Update on training, week 8 (Feb 19-25)

^ this right here is why I could never be the layout person for a magazine. I just can’t make up my mind about how I want to format my posts. But you get the general idea: update on training, another week, and in case you’re confused about which week, I spell it out.

But this week is special! It marks the official halfway point to marathon training, and you know you’re seriously “in it” when you start using any opportunity to bring the topic of marathon into conversation with anyone you meet, even strangers. Week eight, woo hoo!

Officially a “fall-back” week in the training, I think it went pretty well. I didn’t have any long runs and the bulk was easy running. I did, however, have a pretty intense 10 mile time trial that I can’t wait to tell you about.

But first:


gasp! Only one rest day?! And a run after an almost race? What?

What? is right. I also have no clue how the runs next week will look like and how I will feel. This week actually marks a diversion from the Runner’s World training plan that will go on through next week, since I have to adjust for a short trip I’m taking next weekend. And my SquadRunner team will know that I adjusted the second half of this week for the mission points. :-) I did get an extra 190 points from the adjustment, and I think I did it intelligently enough? Basically, the plan called for 5 tempo miles on Wednesday, a rest on Thursday, and 3 easy on Friday. Instead, I did 1 easy mile and 1 tempo km (to see just how fast I can run) on Wednesday, and 8 miles on Thursday with a 24 min. 5k thrown in. Then Friday was a rest day. There will be a time when I don’t need a mid-week break. This week is not that week. I wanted to have some chance to recover before Saturday, and honestly I just really like having one day of work each week where I can just go to work in a relaxed way without having to worry about getting the run in first.

And then Saturday…

but wait. Actually, I want to preface this by saying that I have a weird soreness deep in my gluteus maximus that Dr. Google diagnosed as piriformus syndrome. Sound familiar to any of you? This is the same hamstring thing I mentioned two weeks ago, but now I’m not sure it’s my hamstring. I really felt it during the 200 meter intervals on Monday (which were a lot of fun! It’s nice to just kick it out really fast once in a while), and then more so yesterday during the 10 miles. The weird thing is, it doesn’t really hurt. It just feels tight and I feel like I can’t get my full range of motion. I guess it’s good it doesn’t hurt yet, but I also want to figure out what it is and treat it before it gets any worse. In the meantime, apparently what I may have can come from sitting too much, and while I don’t think that’s my problem (if anything, I can’t sit for a single moment gosh-darnit Dorothea sit down and stop wiggling!), I’m going to be a little more proactive about it and see if I can figure out some of these weird yoga moves Dr. Google is recommending to prevent this thing from becoming a major pain in the you-know-what. Oh, and of course I’m calling my doctor tomorrow to schedule an appointment for ASAP. I’ll ask her about the weird foot bump then, too. (edited to add: I really did make an appointment and will find out on Wednesday what the deal is).

Okay, now about Saturday. I don’t know. It’s not that I went to an actual race and it doesn’t count as an official PR, but since it is my first consciously timed 10 miler and I met my goal within 5 seconds, I’m calling the PR. I was aiming for a sub 75 minutes, and I think that if I had been officially racing and known my times while running (I only ever knew my approximate pace), I could have done it. And even if I didn’t, I’m pleased with the way I motivated myself to keep pushing through the last miles and execute a run on my own this way. I can use this as a mental boost for the half-marathon in two weeks and while I didn’t feel amazing, I got it done and met my own expectations. Plus, it was an outdoor run and the sun was shining, which was actually also true of today’s run as well, so today I went out for a bonus 5k that turned into a little more because it was just so gosh-darned gorgeous (did you notice my southern roots, yet?). The mission points also had something to do with the unusual Sunday run. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and then determine whether that was a good idea. I may take the rest day tomorrow, instead.

Other than the butt issue and continued niggles here and there, mostly in the feet, a few in the knee–all that I’m prodigiously fighting against with stretching, foam rolling and avoiding every single crack in the side-walk–running is going very well.

Next week is another week of an absent long run. I can’t decide if that’s a no-go in marathon training, but I also figure if Hanson’s plan runners get away with a lot of mid-distance runs, then so can I! I’m planning on doing  regular amount of running (6-10 miles) that will tire me a little out, but not injure me. On March 5th it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Hope you had a good week! Happy running,



Training Week Five update

This post brought to you by song of the day: “Runaway” by Bon Jovi. And yes, it is a song used in the Stranger Things soundtrack album; and yes, I got the soundtrack because that was one of the awesome parts about that show. “Runaway” is a good song to have come on at mile 9 of a long run.

Moving on, the running gods must have decided to finally take some pity on me, because not only did the foot issue turn out to just be a sign that I need to replace my shoe inserts, but I also got in a good week of running. Actually, this was the best week I’ve done in almost a year. graph

Those pretty colors mean that I got in all the workouts my schedule called for, and I managed to keep my easy runs easy and the long run “slow.” Nutrition was also an “A” and generally, I’m grateful to be healthy at week five, and surprisingly not too tired this afternoon.

