15 mile long run, at four months postpartum/post c-section.

⚡️1 5 M I L E R ⚡️

On Saturday, I woke up early, and hit the MVT south side for my 15 mile run. It had rained, Friday night, so everything was wet, and although it was humid, it felt cooler than the summer scorcher the day before.

I started my run around 8 am. The trail was already buzzing with other runners and cyclists. Finally, I wasn’t alone. I even saw Potomac Road Runners out there, and water stations set up if one needed water, making me smile. “That’s a kind gesture”, I thought. It reminded me of why I love the running community and at that moment I felt thankful to be a part of it.

The trail had some rolling hills, which I actually prefer – it kept things interesting.

Wow!

When looking back, I have come to the fact that this is the longest run, that I have run since my 2016 marathon! That alone is something to celebrate, especially since I’m only four months postpartum/post c-section. And the cherry on top, is that it went well. Not my fastest 15 miler, but I’m not racing my training runs.

“Marathons are extraordinarily difficult, but if you’ve got the training under your belt, and if you can run smart, the races take care of themselves. When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring how to excel.” ~Deena Kastor

This marathon training cycle has been my hardest so far. I have the enthusiasm and passion, but I often question if I am running “smart.”

I’m in a different season in my life, now as a mommy of two. I took the fourth trimester very seriously. And took that time to rest, heal, connect with my new little babe, Ava, and help my Zoe transition to big sister.

It has been harder than I thought it would be to find time to fit in my weekly runs, being a working mom, with a 3 year old and 4 month old – but other mother runners do it.

I have the double bob and almost all of my weekly training runs have been stroller miles, running pushing my babes. The stroller running has definitely helped me gain core strength, and although, there is still strength to gain, this is great progress for me, considering I couldn’t even do one sit up weeks after labor.

I’m still breastfeeding Ava, and that alone demands a lot of my time. And lately during her four month regression/growth spurt, that also means sleepless nights.

As expected, at four months postpartum I’m still getting my fitness back, after having baby Ava. I still have 8-10 pounds to loose. And I don’t have my speed back yet, which makes my runs slower and more time consuming.

But guess what…

I’m still running.

July training Recap & August Goals plus tips on Smart fitness Goal Setting.

image-3

July Mileage
July – It was hot and sweaty, but I followed my marathon plan and I am now use to the heat. I am seeing distance progress every week.

I have run 96.8 miles for the month of July.

This is great, but I know I can do more, do better, run further, run faster.

I am looking forward to increasing my mileage for the month of August, as my marathon training gets more intense.

AUGUST GOALS:

My main fitness focus right now is training for my October marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon. This means following my training plan by Hal Higdon (Intermidate plan.) For the month of August I will be running at least 138 miles.

Along with the training plan, I will also try to work in some strength training, hill repeats and track workouts. Although, I am passionate about weight lifting, it is definitely not the priority at the moment, running those marathon training miles is. Plus, because I am running with my baby during the week, running with the extra weight of the stroller has really helped strengthen and use my core/upper body muscles in a different way. However, strength training is so important for running further, faster, and injury free. So I am going to make more of an effort to fit it in weekly, and take it to a more intense level on my lower mileage weeks.

To make it easier for me to fit in strength training, I have invested in gym equipment and made a space at home for my own personal gym. (Look for a post in the future about how to set up a home gym.) Two years ago, before I got pregnant with Zoe, I was a regular at my gym easily lifting weights for an hour or two 5x a week. Now just the idea of driving to the gym, parking, and then waiting for a bench to lift at makes me stressed, it takes up to much of my valuable time, and I felt like I was always rushing. Plus, I am now much more self motivated. I still have my gym membership, but as of now, my home gym is the perfect fit for my busy working mom lifestyle. I don’t feel rushed, and I can workout at night, after my baby goes down for the night. Run in the morning, lift at night.

So now that you know how July went and some of my plans for August…let’s talk about goals.

My Ultimate Goal- Run the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016.

Serious Goal for August – For the month of August, I plan to run 138 miles, also incorporating strength training, hill repeats, and track workouts, high knees and plyometrics.

With that being said lets talk about smart goals…

How To Set a SMART goal…

Setting a goal is easy, but reaching it is hard. That is why you want to make sure your goal is smart.

