hanson's method

April Check In

Look at those trees budding! Spring is here in the Midwest!

April mileage: 279.6 (I may sneak in 6 more before tonight ends)

Races: 2

Road 10K: 7th overall, 1st AG; 39:15 

Road 10K: 3rd overall, 1st AG: 39:43

Group long runs: 2

2017 Goals Status:

1) Average 50 miles/week for 2017: currently on track with 57.7 miles/week for the year so far.

2)  Run a race at sub-marathon distance that converts to ~3:02:32 or faster on the McMillan Calculator for the marathon: not yet. 

3)  Do not race a marathon until #2 is achieved: check.

4)  Race more frequently, with a target of 10 races in 2017: on track! 7 races completed for the year so far.

5)  Do at least one long run per month with the local crew: on track (2 long runs this month).

Interval updates:

This was my highest mileage month of the past three years, which is crazy to me as I thought I missed too many runs. I’ve also been able to log 200+ miles for six out of the last seven months. 

Overall, I’m very happy with how this training cycle is progressing. The next month will be spent sharpening up for the June half marathon and gently getting down to something near my racing weight. I don’t have any races planned until the half and doubt I will jump into one last minute. Instead, I am viewing this month as my opportunity to largely adhere to my training plan and appropriately taper for a hard effort in a few weeks. Our training group is pressuring me to sign up for a fall marathon with them…we’ll see how the summer goes (goal #2) but I do think it would be a great experience. 

Despite the higher miles I have experienced zero aches or pains. For this I am extremely grateful and entirely credit the Lydiard-inspired base I built during the winter. This will undoubtedly be an annual part of my training year in upcoming years. 

Week 2 - The Recap

Alright, let’s have a quick look back on week 2 of the Hanson’s plan: 

Monday: easy 10k
Tuesday: 12x400m
Wednesday: off
Thursday: easy 10k
Friday: easy 10k
Saturday: easy 10k
Sunday: easy 13k

That was how it was supposed to be, and here is the truth: 

Nailed Monday, did the IV on Tuesday and they were so much fun! Nailed Thursday. Added a little km on Friday. And since I spent the weekend at my parent’s house, where I can run directly at the sea, and the weather was so amazing, both my weekend runs have some mileage added on top. Don’t hate me, Kevin & Keith. 

Overall, this week ended with 76km in the books, one workout, and a lot of painfully slow miles. 

I am getting more and more used to the slower pace. So much that it actually worries me a bit, if I might have gotten a worse runner already. 

Anyway, this week has been a lot of fun to run, and I am looking forward to week 3, where we include the first of the infamous tempo runs in racepace! 

Spirits: Still 100/100

Marathon Training Week 11/18

First of all, I want to note that I still have like SEVEN weeks of training to go and I’m hitting that crucial I’m So Over This point in the cycle. It’s not fun. I wish I were running Chicago just to get this whole thing over with!

The picture is an accurate feeling about my life right now. Work sucks this week. It just does. If something isn’t going wrong, then I’m doing something wrong. I’m also working from home today and I feel that literally every. Single. Room. Is a mess. I hate that feeling. So after I’m done with work today, I am cleaning up and wrenching back a little control from this chaos.

Good news is: it’s Dogfish Dash weekend aka one of my very favorite times of the year! So after work on Friday I’m driving out to Rehoboth for a quick 48 hour mental health/race weekend. 

Of course, it’s still marathon training season so on Saturday I’ll be running 16ish miles around Rehoboth which isn’t really a great way to prep my legs for an 8k race on Sunday but marathon training wins out over Dash glory. Last year I somehow scraped out a 7:08 average pace for the Dash but I’m not feeling so peppy this year.

PROBABLY because I ran a tempo run this morning and my legs are tired.

This week I also ran speedy repeats OFF the track instead of on the track. Plan called for 5 x 1 miles at 10 seconds faster than race pace (so 7:50 instead of 8) with ¼ mile jogs in between. I ran this on my tempo run route since it’s a reliably long, flat paved trail:

So I’ve been doing this thing in my tempo runs that translated into this run which is running WAY TOO FAST. I did it on purpose too which makes it worse. I kinda wanted to see if I could hit around a 7:30-7:40 and look at that, of course I can. Except this does me no good whatsoever for marathon training.

And then I did something similar on my tempo run this morning.

Those closer to race pace miles at the end? That was just because I was so dang tired from going out way too fast. It’s stupid. I don’t know why I thought I could do this. At one point I though, hmm, this isn’t so bad, maybe I’ll try for the 3:25 pace group at the marathon…. PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL, tumblrinos.

