Did you guys hear about winter storm Jonas, #Blizzard2016? Even if you weren’t affected, just log onto any social media outlet and you are bound to see pictures of the magnificent event that occurred over the past weekend. I know it’s not Wednesday, but since the storm has been named Jonas I’ve had this stuck in my head…
Who couldn’t use a little old school Weezer on a Monday morning anyway? Plus, I have tickets to go see them in June ❤
So, I live in northeastern PA – the Lehigh Valley – and we got 32″ of snow! What!! I know I should be whining and crying about it (especially since it doesn’t make Boston training very easy), but I love snow. I love winter, and I love the snow. I swear half the reason I became a teacher was so I could fully enjoy the snow and the summer.
Training went really well this week, even with the blizzard. I’ll get into it, but between tacking on some extra miles on my easy runs this week and adding to my long run, I ended up only being about 3 miles short of where I wanted to be because of the snow. I had very productive track and tempo runs, and a surprisingly successful long run in the aftermath of the snow. I’ll take it!
Here’s my pace guide:
Marathon Goal – 3:05
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs – 7:03/mile
Recovery Runs – 9:11/mile
Aerobic A/Easy – 8:36
Aerobic B/Easy – 8:01
Long Run: 7:42
Monday, 1/18: Skiing + Pole Fitness
Mondays are scheduled easy run days on the Hansons plan, and Wednesdays are rest days. It was FREEZING out and I had to meet my dad at 7:15 am for our annual “Daddy Daughter Ski Day” at Blue Mountain. We usually do this Christmas week, but considering the 70 degree temps and lack of snow, we had to move it. I decided I would run after skiing, but then skiing kicked my ASS. I came home and completely passed out – the cold, the wind, and just being on skis for the first time this season was rough. I knew it meant I would have to make it up on Wednesday. I’m trying to follow Hansons to a T, but sometimes life happens. It’s not like I’m skipping the miles, just moving them.
That’s my dad on the far left in blue, and me next to him in the plaid jacket freezing my butt off:
And of course, a quick morning coffee break to warm up – me in the front left, my dad is in the back in the blue vest (no hat):
I grew up skiing, and my dad is the ski patrol director at Jack Frost Mountain. He’s retired, so it’s a great gig for him. He’s pretty much the coolest 63 year old guy I know. Not only does he ski, but he plays lead guitar in two different bands and plays out several times per week. I am completely serious when I say that my parents are way cooler than I am.
After lunch with a group and a nap at home, I made it to pole class. After a nap and some dinner, I made it to the 6:15 class. I had a great class and learned a new transition into a Janeiro (my favorite). It’s more of a video kind of thing, so you have to check out Instagram for that!
Tuesday, 1/19: Track Workout: 3 mile warm up, 4×1200 w/400 recoveries, 3 mile cool down (about 10 miles) + Myrtls/Core
I did my track workout on the treadmill AGAIN. It was cold and windy and I was being a baby. It’s not the warm up or the intervals in the cold that bothers me, but the cool down. I’ve been trying to really do the longer end of these “something of substance” runs. The last time it was this cold and I headed to the track (two weeks ago), I had a really hard time with the cool down. It was like my legs went numb from the cold – it was so strange. Hansons recommends a 1.5-3 mile cool down, and I think I barely made it to the 1.5 that day. I feel like the past two weeks on the treadmill have been more quality miles, but I do want to get back on the actual track.
But to keep it real and honest, I’ve been having a hard time with my interval paces lately and I could deal with it better on the treadmill. I had a goal of hitting 4:27-4:42 for each interval, which is about a 5:58-6:18 pace. I did 4:34, 4:36, 4:35, 4:35! I actually felt really strong. I knew we might get a huge storm this weekend and might be confined to speed work on the treadmill for awhile now, but I feel more confident about taking my interval work back to the track.
I followed the run up with MYTRLs and some core work. I felt pretty good! I think I really like 1200s.
Wednesday, 1/19: 7 Mile Easy Run + Skiing
First of all, I had to run in the morning and started the day to a dead Garmin – like dead as in RIP, I need a new one. 😦
I used it as a glorified stopwatch on my run, but no GPS signal. When I run on my road in the morning, I know where to turn around for various distances so I just ran and logged the time overall, no splits. It was around an 8:30 pace.
I’m so bummed that I can’t go to pole on Wednesdays for a while, but I am one of the advisers for the high school ski club. I have a 6 week obligation to be at the mountain on Wednesdays.
It was a good night up at the mountain. It was cold, but not too cold and we skied for a good two hours. It wasn’t crowded so we got a lot of good runs in. Blue Mountain is our local mountain and they offer night skiing. I have my own equipment and get passes at a discounted rate (it ends up costing me less than $20 to ski each time I go), so most times I don’t go for a full day of skiing. The mountains around here aren’t too big to begin with and the lack of snow this season has made it tough for the resorts to get all of the trails open, so we get bored pretty quickly. We had a blast, and I was home at a reasonable hour.
