Taking a rest day from running is best enjoyed when you can indulge in a few relaxing rituals; maybe a manicure, sipping a cup of tea, or making time for an at-home mini spa experience with a soak. I like this grapefruit citrus bath soak by Indie Lee, infused with a trio of natural salts and citrus oils that are kind to aching muscles.
Tuesday, December 27– Easy, 45:00, 5.43 miles
An easy run on a very damp and grey day in the books. Really working on a couple of things that I will need to get into the habit of if I’m going to get through about 12 more weeks of training injury-free and fatigue-free…
- Taking it slower on the easy pace days
- Making time for stretching
- Making time for strength training
It’s harder than it seems to modulate your speed if you’re used to running at a moderate to quick pace, but to last 26.2 miles I know I’ll need to find that sustainable pace for me. I’ll be looking into some remedies for this and will share my findings here on the blog.
Wednesday, December 28– Pace, 50:00, 5.96 miles
I really enjoyed my pace intervals on today’s run. The speedy sets went by fast and I felt like I was doing a much better job at really slowing down on the easy sections of my run, so I felt more energized for those bursts of increased speed. My average pace was 8:24 and my fastest was 6:19. Feeling good after this workout!
- 20:00 easy pace
- 1:00 10k pace followed by 1:00 easy pace x 5
- 20:00 easy pace
Thursday, December 29– Easy, 1:00:00, 7.1 miles
There’s something about getting a run done early in the morning where you don’t even notice the cold so much or really even register that you’re still tired from waking up at odd hours through the night with a restless baby. If you just get out there and do it before thinking about whatever could potentially be weighing you down, you feel so much more energized for the entire day ahead. At least it seems to work for me…!
Friday, December 30– Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class, 1:15:00
Before I was pregnant with my daughter Poppy, who is now almost 9 months old, I was just getting into a routine of taking a yoga class once a week and I remember loving the way it helped me with my running, in staying more limber and feeling stronger. But once morning sickness set in, there was no way I could manage yoga practice, so I have just gotten back into it after about a year and a half hiatus! As a runner and a gym rat, yoga never had a lot of appeal; I like to move fast and feel like I’m really breaking a sweat. Thankfully, I found a class that I absolutely love- the pace is nice and fast and the instructor (who happens to be a veteran of several marathons) also has a great soundtrack for each class-no chanty music, chimes etc….
As a New Year’s resolution I’m going to try to commit to going to one class each week.
Sunday, January 1– Long Run, 1:20:00, 10.0 miles
Going for a long run on the first day of the new year felt like a great way to start 2017, (especially with this view at the finish line). It was a perfect day for a run on Nantucket with temps in the 40s, just a light breeze and lots of sun. I decided to take my long run on a long road and headed out on Milestone Road towards ‘Sconset and planned to meet my husband and the kids at the playground by the beach out there. The route is a little over 7 miles so I knew I’d have to tack on a few loops once I arrived in ‘Sconset village, but it was so pretty and quiet there that I didn’t mind. A few families and couples were out to enjoy the views along the shore, or poking around the lanes’ little dollhouse cottages.
I was trying to pace myself a little better to suit the tempo of the day’s run based on my training program but I must have been feeling extra energized after two rest days and a yoga class!
When gearing up for an early winter run, it’s best to layer. I recently purchased this lightweight thermal vest, and it’s the perfect outer layer to wear over a fitted long sleeve top for early morning runs. The multi-colored pattern based in black is easy to coordinate with other pieces from my workout wardrobe.
Tuesday, December 20– Easy, 45:00, 5.6 miles
Weather was in my favor as I had a rest day yesterday when the temps were super chilly and today I was back on the road with no wind and mild temperatures in the high 30s (pretty mild for December on Nantucket before 7am). An added bonus on today’s run was firm sand along the shores at Jetties Beach, which made the climb at Steps Beach’s virtually vertical staircase a little easier! I love this photo I snapped at Jetties Beach; the light was so pretty this morning that I was tempted to take a few more at other moments on my run, but I had to keep moving- I’m on a tight schedule!
Wednesday, December 21– Pace, 50:00, 6.1 miles
Huge wardrobe mistake this morning – should have dressed warmer for the weather! Despite my interval run, I was still freezing cold! Interval running can be tricky when you’re not used to changing up your pace during a run, but after two intervals I was getting more in sync with the pattern and didn’t need to watch the clock so much.