As I mentioned last week, I was worried about my foot going into Monday’s fartlek. So, I started off very conservatively. I felt some twinges through the first two miles, and it flared a little at mile 2, which was right by an U-Bahn station. I stretched it out and decided that I would try to run one more block, and if it was an issue, I’d get on that subway. The next block came and went, the next station came and went, I reached 3.5 miles and still nothing. So I just completed the fartlek (for someone who has such a hard time with staying on pace, you’d think I’d love fartleks… I don’t) and was happy to head back up the stairs to my apartment without complaints and having done the full run.

[side note: don’t you love it when the computer tries to mark “fartlek” as incorrectly spelled? And I used the word “fartlek” as often as I possibly could]

I then proceeded to replace my orthotic shoe inserts, which thankfully were ready for pick-up Monday. I guess I could have realized sooner that while my shoes weren’t too high in mileage (300 on each), the inserts most definitely were! That was probably my problem. After the new inserts, things just kept feeling better. The rest of the week went smoothly with my only worries being the standard concern of having the time to get the runs in around my schedule.

Everything is looking good this week around, so I won’t waste too many words. I do want to note that my sleep has been pretty messed up since Wednesday. It could just be stress from an upcoming presentation I need to prepare, but I’m going to keep an eye on it, since, as is said, sleep troubles are a sign of over-training.

But yes, good news mostly and hope to come back here same time next week with similar news. It’s supposed to snow more next week. Since I got 4 of 5 runs outdoors this week, I hope I can continue the trend of outdoor running. There’s also my first hill-workout of the cycle on tap for Monday and another 41 miles planned. I’ll be back to report!

Happy running and resting,

Training Week Four update

when you’ve got eight significantly more important things to do, and all you want to do is write about running…

Yep. It’s marathon season, and I’m already in the vortex of planning my day around running, etc. At least the training plan provides some stability, eh? And I do have to say that going for months on a “whatever works” plan has made me a little more relaxed about the training. I do still want to follow the plan and meet the paces, but I also no longer think training should be my top priority and if I end up having an off-day or getting injured, I do believe I can just accept it and move on with my life.

That being said, old habits die hard and I’m going to have to have a more solid plan for when I start to feel a potential injury, because I will probably try to run through it. Yesterday before and after the 10k time trial (strangely, not during), my left foot started doing some weird plantar issue stuff, but it’s not something I’ve felt before. I’m hoping it’s just a fluke from switching up my shoe inserts and that my fartlek run tomorrow goes as planned. However, if I feel pain tomorrow during the run, I have to tell myself to hop on the next underground home! I’ll then take off through Wednesday, and see what the foot feels like.

In the meantime, I want to reflect on the last week.


The week started off really well at 6 AM on Monday cranking out 6 x 800s. I had a 12 hour day at the uni planned, so if I didn’t run in the morning, it wasn’t going to happen. Sunday night at 11 PM, I had no idea if I could actually get up in time, but coming off a mostly restful weekend, I was animated to get out the door and felt proud of myself for averaging about 3:10 with 400m recoveries before 8 AM. I liked the feeling, but I don’t know if I like it enough to repeat it unless absolutely necessary.

Tuesday was a similar schedule, but an hour later (so 7 instead of 6), and I did my 8 miles easy. These felt good and may have been too fast, but I told myself it would be fine. I should try harder to go easier when the plan tells me to be slow. This is a goal for the coming week.

Wednesday was a 3 mile tempo run, and while I woke up thinking there was no way in heck I could pull off 3 miles in 23 minutes, my body surprised me. It was also delightfully “warm” (10 degrees Celsius), so I enjoyed running without gloves and a hat again.

Thursday and Friday were uneventful, just following the plan, and Saturday was “race day”.

Really, it was just a time-trial, since I don’t have the time or money to race right now, but I promised myself doing it at the gym on a treadmill was just as good. To compensate for the lack of outdoor factors, I put the treadmill at 1.0 for every alternating mile. Of course I had my drinks and a fan, and didn’t have to worry about the elements, but I don’t think it ended up being as much as an advantage as I was telling myself on the way to the gym. In the end, I think I could have done better outside.

I was so convinced that this was going to be an easy 10k. I even thought I could break 44 minutes and I was so smug with myself about being able to pick my own time to run and not rely on a starting gun and doing things at my own pace…

Turns out, I kind of crashed and burned. I ended up running 6.24 miles in 46:31. 3.24 miles were at 1.0 incline and the other miles were at 0.0 incline. I took 8 or 9 (I forget) walking breaks and just generally, … just ew. If it weren’t for my 10k run New Year’s Eve, I would despair right now.