What makes a goal smart?

The difference between a goal and a smart goal, is that a smart goal is specific with a plan of action.

EXAMPLE 

(This is NOT a goal of mine, it’s just a common goal.)

I want to loose weight – is NOT a smart goal. Change this goal to a smart goal it would look like I will loose 15 pounds by November 1st, by meal prepping and eating organic whole foods. You have exactly the amount of weight you want to loose and a time frame to achieve the goal in, with an idea of how you are going to reach your goal.

Once a smart goal is essablished you will need a plan to put into action to help you succeed at reaching this goal. The more detailed your plan the better.

Now that you understand a smart goal we can talk about mine.

MY SMART GOAL

I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon, in under 4:19:00, on October 30th 2016. (This is a smart goal, because I am registered for a specific race, with a specific finishing time, scheduled on a specific day.)

This goal is my ultimate smart goal, however, my August goal is to run 138 miles for the month. (Again this is smart because it has a specific amount of miles to run by a certain time.)

Another thing about my ultimate goal is the finishing time goal. 4:19:00 is what I am planning on running the marathon in, so I am pacing myself during my training runs to prepare for this goal. However, race day is unpredictable and anything could happen, so I will reevauate during the race whether I run slower or faster. I have other time goals in mind for if I end up running slower (4:30:00) or faster (4:15:00).

MY PLAN of ACTION

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate marathon training plan. In the plan I am running 5x a week – 2 easy short runs, 2 mid distance runs, and 1 long weekend run. I am cross training 1 day a week and resting one day a week.

I am increasing mileage for two weeks, (higher mileage weeks) and then tapering down every 3rd week (lower mileage week).

I am running with my daughter pushing the running stroller on my week day runs. I am running my long run on Saturday morning solo. My baby and I have a morning routine. We wake up early, eat breakfast, and get ready and hit the running trail. We have to because it has been so hot.

Additional goal: My body is ready to take on more so I will add hill repeats and track workouts to the mix and do strength training on lower mileage weeks. High knees and plyometrics is also something I will be adding for speed.

I am wearing my garmin 620 to record my pace, distance, cadence. With that being said, I am keeping my long run pace at marathon pace, nothing faster than 9:30 min/mile nothing slower than 10:00/mile.

I am also recording my progress using the Strava app.

I will run 138 miles for the month of August because my plan says I will.

TIP

My training plan is an 18 week training plan. I write each workout, each training run, on my calendar, as if each workout/training run is an appointment I have that day. 

There is no guessing, every workout/training run is written down for the upcoming weeks until race day.

Another tip: 

If you need motivation find a running buddy or running group. If no one is interested in running with you, which I have found in my case, then read running blogs or find an online running community. There is an amazing running community through Instagram.

Always keep it fun!

Fun – Along with my serious goals, I always like to have a fun one. A fun goal helps motivate me to complete the serious goal. For the month of August, while I’m running 138 miles, I want to see more sunrises, see more sunsets, and find more street art and city murals.

Below is a picture of me running along side of a mural in my neighborhood.


What is your monthly mileage for July?

Do you have a run goal for August?

Lets run all the miles!!


Stroller miles, Mother RUNNER, Marathon Training

Hey lovelies,

I forgot to tell you, I am registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!

I have just finished week 3 of my marathon training. And, although this will be my 4th time training and running the Marine Corps Marathon, things are very very different this time around.

My running buddy is Zoe, my 10 month old daughter. And because we are inseperatable, we do everything together… It is not all about me anymore. This has made training a little bit more challenging, but also way more fun!

WEEK Day Training with the stroller.

During the week, I have been doing my shorter runs pushing Zoe in the running stroller. Pushing the stroller is definitely harder than running solo. (For those who are interested, I am running with the BOB revolution, pro. I intend on writing a blog post about the product so stay tuned.) Not only do I have the extra load, the stroller itself weighs 25 lbs, plus Zoe, but my running form is different when I run with the stroller.

If you have been following my running journey for a while now, you may already know, that I’m obsessed with proper running form, especially since I run in a natural barefoot running shoe, with a low heel to toe drop. (Newton)

And although, I have gotten faster running while pushing the stroller, it is impossible for me to pick up my cadence. Which means I must be over striding. When I run solo my cadence is a perfect, 180. But when I run with the stroller, it is low 130-140 spm.