My intervals today looked like this:
- 25 minutes easy pace around 8:35/mile
- 2 minutes faster pace (7:50- 8:03 /mile) followed by one minute recovery pace x 4
- 14 minutes easy pace 8:35/mile
Thursday, December 22– Easy, 45:00, 5.7 miles
I was really making an effort this morning to find some calm on my run. With the holidays fast approaching there’s always a feeling of stress (even panic!?) as everyone is rushing to get eleventh hour gifts and preparations taken care of. I found some solace doing a few laps through the quiet wooded trails at the Mill Hill Park near my house and then headed off towards the Cliff area for views of the water. I even took off my headphones for a while to just listen to my own breathing and about 45 minutes later I was, for sure, feeling more clear headed and reminded of something I’ve known for a long time; running really is an effective remedy for anxiety…
Sunday, December 25– Pace, 1:10:00, 8.48 miles
Merry Christmas from Nantucket! It was so nice to relax at home this morning while Fox and Poppy played with their new toys from Santa and there was no agenda to be anywhere else. We have Ethan’s sister staying with us for a few days to celebrate Christmas, the kids were extra excited about having a special visitor, and I was really enjoying having an extra hand around the house to keep them entertained! After opening gifts and having a healthy breakfast of one of my super simple frittatas, I hit the road in the early afternoon for the week’s long run. Despite enjoying a glass of wine or two on Christmas Eve and getting through all the preparations in the days prior, I was feeling good for the 1:10:00 run this week. The weather was beautiful; sunny and just the hint December’s chill in the air. I made sure to drink at least 1.5L of water before my run throughout the morning and this helped, because I had to move for the workout today…
- 40 minutes easy pace (8:25/mile)
- 15 minutes marathon pace (7:48/mile)
- 15 minutes easy pace (8:30/mile)
Sunday nights have become my go-to night to make a healthy ‘big batch’ dinner that will provide some leftovers for the busy work week ahead. My three year old, Fox, is, like most kids, a huge Disney·Pixar fan, and he made a special request for ratatouille for this week’s Sunday Dinner. It may not be often that a toddler gets excited for a dish made entirely of vegetables so I went with it! My husband can be very particular about recipes and I did a little research before settling on one that came from an older issue of Cook’s Illustrated. Ethan subscribes to the magazine, so I figured this recipe would be a winner. And I was not wrong. The prep is rather time consuming – eggplant requires a lot of time to sit and then roast. But the results are worth it. There was only one downside- we ate the entire thing, so no left overs…!
Click here to get the recipe I used.
Monday, December 12 – Long Run * Last Day Pre-Training*, 50:00 / 6 miles
This was a bit of tough start to the week, with steady rain throughout this morning’s run. To make matters just a little less favorable, I got splashed by someone in their F150 on Madaket Road, only one mile into the run… I guess I was going to soaked in this weather anyway!
Tuesday, December 13– Easy, 45:00 , 5.26 miles
It’s hard to get up some mornings after with an eight-month old who wakes up regularly at around midnight and then again at 3am. But I made it and got out there for an easy 45-minute run; mixing up my route with different terrain from road, to wooden footbridges, to grassy trails, and a little beach. *photo credit on above image: Lauren Marttila Photography
Wednesday, December 14– Pace, 50:00, 6 miles
Another morning when I considered putting off my run for a time later in the day but, as always, so glad I went ahead and got it done in the a.m. I was tempted to take my run a little farther off the beaten path but…opted to stay closer to the road on my route today!
It’s a little known fact among non-islanders, but Nantucket has quite an active deer hunting community, so until the end of December (when ‘primitive firearms’ season commences) it’s best to be super cautious…!
Thursday, December 15 -Easy, 45:00, 5.2 miles
Woke up to a quiet, snowy island this morning and was looking forward to getting outside in the relatively nice weather, before the temps drop later on this weekend. Last winter I was pregnant with my second child so runs out in the snow were not really on my workout routine, and it was a nice feeling to be back on the empty streets and paths with a soft layer snow underfoot. I had really missed those morning runs against such pretty scenery. The sidewalks can get a bit slippery, but with an easy run on the training plan for today, it was best to take it a little slower anyway.
Sunday, December 18– Long Run, 1:00, 7.72 miles
The nice thing about having two days off in a row from running is that by the time it’s Sunday, I’m feeling ready for a long run! Following my one-hour run this Sunday, I took the extra time post-run for some much needed stretching and a little strength training. It’s not easy for me to cram these extra elements into my routine on weekday mornings when I’m under pressure to get the kids ready for school, walk the pugs, and get myself to work.
Life with kids, dogs, work, and taking care of a home can make the days go by pretty fast so I’ve found that I’m best suited to get my workouts covered first thing in the morning in order to stay on track.
I’m following a training plan based on my level of experience as a runner and geared towards my schedule, with Sundays as my days for long runs. I like using an app on my iPhone from Map My Run to digitally monitor my progress, but I’m also referencing Boston Athletic Association‘s training plan for a level one runner, (these two training plans are nearly identical). My training weeks pretty much look like this:
Tuesdays: Easy run (time/distance varies as schedule progresses)
Wednesdays: Pace run (start with an easy pace, intervals at a fast pace, finish easy pace)
Thursdays: Easy run
Fridays & Saturdays: Rest
Sundays: Long run (sometimes incorporating intervals)
Part of training is preparing to run at a sustainable pace for 26.2 miles, which is already proving to be harder than it sounds. I know I can run a half marathon in less than two hours, but I’m not sure that I could keep that pace for twice the distance! To reach my goal of finishing the marathon in 4 hours, and to achieve my ‘reach goal’ of finishing in under 4 hours, I need to work on hitting the paces below.
Marathon Goal Time
|Marathon Pace Intervals||8:45-8:30||9:20-9:05|
|Half Marathon Pace Intervals||8:25-8:05||9:00-8:35|
|10K Pace Intervals||8:00-7:40||8:30-8:10|
|5K Pace Intervals||7:30-7:20||8:00- 7:50|
Having completed other training plans for half marathons I’ve run in the past, I was a little surprised to find that there are not a lot of cross training days built in to the plan. To ward off the potential monotony of running as my sole form exercise for the next four months, I’m planning to make a few cross training workouts part of my overall schedule.
One of the great things about Nantucket is that for a small town, there are many options to mix up a workout routine here. There are yoga studios offering a variety of practices, cycle studios, barre classes, and a few health club options for strength training and cardio workouts. So stay tuned for my favorite picks for cross training, they’ll all be reported right here on the blog!