My 2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon Training Plan

February 6, 2013

As promised, I have my 2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon plan for you today! Until last night, I had only written down my long runs and when they needed to be done. I hadn’t looked at the day to day runs, and just knew that I needed to get in some higher-distance mid-week runs, rather than simple maintenance mileage. I am soo glad that I finally got cracking on this plan – race day is only 12 weeks away! Gulp!

Here it is…

2013 Kentucky Derby Marathon Plan.jpg

Now, a big difference in this training plan compared to other ones that I have completed in the past is that there is minimal speed work. This is something that I haven’t mentioned much yet, but I am not going into this race with crazy hopes for a huge PR. I am honestly still very happy with my time from Chicago back in October, and I don’t have this huge urge to do an insane amount of speedwork to get my time down. I know – it sounds weird. But I am very happy just being fit and ready for this race, which for me, includes all of my long runs and some speed – just not a lot.

I love running marathons and think it is a blast to cross that finish line each time. However, this does not mean that I am out to race each and every one that I start. I want to do well in this race, but I am not going to harp too much about a crazy amount of workouts. For me, it is necessary to get in some speed work just to be prepared for the race, especially since this is a time of year that the race can be a bit warmer than training temperatures (like last year). I want to be prepared this time around.

I plan to hit every single tempo run without fail each Wednesday, and then hopefully get in my pace runs on Monday. I have a run group that I host at Lululemon in Tampa on Mondays, so I will just have to see if the other runners are up for a little pace running 😉

So of course, since I made this plan last night, I was hyped and ready to run this morning! I laced up my sneaks and headed out for my first tempo run on my training. It felt good to change up the pace a bit – I’ve been running long and slow miles for a while now. I am currently Garmin-less, so I had to come up with another solution – the Nike Running App. I’ve liked it so far and enjoy being able to easily access prior paces, right from my phone. Here is how my tempo went this morning:

Tempo Run Splits


As you can see – my pace was a bit all over the place. The pace isn’t readily available on the app when I am running (I don’t think) – it just gives an average of the run. I ended up going off of feel, which seemed to work out pretty well. After not being able to see the pace right on my wrist, I think I really need to invest in another GPS watch!

Anyone have a recommendation other than a Garmin for speedwork? I am open to trying other watched for sure! Have you ever gone into training not necessarily wanting a PR, but a good strong finish?

A Road Race First

February 4, 2013

I set out for a  low-key weekend, and that is exactly what I got – unfortunately, not in the best of ways. Friday morning when I woke up, I felt a bit sluggish and throughout the day, it continually got worse. By around 6pm, I had a full fledged fever.

So not only did this mean I was going to be forced to lay low all weekend long, but it also meant I would be earning something totally new in the world of road racing…


Yep, I have been racing for over 10 years, and this is the very first time that I have ever had to pull out of a race. I waited until the last minute Friday night to make the decision. I knew that to get better, running a half marathon was not going to help. I really, really wanted to do the Best Damn Race, but I had to be smart with this. I put myself in some of my coaching client’s shoes and knew that if they came to be for advice in this situation, I would immediately tell them not to run. That their health was far more important than running 13.1 miles. Which is completely true.

A small word advice – if you ever pull out of a race, stay off of Facebook the morning after. It looked like everyone had an amazing time! I had at least 15 different friends running the race, and most runners ended up with PR’s or a really awesome showing! I was totally jealous at all of the success everyone had!

I did get out for a nice 5 mile run on Sunday to try and get a good sweat going, but other than that, I slept a lot and just layed low. I guess my body was trying to tell me something. Which, unfortunately, pushed my marathon training back about a week (it was already behind a week anyhow – woops!). but oh well, it all happens for a reason. And I was able to get some extra snuggles from this little lady…


My favorite commercial for the Super Bowl was taken of course by those adorable Clydesdales. I did think the Dodge one was pretty great, but those Clydesdales steal my heart every time!

 Have you ever made the decision to pull out of a race last minute? What was your favorite Superbowl commercial?

Taking It To The Streets

February 1, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone! And better yet, Happy February 1st!!!

It has been quite the busy week for me, so I am going to keep it short and sweet today. I have a pretty low key weekend planned – I have a half marathon tomorrow, the Best Damn Race, here in town and it is the inaugural event! Usually, I am hesitant for first time races, but this is different. One of my friend’s boyfriend is the race director, so we are all excited to be out supporting him with this awesome race! Other than that, not much is on my plate – wooo hoo!!