On top of that, my the bottom of my foot started hurting during the warm-up. The pain went away as the speed increased, but then I had to pause at the first mile of the trial to stretch the foot out. During the rest of the trial, the foot felt fine. I struggled in everything else, but the foot felt fine. Then, during the cool-down, near the last quarter mile, my foot really started to hurt. I stopped and did my stretching and foam rolling. I noticed my calves and fascia were extremely tight, but I’ve had PF before, and this felt different. Oh geez. When I got home, I rolled my foot a few time over the massage ball. I don’t know if that helped or hurt, since the foot continued to feel sore, though decreasingly so, throughout the evening. This morning, I can’t even be sure if my foot ever hurt. I’m just going to take it easy today on walking and stretch the foot out again and bit and see what happens tomorrow. Again, if I feel pain, I am committed now to the plan as above!

Putting the time-trial into perspective, I guess I did fine; I’d had a tough week mentally and physically. Three long days at the Uni, some intense speed sessions, not averaging enough of sleep, and then, yeah, my period coming early should have all been considered before the 10k to expect less results than I got. I also didn’t make the smartest choices about recovery, which is another thing I’m going to work on for this week.

I can take this time-trial as a test not just of my fitness, but my training altogether. Fitness wise I know, based off the intervals Monday and my slowly dropping resting heart rate, that I’m where I want to be. But training-wise, there is so much room for improvement. I need to work on keeping my easy runs easy, fixing my daily schedule to ensure I get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 hours is, of course, the goal), and not drink Friday nights or within 24 hours of a hard workout. [Truth time: being on “whatever works” was kind of nice, because I didn’t have to stress about the alcohol I drink. Now that I’ve seen first hand that I’m struggling with the speed, I think I’m going to have to commit to giving up drinking sooner rather than later. Sigh.]

On top of aaaall of that, I seriously need to start working on pacing. My paces, even on a treadmill (smh), are all over the place. The Runner’s World plan has some steady-state runs in it and I need to use these and my long runs to figure out how to set a pace and keep it. My 10k reminded me of my biggest flaw during my BQ marathon. I’m still doing this weird thing where I start off conservatively, because that’s what everyone warns about, but then I’m so anxious to make up the difference about midway through, and I feel so good, that I just spurt ahead. Not the greatest technique, since I end up burning out before the last mile(s) and starting off slow doesn’t do anything for me in the end anyway. So, yeah. Add this to the things I want to improve on this training cycle.

Well, yep, that’s an update! Hope your training or off-season is going well. :-)

Happy running! -Dorothea


Let’s get this started.

Active.com and several running sites have announced that this week marks the beginning of spring marathon training season.

Um, excuse me, I’ve been kicking trails and asphalt (and a bit of treadmill) since Jan 1, thank you very much.

Obviously the start of the season depends on what marathon one is training for and how long one wants to train for it. Me? My race is April 22nd and my training plan, after two years of shaky training success, is a more safe 16 week plan designed by Runner’s World for those looking to break 3:30. It has two rest days a week with speedwork, tempo runs, long runs and two test races throughout. I met the basic requirements of having run 25-30 mile weeks and being able to run 1:30 without stopping and decided it was worth a try.

Three weeks so far

I record one of my intervals each week as a race, in order to be able to use the PR algorithm and see how my speeds increase for those distances. Don’t pay the red too much mind.

Wish me luck!

I don’t think I was imprudent in signing up. I thought carefully about how the marathon and, more importantly, the training would fit into my work- and family- life. The semester ends in mid-February, which is where the first 20-miler happens, and I’m relieved of most meeting obligations after that, so I will have enough opportunity to recover during the most intense part of the training.

I do have an international trip planned, which of course messes up training a bit, but I’ll just have to rework the plan those weeks to accommodate the travel time and jet-lag.

I also spit in the face of fate and even rented a car (that I can still cancel the day before- I’m not that much of a risk taker! ;-) ) that I can use for that weekend. So, yes, once could say I’ve committed.


Isn’t FL running great?! At least in winter, it is pretty awesome that it’s warmer here than most other places in the US .

My goal of sub-3:30 is not major, considering that my last marathon was 3:33. However, that marathon was 2 years ago, so I am going to have to consider my base of running from the 45-minute 10k on New Year’s Eve and see how I do at my next 10k test next weekend to determine if 8 mpm for 26 miles is within reach and if I have to work harder in my speed-work sessions. On the other hand, my nutrition is much more on point than two years ago, and I’m starting my training at an ideal training weight, so I don’t have to worry about reaching racing weight. I just have to cut out alcohol again in a few weeks. ;-) It would be great to BQ again. I have another goal for this race, but I’m keeping that private for now.

