Month: April 2017

Road to BQ Weeks #1-5

As mentioned in this post, I’m attempting to get my own BQ.  I am excited to be training using again the Hansons Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue.  You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day.  I am not sure when I will qualify but am determined to get there.

I won’t bore you with recapping every single run during weeks 1-5.  Instead, I’ll write about the most interesting runs or just give you a short and sweet weekly recap.

Week #1, March 27-April 2

First week of training.  For weeks 1-5, all of my runs were at an easy pace (12:57-13:57).  This is the pace for a 5:00 marathon finish time.

W Ran 3.02 Miles
S Ran 3.02 Miles
S Ran 5.18 Miles at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

I ran my fastest mile of 12:18 on Saturday.  I need to remember to run my easy runs at a slower place.  

On Sunday I ran the Bank of American Shamrock Shuffle and was pleased with my time.  It was my first race of the year.  I wanted to enjoy and finish the race since I hadn’t been doing a whole lot of running since my injury.  Secretly my goal was to finish under an hour.  Done in 56:26.

Love my shoes!


Total mileage for the week: 11.22 miles
Total mileage for this training cycle:  11.22 miles
Total mileage for the year: 59.41 miles

Week #2, April 3-9

T Ran 2.02 Miles
TH Ran 3.02 Miles
F Ran 3.02 Miles
S Ran 3.02 Miles
S Ran 4.02 Miles

Another great week of running.  Ran with my nephew on Saturday and Sunday and it made me happy.

Total mileage for the week: 15.11 miles
Total mileage for this training cycle:  26.33 miles
Total mileage for the year: 74.51 miles

Week #3, April 10-16

T Ran 4.02 Miles
TH Ran 4.02 Miles
F Ran 4.02 Miles
S Ran 4.02 Miles
S Ran 5.03 Miles

Spring Break!  Pleased that I did all of my runs.  On Monday I went to see a friend.  She lives almost 45 minutes from me and I made sure to stay there pretty much all day.  We did some errands, talked, and ate.  

On Thursday and Friday I went to two breweries, Lagunitas Brewing Company and 5 Rabbit Cerveceria.

Got some new shoes, Brooks Pure Flow 6, and wore them on Saturday.  They’re light and feel soft.  Love them!

Total mileage for the week: 21.10 miles
Total mileage for this training cycle:  47.43 miles
Total mileage for the year: 95.62 miles

Week #4, April 17-23

T Ran 5.02 Miles
TH Ran 3.02 Miles
F Ran 5.02 Miles
S Ran 5.02 Miles
S Ran 3.63 Miles

I watched the Boston Marathon on Monday.  I was rooting for Desi to win but overall she did great.  It wasn’t easy going back to work on Tuesday but fortunately it was a 4-day workweek.

On Wednesday I went to see “Boston: The Documentary”.  Did you watch it?  I thought it was a great movie and would love to see it again.  I enjoyed listening to the history of the marathon and the Boston Marathon.  Plus, it was great seeing Meb winning the 2014 Boston Marathon.  Of course, it got me excited for one day I hope to run it too.

I fell during my run on Sunday.  There was a piece of wire on the sidewalk which I did not see and I tripped and fell.  Luckily I used my hands to break the fall but still scraped my chin, knee, and hand.  I am feeling better but it definitely freaked me out.

Saw this on my way back from the movie theatre. Love this view!

Total mileage for the week: 21.71 miles
Total mileage for this training cycle:  69.14 miles
Total mileage for the year: 117.33 miles

Week #5, April 24-30

T Ran 5.02 Miles
TH Ran 4.02 Miles
F Ran 5.02 Miles
S Ran 4.02 Miles
S Ran 6.02 Miles

I was nervous about my run on Tuesday.  I was extra careful with every step I took and I might have been over reacting.

My mother swears that everything is cured with Vicks VapoRub.  Mothers know best, right?  

Mother Nature is being a pain.  Rain and cold weather (at least for April) this week.  I want it to be warm again so I can wear tank tops and shorts.

Total mileage for the week: 24.10 miles
Total mileage for this training cycle:  93.24 miles
Total mileage for the year: 141.43 miles

Today was my last run for this month.  I am proud for running 90 miles in April.  I am feeling good.  My legs do get tired but make sure to stretch and foam roll on  a regular basis.  I look forward to see how it goes in May.

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap and Courtney for her Training Recap Link Up!

Hoping everyone had a good week!



Training to train to train to train for a BQ

I remember back in 2006, two days before my first Chicago Marathon, I was talking to my coworker (cannot remember about what) but I do remember telling her that I wanted to BQ before I turned 40. Umm, clearly I had NO idea what I was talking about at that time.  I was a newbie runner.  I had began running the year before and there was still a lot for me to learn about running and races.  My goal was simply to finish and on October 22nd I ran my first marathon in 5:53:33.  Not horrible but maybe I could have done better.

