretching twice a day, and icing it everyday after working out. Since I'm not running, I'm cutting out sweets and trying to lose a few pounds while I don't have to deal with a raging appetite.

My everyday stance regarding stress is that nothing is worth breaking out, gaining weight, and getting wrinkles. When I start to stress, I think about all the money I spend on skin care products, worrying about this is not worth a new pimple. 

I am not stressing out. I am not stressing out. I am not stressing out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The skinny on why I love running

I'll never say that I have or ever had an eating disorder. Sure, I've gone a day or two without eating or made myself sick, but I've never been undernourished in my life. When I was little I would look up to people who were anorexic, I even respected them. I could never be so dedicated to losing weight and I was so impressed by people I read about, that I used their stories for motivation. And, that's pretty messed up.

Until I was in fourth or fifth grade, I was skinny. So skinny, that classmates would come up to me and joke about how they could fit their hands around my ankles. I even had someone tell me "you're not that bad, I always thought you were just that really skinny, shy girl." I ate everything in sight, and so I decided I was one of those blessed people who would always be skinny.

I started doing gymnastics, hit puberty, and in one summer I went from 78 to 91 pounds (yes, I remember the exact numbers). I freaked out about it. I remember the first picture I saw that summer, in a two-piece bathing suit, and I thought I looked fat. So began my crazy body image issues.

When I see overweight children (especially girls), I think less about their future health problems and much more about what they will go through once they hit adolescence and their figure will mean the world to them. In one way, I'm glad it happened to me. I focused on healthy eating and started running.

By mid-high school, I no longer really wanted to be skinny, I just wanted to be happy. In every resolution, and in the letter I got to write (and address) to my future self, I never said that I wanted to weigh 100 pounds, just that I wanted to be happy and confident in my body. Its exhausting to worry about it, to rip it apart in the mirrors, to feel guilty through every bite of food. It takes so much of a toll on my life. I don't even want to be skinny anymore, I just want to be fit, healthy, happy and confident.

I get these small reprieves from my body image issues, which is why I cherish them so much. Because, when your body takes you through 26.2 miles in just over 3 hours and 22 minutes, you can't hate it. Its not about what it looks like, its about what it can do. I discovered this the first time I ran ten miles, while training for my first marathon. I came home, and I looked in the mirror. I wasn't any thinner than when I left, but I felt so great and all I could do was look at myself and think wow, those legs just took me ten miles.

And, there is no mirror more flattering than the one at gyms. Every time I stand in front of a mirror to lift weights, I'm incredibly happy with my fit, little self.

I've been waiting to write about conquering these issues, but I've realized that it just might never happen. I'll probably never rid myself of them for good. But training helps me focus on being healthy. Food becomes fuel, and putting it in that perspective really helps. While running, and after every run, I feel absolutely fantastic and happy with my body. It may last anywhere from 10 minutes to a few days, and that small break from stressing out means the world to me. Its why I really don't think I could ever give running up. The best way to accept my body is to challenge it, and every time it comes through for me, I get a little better at accepting it as is.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Training Log: Jan. 11 - 18

Last week was my week to take a break, including a 12-mile long run (the JFK 20k) and only 30 miles for the week. I feel good, except today I thought I could do a tough workout since I took yesterday off completely, and I plan on cross-training tomorrow. But my knee started feeling off (which has never really bugged me before). I don't feel particularly tired from the running, so I don't think I'm adding too much too soon. I think the problem was the terrain and that I've completely forgotten about my orthotics, and I should probably be wearing them still for longer runs.

Interval run (7 miles): I was shooting for a warm up, two 7:30 miles and two 7:00-7:15 miles, then my run home. My splits were 7:32, 7:33, 7:08, 7:26. Mediocre, but I was feeling pretty dead that day. I really should just start taking Mondays off!

Spinning class (1 hour): My favorite instructor, Jennifer, was subbing, which was awesome! And I got in an upper body workout.

Speed-workout Part I (3.5 miles): I only got half my workout in because of girly-time induced gelato cravings, but I got 3:04, 2:58, 3:04 splits.

Easy run(6 miles) and speed-workout Part II(3 miles): My easy run was at a 8:33 average pace, and the Part II splits were 3:00, 3:07, 3:01.

JFK 20k: Went pretty well, felt good after! Went to the gym and did a core and arm workout.