I also usually use my right hand to steer/push the stroller. I need to work on switching arms, so both sides of my body are balanced.

The longest run I have done with Zoe, is an 8 miler. My legs didn’t hurt, but my arms did by mile 6.

Weekend running, long run.

The plan is to run my shorter miles during the week with Zoe, but run my longer runs on the weekend solo. Well, of course the first week of training, I told my husband I was going out for my long run, and he told me he had tons of things to do, and he needed me to take Zoe.

Week 1- long run 8 miles

Because according to my training plan my long run for the week was only an 8 miler, I decided it was doable to bring Zoe along. So off we went for an 8 miler. This was the longest run I have done while pushing the stroller.

It was also late afternoon and 80+ degrees. I knew this was a big mistake. I should have gotten out there earlier, but I had to get the miles in. I chose the shadiest part of the MVT, however, the shadiest part is also the hilliest part.

My plan was to just chug along up and down those hills, stopping briefly to check on Zoe every 2 miles.

1-4 miles went really well. Miles 4-6, I mentally broke down. Miles 6-8 I pulled it together and finished strong. So strong that I thought I could have kept going for another mile or two.

Zoe absolutely loves going on runs with me. It is really nice for her to get fresh air. She loves all the views and the trail gives her lots of trees and water to look at. It is also important for her to see me living an active, healthy lifestyle, enjoying nature.

However, with that being said. It takes me between 1 hour and 25 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to run 10 miles.

I will take Zoe out for a 10 miler, but I really don’t want to take her out longer than that. I am very lucky, that she loves her stroller, and like I said above there are some amazing, healthy benefits about stroller miles, but I can’t keep her strapped in a stroller for longer than 10 miles.

Now that she is scooting around and pulling herself up, it is important for her to move, and play. It’s my job as her mama to give her that time and opportunity to play and move, to problem solve and discover. She needs her exercise too.

Week 2- long run 9 miles

Again, I didn’t get out there early enough, however I was excited to see what I could do running solo, (with out pushing a 10 month old in a stroller.)

The heat was killer, a lot of runners were falling apart on the trail. But I had my water, and kept chugging along. Over all it was a fine run, mainly slower because of the heat.

Week 3- long run 6 miles

Once again, I will have more success if I get out there earlier when it is cooler. The heat is definitely taking its toll on me. Getting out there around 9:30 am is just way to late.

The more I practice running in the heat, the more my body will get use to it. However, lately it has been a heat wave and it’s just not healthy to run in, because of the high humidity levels.

I had a really slow 6 miler and thought to myself, goodness, maybe I can’t do this marathon training. If I’m feeling bad doing 6 miles, what am I going to do next week when I have to do an 11 miler.

Although, my 6 miler felt bad during, I felt great after.

Later, that night a fellow mother runner, Lina, asked me to do 4 miles with her. It had just stormed which cooled the 90 degree day to 70 degrees and there was a breeze.

This was my chance to test myself. It was only a 4 miler, but I wanted to see how I would do. Turns out I ran just fine and all of my negative thoughts from earlier were erased. It was just the heat and running in cooler weather made all the difference.

It was also great doing a double, running 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles at night which gave me a total of 10 miles for the day.

Training PLAN and Apps

The training plan I am following is the Hal Higdon Intermidate training plan. I am interested in heart rate training, and considered following the heart rate marathon training plan by another mother runner. However, for this marathon, I am following Higdon’s plan because I have used his plans in the past and I have always found success. So I’m sticking to what I know works, while throwing a baby into the mix.

Although, I love my Garmin, I am also tracking my mileage using Strava! The Strava app is awesome! I love that I can follow other runners and they can follow me. When training for a marathon alone, it is important to check in with other runners and be inspired by their training and give/receive encouragement and support. I will also be reading more running blogs. I read tons of running blogs two years ago when I trained for my marathon and I didn’t feel so alone.

Another feature that I love about Strava is how it breaks down your running stats. It also records your PRs.

So if you are on Strava please follow me! I’m on there under sweat1xdaily. You can also find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily.

Well that’s all for now!

Run Happy!
Which marathon are you training for?