NYC Marathon Training Week #17


Can you believe this countdown!!!?!?!?! I’m getting an email from the TCS NYC Marathon folks every other day (or so it seems), and all I keep thinking is, omg, omg, omg! Still feeling all the emotions on any given day and after this week: TAPER!!! Woohoo!

Reading all the race recaps from Chicago, I was so happy to hear so many people PR’ed and had a great race. It was so exciting to hear people reach their goals after this long training season. I have to admit I’m a little jealous because their big day is done. And I still have three weeks to go.

This has been a long training cycle, and this was my highest mileage week of this training.

My week in summary: 57.7 miles running and 7 miles biking = 64.7 miles total

This week felt good. The weather was warm…again so we didn’t feel the chilly morning temps like the week before. Boo! But, that’s the way it is here in TX. Wait a few minutes and the weather will change.

  • Monday: Easy 8 miles
  • Tuesday: 1000’s
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: 7 mile tempo
  • Friday: Easy 8 miles
  • Saturday: 6 easy miles
  • Sunday: 3 miles easy, Half Marathon, 4 miles easy = 20 miles
  • Sunday was the Nutrabolt Oktoberfest Half Marathon & 10K here in town.

It’s a small race, and the second time this company has held it. Last year, Hurricane Patricia came close to the area and brought some flooding, heavy rain and winds right on race day with temps in the 50s. This year, was sunny with a race day start of 70 and 98% humidity. I think I’ll take rain any day. Even with a 7 am start, it was warm and muggy, and I was already sweaty by the time I got to the start because I ran 3 miles to warmup. We had a lot of people in our running group run either the Half or the 10K, and several people who weren’t running came out to cheer! It’s always fun to see your friends along the course.


I saw this on the course around mile 6 and just had to take a picture. So pretty! The clouds dissipated and it turned out to be a sunny day.


The coolest thing about the race was getting to finish INSIDE Kyle Field where the Aggies play football. We ran through the player’s tunnel and around the side of the field and could even see our finish on the jumbo monitor. This is the closest I will be to a college football field.


The course was relatively flat but had two big hills right after another around mile 8 and 9. The course was well-marked with lots of volunteers, water stations around every 1.5 miles to 2 miles that were well-stocked. Even though I ran with a water bottle with Skratch, I still took water at every stop.  I finished in 1:49–not a PR, but I’m happy with that because I was not racing this AT ALL. My goal was to keep close to marathon pace, and I did. This is my second half-marathon this month and my 11th overall! I also picked up a second place AG award. I got a running hat from SweatVac Performance Wear. That was a pleasant surprise because there were so many fast runners.  Runners also got a T-shirt, reusable bag, beach towel, and a beer mug. The post-race food was bananas, oranges, water, soft pretzels, kolaches (Czech pastries with fruit in the middle) and bratwurst. I was really not in the mood for brats but I managed to eat a few bites of pretzel and pastry.

After the race and watching my friends finish, I ran 2 miles with my friend Lisa and then another 2 on my own on campus. I never get to run on certain parts of campus because it’s not part of our usual route, but this was fun.
img_2475 img_2477 img_2478I was very happy to be finished! And now, it’s taper time.🙂

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Which race conditions would you rather have: rain or heat/humidity? Celebrating Oktoberfest?

NYC Marathon Training Week #16



A little over a month to go until NYC Marathon! Woohoo! This week was a great week of workouts. Finally, it’s nice to see things coming together after that long, hot summer of training. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been training since June!!

Last week, I told you about that little old half marathon that was a train wreck of a race. By the way, thankfully, they’re issuing refunds to those who couldn’t run and a discount for next year’s race. The race benefits the local natural history museum, which I know needs the funds, but right now I can’t think about running it next year. We’ll see how I feel later. But, even though I didn’t PR, I got third woman overall and 2nd place AG (a LOT of people dropped out so…). I didn’t have time to pick up the medal after the race or enjoy the podium pic, so my friend Lisa crossed the finish line and got it for me and gave it to me this week.