Look, basically, I’m a mess in all aspects this week apparently. But you know what, fall is tomorrow and the weather is getting cooler and I’m going to the Dogfish Dash so I’m going to say it’s still a win. 


Chicago W11D7 - LONG 16

Awwwww yesssss!! First 16 milers in the books and it was great!

The VP of my department at work is also running Chicago, so we have been chatting often about our training. He mentioned that theres a trail in a city about 30 miles away that was long and paved and really nice. After checking it out online, I was in! So I made my way over there this morning. It did not disappoint!

I started out not the greatest. I was just trying to find my groove and relax into the run. It took me about a quarter of the way through to really start to relax. I dunno what the deal was. But after about a third of the way through, the trail connects on some beautiful country roads! There were so many farms filled with pretty cows, horses (so many adorable baby horses!!), and goats! They all looked so happy today so being able to run past them really took my mind off things and pepped me up. I was feeling tired at the half way turn around, but pumped that I was half way done.

The second half of this run was muchhh better than the first! I just felt much better and the miles were ticking by fast. This trail was actually pretty hilly (for Indiana standards), and that took a bit out of me. On one of the last bigger hills, I was just about to reach the top and a woman on her bike passed me, and as she did she gave me a thumbs up. So nice of her and it really made me smile :)

The last few miles FLEW by and I was feeling amazing. I completely jammed out for the last mile and just felt so great! It was the perfect way to end that run. I felt so happy and accomplished :)

I made my way back to the park I had parked at and found and unsuspecting picnic table to prop my legs on. Felt soooo good to lay there in the sun and recover. The weather today was AMAZING! So amazing. I was even chilly during some parts!! The weather definitely helped me feel good today and I was so grateful for it!

Overall, a great 16 mile long run! Started out a little rough, but I found my groove eventually, and finished strong. Can’t ask for anything better :)

I hope you all had great weekends!!!! :)

W1D2 - when the legs just don’t agree to “easy”

Soooo 10k “easy” pace again. That dreaded “easy pace” and I, we are not becoming friends. I have felt so fresh today, that I overpaced by in average one minute per km - woops!

Didn’t go to the gym afterwards. Just didn’t feel like it and today I have an optional restday anyway, so whatever. 

Ate way too much stuff. I feel like I’m about to explode. And I’m getting really tired. Besides the run, who was a blast and I loved speeding and I especially loved how effortless it felt, it has been a pretty shitty day. Work was shit, emotions were shit… So I will just grab my book and head to bed pretty soon. Friday night and bed at 9PM? Sounds legit! 

Tomorrow Keith and Kevin have another 10k easy for me. This starts to bore me already, haha and I know I will have maaaany of those coming the next weeks. 

Marathon training: week one.

Monday: 45 minutes on the elliptical
Tuesday: 5.07 miles avg. pace: 7:21/strength training at night
Wednesday: 45 minutes on the elliptical
Thursday: 5 miles avg pace: 7:29 followed by 30 minutes HITT circuit training
Friday: 3 miles w/ Grace avg. pace 7:35 followed by 30 minutes elliptical
Saturday: 3 miles w/ Grace avg. pace 7:27
Sunday: 6 miles avg. pace 7:38 (probably doing legs/core at some point today)

Total mileage: 22
Beard status: pathetic

Honestly, I’m just really fucking happy to have running back in my life. I feel like I’m in some cheesy musical and when my alarm goes off in the morning I spring up out of bed with a big ol’ dorky smile on my face. But, uh, yeah. The Hansons marathon method that I’m following has two plans: beginners & advanced. I’m not a beginner, but I’m also not quite *~advanced~* yet. So, I put the beginners plan and the advance plan side-by-side and made my own plan. It’s basically just the average of the given day from the two plans. Eventually I’ll be transitioning into the advance plan in the next month or so. Hansons’ goes into depth on what paces you should be running for a given workout depending on what your marathon goal is. For a 2:55 marathon I should be doing these easy runs at a 7:37 pace. First couple of runs I got a lil ahead of myself (excitement, I suppose) but I’m really happy with how well this mornings 6 mile run went. Settled in at the given pace and went with it. As far as my legs are concerned, all good homie. No pain whatsoever while out running. The only thing that makes me “?” is that my right leg (leg that was operated on last year) was feeling a bit sore/tender last night. Whereas my left leg (3 months since surgery), feels perfectly alright. The surgeon who performed my first fasciotomy really screwed me up. Anddddd yeah. I’m excited. One week down//seventeen weeks to go. Portland, imma comin’ for ya!


