It is race week and I am starting to feel pre-race nerves sneak up on me. I will be running my fourth marathon on Sunday in Cincinnati at The Flying Pig and there is a lot going through my mind.
Throughout my training process, I decided to go in with little to no expectations. I was sidelined with an injury for the first three months of the year and found myself nowhere close to where I wanted to be in my training. And despite all of that, I now find myself ready to run. As the saying goes, “the comeback is always stronger than the setback”.
For starters, did we all watch Desiree Linden win the Boston Marathon?! If you didn’t, please catch up from Runner’s World and get ready to be inspired from her displays of sportsmanship to courage and pure grit. The Boston Marathon this past year was a tough one and I was so inspired by every runner and volunteer out there on the course. My course on Sunday will be hilly but I am ready to embrace and overcome the challenge presented to me.
I received a very comforting reminder this morning from my friend, Randy. I’m doing this with people who bring out the best in me. Our group of five will be running together as Randy chases his goal of a sub 4 hour marathon and I am so excited to be a part of it.
Hill training is a runner’s best ally and worst foe. It is difficult and easy to neglect but it is also crucial when it comes to building strength in your legs. The resistance that comes with running uphill pushes you to work harder than you would running on flat surfaces. To put it simply, hill training will help you to become a better runner.
Today, we will focus on long hill repeats. Long hill repeats help to improve endurance over a moderately hard effort. For this workout, the hill will ideally be about a quarter to a half mile long and not overly steep.
- Warm-up 10-20 minutes of running (easy effort)
- 4-6 repeats uphill at a moderately hard effort (5k race effort), with an easy jog back down after each repeat
- Cool down 10 minutes of running (easy effort)
- Avoid starting out too fast.
- Use short strides for efficiency.
- Remember to look up at the hill, and not down at your feet.
It’s been awhile.. apologies for falling off the blogging wagon for bit as I got back on my feet, literally. Injuries happen, and usually at the worst times.
After two agonizing months of dealing with tendonitis in my foot, it is time for me to start getting into the full swing of marathon training. I would not normally recommend running a marathon so soon but I was already registered for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in May.
Here are some helpful tips if you are also training for a marathon after coming back from an injury. Disclosure: I am also going to physical therapy twice a week to help me get to where I need to be for this marathon.
Take it slow.
This might be the single, most important piece of advice to listen to. You may still be in top shape depending on your injury but your body will not be as ready to jump back in right away. Take it slow, strive for progress.
Listen to your body.
Any lingering pain? Stop now. Recovering from your injury is more important than running through the pain on a single training run. Take extra rest days between runs and add more cross training.
Relax, it will be fine.
To be honest, this one is the most difficult for me as I am competitive and often hard on myself. I was hoping for a PR on this marathon but I knew I needed to relax a bit on this goal. After taking a step back and realigning my goals, I have chosen to take it easy on this marathon. There will be more races and I will hopefully be at 100% for them.
This past year was crazy to say the least. We moved back across the country to California. Cade proposed at the San Francisco Marathon where I also reached my sub 4 hour marathon goal – did I mention it was the best weekend ever? And then we bought our first home in October!
The past year will definitely be a tough one to beat. I was disappointed to be closing out the year with a small injury but I am excited to starting working on reaching my new goals.
- A year without injuries (fingers crossed).
- Run a 3:50 marathon.
- Run a 1:50 half marathon.
- San Jose 408k – March 4th
- Silicon Valley Half Marathon – April 16th
- Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – May 6th
- Across the Bay 415k – June 10th
- The SF Marathon (or half) – July 29th
- East Bay 510k – September TBD
- Rock n Roll San Jose – October 7th
- California International Marathon – maybe?
*use discount code REPRESENTKH to save on the San Jose 408k, Across the Bay 415k and East Bay 510k, remote options available.
1/4 Marathon? 1/2 Marathon? 3/4 Marathon?!
