Houston half training (weeks 4-7)

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A peek into my training for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. In case you’re looking for more detail, I also post all of my training on Strava.

If you missed weeks 1-4  you can find those here

Week of 12/5… As I wrote last time, the lack of sleep and sickness had finally caught up to me this week and I had some pretty bad workouts. Luckily I had a scheduled day of rest on Saturday and got a good night of sleep so my long run went really well (and I had good company to help push me).

Key workouts: 8 x 1k cruise intervals with 1 minute recovery, long run 14 miles in 1:32:39 (6:37 average) plus a cool down mile

Planned miles: 61 miles

Actual: 61.2 miles

Week of 12/12… Kids started sleeping better this week and workouts went well. Hit 70 miles for the first time in forever

Key workouts: 3 mile tempo in 17:47 plus 6 x 1 min on/ 1 min off (I think I alternated 10 mph and 8 mph but can’t remember), 2 x 3 miles in 18:26 and 17:58 with 5 min rest between, relaxed 16 mile long run with some of my WSAC teammates

Planned miles: 72 miles

Actual: 70 miles

Week of 12/19… I had a scheduled day off on Monday which was perfect because I had some Christmas shopping to finish up. Workouts went really well, and props to my husband Pete for biking with me on my Christmas Eve long run so I wouldn’t be bored to death. The conditions for that run weren’t fun at all- I ran back and forth on a 2 mile section of the bike path that had thankfully been cleared, although there were still some icy spots and we got hit with freezing rain for a good part of the run.

Key workouts: 8 x 800 in 2:45 with 400 jog recovery, long run 16 miles with 12 at 6:30 pace

Planned miles: 62 miles

Actual: 62.7 miles

Week of 12/26… I had two somewhat easy workouts planned this week and those went fine. Tomorrow I’ll run some easy recovery miles, and then Sunday I have an 18 mile long run. Planning to run 5 miles before the Hangover Half Marathon at UAlbany (part of our local Winter Series races).

Key workouts: 3 sets of 4 x 400 at 5k race pace with 10 min tempo at 5:56 between sets, 10 x 20 second strides at 5:00 pace on the treadmill (that was interesting… and loud), 18 mile long run at a relaxed pace

Planned miles: 72 miles

Actual: 44.9 miles (as of Friday)


Long running with Karen at Lions Park. Two weeks later (on Christmas Eve) this path was covered with ice and snow…

I can’t believe in 2 weeks I’ll be headed to Houston. I think 8 week training cycles are perfect. Just enough time to build fitness and not so much that you’re over it by the time you have to race.

Hope y’all have some fun plans for New Years Eve/ New Years Day… whether you’re going out, staying in, running a race, or headed to the gym to start off 2017 I hope this year brings you health and lots of happiness.

So this is the new year…

Houston Half training (weeks 1-4)

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A peek into my training for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. In case you’re looking for more detail, I also post all of my training on Strava.

Week of 11/14… I took Monday off after Stockade-athon and had a week of easy running planned. I also took off Friday and Saturday because it was my husband’s birthday and I didn’t plan well to get in my workouts around dinner and everything else going on both days. I decided to join some of my teammates for a faster-paced long run on Sunday, which I ended up having to miss because of a freak snow storm on Sunday morning.

Key workouts: Long run 13.1 miles in 1:27:53

Planned miles: 54-56 miles

Actual: 39.1 miles

Week of 11/21… Realized that I probably ran my solo long run too hard because my legs felt terrible for the next few days. I had a 3 mile tempo planned for Thursday which was perfect since I wanted to run the Troy Turkey Trot 5k that I do every year. I was disappointed with my race- my legs felt flat and I didn’t run as fast as I wanted to, but I felt great for the rest of the week, including my long run.

Key workouts: 3 mile tempo @ 6:00 (actual 5k race 17:42), long run 14.1 miles in 1:34:56

Planned miles: 57-58 miles

Actual: 57.5 miles

Week of 11/28… Solid week, no complaints running-wise. Had to get a little creative fitting in workouts because both of my kids were sick with a terrible virus and we basically couldn’t leave the house. Lots of running on the treadmill in my basement, and my one hard workout for the week was done at 7 pm on Wednesday night on the treadmill. Looking back I’m not sure how I got through this week because I never got more than 2 hours of sleep at once. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Key workouts: 8 mile tempo in 51:15, long run 15 miles in 1:49:21 (including the HMRRC winter series 15k)

Planned miles: 65-66 miles

Actual: 65 miles

Week of 12/5… The lack of sleep and sickness finally caught up to me. Monday and Tuesday were awful- I kept having to stop in the middle of my runs to catch my breath and a few times I had to take a break for a few minutes because I felt light-headed. I was costantly thirsty and just felt tired and shitty. I finally got a full night of sleep one of those nights (I can’t remember which) and on Wednesday I felt slightly better but decided to scrap my planned workout and just run easy again. Then today after another full night of sleep I finally had a good run. So, I’ll do some 1k repeats Friday, take Saturday off, and then I have a 16 mile long run planned with a fast finish.