Detroit W15D7 - LONG 16

Target pace: 10:29
Actual pace: 9:58

The final 16 miler is done!! I can’t decide if the thought that my race is three weeks from today excites or terrifies me.

Anyway this run! Started out great! I felt strong and was going along. The thought of all of the miles ahead worried me, but I was in good spirits. It was starting to get warmer than I was expecting. Around mile 5 there is a drinking fountain I usually refill my bottles at, but for some reason today I decided I didn’t need to. I would later regret that!

I ran to mile 8 and turned around. This is when I realized I should have filled my bottles. I had some left, but I wasn’t going to be adequate to get back to the fountains. I didn’t really have a choice though, so I kept heading back. Once I got to the fountains I was so thirsty and excited! I knew I was drinking too much water, but the thirst! I eventually got myself moving again and of course felt like I had an aquarium in my stomach. I only have 4 miles left at that point, so I just kept pushing forward. I still felt strong overall, although it was getting warmer and the sun was beating down on me. I did my best to relax though and imagining these hard miles as the last miles of the race. I tried to picture the finish line and how relieved I would feel! It definitely helped!

Overall I’m happy with this run! I had a good pace and felt strong. Had I been smarter about my hydrating I know I would have been more successful. I am slightly bummed this run didn’t go really great though. I just wanted it to be a real confidence booster. I need to not be negative about it though! The main factor of the day was the weather, which was out of my control, and I’m sure the weather will be cooler on race day. Also I had a comforting thought during this run which was that this is likely the hardest run of my training. It’s the highest weekly mileage and the final of the long runs. It’s not supposed to be easy! But it’s supposed to make me stronger! Which is in my control! I need to stay positive about this run. I did good! Aside from the heat and hydration issues, there were no other issues. Legs felt great and I felt strong. So this run was a success! The final long run! It’s over! The taper is so close I can taste it!

Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far haha you now know the thoughts that chaotically run through my head! I think I need to drink more water haha

I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! I’ve been eating and sitting the rest of today and I’m very content about it :)


This morning was my last run in shorts outside for a while. It’s time to go back home.

While it was great to run on clear sidewalks and without wearing multiple layers, I didn’t hit my Hansons paces like I should have. I don’t think I’m getting the recovery I need.

Now that I should be riding the bike more anyway to get ready for IM Boulder, I’m going to trade out one of my run days for a bike day. I’m also going to make some other small changes and see if I can get myself moving a little faster.

I know that it’s not easy to keep speed as we get older. I’ve never been very fast and I’m 47 so I don’t expect to be setting any records, but I know I can run faster than I am at the moment.

W1D4 - when running slow goes wrong

After reading the accounts of @l8arrival and some people around me in real life I decided to swallow the bitter pill and actually force myself to slow down. I decided I want the full experience of the plan instead of jumping in it later, so this will have to work.

Today is the hottest day of the year so far and I picked a hilly route and went in my most comfy shoes (which I always wear on my recovery runs) and headed out.

Running slow was exhausting. I had to watch the Garmin a lot to make sure I’m not overpacing again. The unusual turtle pace caused my knees to ache a little. It got hotter. I got annoyed. I found myself to looking forward to the two traffic lights on my route because I knew they would add a few seconds on that kilometer, so I could go a bit faster for the rest​ of it.

After having found a groove it was not totally bad anymore. I was just on the trails and enjoying the sun, and I was ticking times just slightly faster than the schedule demands.

So far so good.
Since the weather was too good and I really didn’t feel like stopping, I added a small loop. Oops. Well a little added mile won’t make the difference.

Being home and uploading the run on strava, I was honestly surprised on the heart rate. While being more than one minute slower than yesterday, my heart rate was pretty much the same, peaking even higher.

Ok, I usually don’t care too much for that, but when I force myself to slow down that significantly, I would just expect a little lower heart rate. Meh! I always knew it, turtle pace is harder than normal. 😣

Anyway, it was probably the heat and had nothing to do with me or the turtle pace. I’ll see how this goes. I’ll definitely look closer on how the heart rates on the slow runs change over the course of the next 18 weeks.

Having a bit of a headache (another point for the sun) so I’ll head to bed and watch some stuff on YouTube…

Those of you who have followed along for a while understand how far I’ve come in the four years I’ve been blogging here. What started as an experiment with the Hansons marathon method has turned me into a pretty successful distance runner, even now at age 41.

I ran 13 continuous miles today. 6 of those were about 6:00/mi pace in 1.5 mile chunks. I walked into the house and carried on the rest of my day like nothing happened. I don’t think I was even running a 5K at that pace back at the start.