Most of all, I felt like it was time. I’ve spent enough time now taking it easy and putting running on the side-burner, and now I feel the desire again to go outside my comfort zone. I also spent enough time exploring other aspects of my identity, and I just keeping coming back to running as one thing in my life that consistently makes me proud and gives me positive feedback. While I am grateful to say that it’s not the only thing in my life that I feel pride in, it is unique in the way that I can push my limits and feel confident about my strength and my body. So heck yes, let’s do this!

Finally, I’m coming back to blogging about running, since this has, for the past five years, been the space where I reflect more on the process of training and running than I do in my actual log. These posts are what I scanned through for my last (successful) marathon and I’d like to share my process again. Your comments and advice are what I looked for when I was positive or negative, so I hope you want to follow me in this process, and I look forward to the interaction!

Happy running,

Berlin Marathon 2017: Reporting live from the Berlin Studio (apartment)

Just got back from my run in time to watch the last hour of the BMW Berlin Marathon as Kipchoge, Berkeley, and Kipsang (as the advertised world record strivers) fight for first place and hopefully the world record on this dreary Berliner day.

Opting for a more comfortable spectator position than last year (in my defense, I’ve also got wicked jetlag), I’m taking advantage of Berlin’s major TV station, RBB where the whole race is reported live. These are my thoughts while watching (disclaimer: I’m not a sports reporter, nor get paid to be one on TV 😉):

  • Right now (1:08), they’re talking about Anna Hahner, one of Germany’s top marathon runners and also the hopeful for the top German result. She is about 20 meters away from the top women. (Spoiler alert: she only gets mentioned two more times and finishes alright)
  • Kind of interesting this year are the thousands of election campaign posters lining the course and constantly caught by the camera
  • Berkeley is off course (1:10:48) for the record. He could still make it up but eh…
  • Guye Adola missed his water bottle at km 25…he’s a debut runner doing pretty well. Go underdog! No one shared his bottle with him, though. Competition is tough
  • My bet is on Kipchoge, because he has that sub 2-Hour attempt to draw meantal strength from
  • I think I’m glad I’m not volunteering today. The weather is kind of miserable
  • I also hope no one forgot their glide… chafing=ew
  • 1:24:29 Kimputo is kind of bouncing around in the back, my bet is he’s next to fall off the pace
  • The water (light rain and sweat) is flying off their feet
  • Pacer 60 Kimpare is doing a great job
  • Oh! They’re at km aid station 30, and before I could finish writing about how I was there last year and didn’t even realize I could end up in the footage…
  • WHAT Kipsang is out?! WHAT!?
  • Now it’s just Kipchoge and Adola! I guess I may win my bet after all
  • Kimpare is gone now too
  • It’s not long now
  • The bicycle leaders are are having a hard time not working as pacers for the two
  • Marathon running televised is a bit like watching sloths play soccer.
  • 1:43:11 Adola still there, slightly irritating Kipchoge it looks like. Hang on for 7 more km, Adola! Wouldn’t it be wild if he won?
  • And how lucky is Kipchoge, after the other two fell off, to have this competition? Someone who keeps him on pace?
  • Bekele is now also completely out. :-(
  • Kipchoge is running the blue line (the adidas three stripes to be seen throughout the city weeks after the race) Adola is running long curves. What is going on? Is a Adola letting Kipchoge keep his own pace?
  • 1:50:40 Okay, yeah, it’s getting a little more interesting  now
  • 4 more km
  • Less than 10 more minutes
  • 1:54:55 Kipchoge looks like he’s losing a bit of form :/
  • What the heck, Adola looks like a running god. He can have the win. I’m a fan
  • Okay Kipchoge, you still got this after all. He closed the gap
  • Adola doesn’t take any fuel? What? He may also have surged too early
  • Max 5 more minutes. I’m actually on the end of my seat. I take back my sloth comment
  • C’mon Adola! Hang on!
  • Kipchoge is claiming the last km for himself
  • Okay, experience wins. Aber Adola, aller Respeckt!
  • Damn. Kipchoge, look at that smile. 1km left and he knows he has this
  • Stride, smile, finish.
  • 2:03:34
  • AND ADOLA, fastest debut in history, 2:03:47 :-)
  • First woman, Gladys Cherono, doing a really nice job, on her own these last km.
  • Wish I had that kind of stride
  • Wins in 2:20:21 (and still gets a 15,000€ time bonus). Wooh!

In summary: what a race. Had I bet, I’d have won. Still proven: there are some fast runners out there. Athletes have a tough fight; it takes a lot to know when to step out of a race. Love the Berlin Marathon and hope to maybe run it one day!

Now, I return to my regularly scheduled Sunday. Hope you also have a nice day! -Dorothea

Log: Feb 27th- March 5th (week three)

Well, this post almost didn’t happen. Next week’s might not.  I’m  in awe of people who have full-time jobs, kids, marathon training and still have time to blog about it. My daisy-chain linked hat is tipped in your direction (and maybe the direction of your sig. other who helps you get it all done ;) ).