Yes, you read that right. I ran a 3/4 marathon distance (19.65 miles) as a training run for my marathon – placed 6th Overall, 2nd Gender.
What: Not So Normal
When: April 2, 2017
Where: Carrboro, NC
Distance: 3/4 Marathon
The best part about running this race is that it is truly local. That being said, you do get the feeling of being part of a community but you don’t get all of the swag and support that you would get from a large for-profit race. The race also supports amazing local non-profits – Orange County Rape Crisis Center, First Pages and TABLE.
I have had the pleasure of volunteering and running this race for the past two years. While it is small, I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re available and in the area!
To be honest, I have been MIA on blogging for the past few weeks. I was exhausted and worn out almost every day BUT I finally made it to my taper! That’s right, I only have 18 days until the Big Sur International Marathon (WOOHOO!).
I don’t think I have ever been so happy to make it to taper week… but then again, it is only the first week so there will probably be a future post on taper-crazies coming in the next few days (ha!).
Even though tapering generally means running less and resting more, it takes a lot of work – like any other part of a marathon training plan. Assuming you already have a pretty good idea of how to taper, here are a couple of my personal tips.
- Don’t worry about gaining weight.
Practice what you preach, right? I hate to admit it but I’m the first to panic whenever I gain a pound or two when I step on the scale. My first instinct is to always cut back on my calorie intake. It is crucial that you do your best to ignore your instinct and those initial feelings otherwise you risk losing the benefits of tapering.
- Pay attention to what you’re eating.
As a second part to my first tip, it is also important to continue eating a healthy diet. You might want to splurge but don’t, your body will thank you in the coming weeks when you run your race.
- Reduce weekly mileage, maintain intensity.
Tapering is all about balance. You don’t want to go too easy but you also don’t want to push yourself too hard. By maintaining intensity while cutting mileage, you can work to balance your workouts.
What are some of your favorite taper tips?
I am hosting my first Instagram giveaway with my two favorite brands – Momentum Jewelry & nuun! Please visit my Instagram page for details and a chance to win! @_kellinickole
For a week that started with me falling on the ground, I couldn’t have imagined a better ending. Yes, I fell – and I must add that I was only walking to my car in a flat parking lot… Bruised knees but what else is new?
In better news, this week was a peak week with running our first 20 miler in our training!
Monday – Fartleks (4-3-2-1) repeats for 50 minutes.
Tuesday – rest day
Wednesday – 8 miles easy
Thursday – 1 mile warm up, 6 mile tempo
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 20.5 miles!!! #winning
Sunday – XT, rest day
This past week was one of those weeks where every run was perfect. I ran my fastest tempo. I ran my longest run of the year. I ran the most hills on a run ever. Yet most of all, I received this little piece of inspiration this week, “every day is a gift”, from Momentum Jewelry. I have multiple pieces from them but this one held so much meaning to me this week. (I may or may not have a discount code coming in the next few weeks so stay tuned).
Monday – 6.2 miles on the track
Tuesday – 3.1 miles on the treadmill
Wednesday – 8 easy miles
Thursday – tempo
- 2 mile warm up
- 4 mile tempo
- 1 mile cool down
Friday – rest day.
Saturday – 18 miles, so stoked!
Sunday – 6 mile trail run/hike
I haven’t talked about food in awhile so why not start with fried (or “unfried”) chicken!
Borrowed this recipe from the Runner’s World Cookbook so definitely check it out for more great recipes for runners. Disclaimer: we didn’t have all of the ingredients so we improvised a little.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 teaspoons hot sauce (we used Texas Pete)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast; cut in half
- 1.5 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder (we used garlic salt)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (we used a little bit of chili powder)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl – use to marinade chicken for at least one hour.
- Combine everything else (all the dry ingredients) in a large resealable bag. Shake to blend.
- Use the mixture in the bag to coat each piece of chicken.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet (coat with cooking spray). Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes.
I was pretty hangry making this recipe but it was pretty easy overall. We ate it with brown rice and asparagus, yum!