The Sadistic, Evil, Progression, Hilly, Run (Forever labeled SEPHR) (9 miles): Three laps of this:

Need I say more? It went well. I did the first lap at a 9:15 avg pace--real easy. The second at 9:01, and the third, I shot for 8:30, but my knee really actually started to bother me, so I cut the run short (I wanted to do 4 laps) and got my classic ham and cheese croissant for recovery. Yum!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

JFK 20k: Race report!

This morning was the JFK 20k, hosted by the DC Road Runner's Club. It was the perfect way to end my "getting faster and building base miles" section of training, and a great way to start adding stamina. I also got to test out how much my fitness has recovered from the weeks I took off to let my toe heal.

I was running late (obviously) and arrived at the Rosslyn metro, yawning, and remembered that I forgot to drink coffee!!!! So I grabbed a cup and drank it as I walked across the bridge to the start line. It was a small, $5 race, with no bag check, t-shirt, or anything. It was unorganized... but it was $5 so I didn't expect much. There was one water stop at the turn-around, and two more for a team (I took one). It was an out-and-back course, out going mostly uphill and back mostly downhill.

My splits were (Mile: time - elevation gained/elevation loss)
1: 7:22 - 224/315
2: 7:29 - 24/0
3: 7:30 - 35/8
4: 7:42 - 71/0
5: 8:00 - 112/62
6: 7:35 - 76/35
7: 7:45 - 32/2
8: 7:22 - 33/101
9: 7:31 - 68/139
10: 6:53 - 24/101
11: 7:07 - 137/137
12: 7:02 - 84/55
13: 3:05 - 0/73

My watch says 12.4 miles exactly, at 1:32:27, but I remember the clock saying 1:31:-- when I passed it and I had left my watch on for a bit before remembering to turn it off.  So, the course may have been a little short, or I lost some feed going under the tunnel. I got 8th place (among women) and almost reached my 1:30 time goal. There were some big patches of ice that were hard to run on, and add getting stuck behind a group of runners over the run-able portion (ggrrr)... I would have probably been able to do it. Also, I had to pee the WHOLE time. Coffee right before running is not a good idea.

Also, did you notice I got a super negative-split!?! Well, that was easy with that hilly course, but I was very mindful of starting out easy, and taking those hills based on effort. I tried passing people on the way back, and apparently I played rabbit for a few guys. I almost beat the one I was trying to chase down, but I couldn't pull ahead of him.

I'm pretty happy with my time, I put forth an honest effort and yet I wasn't dead at the end. I high five-ed my friend Joe, ran into a fellow Loopster from Runner's World (phoenixshade), and spoke to some really nice people afterward. Then, I went to the gym and got a solid core and arm workout in!

My playlist today was awesome, with a lot of great dance, rap, and pop music (all the great, guilty pleasures)... I decided today that running a race is kind of like going to a dance club: have a great time, listen to good music, and chase down boys :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gelato is not a good substitute for GU

Clearly, I give really good advice.  If you don't follow me on twitter (@BeeZales) you should, because I give useful tips such as:

Yesterday, I forgot to put gloves on. Don't ever run without them in Dec., it was painful. I will never make that mistake again.

I know none of you ever thought to wear gloves when its freezing outside! Yesterday I almost wrote this piece of advice down, but I think its best with an explanation:

Before doing a workout that usually makes you a little nauseous, don't eat a half pint of gelato.

Just in case you were all thinking of trying it, that's my advice. Last night, I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work, since I was out of oatmeal, bread, and curry powder--all essential! I was going to grab a bar of dark chocolate, but this is at an organic market that has great bulk items, but otherwise is way too expensive. $4 for a bar of chocolate? No, thanks.

On my way home, I decided instead to get some sorbet at the gourmet market. They have, hands down, some of the best ice cream ever. I went in, and saw that they had my favorite: Chocolate-Hazelnut gelato. Not only is this like frozen nutella, but it also has crushed hazelnuts, which makes it taste like the gelato version of the Ferrero Rocher chococlates. Plus, if you bought a pint of this brand, you got their Lemon-Basil sorbet for free. My decision was made.

I got home, and decided to try the Lemon-Basil sorbet, which sounded interesting, and then I needed a sample of my Chocolate-Hazelnut gelato. Since I was decked out in cold gear, I found the situation pretty funny.

Imagine a runner, decked out in night-cold gear, sneaking in spoonfuls of gelato before heading out the door. Yup, that's me right now.
from web

Then, I hit a patch of delicious crushed hazelnuts, so I took one more spoonful.