This was a satisfactory week. I’m a bit hesitant to praise it in light of a bout of PF pain that decided to rear its ugly head after yesterday’s long run, but there’s a bottle of water in the freezer and some supportive socks being worn and we’ll see what a nice day of rest can do. Plus, I had PF pain last week after the long run too, and it went away by Monday’s interval run. Magic?

This week marks the the highest weekly and daily mileage I’ve done since Marathon Four over a year ago. I like to think that I slowly worked up to this, but I do feel kind of stressed going from 14 to 18 miles in four weeks. I guess it’s normal? It just seems a bit quick. Maybe my PF agrees with me. Who knows. I think my feet are just complaining about a bad shoe/treadmill combo that I should have been more careful about.

47.5 miles and an 18-mile long run could summarize this week, but I want to give a shout-out to the individual runs:

  • Intervals on Monday were fun, but tough: 6 x 1000 meters in 4:15 or less. 5/6 intervals were done in 4:01 to 4:07. My fourth one was 4:31. Recoveries were 3 minutes.
  • Tuesday’s easy run was supposed to be 10 miles, but I cut it short at 9.2. I didn’t want to run it at all, but once I was out there, I felt decent. Unfortunately, I procrastinated enough on the run that I then had to cut it short after all. The problems of balance.
  • Wednesday was an alternating workout. I alternated 9 and 8 minute miles and did this fairly successfully since it was on the treadmill. At the beginning of the run, I didn’t think I could keep it up (still tired from Mon), but I loosened up by the last miles.
  • Thursday was a rest day, but I commuted to work. I actually commuted via bike 4/5 days this week. Wheel power.
  • On the schedule for Friday were fartleks: 5 miles. I just went out and randomly picked intervals to go faster or slower. Overall 44 minutes including one mile warm-up, so not shabby. Got some 17 km per hour strides in there, too, so got some speed.
  • Saturday: went out for 18 miles in the kind of mood that it’s good to have an 18 mile run to work off some steam with. I was basically annoyed with the world until mile 6, but then on the trails, in beautiful spring sunlight and in the embrace of the green trees, I felt better. I saw a family of warthogs, got some fuel about halfway through, and generally finished the run feeling surprisingly good. I accidentally went .7 miles over, which made up for Tuesday’s missed mileage. Today, all systems are go except for the right foot.

On deck for tomorrow is an 8 x 800m in 3:30 which isn’t really scaring me, but I hope my foot is ready for. I’m debating checking the track or at least postponing the interval.We’ll see how good I am at smart decision making by the end of the week.

See you then! (hopefully). In the meantime, anyone had PF issues and wants to tell the tale? I know about icing and rolling the foot over tubes and balls, but I wonder if there’s other kinds of magic tricks I haven’t heard of yet.


Looking Forward: April 2017

Disclosure: I did end up running in Munich yesterday… running to catch my bus back to Berlin, that is!

Yesterday, thousands of runners started their Munich Marathon race, and I saw a few of them on my way out of the city. In honor of their run, and my almost-run, I did an easy 2.62 miles. My feet have been feeling good these past two weeks. Despite my toe suffering the wrath of my iPad, the hobbling was gone the next day, and the toe is slowly returning to its normal color. I did a few test runs last week- not more than a mile and always with rest-days in between. Things have been looking up.

The nice run yesterday, and the lack of any ill effects today makes me feel ready to slowly start again. I’m only thinking 10-15 miles this week and next, maybe 20 the following. Six weeks from now, I’d like to be able to run 30 miles, but I’m not going to push it. I’m also not give myself the pressure of a race this side of 2016.

However, on the 7 hour ride back to Berlin, I did do some race research, and found a few races happening in April that really caught my attention. The Hamburg Marathon obviously caught my eye, happening April 23rd. Unfortunately, the Darß Marathon is also happening that day, and I have a hankering to do a nice run in that beautiful landscape. Plus side: I already have a place there where I could stay that weekend. I also have a few friends that may feel like running the race with me. Downside: it’s a rather small race and it would mean I’d maybe miss out on a chance to run with some study-abroad friends in Hamburg.

The other thing is, there’s a marathon in Berlin happening the week before on April 15th. It’s also a small race (last year had only 91 runners, 21 of them women), and it’s a week before two other great races. This set-up is making me think I may shoot for back-to-back marathons for the first time in my life. Maybe I’ll make it on the marathon maniacs bronze-level list. Since it’s 28 weeks out, I am sure I could train sufficiently for this. I’m also excited about a new challenge. Depending on which race I would pick for the 23rd, I could make the first or second marathon my goal race. There’s a lot of possibility in looking forward right now…

These past two months have been an up-and-down of hope and pressure to be able to run the Munich Marathon. Now that the race can’t even be on my radar anymore, I feel like looking forward again.