I thought instead of sharing photos with you all today, I would share an awesome infographic that I found about marathon running. There is just something about infographics that are so much fun, and this one is no different. Speaking of marathon training, I think I owe you all a post on my training plan for my upcoming marathon! Be on the lookout for that next week!

Have anything fun planned this weekend? Who else is headed to the Best Damn Race? Let me know which distance you are running so I can look for you!

Go Get Your Goals

January 30, 2013

I think one of the biggest thing that happens after the new year when people set goals is they are too focused on setting them right away. If all of the goals aren’t set those first few weeks, then people feel like all is lost – so much for that goal, right? Wrong!

If you are training to run a race, and you don’t get your goal time for that race, do you push on and go for it again? Or do you completely throw in the towel? It is easy to feel that since you don’t accomplish something right away, that it is unattainable. It is just too hard, so why even bother?

You ate more dessert last week than you had originally set your new years goal to be, so next week you are going to have twice as many, because why does it even matter? You failed that goal. Don’t even think like that.

I believe the biggest thing to remember about new year’s goals (or any goals for that matter) is that they are ongoing throughout the whole year, not just the first few weeks. How many of you have fallen out of focus for your goals that you set on January 1st? I know that there are a few that I have definitely not been able to achieve the past couple weeks. For example, I set a goal to practice yoga twice a week this year. Well, the past 2 weeks I only made it to class once. The difference here is that I am not going to let that stop me. I can definitely pick back up and get to class twice this week, even if I missed that goal in the past. Nothing says that I can’t reach for the goal again. I haven’t failed – I just haven’t reached it yet.

I want to post my goals again so they are in the front of my mind. I challenge you to do the same. Give yourself a goal check and see what your progress is. If you have come up a bit short on some, no big deal. Just start at them again. No one says that January 1st is the magical day to make things happen. Why can’t it be January 3oth, or April 16th or even September 4th? It is any day that you decide to make it happen, plain and simple.

2013 Goals.jpg

I am making it a point to not let my goals get pushed to the side this year. Are you?

Pillage And Plunder

January 28, 2013

This past weekend, for yet another year, Tampa was pillaged and plundered by pirates. And of course, every year since 1904, we have made it out alive! Relatively of course – it was Gasparilla after all – Tampa’s biggest party day of the year!

South Tampa shuts down as the mayor hands over the keys to the city and the pirates invade, celebrating with their victory parade down Bayshore Boulevard! And yes, I get that this sounds totally silly to non-Tampa natives (and maybe others that live here). But seriously, this is one of the most fun days of the year here. It is wild and crazy awesome to people watch, participate in the parade, and just have an amazing experience

My favorite part of the day is early morning – the street that I spend pounding the pavement, day after day, is actually closed to all vehicle traffic. I always get out early and go for a run right on the street, as all of the tents, vendors, and some really early risers are setting up for the day. I was able to get in a nice and easy 14 mile run, tacking my run on the end of Meg’s 22 miler. She is running 26.2 for Donna in just a few weeks, and I was thrilled to be able to accompany her on her longest run yet, sporting my Gasparilla hat of course!

Gasparilla hatPost run, we showered up, ate a hearty breakfast and then got ready for round 2 – the Pirate festivities! We live very close to the parade route, so we are lucky enough to not have to worry about driving and finding a place to park. We had a few friends come over to our place, relaxed for a bit, and then hit the streets to take in some of the fun.

Gasparilla parade

There is a ton of fair food, booze and beads to boot. Most people in the neighborhood embrace the day, rather than shunning it. Really, it is the only way to go. Seems like a great day to throw a party to me!


GasparillaMarcus and I are lucky enough to get tickets to a tent every year, so we are completely spoiled. We have a place to keep us out of the sun, a buffet of food, our own port-o-potties, and bleachers to sit on, which are the prime viewing areas! We aren’t pushed around by other people trying to get beads, and you get a great view of the floats as well!





Gasparilla 2013Another year, and a neck full of beads later, another Gasparilla has come and gone. For those of you thinking about heading to the parade in the future, don’t think twice! It an absolute blast and you won’t regret it. If anything, you will come home with some fun new bling!




Ever made your way to Gasparilla in Tampa? Love it or Hate it? Do you have any parades like this where you live?