This is how my week turned out:

Monday: Easy 5 miles (I planned to do 8, but it didn’t work out).

Tuesday: 1200 intervals. I felt like I was flying.

Thursday: 7 mile tempo

Friday: 8 miles

Saturday: 18.3

Total 46 miles running

16 miles biking


The beauty of an early morning run never gets old. I always have to capture the sunrise. And after that, the joy of the run with your bestie!


I was scheduled to run about 13 miles at race pace with my bestie, but after last week’s fiasco, I wanted to run much more. I ran 5 miles by myself and tried out my new NYC Marathon playlist (stay tuned for that!) and then met Lesley for 13 miles. She’s on taper for her marathon, so this long run needed to be at race pace for her. We kept a great pace for the whole run, talking, laughing and running. We both kept looking at our watches thinking we weren’t sure we could hold the pace for the whole run. But we did it!  The entire time, I felt great. I mean really, really great. I felt I like I could have gone faster, but I held back for fear of dying in the end. My end pace was 8:29 for 18 miles. I’m aiming for my race pace to be about 8:25, but I’ll take it.

img_2428Hope you had a great week! I’m wrapping up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

More Than a Feeling

Tuesdays on the RunToday’s Tuesday on the Run link-up topic is bucket list races with blog hostesses Erika, Marcia and Patty.

First? It’s more than a feeling, when I hear that old song they used to play (more than a feeling), I begin dreaming (more than a feeling). You guessed it. Boston.


I don’t think I’ll ever get there through qualifying at this point, but a girl can dream, right?

Second, Chicago is my kind of town. I’ve only been to Chicago once. It was a whirlwind 23 hour trip for a relative’s wedding, and it was beautiful. I’d love to run, but also, don’t know if it’s in my future.


And then, who knows? It would be kind of cool to run London, Paris and Rome because I’ve been to all of those cities and would love to get the running perspective.

Of course, all of these are marathons, which means marathon training…and while training for NYC right now, I don’t want to think about.🙂

Any bucket list races for you? 

NYC Marathon Training Week #15

I’m calling this week’s wrap-up Sucker Punch.


It all started with me punching a kid. I should have known that was an ominous sign.

Wait, before you call CPS. It’s not what you think. I swear.

Let me back up. My daughter is doing these re-enacted museums to wrap up the lessons they’re learning in Social Studies. They had just finished the Prehistoric unit and turned their classrooms into caves. Each group of cave people had jobs: some spear makers, medicine people, etc. The classroom caves had tarp to cover the doors, and with all the students on the floor banging on rocks and saying ooga booga it was sensory overload. There were kids zipping in and out of the classroom around the parents who were trying to ask questions, and some kids really had no sense of personal space. I mean really. None. But, it was cute to see everyone really getting into it. When it was time to clean up, some parents and I stayed to help clean up. The lead teacher was calling for everything to be brought out into the main pod area, and as I was carrying some things out, I had to move the tarp covering the door out of the way. As I was walking out, a boy walked through the tarp into the classroom, and my fingernail brushed against his forehead. I immediately apologized and asked if he was ok. He didn’t even look at me, but he said yea and reached up to his forehead, then kept walking. I didn’t think anything of it. So, later when I was driving home, my daughter asked, “Did you punch someone in school?” I almost veered off the road. “WHAT?? Someone said I punched them.” I told her what happened and how my fingernail grazed someone’s forehead, but that I never punched him. I asked her what he said and if he was crying. She said he wasn’t upset, just told everyone I accidentally punched him. Oh. Ok. Is that all?? Talk about a sucker punch.