Finally, fun fact: I turn 26 next April, which makes a marathon or two that month pretty much (a) mandatory event(s).


To start again 

I need to get this out in cyber text before I forget the feelings I want to share about it: it’s training time again and sometimes one needs to recharge before hitting “reset.” 

Writing from a bus with free wifi on my way from the Baltic to Berlin. Can’t catch catch all my spelling and grammar on my tiny iPod screen. Apologies for any misteaks ;) 

Since taking off my compression socks in the landing plane in Düsseldorf, Germany last Tuesday, I struggled with the next step. I mentioned in my last post that I signed up for a marathon in München on Oct. 9th (I’ll be running the same day as some of you running Twin Cities, or Chicago), but other than figuring out my plan (a modified ASICS sub 3:30 plan that I’ll have to link at a later date for anyone who doesn’t want to open a new Google tab), I wasn’t excited about the race. In fact, until yesterday, I really didn’t think I was ready to begin training today. Call it jet lag, or burn-out (not that I was training, but I pushed myself a bit hard the last weeks before leaving, [even with no real reason]), I just didn’t want to run last week. So I didn’t. I ran the day of the flight (Monday), seven miles to get to the beach one last time, and then again on Sunday, but with no motivation and an urgent need for the bathroom.

 I didn’t run before Sunday because I was working hard at moving and cleaning, and because running in the morning would have felt like death (1AM blood pressure). PSA: some coaches advise one day of rest or easy running per hour of time-zone difference before going for workouts again.

But maybe I also subcounsciously knew that I was about to commit to four months of training. I guess I felt I might as well use the last week I have beforehand as a break.

It was meantally and physically a good choice. While Sunday’s five miles were rough, it told me I didn’t need to push any runs before today. I took two more days off and had a blissful non-running existence.  Then magically, luckily, perhaps quite logically, when I woke up today, I was ready for six miles easy. Done at an 8:17 clip, it was the confidence-inspiring way I like to start my season. Here’s to fall marathon training!

And now, just like that, I’m motivated again. Of course there are no garauntees that it will be that way for 16 weeks, and 6AM is sometimes no better than 1AM, but at least I’ve started… And I’ll see it through to the finish! 

Good luck and good speed to any and all others (marathon training and otherwise). Just think, we also have summer Olympics to motivate us through key workouts.


In honor of Global Running Day…

Or not, I don’t know. Maybe it’s as good an excuse to post again as any.

I’ve been nowhere, and it wasn’t very exciting.

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve posted. I guess, after one misses a certain amount of time and doing nothing exciting, blogging is out of the system and doesn’t seem worth the effort… then the days turn into weeks, months… you know the drill.

But, hello there! Nice to share some running news with you again.

First of all, no, I didn’t get in an accident, get sick, have a major life-changing event happen, etc. I really just did my normal stuff and didn’t blog about it.

But now, heading into a warm summer, I want to get back to blogging. Of course I’m kidding myself when I think that I’ll be able to keep it up normally while in Germany, which is where I’m heading in less than seven days, but for the time being, this is an update.

Since I last went running, my log looks really consistent and kind of boring. The best of news, right?

update running

It looks like I take a lot of rest days, but I try to only have two a week. They keep my knees and feet happy, and my social calendar seems a lot more manageable when I can plan two days instead of just one.

Sparknotes of my training: my only goal for the past months has been to do a steady increase in my mileage.

For the past seven weeks, I’ve been adding a mile each week to get up to 35 last week, and I plan to do this for the next ten weeks as well. That was the only caveat for my training. It happened to be that I had days where a fartlek felt good, or I did intervals, or needed a long run at the end of the week to get to the goal mileage. For the past three weeks, I’ve also been checking my mile speed. So far, my fastest mile has been 6:27, but I know I just need to get my speed back. The colors of the different kinds of runs I did reflect my flexibility at the type and length of run I did, and so far the build-up has been smooth.

So, I didn’t really have a goal, but knew about a 10K I usually do in Berlin at the end of July that I signed up for a few weeks ago. It’s been on my mind during faster workouts, and now I’ll slowly start ramping up speedwork over the next few weeks. While I dislike evening races, and I tend to struggle balancing family vacation and race-day priorities for this particular race, I do want to try for a 10K PR there. Sub-44 minutes would be awesome!

Also, the latest news is that I’m running a second marathon this year. Not quite sure how it happened, myself. I usually go for one marathon a year and am grateful to even get in the one, both financially speaking and in regards to my health. However, after an exciting PR in February and general good recovery, I found myself missing the marathon training and feel ready for a second race this year. Saturday, in randomly looking through marathons I could do in the fall in Germany, I found the München Marathon (that’s in Munich, for those of you who have never been to Oktoberfest Wies’n). Twenty minutes and 94 dollars later, there’s this thing I’m running…

Woo hoo!