Thursday, 1/14: 12 Mile Tempo Run w/7 Miles @ Goal Marathon Pace + Pole Fitness
I was so nervous for this run all day. Hansons recommends a 1.5-3 mile warmup and cool down, so I should run anywhere from 10-13 miles. I wanted to run at least 11 since that’s what I did last week, but no more than 12. I was already upping the intensity of this run by adding another marathon paced mile, so I wanted to be careful about tacking on too much distance. That’s usually when problems arise for me.
At work, I was tired and chilled all day. I was concerned that I was getting sick. I grabbed a coffee after work and headed to the Plainfield trail. My brother lent me his Garmin (the FR405, which I liked!) since mine was busted, and I got started. I kept the pace easy for the first three miles to warm up – 8:30-8:40 pace. I still wasn’t sure how I felt, but when I hit mile 3 I knew it was go time. I picked up the pace and cranked out my 7 miles: 7:01, 7:03, 7:05, 6:44, 6:54, 7:01, 6:45!!! The 7:05 is technically two seconds slow, but it was slightly uphill and I was under my goal for five of the miles, so it all averages out and it was a success in my book.
It was so strange because I really felt so good. The past few weeks of tempo runs have made me believe I should rethink my goal. And maybe I should, but this run gave me so much confidence. Even though I was successful with last week’s tempo, it felt MUCH harder and it was a mile shorter. I thought adding a mile would make this even more torturous, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. At one point, I was at mile 6 of the run (but only 3 miles into my 7 mile tempo) and I had a string of really great songs come on my shuffle. I had my old Garmin set to vibrate AND beep at each mile, but my brother’s was just set to beep and I didn’t realize that when I started running. So I looked down at mile 6, and then started to zone out to some music. The next time I looked down, I was at mile 8 – only two more tempo miles to go! It was like I forgot to look since my wrist didn’t vibrate with each mile. What a treat. My cooldown was 2 miles and in the 8:20s. I didn’t feel spent, I felt good. Overall pace, 7:36.
Don’t get me wrong. It was still a really hard run for me. I don’t want to paint a picture of myself breezing through a 7 minute pace like it was nothing, because it certainly wasn’t. It was hard, but it was the first time that it felt manageable. To me, that was the biggest win. I’ve been struggling with confidence lately, and I’ve had some really good runs over the past two weeks that have helped boost it a little. I am thankful for those miles, and I can only hope they continue.
I headed to the pole studio after, since adding Wednesday night ski club meant I missed pole the night before. I don’t necessarily want to go on Thursday nights since I like doing my tempo run and being done. But now that I signed up for a little pole competition (more on that coming very soon), I want to make sure I still get to the studio 3-4 times per week. Saturday was up in the air because of an impending snow storm, so I sucked it up and went. I didn’t learn anything new except for something called a Pegasus, which I didn’t quite get into but I got close. I worked on some combos and reviewed some of the things we learned earlier in the week.
Friday, 1/15: 7 Mile Recovery Run + Pole Fitness
I was dreading this run because it was at the ass crack of dawn and less than 12 hours after my tempo run. My legs felt surprisingly decent, and I stayed right in my easy run range (8:26). It was cold out and by the end of the run I was ready to be done, but I actually enjoyed this run. Not much else to say about it!
I went to pole after school but I ended up a bit frustrated. I started working on my competition piece but I had the pole dancer equivalence to writer’s block. I had fun, but I felt a bit stuck. After class, however, I did finally decide on a new Garmin… 🙂
I went to Aardvark (our local running store) and ended up buying the Garmin 235! I was previously leaning towards the 230, but the more I read about the 235, the more I thought this was what I was looking for. Also, irishrunnerchick posted a GREAT review that really helped with my decision. I was going to go with the 230 because I thought I didn’t need the heart rate data until she showed the heart rate charts that she gets. I will post some initial thoughts later this week as I become acquainted with my new running buddy, but so far it was love at first run.
After our usual pizza Friday dinner, I dragged my husband to the grocery store with me in case we really did get hit with Snowopacalypse. Since it was later at night, it wasn’t as insane as I expected. But fighting the crowd was still like a workout in itself!
Saturday, 1/16: 3 Mile “Run” + 60 Minute Trainer Ride
I had plans to meet Mark and Kathy for an 8-10 mile run. The snow was supposed to start closer to daybreak so I thought I had a shot. I ended waking up and finding that we already had upwards of 6″ on the ground. I mulled over what to do with a cup of coffee. I knew I wasn’t driving over to their place to meet them – I’d never get back home and would end up stranded on the highway. It was extremely windy, so the roads would be really unpredictable. I was going to run on my road, but I live on a pretty main road and there were people out driving, even with the snow. It was still dark out, so I resolved to wait until the sun came up so the drivers could see me.