My point is that you can make a lot of progress if you stick to it. It may not be continuous improvement. There may be plateaus or setbacks along the way. You may not even really feel any different day-to-day. But someday you’ll look back like I can now and see a huge distance covered in your fitness and ability.

If you told me in 2012 I’d run a sub 2:50 marathon in 2015, I would have laughed in your face. I was fighting to cut down from 3:20 to 3:10 and thought that was pretty darn good! Always challenging myself. Making small adjustments to be more efficient. Appreciating the successes and learning from the disappointments. And most of all having fun. If I didn’t find ways to enjoy it, I doubt I would have ended up here.

Data Points

Still working the plan I posted a couple of weeks ago.  Progress is slow and steady. 

I was wondering how far must I progress to get back to where I was before the PF and surgery?  To begin to answer that question I studied my old lactate test results and my running archive.  They revealed good news and depressing news. 

The good news is that I am recovering fitness about three times quicker than it took to obtain that fitness in the first instance.  The depressing news is that not running or exercising for three months while recovering from prostate surgery and PF cost me about 3000 training/racing miles worth of gains.

Your mileage may vary…a lot.  I had only been running for 2.5 years when I stopped. I’m guessing that someone with more training would regress less, perhaps much less.  I’m also guessing that having major surgery knocked me back farther than someone just nursing an injury.  Finally, I’m guessing that being old made things worse.

Let’s focus on the good news, shall we?  Assuming no setbacks, consistent training and continued 3 for 1 fitness regains, I should recover most of what I lost by the end of this year.  The plan would be to run marathons next spring and fall. The fall marathon would be an all-out, last chance BQ effort for the 2020 race when I will be in an older/slower qualifying age group.

Cancer update in a couple of days.  Until then….

Track day! This beautiful track is just a warmup mile from my house and I feel lucky to be able to run here. There is a high school boy’s team that uses the turf and occasionally the track while I’m there, and they are so fun to watch.

I don’t know if 20 or 30 years ago a middle aged woman like me could have gone to a high school, dressed like I was, doing what I was doing, by myself, and have had such a positive experience. No one made fun of me, gave me any looks, or made me feel uncomfortable. Makes me happy.

I did Hansons 6 x 800 with 400 recoveries and then cooled down on the way home. Next week, 1Ks!


Let’s post about something positive, yes?

I’ve thought a lot about running goals and there is on main one I really want: I want to get faster. I want to push myself even more than I have. I know I have it in me, I’m just afraid. I’m afraid if I try I’ll fail. But I know I have to try.

So to help me reach that goal, I have something exciting planned for May: I signed up for the Indy Mini! My mom and I are both going to run it :) I want to step back from the full marathon distance and really work on my speed. And I think this will be a really great race for that. My ultimate 2016 goals are to work on speed in shorter races for the spring, then translate that work to another full in the fall.

My goal for this half marathon is: sub 2:00. I’m using the Hansons Half Marathon Method to help me reach that goal.

This feels like a lofty goal for me, but I believe I have it in me. I’m stronger than I think. Moving forward into this year, I want that to be a theme: I’m stronger than I think.

SO, with all of that said, today officially marks W1D4 (hansons why must you not start on a Monday?!). Today’s run was an easy 3

Target pace: 10:15-11:00
Actual pace: 10:36

These miles felt good! It was unseasonably warm today with highs in the 40s, so I was excited to get out after work. My mom got me a headlight for Christmas, so I wanted to try it out tonight. I could definitely tell drivers saw me easier! And I could see easier once it got darker. I’m very happy I have a light now :)

Okay, I think that’s enough blabbing for this post. Thanks if you read all of it :)

PS Winston says hi! :)

mortemer that i worked forever on!

Graphic T-Shirt Friday

TWO DAYS. Well, really, in less than 48 hours I should (hopefully) be DONE with the Chicago Marathon. I know, I KNOW. It’s crazy pants. I’m so ready for that moment though!

Let’s talk goals:

A Goal: 3:30. 

B Goal: 3:35 or below. My current PR is 3:33:18 but I would love to hit that or get a little below it.

C Goal: Finish without walking

D Goal: Finish

E stands for emergency room. Let’s not go down that road.

On paper, I can do this. I did the speedwork, I did the tempo runs, I did the easy runs, I did the long runs. I have run more miles and more consecutive days than ever before. There were some substitutions made because of a couple of races. There was the week I had to take off because of my tendinitis. But generally, I think I followed Hanson’s pretty well. ALL of my training was to meet my time goal. So if I can’t hit it or get in spitting distance then I don’t know what to do about that. 