It will be cool to watch the Berlin Marathon in Berlin this year, and know I’ll be running my own marathon a few weeks later later in one of Germany’s coolest cities. I guess I should start looking for a plan to follow…

Ta da! You’ve been updated, and I hope summer running is looking good for you! Temps and humidity are up here in South Florida, but as long as I put on my sunblock and stay hydrated, it’s not too bad. Plus, I have some shady German forest trails to look forward to.

For closing, I present you with Fort Lauderdale marathon picture #10 (“proof”ed, of course). They never posted my finish-line pic’ with my medal, but I do have this one and others. You can’t tell how I pee’ed my pants (sorry if that’s TMI) and my running face isn’t pretty, but this shows me running strongly into the finish and makes me happy, even almost four months later.

Cheers, DT

FL marathon10

P.S. I’m not running today, because my body tells me it wants a rest. Still, it’s a happy running day for any runner, even when s/he takes a rest.



Look! I caught a fish. Or, Ft. Lauderdale Marathon recap

Run strong. Run fast. Do not settle.

These were the words I wrote on my hand right before leaving the house at 4:20 this morning. I meant to leave at 4:00, but I got carried away with mental prep. Still, I was lucky and traffic was so glorious that I made the distance in 45 minutes anyway. This meant I had 55 minutes to pee and get to the starting line.

I woke up at 3:18 when the alarm rang. I woke up surprised that I had actually slept last night. The last thing I remember was thinking “well, if I can’t sleep, at least I’m resting.” In fact, it was such an unusual situation for me that I forgot to turn off my alarm, and had to run to my room when I was already in the kitchen ten minutes later so that the alarm wouldn’t wake up the rest of the house. Then I went back to the kitchen, toasted my two waffles, boiled my water for coffee, and took it to my desk to look up again how I would get to the race.

My morning was a bunch of pluses and minuses: woke up on time, but left later than intended; made it to the finish line (near where I wanted to park) in record time, but had to park somewhere unplanned, because I didn’t think I’d get a parking spot in time. I thought the rate for the garage that I found was 10$ for the day, but later I was to find out that it was 10$ per hour, and I’m really glad I had my debit card on me to pay it. That was maybe the only thing I regret about this run. The line for the shuttle from finish to start line was super long, but I made friends with the runners in front of me, and they saved my spot so that I could head into the nice resort bathroom next to where we were all standing. Porcelain bathrooms with toilet paper and soap on race morning? A luxury. It was a relief to not have to wait in line at the porta-potty at the start line (though by the time the bus made it over, I could have gone again- just didn’t have the time, which came to nip me in the bud later). I found gear check and dropped my bag with three minutes to spare, but couldn’t find the 3:30 pacer, and lost the pace-band I had made for myself. My iPod shuffle wasn’t following the playlist I had made for it, but my starting song was still “Fanfare for the Common Man.“The best way to start a race, if I may say so. It kept my pace at around the 8:19 I was planning for (though I did go out at 8:17).

That was  the beginning. It was a pretty good race from there. I met all my none-time goals: I reveled in the beginnings of the sunrise on the ocean- it was so beautiful. I had a flash-back to running my marathon in Hamburg when I saw the Port-of-Everglades (reminded me of the docks on the Elbe river). I connected with the two runners while waiting at the shuttle, found another runner at mile 8 who was also aiming for 3:30 (we rooted each other on throughout the race whenever we saw each other again… she went on to make her goal, I think! Even with a potty break). I was throwing good karma all around, waving to the good souls who clapped for me, nodding at all the policemen and women who were along the course, thanked all the volunteers. I cheered on anyone coming at me in the opposite direction. I like to think I made their run a little more pleasant… I know I appreciate it! One of the lead runners that I clapped for recognized me again at the finish line and congratulated me on a fine race. So that’s all good.

But I’m sure you want to hear about the time goals, and so let me just say that I’m so glad I set myself a “B” goal within a few minutes of my “A” goal… because without that, or say I had next gone for the 3:50 PR, I would have quit trying. I knew about mile 21 that I would no longer make sub-3:30. But after that, I kept trying, and when I knew I wouldn’t get it for sure, I still kept trying for the 3:33. And I made it!


You may be interested to know that this is a BQ time for girls ages 18-34, so there’s that. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be asked to run next year, because I missed that “extra” time cushion of 2:28 by 18 seconds. I’m okay with that, though, since Boston is not my goal…yet. I’m thrilled enough with the sub-3:35, sub-3:33 even, and I can’t wait to see what I can do with my next race!

