Monday, July 21, 2014

Marathon Monday: Day 1 of Training Begins


Hey y’all, I’m about to become a marathoner-in-training!  Despite my many protestations over the past few years, I signed up to run the Philadelphia Marathon this November.


I’m still in denial (denial is MUCH less scary than acceptance) about this whole thing, but I think the more I plan and prepare, the more jazzed I am likely to be come race day.

Over the next 18 weeks I will be following my own version of Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 and 2 training programs.  My calendar is complicated by the fact that I have two oddly-timed races prior to the marathon (a 10k in early September and a half marathon in late October).  I’ll have to be creative with flexing my schedule.

For Week 1, my primary goal is to hit all of my planned workouts.  I will finally be doing four runs each week (I haven’t had that schedule since last September).  This week they consist of

3 miles, fartlek
5 miles, race pace (8:55 min/mi, ideally)
3 miles, easy
8 miles, long

Wish me luck!

I will be posting updates on my marathon training each Monday while covering other topics (Doughnuts!  Hills!  Travel!) the rest of the week.  Thanks for joining me on this adventure.

~Tomato Face

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Week in Review: July 14-20, 2014


Thanks, Philly, for bouncing back to your summer weather pattern.  After sweltering temps last Saturday and Sunday, we were back to 90s for some of the week and refreshing 80s for part of the weekend.  Let’s keep those cool blasts regular!

My workouts were fairly regular as well—go me!

Monday: Butt Bible, Level 1 upper body with 3 lb. weights—20 minutes

Tuesday: Butt Bible, Level 2 lower body with 3 lb. weights—30 minutes

Wednesday: Running, hill repeats, 5.07 miles @ 10:03 average pace—51 minutes

My Garmin tells me that I gained 115 feet of elevation on this run.  However, according to past run data, I should have ascended more than 200 feet.  Garmin, why you be cheatin’ me?

+ Foam rolling—5 minutes

I’m still too much of a baby to be able to tolerate more than 5 minutes of intensity on my muscle pressure points.  Come half marathon time, I hope to be hitting the roller for 10-15 minutes each day.

Thursday: Running, easy, 5.07 miles @ 9:55 average pace—50 minutes

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Rest day

Well, Saturday wasn’t truly a rest day.  I logged over 22,000 steps thanks to a day trip to D.C. (and thanks to some rolling hills at the National Zoo).

It was a surprisingly gorgeous day in the capital—I’m used to D.C. being disgustingly muggy in the summer, but it was closer to 80 (heaven!) for my visit.

Sadly, the National Zoo happened to be one of the most depressing places I’ve ever seen in my life: I somehow confused it with the Baltimore Zoo in my planning (these two are DEFINITELY NOT on the same level).  More than half of the exhibits were empty, but in the half that were populated, the animals looked so despondent that I wanted to stage a prison break.  Even baby panda Bao Bao was feeling melancholy:


I really like posing with gorilla statues.

Same type of picture, five years ago.
At least the male lion knew how to pitch an entertaining fit:



That was also an incredibly accurate reenactment of my 2014 Broad Street Run. 

Despite the dreary emotional state of the zoo animals, I did have fun at brunch…


And speed walking the National Mall (my friend D. and I had a train to catch, so we were HUSTLING).






Before hitting the station, we were dying of hunger.  I prayed to the heavens for a Shake Shack to pop out of the concrete, and lo and behold, it did.


I have never been more impressed with my summoning abilities (I legitimately had no idea this particular Shake Shack existed—I just felt a strong pull to walk down a particular street, and it’s no wonder: my fast food soul place was there.  AMAZING.).

Sunday:  Running, long (Cutback week), 6.01 miles @ 10:05 average pace—1 hour

Thanks to my previous day of travel, I was wiped during this run.  The fact that I didn’t get out until close to 11 (sun! heat!) also contributed to my literal meltdown.  

Some radio station was handing out free ice cream on the trail in honor of the ubiquitous national holiday.  Unfortunately, when I passed the goods I still had two miles left in my run, and I was afraid ice cream at that moment would make me feel a little sick.  How stupid of me to turn down such an incredible freebie.  Lesson learned.

+ Yoga for Runners—36 minutes

All in all, I would say this was a pretty decent week.  I did have to cut out two cross training workouts, but I plan to make up at least one of them tomorrow.

Now I’m going to enjoy one last evening (gulp!) before my marathon training begins in earnest.  And of course NOW the craving for ice cream kicks in.  Would somebody like to come stock my freezer?

~Tomato Face

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wish List Wednesday: Distinguishing Want from Need


I have a shopping problem.  I love to shop.  LOVE IT.  Especially when it involves new running apparel or gear.

My wallet, however, does not love shopping.  Far from it.  After paying bills and trying to save some money for my future, my wallet is pretty bare.  Do not go shopping, it admonishes me.
Lately, I have been trying to listen to that warning.  Truthfully, it is hard.

You see, I have all the basic necessities for running (and beyond).  I have enough sneakers, shorts and Scooby Doo fruit snacks to keep me well stocked for at least a year.  But I still want.

I want compression sleeves in addition to my compression socks (you know, for wearing with flip flops and just because). 

Image 1
I'm sensing that there will be a purple theme to this post...
I want a new Garmin watch (because a marathoner-in-training needs more than a basic GPS, right?).

Forerunner® 220
It's a color screen.  Swoon.
I want some running shoes to replace my dying Asics GEL-Kayanos and Nike Frees.
According to the Runner's World "Shoes Like Mine" tool, the Brooks Ravenna is a worthy successor to my Asics.

I want a new handheld to fit my nifty but oversized smartphone.

I'm a little tired of putting my phone in a ziploc every time I want to run with water.
I want to run the awesome 5k that Back on My Feet is sponsoring as part of its July running festival, in24.

I want, I want, I want.

But where does want deviate from need?

I don’t need compression sleeves—I already have three pairs of compression socks, including a new $9.99 find I recently picked up at Marshalls.

I don’t need a new GPS watch—my Garmin works just fine.

I also don’t need new shoes—I can always use my race-specific pair of Asics and my new budget-friendly Nike Flex Experiences.

That handheld?  My old Nathan is still kicking.  It may be a struggle cramming my phone in there, but I somehow manage.

And that race?  Well, I haven’t had the kind of specific training since my last 5k that would allow me to PR at this run.  Since the event supports a worthy cause, I signed up to volunteer instead.

Now I’m not saying I’ve been a total penny-pincher this year—I’ve splurged on more than my fair share of races, and I fully intend to tack on at least two more 5ks to my calendar by year’s end.  Races cost money, and money doesn’t grow on trees.  So I have to prioritize.

Fancy gear and superfluous gadgets can wait.  It may not be fun to be disciplined in this way, but by monitoring my spending, I can run my 10ks, half marathons and marathons (I still can’t say that word without wanting to vomit).

So cheers to keeping the shopping urge in check!  For now I will comfort myself with window shopping—just somebody please keep me out of Marshalls for the next several months, mmkay?

How do you budget for running?  Do you find yourself spending more money on gear or races? What’s been your biggest running-related splurge?

~Tomato Face