As the sun came up, I saw the plows had been plowing my road, but there wasn’t a whole lot of room. It was windy, and we were experiencing white out conditions. I have yak trax for my shoes, so the actual run wasn’t what worried me – it was the drivers on the road in these conditions. My husband woke up and we started some snow removal. We have a huge driveway, so I was running the snowblower and he was running the plow on our little tractor. It still took us two hours and there was already a foot of snow on the ground at this point. It was so beautiful, though. This is our barn in our backyard:
As we were snow clearing, I decided the best thing to do would be to swap the run for a trainer ride indoors. When I finished running the snowblower, I grabbed my bike out of the garage and set it up on my trainer. I HATE the trainer. If I had to pick my top three least favorite activities, it would go trainer, elliptical, treadmill (in that order). I wished I could get in just a few miles running, and then I remembered my new Garmin tracks indoor running.
I live in a 2600 square foot farmhouse that technically has four floors – if you count the basement and the attic, which are easily accessible by stairs. I have two different staircases (the main one and an au pair staircase off of the kitchen) that go to my second floor. Most of the house is under construction, so there isn’t much furniture in the way.
I queued up a great playlist on my Sonos, and laced up my sneakers. I strapped on my new Garmin and put it in “indoor running” mode. I proceeded to run a 5K in my house. Yep, that happened. First I ran one mile because I thought it would be funny. Then, I added another one because I wasn’t bored or tired yet. I was pretty over it after two miles, but I talked myself into another mile to make it a 5K! I averaged 10:24 pace!
I still followed it up with about an hour on the trainer. If I went with the bare minimum, my original plan was an 8 mile run. I figured an hour on the trainer and a 3 mile “run” would be a good substitute. Also I can’t stomach even one second over an hour on the trainer, so it had to be okay. We did another two hours of snow removal, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon making snow day junk food…diet or no diet the storm of the century deserves a proper celebration!
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese:
And for dessert, caramel stuffed Snickerdoodles:
I always pick a few easy junk food recipes on Pinterest before snowstorms just in case. If I get lucky and my husband is snowed in with me (he usually goes to work in anything), I make us treats. 32″ of snow = a two treat kind of storm.
Sunday: 1/17: 12.5 Mile Long Run + Pole Fitness
I woke up to a winter wonderland:
The summer kitchen (where my kitties live – poor things were nearly trapped in there):
The snow level…
The road I live on – it’s normally pretty busy:
I got up as the sun was coming up to snap a few pictures and to decide what I was going to do about my run. I messaged my friend Chris G., a local speedy marathon runner who lives in a different township but where I do almost all of my runs, asking how the roads were by him. He told me decent, and asked if he could join me! He’s a 2:45 marathoner. I’ve run with him a few times before, but only when I’m in good shape! We decided I would meet at his house at 11 am.
On my drive over, I saw a lot of this:
Most of the roads looked like this:
He wanted to do something like 16 miles, but had spent the morning shoveling and had zero motivation. We cranked out 12.5 miles at a 7:39 pace! I had to wear yak trax on my shoes and it was extremely slippery – I couldn’t believe we held that pace in the snow. I certainly had to work for it. I actually rolled my ankle and ate shit about halfway through our run, but I got up and kept going. My ankle is a little sore but it doesn’t bother me to run. I didn’t even realize it was sore until hours later when I was stretching.
The problem with this run was that the Hanson’s plan only designates long run pace every OTHER week. This was supposed to be an easier, off week in terms of the long run. Technically, I wasn’t supposed to do more than 10. I didn’t mind running a few extra miles because of the missed miles the day before, but I didn’t think we’d be able to crank out that pace in those conditions. It was about 25 seconds per mile faster than that run should have been. I’m not complaining – I’m happy about hitting the pace and having good company for the run – but I really want to avoid injury. I need to be more vigilant about the “other” weeks. I’m considering this week as a win because of the conditions. I’m not sure I would have done more than 10 by myself because it wasn’t an easy run.
The owner of the pole studio opened in the afternoon for some open gym time, so my sister in laws and I went to play on the poles with her. We stayed for 2 1/2 hours! I actually got a great jump on my routine and felt so much better about the whole ordeal. I choreographed about the first 1:16 of the song I chose and still really need to clean it up, but I like where I’m going with it. I didn’t post any pictures of that, but I did post a video of me playing with some spins on spin pole. There was so much snow on the roof of the building that the poles actually wouldn’t really spin! I was trying to use that spin as a segway into something fancier for my routine but the pole would just stop spinning abruptly. Regardless, it was a very productive afternoon and I had so much fun playing on the poles.
Things I slacked on this week: MYRTLs, abs, foam rolling. I need to really get on that! Other than that, I think this week was pretty successful, snow and all.
Winter storm JONAS! Did you guys get to feel any of his wrath?? Are you a snow lover or hater? I promise I’ll still love the haters.
Swim: 0 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥ Run: 51.5 miles