Then, a little over a week ago, I was writing my weekly running group email that I send out with the plan for the week. I was detailing some local races people could sign up for, and the Buffalo Stampede came up on Oct. 1. This half marathon and 5K is a small local race that benefits the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, and for the past two years has conflicted with other local races I’ve run. This year, I looked at the calendar, and there was nothing really going on other than kid’s football practice. I haven’t race much and I was itching to do something. A half marathon would be just the thing and this would be #10! I asked the hubs if it was ok if I registered, and he gave the green light that nothing was going on other than Aggie football game later in the day. I got a discount code and woohoo! I signed up for the race. I put it o the calendar, and hot diggity dog, I was ready. I had planned to do a 20-miler that day anyway. So, I figured I would do 2-3 miles before, do the race and finish with 4 miles while my friends and I were waiting around eating etc. Get home in plenty of time.

And then…my husband says, “What’s this Buffalo Stampede on the calendar?”

Um. Why? He had committed to doing a golf tournament that very same morning. DOH. I had forgotten that he had told me that (because it was not on the calendar). No problemo. A little hiccup. I found a new sitter. Ready to go. The race started at 7:30 am so I’d have plenty of time to finish and be back. I lined her up to stay until 11:30am. That would give me time to finish the miles and stay to chat with other runners if I wanted to. But, I told her, I’ll be back well before 10:30am.

Then, the weather this week was amazing. Like angels in the sky, part the clouds, AH-MAZ-ING. After every day being in the high 70s at 5 am, to have low 60s even 58 on Friday, was like a gift from heaven. And race day was slated to be the same. No rain. No heat front scheduled to come in. Low 60s and sunny. Awesome!

The weather was great. My new Runegades singlet and skirts Sports skirt was ready to go with my bib. I got ready, ate breakfast, did a dynamic warmup and got on my way. The race directions specifically said the main entrance would be closed (because it’s part of the course) so to use a back entrance. I knew something was up when I used the back entrance and saw other cars still using the front entrance without a problem. Hmmmm.

The race coincided with a local festival celebrating pioneer days. So, some people had fires already going and were walking around in old-fashioned costumes. I decided to run circles around the parking lot to get some miles in. I ran 3 miles with 45 minutes until race time. No problem. Everything was going according to plan. I brought two gels and had eaten a good breakfast before hand so I brought half a bagel for just in case.


I had to take a picture next to the wagon.


About 20 minutes before the start, I took my gel. Had my water bottle with skratch. I was ready. And then, as we were lining up for the start at 7:20 am, the race director told us, the good news. It’s a beautiful day. The bad news, the race will not start on time. Not only that, but it will be 2 hours before it starts. Why? Because the race management they hired had completely dropped the ball in getting the course marked off. No cones on the road (and the race ran along a major highway), no start. Womp womp.

Another sucker punch. Starting at 9:30 am would put a real damper on may plans of casually finishing up the miles after the race. At this point, I texted the sitter to see if she could stay. She could stay until noon. I told her I would be home by 11:45 am. At noon I had to leave to take kid 2 to football practice at 12:15pm. Gulp. What to do?? Everyone weighed the costs and many runners (understandably so) left because of other time commitments. I knew it would be close, but at that point, I really just wanted to run the race.


It was a beautiful morning. My friend and I decided to stick it out and run a few miles to pass the time. We finished up a little 5K on what was supposed to be the 5k course. As we got back to the starting line, they were just starting to put cones out. We waited.


By this time, I was starving. I finished my bagel. Mo, the buffalo, was not happy either.


So much for enjoying the nice weather. Temps were climbing quickly after 9:30. The race had no crowd support. A few water stops. It was warm. And I quickly drank all 20 ounces of my water bottle, so I decided to drink at every water stop. At most of the water stops, the people left the cups on the table and pointed to which ones were Gatorade and water. Um. No. At the first stop, I knocked off a cup of water. Grrr.