And by spoonfuls, I mean an entire serving.
from web

And by an entire serving, I mean half a pint. This happens a lot, I find not finishing the entire pint to be impossible. I've tried everything and it doesn't work. But I was ready for speed-work (which usually makes me a little nauseous to begin with) and so I shrugged, put it away, drank some water, and went out to run.

You know what, I'm gonna work extra hard, so I make all my splits,and then I can blame the ice cream and have an excuse to do this everyday
from web

I actually did do 3x800 (1/2 my workout) really well. The speed-work didn't bother me, but then I'd have a swig of water and on my recovery lap I would fight down the nausea. Finally, on my fourth lap, I couldn't do it anymore. I got sick (is this what they call exercise bulimia?) and went home. To be fair, I burned all the calories, and was too sick to eat dinner, so if anyone wants a diet based on ice cream, this is a great choice!

Yes, a really silly decision. I will do my planned 5 mile fartlek run tonight, and then head back to the park for my last 3 laps. This time, I'll stick to genuine simple carbs (like dried fruit) for my pre-run snack.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Training log: Jan 4-8

Last week I ran 33 miles, it was supposed to be a 35 mile week but I skipped an easy, 3-mile recovery run yesterday. Its hard to get out there for only 3 miles, mostly because:
  • The best way to do that is just run easy laps around Lincoln Park, which is boring...
  • Otherwise, I have to run on streets, and stop for cars every 1/10th of a mile...
  • I spend more time prepping for going outside in the cold then I actually spend out there...
  • I never really warm up in this weather...
  • Its too cold and three miles won't do enough for me to get me out there for that long...
  • You get the point.
But, I did walk at least three miles yesterday, that's something, right? My workouts this week included:

Four mile repeats and a stair workout (8.5 miles): I wasn't feeling 100% last weekend and so this wasn't my best run to start off the running week. My first two mile repeats were at a 7:09 and 7:07 pace (my run on the Mall isn't exactly a mile), but I was dying out there. I was cramping (stomach felt weird), and I was tired, and I was getting weird twinges in my shoulder.

Easy hill repeats (4 miles): One mile warm up, some hard running up and down Capitol Hill, and then an  easy mile back. This was a nice easy run, but got my heart rate up and some hill fun in.

Speed-workout. Six laps around Lincoln park (5 miles): A mediocre speed workout. I definitely need to give myself more warm-up time. My goal is 3 minutes, my times were: 3:17, 3:00, 3:02, 3:00, 2:58, 3:10. It was a big jump in speed-work from my last, which was only 4 laps. I'm still getting used to doing them! I never really did speed-work too much. I remember that I wasn't feeling warmed up that first lap, but I don't know what happened during that last one. Guess I was losing steam!

Long run (15 miles): I've been struggling on my long runs. I think its because my toe recovery included a lot of 45 min-1 hour classes, and I'm not used to being on my feet for this long and pushing myself. Its hard to hold back on pushing forward with the long run, and getting used to the cold. Friday night, I couldn't put my book down. I finished it around 3 a.m. (super late for me!) and it took awhile to get my mind at ease to get to sleep. I slept in, and ate oatmeal. I should have had another small bit to eat before leaving for my run.

I took the metro out to Bethesda, MD, and ran the Capital Crescent Trail into DC, crossed over into VA, and then did a lap around the National Mall before heading home. It was a gorgeous day. Since I had waited to get out of the house until 1:30, temps were well above freezing and the sun was warm. The trail was a bit icy at first but got better.

The point was a run that was mostly downhill to get my quads working

I did 15 miles in 2:02, averaging 8:11min/mi pace. With it only being 16 miles (the course was laid out as 16 miles, but the first one I was waiting for my watch to catch a satellite), I wanted to run this faster and do a progression type run. I also wanted to see what I should aim for for this week's 20k race. I was looking forward to keeping up a 7:30 pace (its becoming my new happy pace), but my splits were:

