Week Roundup and Shwings Giveaway Winner!

Last week was getting-back-to-routines week. I was exhausted from our trip to Ohio–traveling with two under two is no joke.

We got back on Monday night and Tuesday was my usual 10k Tuesday run.

Wednesday I was back on the track and shocked myself with a few things.



It wasn’t a continuous run so I have to put that disclaimer. The drill consisted of a 1600, followed by 2×800, followed by a 1600. I threw in the extra .1 for good measure 🙂 Between each set was a 30 second rest. Regardless, I was verrrry pleased with how I did. I truly think incorporating speed work has helped me improve immensely as a runner. That was my fastest 5k and my fastest mile to date.

Wednesday was also a special day because my daughter turned 2!! I no longer can say I have two under 2 lol! Dad was out of town on a work trip so we just hung out and had lunch. We had her birthday party while we were with family in Ohio–Sesame Street themed since she’s currently obsessed with Elmo 🙂


Thursday, I was back at the gym on the bike for 10 miles.

Friday was a much needed rest day and Saturday I planned for a long run of 8 miles.

I started of the run aiming for negative splits. The first mile was in the mid 9s and each mile was falling under and under. When I reached mile 6, I decided to push it a little to finish strong. I was motivated by a cool guy in my running group who was slowly increasing his speed as well. I figured I’d try and stay as close with him as I could to the end.

We were going strong and I could feel myself work. I looked down at my watch and it read 6.66. Nice, almost at mile 7.

I’ve said this before that I run mostly the same routes all the time so I know where pretty much each mile is. We reached mile 7 but no beep from my watch. Yep, it froze again.

I was SO bummed. I had pushing it hard and really wanted to see what that mile split was. I tried moving screens and nothing. The time was ticking but the distance wasn’t moving. I finally stopped the watch and restarted and then it was back to “normal”.

By that time we were almost done and we sped up to really finish strong. My running buddy wasn’t wearing a watch so I didn’t know what my final time was but I know that it was good. I felt it.

I tried really really hard to not let it get to me. I know we shouldn’t get hung up on times but it really helps motivate me to see the numbers. Two friends finished behind me and I tried to gauge my time by theirs. I guesstimated the last two miles of the total 8 to be around the 8:15ish pace. Awesome for me at the end of a long run.

On Sunday I was back on the trails. My running group had a 14+ mile trail run on the agenda. It was a super tough run but it was an absolute gorgeous day and we had a large group. That always helps. 🙂 My watch froze again–I didn’t even let it phase me.; I wasn’t concerned with time on this run. I stayed with a group the entire way and our total at the end was 14.76 miles.


View of Phoenix, AZ

View of Phoenix, AZ

So, overall total mileage for the week (Mon-Sun): 32.07 miles

And now….for the Shwings winner 🙂




Yay Yesenia!! Check your e-mail inbox for important info.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

–How was your running week last week?

–Any big (or small) races coming up?

Speed Work Fun!

As you may have noticed by now, Wednesdays are my speed work days. My run club meets at a local high school track and we typically do a speed workout of 3-4 miles. Since having incorporated these workouts into my training, I’ve definitely seen improvements in my overall time/pace. For the longest, I was hanging out in the 10:00/mile range but now I’ve consistently been in the mid to low 9s and even high 8s. When I do speed work, I occasionally even see a seven.

On Tuesday I did a 6.2 mile run wanting to challenge myself with my pace. I’ve been doing speed work for awhile and wanted to see if I could go longer a little faster. I ended at 6.21 miles at an 8:46 pace. My fastest 10K to date. I definitely feel myself getting faster and I do think it’s partly due to speed work Wednesdays.

I want to share with you two workouts I love that we’ve done (Please note: I am not a personal trainer nor do I have any certifications. Please do these at your own risk):

The first one is called 200m Surges–

You want to make sure your sprint is fast and considerably at a faster pace than your jog. After four continuous laps, take a breather–you can decide how long you want this to be–and then go for another set. I recommend starting with a warmup lap and ending with a cool down lap. This workout leaves you at 3 miles.