This race is out and back, which I don’t really like. There’s something about seeing the first place people soaring past you while you plod along. Nevertheless, I said good job to everyone that passed me even though I was hot, hot, hot. I wasn’t setting out to break any PRs for this race, so I kept the pace comfortable. I finished in 1:51 and change. Got a cold water bottle. Got my medal. Took a picture.

img_2418I hopped in the car and raced home. Paid the sitter. Changed clothes. And got to football practice with three kids in tow by 12:10. Boom. Talk about rolling with the punches.🙂

Started October off with some bling. Finished September with 204 miles of running and 282 miles total with biking.

This week I ran almost 49 miles and another 10 miles of biking. All in all a good week. Getting excited, scared, nervous about NYC!


That’s a wrap! I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!



NYC Marathon Training Week #14


Another week: Another journey.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” -Arthur Ashe


Happy Fall! I LOVE Fall. I got married in the Fall, and on the East Coast, the gorgeous colors we could experience were amazing! We didn’t have to go anywhere to view the foliage changing from green to gold, auburn and crimson because every day the trees would look different, as if a paint brush had touched them in certain spots. The kids and I would collect leaves and press them, but you could never completely capture the vibrant color of the season when they were dried and pressed. Unfortunately, in this area of Texas, we go from green to brown, almost in an instant. There’s nothing in between. So, when I found these frosted sugar cookies at our favorite bakery, I just had to get them. They were yummy!


Thanks to Judy for sharing Lost Maples, TX for fall foliage viewing. Hopefully, we can get there to get a glimpse of some interesting color.

This week was a great week of training and was a nice change from the brutal exhaustion I’ve been dealing with. No, our weather hasn’t changed…yet. But, for some reason, I had a little more energy than normal. Maybe it’s because I’ve been waking up 15 minutes later for the workouts and make much more concerted effort to go to bed on time. Just 41 days to go until the big day!


Highlights from this week were that I reached 2,000 km for the year! Woohoo! I hadn’t set any mileage goal for the year, but have been keeping track of what I’ve been doing. Last year at this time, I was close to reaching 2015 MILES for the year. But, this year’s journey is different, and that’s ok. It’s no better or worse, just different. I learn different things from different training cycles, races, seasons, right?

This week, I did 6 days of the NY Times 7-minute workout I shared last week. I’m happy that I’ve been keeping consistent because I am usually completely undisciplined when it comes to at-home workouts. I can feel the difference it has made. There’s no bulging biceps by ANY stretch, but the flapjacks that some would call triceps have taken a hike. I made an effort to do these as soon as I got home from workouts. That way I can direct the school preparation process while I do that. My 8-year-old daughter joined the workout. She does gymnastics, so her core is crazy strong. My oldest son was full of “constructive” criticism on our form. As I’m doing pushup to side plank, I told him he better put his money where his mouth is and put up or….


This week I ran: 45.7 miles. (Where’s that .3????) and I biked 18.9 miles. For a total mileage of 64.6 miles.

Monday’s easy run felt good.

img_2343  The first day of Fall’s we saw this sunrise on the ride to school.  img_2348 I made a Key Lime cake just because I had some Key Limes to use up. It’s carb-loading…img_2358

Thursday’s run we had temps of 71 and only 85% humidity. It felt glorious. The tempo run on Thursday has been my nemesis. I’m slogging through the hilly course we have, and I haven’t been able to hit my tempo pace for more than a mile. So, I began to dread Thursday workouts. This week, I felt great and was able to hit my old tempo pace for the last mile. My splits were great and best of all, I felt good the whole time.

For Saturday’s run, I decided to do 15 miles. My friend Lesley was doing a trail race, but I hemmed and hawed. I’m not a trail runner, and I’m a klutz on a flat surface. I finally decided not to do the race (I’m sure it’s in my future, though!) and just do a run on my own. I felt great. The temps were 75 and 97% humidity, but I felt good. I didn’t push the pace too much unless I felt like I could. When I needed to back off, I did.

img_2366 img_2368

I finished the day with a 5 mile bike ride with my oldest when the temp was close to 100. I would have kept going, but after 5 miles he was done.🙂


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

Any fun fall traditions?