1- 7:28
2- 7:28
3- 7:34
5- 7:41 (still feeling awesome despite ice)
6- 7:43
7- 7:54 (decided my new goal was just to keep it under 8 min miles)
8- 8:04 (new goal fail)
9- 7:58
10- 8:28 (I was crossing over the bridge and went headfirst into tough winds--this was a hard one)
11- 8:24 (I'm dying out)
12- 8:29 (dying out and ran into a group of 8th graders on a school trip... grrr)
13- 8:32
14- 9:14 (Capitol hill... pain... I was trying to draw from my hill workout this week and it helped)
15- 10:20 (at this point, I was headed home, and didn't even stop my watch for streetlights. I was dead on my feet. I nearly stopped to just walk home every block, and was barely moving by the end)

This run WIPED me out. It took an hour for me just to get into the shower, and then I just laid down and closed my eyes for an hour or so and started reading the next installment of the series I stayed up reading the night before. I was so drained of energy that I got nothing done at all. My biggest error was losing my focus here, I kept forgetting to really apply my energy, my pace, and watch my form. I definitely got very lazy toward the end.

Overall, not a bad week in training. I'm trying to use my miles wisely, since I'm just getting back into running and I don't want to kill myself with over-training (another reason I thought it was alright to skip an easy run). I didn't get to the gym, due to forgetting my clothes on Wednesday, and scared about the rush of New Year's resolution folks. This week, I'll get there twice!

I can't believe I'm on Week Four of training already!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Spice things up: throw out the junk miles

I love stalking other running blogs, articles, and websites. I look at a lot of other training schedules in an effort to tweak my own. I find that there are so many different ways to train for a marathon. There is the run-walk program by Jeff Galloway. First time marathoners focus solely on building up weekly mileage and their long runs. There is the newer training program from Bill Pierce that has you run three times a week--all hard runs. At the same time, people are telling you to run slow and long.

I mean, whats a runner to do?!

I was looking at a girl's blog yesterday (a seasoned marathoner, not a newbie), and her training week consisted of a day of speed-work and then all easy runs. She had a lot of miles that week, but her long run was easy, there was an easy mid-length run, and two easy shorter runs. I don't really understand the easy run. If you're a seasoned runner, then a 7-mile easy run won't really do anything for you to improve, other than keep up some fitness and just add a lot of "junk" miles that could lead to over use injury. At least, not during training season.

Yesterday, I had an easy 4 mile run planned, and instead I ran to Capitol Hill and did hill-repeats. It didn't take much out of me, it was still an easy run, but at least I got some hill-speed-work in. I ran up and down as quick as I could (almost a half mile) and then walked around for 30 seconds or so at the bottom until doing it again. I only did three sets, but my quads were a bit achy, and it came to nearly 4 miles of running.

On Friday, I have an easy 3-miler planned, but that's just to loosen up my legs for a Saturday long run, its the consistent, mid-length easy runs that stump me. And, aren't they a bit boring? So spice up the easy runs! Do some fartlek exercises, make it an interval run, ramp up the speed, add some hills (even if its just 2 miles worth)! Try to take something from each of your runs, instead of just burning calories.

To spice up the long runs, here are some ideas: do the last 5 miles at race pace, make it a progression run, alternate easy and comfortable-hard miles, or work toward a negative split.

Its training season folks!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

40mph winds=speed-work (right?)

I knew I would hate winter training! I promise to never say this again, but running today was just miserable. That's honestly the best word for it. I really wanted to get in a 14-mile progression run (instead of treating it like a regular long run). During the first mile around the National Mall, the wind was so bad that I stopped moving while attempting a 7:30 min mile... twice.

There were gusts of wind around 40 mph (according to, and I failed to check out was the temperature "felt like" before heading out. It read 30-23 degrees during my two hour run, but it felt like 10-14. I didn't dress for this at all. I lost my footing while crossing the bridges, since the wind was hitting my side and I couldn't run straight. I had on a base layer of tights and a performance shirt (not my nice Under Armor), a jacket, headband, normal socks and basic gloves.  My shoes ripped open a blister, and I looked down after just 3 miles to see my heel covered in blood.

My hands were the worst. After 5 miles, I stopped for some Clif shots and some water. The water was so cold that it hurt going down and I didn't drink anymore until I got home. Since I had walked trying to do all this, I cooled down significantly. My hands were so cold, that I could barely rip open the package. At one point, I couldn't move them, and they really stung, so I pulled my jacket over my water belt, shoved my hands in the pockets, and moved along slowly.

I wanted to turn back more times than you can imagine, and the will to finish those miles took enough out of me, I had nothing left to keep the pace up. I averaged a 9:22 pace. I tried really hard to be optimistic (like, this is considered speed-work running against the wind, right?), but by the end, I really was miserable.