In the next few years I ran a couple more marathons:

I think I used Hal Higdon’s training plans for most of them except the last two marathons.  My goal was simply to finish.  While I did PR on most of my marathons, I never really seriously trained because my goal was simply to finish each race.  I could have done better if I had trained better. << Maybe.  You never know how it will go on marathon day.

I worked with a coach in 2014 to train for the Chicago Marathon.  I liked my coach.  She gave me fun and challenging workouts. I ended up not running it because I got to a point that I did not want to run anymore.  I was burned out.  I did have a GREAT time spectating the marathon.  

I decided to try again for the 2015 marathon.  I hired another coach.  My previous one couldn’t coach me.  She also gave me fun and challenging workouts too.  I finished in 5:21:17.  I was disappointed.  I was devastated.  I had trained hard that summer and I was hoping for a finish time under 5 hours.

Last year I trained using the Hansons Marathon Method.  It was tough.  I was running 6 days a week and I was ALWAYS tired. I felt strong and had some great runs.  I remember one Sunday morning I ran 6 miles @ a 9 minute pace and I was very happy to have done so.  My marathon finish time was 5:12:59. Yes, I did get a PR but I was again aiming for a finish time under 5 hours.  I did so well during the first 9 miles and then I had some hip pain and then struggled the rest of the race.  I remember wanting to quit about 3 times but by the last time I was at mile 22 and I kept reminding myself that I had 4 miles to go.  Why quit now?

I decided not to run the Chicago Marathon this year.  I needed a break.  I did not want to run anymore marathons.  Instead, I wanted to focus on my half marathons and my quest to run one in each state. Well, I was bitten by the BQ bug and decided “Why not?  I can get a BQ.”  Will it be easy?  No.  Will it be this year or next year?  Probably not.  It will take me a few years but I am determined to get there. Reading and writing about Elizabeth Clor’s book Boston Bound about her struggles and determination to BQ also motivated me to work towards a BQ.  

I need a 3:55 for a BQ.  My marathon PR is 5:12:59 (let’s just go with 5:13:00).  That means I need to cut 1 hour and 18 minutes off my marathon time.  << But even that will not guarantee me a spot at the marathon.  So, I will need an extra 5 minutes (1 hour and 23 minutes).  Once I hit the next age group, I will need a 4:00 finish time.  You bet I want to do it while I’m in this current age group.

For now I am running again using the Beginner’s Plan of the Hansons Marathon Method.  The plan ends in July and I am scheduled to run a marathon on July 30th.  I will be on my way back from a cruise in Alaska.  I haven’t decided if I want to run a marathon or run an unofficial one on my own (if so I will probably add 1 or 2 weeks of training depending on how much running I do in Alaska).  The Chicago Lakefront is 18 miles from beginning to end.  With the right preparation and planning I can run my own marathon at the beginning of August. No pressure.  It will be good to see where I am training wise/marathon time.

Another marathon I am thinking about is the Miami Marathon on January 28th, 2018.  But the thought of training during the winter makes me NOT want to sign up.  We’ll see.  <<Edit: I am not attempting the Miami Marathon as a BQ.   Since I am not running the Chicago Marathon I would like to see where I am fitness wise with my training.

I know I still have to make more decisions (hire a coach, use Hansons Method or Run Less, Run Faster Method, sign up for a marathon, etc) but what I do know is that I want to get a BQ.  

I hope you follow along in my journey as I attempt to get a BQ.  The goal is to run The Boston Marathon before I am in the next age group which will be in 2022.

Have you run The Boston Marathon?  Am I crazy for thinking I can qualify when I have to cut more than 1 hour from my marathon PR?  Any advice you have for me?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap and Courtney for her Training Recap Link Up!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

Boston Bound Book Review

With the Boston Marathon on Monday and my goal of one day getting a BQ, I thought it would be a good idea to write about Boston Bound by Elizabeth Clor.  I’ve never run the Boston Marathon but would like to one day.  I am slow and know it will take me a few years to BQ.


I’ve been reading Elizabeth Clor’s blog Racing Stripes for a number of years.  To say that I love her blog is an understatement. She is honest, passionate and is very detailed when writing about her runs and races.  She was on a mission to qualify for Boston and after 7 years, she finally did so in October 2014 and ran the marathon on April 18, 2016.  Just last month she qualified again with a 3:21:54 finish time. It definitely was not easy (is it ever?) but over the years she had to overcome various obstacles in which she talked about in the book.

I started reading it in early March.  I had been diagnosed with IT band syndrome, runner’s knee and knee bursitis (and feeling sorry for myself).  The doctor recommended using the bike to help with recovery.  I could not put it down.  The book was exactly what I needed to get me out of my running funk and to get motivated to get better soon and get my own BQ.