NYC Marathon Training Week #13


This week was another good week of training. Challenging, but good. I was tired all week, and the cumulative fatigue of the last 13 weeks of training is definitely being felt in my legs (and my brain). Work was super busy and life was busy, and it was all catching up with me.

This week, I gave myself a challenge of doing a HIIT style workout. I tried this one from the New York Times that I can complete in 7 minutes (in theory). Of seven days this week, I did 6. Pretty good! I felt the soreness in my upper body all week because I usually don’t to push ups and tricep dips. I’m very weak in the upper body! I definitely saw improvement after just 6 days.

Here’s my week:

Monday: Easy 8 miles. Felt good.

Tuesday: 1000 intervals; tired but good.

Thursday: 7 mile tempo. Tired. This has been my nemesis all training season. My paces are not anywhere near my true tempo pace. I’m claiming heat and humidity.

Friday: I overslept and got an extra hour of sleep. I woke up a little after 5 and darted off to meet my friends. Squeezed in 6.5 miles instead of 8. I felt great after getting some extra sleep. I also got some yoga flow done.

Saturday: 20 mile run. This has been my longest run of the training season. This was hard. We had a little pit stop to refill water bottles (I had three water bottles with me but was going through them very quickly). The last few miles were really tough just to keep plodding along. Overall pace was 9:15. Not what I had planned but we got it done. This is how Lesley and I felt after the run.




We celebrated with…tacos..what else?? Recovery was lots of compression, hot bath, foam rolling and stretching. I didn’t do the 7-minute workout because my foot was sore and I didn’t want to push it.

The running group Lesley and I started a few months ago is now 40+ people! The Brazos Valley Runegades now has cute new shirts to wear. We have cotton shirt (the gray) and tech singlets and short sleeves in blue. Lesley designed the logo for the shirt. Isn’t it purty?!?!?!

img_2332 img_2333  img_2335

Total 49 miles running; 13 miles biking.

That’s my week!

How was your week? I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

NYC Marathon Training Week #12


Week #12: I Know I Can

This week, I completed another good week of training. This marathon training cycle, unlike my previous two marathons, has been smack dab in the middle of the summer heat. And, it’s been hotter than previous summers, fo to the sho. So, some runs are good, and some runs… not so much.

And…I’m my worst critic! I go into a run with a goal in mind… and sometimes it doesn’t happen, right? So, after some workouts, even if it didn’t turn out the way I wanted, my instinct is always to focus on the negative. It’s ironic because we encourage one of my kids who tends to be a Negative Norman/Nancy to be a Positive Paul/Polly. But this training cycle, I’m trying to focus on the positive: I finished the run. I hit my pace for a mile. I didn’t die.🙂

But, when I look back at my runs this week, I feel pretty good at how my training is going.

This week, I finished almost 47 miles in running, and did 27 miles of biking. Most days, I try to do some strength training. My friend Lesley and I post strength workouts to our group running group page for the whole group to do. I also tried to do some yoga even though I couldn’t get to the studio.


Trying to do a handstand.


Just got this shirt from Running Warehouse.🙂 LOVE.

This week’s workouts:

  • Monday: Easy 8 miles
  • Tuesday: 4 1 Mile intervals, all sub-8 pace, 8 miles total
  • Wednesday: yoga
  • Thursday: 8 mile tempo, solid run, but struggled at the end.
  • Friday: Easy 8 miles
  • Saturday, I ran 14 miles and all splits were sub-9 pace. I averaged 8:40, which was supposed to be marathon pace, but hey, it was HUMID. So, I’m happy.
  • Sunday: 17-mile bike ride.


I had to capture the sunrise on Saturday. Gorgeous.

img_2322 img_2325 img_2327

Trying to take a photo while riding and not falling off. This was a busy road so I forgot to smile.

I let my husband take the kids to the football game while I got some work done. With a side of wine.


How is your training going? Are you Negative Nancy or Positive Polly?

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!