See, this is my fourth marathon, but the first one I ran like a legitimate race. Last April, I ran a PR, and ran a marathon for the first time without stopping to walk, but I was having way too much fun taking in the experience of the Hamburg Marathon. I didn’t really understand fueling, starting off slower, but not too slow so that you’re catching up for the rest of the race, etc.

I still don’t think I figured out that part quite perfectly yet. I started off slower, but my 2nd and 3rd miles were sub-8mpm when they should have been in the 8:00-8:10 range. Then, as I feared all during the taper, I didn’t know how to keep myself at the pace I should have kept, a more conservative 7:56-7:58 versus the 7:45/8:00 flips I was doing. Overall, my pace was already at 7:56 through mile 10, when it really should have been 8:00-8:02. The other mistake I made was to get too confident at mile 14. Maybe it was the Gu kicking in, maybe I was glad to be at the halfway mark,  but miles 14-19 were 7:46, 7:51, 7:44, 7:44, 7:43 (fastest mile of the race) and 7:48. I totally did not have the consistent pace I think I needed to meet my “A” goal for today. It’s a weakness I knew about beforehand though, so I’m not terribly mad at myself. At mile 20, when they say the race really starts (something I was chastising myself all through those middle miles when I was feeling high on air), I started to slow down. Minimally at first, so that the 7:56 became a 7:57, then 7:58, then 7:59 overall pace… which I held for a while, but at mile 22 I was barely holding it together, counting down each quarter mile, and then, after two 8:21 splits for 23 and 24, I could barely keep myself running.


101 Dalmatians, anyone?

Here is where I pulled all the tricks for the last miles that I could remember out of my bag (I forgot that counting trick from Deena Kastor, though). It didn’t help that I had bladder issues, and I was struggling to just keep running, especially after my pace got into the 8:03 overall pace. I got lucky when “Hall of Fame” came on from The Script; it really got me going, and a few scenes from Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil came to mind (I kid you not). Maybe those words on my hand were what did it… maybe seeing the girl from mile 8 pick it up and look damn amazing at mile 24. But I kept thinking to myself, “stay strong; don’t settle.” So I listened to myself the best I could. When I could see the clock with 150 meters left to go, I picked it up for a “sprint” through the finish. Can’t wait to see what that looks like. Definitely not like this puppy, the mascot for my overall place this race.

Somehow, I also managed an age group win, and I scored all the swag post race. I’m glad I parked by the finish line, and getting myself cleaned up and ready to go with a very short, mini cool-down run so that I wouldn’t cramp up in the car was alleviated by the fact that I could dump everything in the car. I didn’t get to stay for awards, so I’m sorry I can’t show you what I would have gotten for the age group win. From experience at this race though, I think it was “just” a plaque. I don’t really need those, and maybe they gave it to the next finisher.

So, did I miss anything? A detail I left out that you really wanted to know about? Let me know! I can say that I had a few knee and feet issues, but nothing that warranted dropping out of the race and the knee things went away over the course of the run. Also, this is a really good race, touted as a “fast” race because it’s so damn flat (most of it is at or below sea level, with one incline near the start to go over the Intercostal). The wind can be a problem, since most of the course is exposed by the ocean. There’s a fair amount of spectators, but not the cheering, loud, clapping kind that will carry you like in major city races. Still, I found the support enough. There were people giving out Gu along the way, so I actually didn’t need all my Gus, but still had them when I struggled in the later miles. There was also a group giving out beer, which sounds like so much fun, but awful consequences when running at the end of one’s limits in a marathon… I actually don’t get that trend. Post-race beer? Sure… but during? The finish area is really well organized- many sponsors giving out all kinds of free-samples: drinks, Muscle Milk, coffee, burgers, enchiladas… . The Ft. Lauderdale marathon and half is also known for its sweet medal and a sand sculpture at the finish to take a photo with. I opted out, but got another photo in all my nasty post-race glory that I’ll share when the pictures are made available.

2015-2016 seasonAs for where I go from here (because it’s always good to have ideas for “after”), I am taking a break from training. I had a very successful season with PRs in all the distances I attempted, and I’m mighty content with where I am at this point in my fitness. I will say I could have worked better on my nutrition… something to work on for next season. But I’m ready to not take my logging so seriously, and to run when I feel like it and skip it when I don’t. My GPS is going to hide for a little while, too. I may do a race in  early April if I feel like it, and a race or two during the summer in Germany. I have a soft goal of building my mileage off-season to steady 45 mile weeks, but right now, I just want to relax.

And in south Florida, even with all the work I have to do, relaxing is made so easy.

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Check out my medal: see, a fish! Two fish, actually.

Cheers, all.

p.s. Thank you for all your support, both the silent and the extremely open. It means a lot to me! I did want to say though, after thinking about what I wrote yesterday, that my parents do support me in everything I do (including running)… they just don’t understand much about running. Still they are mighty proud of me, and I felt the love today. Happy Valentine’s Day, all around!