Elizabeth is a perfectionist.  She trains with the McMillan Group and does very well in her races. But there was still something holding her back.  She was always hard on herself and had to meet a specific finish time.  She lacked confidence and suffered from race anxiety.  If she knew she wouldn’t meet her goal, she would drop out of the race.  She finally decided to seek help from a sports psychologist.

She knew she had some barriers to overcome and with her doctor’s help she was able to do so:

  • Making comparisons
  • Learning from setbacks and moving on
  • Patience
  • Tempering emotions
  • Expecting to make mistakes

She would also worry about what other people thought of her.  She was afraid of running a slow race because she did not want people to think that she was a slow runner.  

I think that many of us as runners share some of those obstacles (I used to compare myself to others too).  However, with Elizabeth it was even more tough because she was always hard on herself.  Many times she couldn’t just let go.  She expected things to turn out exactly like she had planned (training for a XX finish time therefore expecting XX finish time).  She was no longer enjoying her races nor her runs.

Over the course of numerous visits to her sports psychologist, Elizabeth was able to take it easy, relax, and gain confidence.  If a race or run did not go well, she learned to see the positive of it instead of focusing on the negative.


You can read about her experience running the Boston Marathon HERE.  


Something interesting that I read is that I have not met Elizabeth but am excited to do so in July at The Great Alaskan Running Cruise.  I am excited to also try and get my own BQ.  She has definitely demonstrated that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.  I am hoping that she decides to become a certified running coach as I would love for her to be my coach.  I definitely enjoyed reading her book.  It is easy to read and she does an excellent job of sharing her ups and downs as time after time she attempts to BQ.  Even if The Boston Marathon isn’t in your bucket list, I encourage you read her book.  Also, I encourage you to check out her blog – definitely one worth reading!!

Have you read the book?  What did you think of it?  Is running The Boston Marathon on your bucket list?

Running again and a giveaway

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

Hello!  I have been neglecting this blog for too long.  Thanks to Wendy’s post on Tuesday, I was motivated to start writing again. Lately I have not had anything interesting to write.  I haven’t been running much like I usually do.  Well, that is about to change.  My knee feels much better! I ran the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K on Sunday and managed to finish it under an hour.  My goal was to enjoy the race and finish it (my longest run had been only 3 miles) but secretly I was hoping to finish it in less than an hour and I did it!

I’ve been running again using the Hansons Marathon Method (Beginner’s Plan).  I stayed up late one day going over the book again and decided to start off with the 5:00 marathon finish time.  I updated my spreadsheet with the dates, runs, and paces.  I also did one for 4:45, 4:30, 4:15, 4:00, 3:50, 3:45, and 3:40 (I had coffee late in the evening and could not sleep and all I had to change were the various speeds/paces).

For now (until November) I need a 3:45 to BQ.  Next year I need a 3:55 finish time.  Do I know when I will BQ?  No. But I would like for it to happen in a few years.  I also added my runs and paces to the calendar feature in Garmin Connect.  For now I’ve been doing easy runs with paces between 12:57-13:57 and I am liking it.  My first speed workout isn’t till May 2nd (12×400) so I have plenty of time to build my endurance and then maybe I’ll leave it at 5:00 or change it to 4:45.  We’ll see.

I have two new and beautiful pairs of running shoes from Brooks – the Launch 4 and some new Oiselle capris.  I like the capris but love it when I can wear shorts (which I did today).

I also purchased a cute Oiselle tshirt for inspiration.

During last year’s marathon training, I did not take care of myself like I was supposed to.  I hardly stretched and did not foam rolled on a regular basis.  I learned my lesson.  I will not make that mistake again.  Eating wise I am doing much better.  I rarely ate fruits and vegetables. Now I eat fruit every single day and make a shake with spinach.  I also have been enjoying eating tofu, quinoa, and recently made cauliflower fried rice.  Slowly making progress.

Work is going well.  Next week is Spring Break and I am excited about it.  After that I have about 7 weeks to go till summer break.  In July I will be going to Alaska on The Great Alaskan Running Cruise.  Just the other day I booked a glacier tour in Juneau and a kayak adventure.  Should be fun!!

Now let’s talk about the giveaway.  The winner will receive a NUUN container (I have various flavors), a Momentum Wrap, a pair of Lock Laces, and Headsweats Visor.

To enter, click on the image below where you will be directed to Gleam and enter several different ways such as leaving a blog post comment, following me on Instagram, commenting on any of my Instagram posts, or tweeting about the giveaway.

This giveaway will run for seven days (until April 16th at 11:59 pm).  The winner will be selected on the eighth day.   The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Gleam account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected.

Best luck to everyone that enters!