The next workout is another favorite–


You want to do this in a pace that challenges but one that you’ll be able to maintain (albeit with difficulty) throughout the entire workout. The length of the “short rest” is up to you but you don’t want to lose the momentum of the workout by taking a too long rest. I also recommend a warm up lap and a cool down lap. This workout leaves you at at 4 miles.

If you don’t have a track near you, try doing these on the treadmill. My gym has ‘mills that have a visual track you can see yourself running around on lol! If yours doesn’t have this nifty feature, I recommend doing the 200m surges using time instead. For example, jog two minutes, surge two minutes.

Let me know if you try these and what you think!

–Do you incorporate speed work in your training?

Week Two Marathon Training Recap

I think I read somewhere that the first two weeks of any training is the toughest and when most people quit. Well, I’m two weeks in and pumped!

Monday I was on the treadmill ready to tackle some “hills”. I’ve never done hill intervals on the treadmill and really didn’t know what I was doing but decided I’d just click on the hill interval button and go at it. I started at cool 9:40 pace and was feeling good. Then I felt the treadmill move. At first it wasn’t too bad of a change but then I started to see the incline percentage climb and I was shocked at how different it felt to be running up for what to me seemed like a long time. Since it was new to me, and I get excited about new things, I went for it and stayed at my 9:40 pace. I could feel sweat dripping from my face and my shirt start to cling to my body. I could feel the girl on the treadmill next to me staring. I could feel my heart pumping away. I. Felt. Awesome.

I love, love, love feeling like I’m getting a good workout it. At the end, I completed 3 miles in 28:46 with a 9:34/mile pace. I had climbed 371 ft.

Wednesday I met up with my run club at a local track. I was looking forward to what was on the agenda. I love the start of the workouts; everyone gathers around and shares their race stories from the previous weekend and show off their medals. Then Jim, the leader of the group, asks about any new sign ups. There were 6 who said they’d signed up for an Ironman! It’s so inspiring to be around talented people but also people who are there simply because they love running.

Jim had us doing a ladder exercise where we’d run 400m, then 800, then 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400. After each set, we’d walk for just a little bit and then get back at it. I made sure to run at a challenging but doable pace and stick to it. I wanted to maintain some sort of consistency. It turns out that I was feeling so good around an 8:25 pace! I couldn’t believe my watch when I’d check on it every now and again that it was showing me eights! I ended the workout at 3.2 miles in 28:02 with an 8:45 min/mile pace. I had run my fastest mile in 8:08!

I didn’t complete the full exercise, leaving after the second 1200m. I had to go pick up pizza : )

The next day, Thursday, I had four miles on my schedule. This would be a treadmill run. For some reason, I had a premonition this would not be a good run. I think I felt I had had two really good workouts that there wasn’t a chance it could be three in a row.

Sure enough, as soon as I got on the treadmill I could feel my shins flare up. The first two miles were absolutely awful. I stopped it once I reached the two mile mark and used the rest room and stretched my legs. I talked myself into going back and finishing—the schedule said four miles.

I mustered up whatever energy and motivation I had and finished. It ended up being not as bad as I thought at 38:31, around a 9:35 pace.

Today, Saturday, was long run day. My alarm went off at 5:15 and off I went to meet my run club to start our 6 a.m. run. It was raining this morning and it had been a long time that I had run in the rain. I started the first mile talking to Jim so I had my ear phones tucked away. At mile two we drifted apart and I decided that it was so beautiful out hearing the rain fall and the breeze that I wasn’t going to put my ear phones back on. (I have a lot more to say about this later) I realized I hadn’t looked at my watch the entire time I talked to Jim but I felt great and that’s what mattered. I could feel my shins but it was more soreness than sharp pain.

I kept going.

I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was almost afraid to increase my pace. When I reached mile three, the turnaround point for me, I decided that in the second half of my run I’d go a little a faster. I slowly increased my pace and finished off the run at 59:27 with a 9:54 min/mi pace. I loved that I finished in under an hour and I actually loved my splits:













That first mile talking to Jim allowed me to have enough endurance to finish strong and while it was a lot slower than what I usually do, because of that start I felt I could have kept going at the end.

Overall, this was a great week for me. I still worry about my shins but today’s run raised my spirits and I’m looking forward to next week. I’ve got a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving! : )

–Do you like running hills?

–What is your comfort pace?

–Do you run through pain?