There are two big things that I can think of that may trip me up. First, it’s supposed to be a warm day. Luckily, the morning looks cool and if I can finish in time, then I’m hoping the heat won’t affect me much. The other thing is, well, biology. I’m due to start my period basically right now but it’s not super regular so it could be anytime in the next week. I’ve had some cramping and stomach issues the past couple of days which is normal but it doesn’t make me feel great.

My basic approach for this is to keep it simple: run with or close to the 3:30 pacer. Ditch the extras: I’m not wearing my hydration backpack this time because I drank too much during Marine Corps and then had to go to the bathroom. My gels and a small water bottle are on my belt, I’ll use the aid station for any other hydration. I’m bringing my iPod  and will turn it on between mile 14-16, depending on how I’m feeling. At mile 16, it’s just another tempo run, right?

Oddly, the idea that I haven’t run more than 16 miles in training isn’t freaking me out. Okay, it might on Sunday morning when I hit 16 miles but right now? I’m cool with it. 

I have run 948 miles between May 1 and today. Last year, I ran 659 miles from May 1 through the END of October (when I was training for and then ran Marine Corps). So if I’m not ready now, I don’t think I’ll ever be. 


Hanson’s Marathon Method - Week 10 Day 1: 15 Miles

Target Pace: 11:41
Actual Pace: 11:46

That was a fricken blast! The weather was absolutely gorgeous - 70 with some clouds and a nice breeze. 

I’m a little bummed that my last mile was so much slower, but I think it’s because I was scanning for Cam rather than keeping my pace up.

In any case, I felt strong. My splits are pretty dang even. 

A 2 hour nap later and my body is sore, but that’s totally outweighed by the fact that I’m a rockstar.

I beat July’s half marathon (SummitFest) by TWENTY THREE MINUTES.


Chicago-Hansons Week 11/18: Mid-Week Check In

(with bonus mini race recap!)

Not to self: STOP WITH THIS POSE. 

I think a summary of the “big” runs of the past week could just be, blargh. 

I ran a race over the weekend, the Leesburg 20k. And okay, I went into it having spent two days at the beach with friends, getting very little sleep, and a little too much alcohol. It wasn’t the ideal prep for race day. 

The race started bright and early at 7:30am but it was already HOT. I was so not prepared for that. Luckily, almost the entire course was on the W&OD trail which was nicely shaded! The course was also an out and back…with the out going up and the back coming gradually down.

The race was very quiet. That’s the only way I can think of how to describe it. Since it was all on a bike path and pretty early in the morning, the only spectators were the aid station volunteers. They, however, were totally awesome. A ton of aid stations (since they were there on the out and back) and so many people and so loud when I came through!

I did pretty well all things considered but I’m not going to lie, my effort felt so flat somehow. I think it was a combination of the previous few days and also just general exhaustion from training.

The other problem was that I am TERRIBLE at pacing myself. Seriously. I wanted to hit between 7:50-8:00 for my miles but everytime I looked at my watch I was too fast or too slow and then I would panic and try to compensate and I have no chill, basically.

I also totally miscalculated the distance I had left at the end. I tried kicking for the last .25 but it ended up being more like .45 and uphill and ohmygod my poor legs. My poor poor legs.

Official results: 1:37:25. 28th female. 6th in AG (the 5th place girl in my AG was at least four minutes ahead of me which actually makes me happy. If she had finished just a minute or 40 seconds ahead I would be thinking of all the ways I could have been faster overall).

Since I raced on Sunday, I made Monday a recovery day and ran an easy 6 miles. Nothing happened.

Tuesday was a rest day!

This morning (Wednesday) I was back on with an eight mile tempo run. It’s the first time I’ve had to do it in Gaithersburg (where my office is) and I was not thrilled about it because I had to get up even earlier than usual to get there and it’s all on sidewalks with road crossings, etc.

It sucked. I really failed the pacing thing again. First mistake:I realized  I’m using my tempo runs as speed work. They aren’t supposed to be! They’re supposed to be race pace practice. This is why I can’t maintain pace. 

Second mistake: general overcompensation every time I look at my watch. Too fast, too slow, I could not settle down at all. It was hard and I ended up feeling pretty cranky about the idea of running 26.2 miles at race pace. LUCKILY, Chicago has a pacer for the 3:30 and we are going to become BFFs.

Anyways, they can’t all be good but I’m hoping my aha moment about tempo runs=race practice will really help me improve over the next few weeks because race day approacheth!