Also, the 14 miles brought me a mile away from home, so I walked that last mile. I hope that was equal to taking an ice bath--it sure felt like one! I had a scorching hot shower, a stretch session next to my space heater, and now I'm all warmed up and walking around in shorts! (Ok, and knee-high socks, I'm not completely crazy). I hope everyone stays warm tonight, my tip is not to step outside (at all).

Friday, January 1, 2010

Training Log: Dec. 31 to Jan. 1

Yesterday, I did a 6 mile "Fartlek" run to music. I ran the choruses hard, and recovered during the verses. I went with the beat, so if the chorus was extended at the end, I stuck to the hard run. I got most of the songs and strategy from spinning classes.

My playlist was:
7 Things - Miley Cyrus
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
So What - Pink
Bombs over Baghdad - Outkast (I ran comfortable-hard the whole song)
Thousand - Moby (amazing song for this)

I warmed up for over a mile and cooled down. During B.O.B., my average pace was 6:55min/mi. During Thousand, I watched 5:30ish on my watch for an extended period of time, which was awesome! I'm pretty sure I'd never run so hard before. This was the core to my speed-work the last 3 years, before I had my Garmin.

Today, I planned out an 8-mile route from the Silver Spring metro into DC. It would be mostly downhill, and so I was planning on doing 7:30/7:00 interval miles. I loved this workout last training season, so I thought I would cut the pace, especially since it was downhill, and the miles.

I was a little lost at the metro, and so I took a different route than planned. Wow. It was hilly!

And, the hills came at all the wrong times. I didn't make any of the 7:00 intervals, either because of a ridiculous hill, stopping and starting for streets, people getting in my way... it was really frustrating. To make the first 7:00, I did a 7:30 pace uphill. My hard was pounding at the top. Those hills totally killed me, I was fading by the end and my cool down mile was really difficult and slow.

But, mission accomplished! My quads are shot. My knees hurt, my hips were sore feeling... I definitely let those hills take a lot out of me. I'm bummed about that, seeing as this was 8 and not 26.2 miles, but I have months of training to get myself up there. Elevation gain was 1,329 feet and descent was 1,533 feet. Splits were 7:26, 7:08, 7:22, 7:20, 7:35, 7:23 with a mile of warm up, cool down, a mile run to the metro, and a mile back from the drugstore. Over 10 miles logged today. 10 miles to start off 2010 :)


I have a few different 2010 goals: get out of debt, find a new job and figure out what I actually want to do with my life, and run faster and longer.

I know that I originally said that I wanted to move on and start running trails and ultras, taking the focus off marathons and road running. I've been researching trail running and ultramarathoning, and found that training for one requires you to focus on long, slow runs. And, that usually people get slower.

Since I'm only 22 and I've only been marathoning for three years, I'm going to postpone it and focus on mastering the marathon and getting faster. I'm going to shoot for the JFK 50-miler or the Mountain Masochist for 2010. The JFK-50 isn't really a trail race, and so that's my first choice. I think that it would be a good plan to split the year as you would training: get fast, work on maintaining speed over long distance, lengthen long runs, then focus on endurance, race, then rest. I want to get my speed up there during Boston training, and then try to maintain that speed for 50 miles. Why not kick ass by taking time to really train for that distance and do well?

Also, I love running with all I have, so I'm doubting whether I'd be good at storing my energy for something like a 100k or 100M race. Also, I'd rather train for that when I have a car to drive out to trails.

I don't want to start focusing on trail running, and lose my speed. It would be frustrating to get it back. I don't want  to look back and wonder if I could be faster. I would love to do Grindstone on my birthday, but I want to work toward a better marathon PR. Not to mention, it would be an expensive endeavor to take up that kind of running. I'd need a ton of new gear, and it would require a trip to get my 50-mile qualification experience.  I've thought a LOT about this, and talked it over with friends and family. Its a hard goal to give up, since I said that I'd do it, but I really will one day! Its just not the best for this year.

I don't get to offer up numbers for this year, since I didn't start recording miles until MCM training. But, this year I ran my first 5k and 10k, winning my 5k, and I got a 55 minute marathon PR, a 7 minute half-marathon PR, and a 10k PR, all at MCM. That was definitely a huge achievement, and I can't wait for the upcoming marathon season.

Happy New Year everyone, in 10 minutes I'll get another post up from my run today.