Key workouts planned: 8 x 1k cruise intervals, long run 16 miles (12-15 at HMGP)

Planned miles: 61 miles

Actual: 36 miles (as of Thursday)

July Races and Places

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This July has been all about treadmill runs at the YMCA (thank you free child care) and racing my way back into shape. Since the Firecracker 4 on July 4th I’ve done 3 races: 2 track miles and the Roller Coaster Race 10k.


Roller Coaster Race 10k

Our local running club, HMRRC, hosts free track meets on Tuesday evenings in July. I hadn’t been to one since I was in high school, but I wanted to take Emma to run in the kids race and figured I’d hop into a race while I was there too. I surprised myself by running a 5:23 for the full mile. Emma ran the 50 meter kids race, although she kept running through the finish line and didn’t want to stop.


That weekend we took a quick trip up to Lake George, where we stayed at the Great Escape Lodge (the host hotel for the Roller Coaster Race). It was a nice hotel, and the kids loved the indoor water park. It was convenient for race morning too because we were able to just jog from the hotel to the start line, and then run back after the race to shower. The race itself went pretty well- I’m not usually a fan of 10ks because they just seem so long but this course had a lot of twists and turns, so you really had to pay attention and couldn’t zone out. I ended up running 39:58, which wasn’t bad considering my lack of workouts lately. We spent the rest of the day at Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom (tickets were free with the race entry). Emma had the time of her life on those rides!


This past Tuesday I hit the track again for another mile, this time a few seconds faster (5:16). Emma and her cousin Mia ran the kids races again. We’ll be in town for one more track meet next Tuesday, so I might break out the spikes and see if I can get under 5:10!


We’ll be in Lake Placid this weekend for IMLP to cheer on my brother-in-law for his first Ironman! I’ve never spectated an Ironman race, so this will be a fun new experience. I’m not sure what to expect of an all-day endurance event (what do we do? will there be beer? where will my kids take naps?)… I’m still at a loss trying to figure out how anyone could swim and bike for hours BEFORE running a marathon. Badass.

A quick recap and Roller Coaster Race giveaway!

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Training has been very, shall we say, “relaxed” recently. After months of structured marathon training, I welcomed the recovery with open arms. It started with plans to take it easy for a few weeks after the Rhinebeck Marathon, and then all 4 of us got hit with a round of chest colds and ear infections, and no one slept through the night for the entire month of June. Let’s just say we were a cranky group.

My local team, Willow Street Athletic Club, was planning to run the Firecracker 4 on the 4th of July (this past Monday). I was in the middle of organizing Natalie’s 1st birthday party on July 2nd, so I was hesitant to commit to running it (never mind the fact that for the past 7 weeks I have averaged 10 miles per WEEK). But I knew I could run 4 miles, so I decided to just go for it and I’m so glad I did. I went out faster than I planned, and paid for it big time in the last mile (which happens to have a huge hill that I almost walked up), but in the end I still managed to run a decent race and finish just under 25 minutes averaging 6:15 (6:05, 6:08, 6:24, 6:27 woof)*.


After the Firecracker 4 with Mia and Emmaline!

Okay, all that being said, I found myself looking for more races to stay motivated over the summer and  one race stood out as a MUST do- Roller Coaster Race at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George. I told Pete about it, and he thought it looked fun (and it’s hard to impress him with running). They have a 10k and 5k option as well as a roller coaster challenge that you can do in addition to the race OR by itself (if you’re not a runner) for a special medal. Plus the rides open early for the race participants and you get a ticket to Six Flags Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom with your entry. I kid you not, the next day I woke up to an email asking if I’d be interested in doing a blog giveaway for this exact race!

roller coaster race

So, if you want to enter a giveaway for a free entry to Roller Coaster Race next Saturday July 16th in Lake George at Six Flags Great Escape, here are the rules:

  • To enter, just comment below and tell me your favorite roller coaster (or 2 or 3 if you can’t decide).
  • Share this blog post on twitter and tag @molliedeturner and @runorriderace for another entry. Make sure you follow me @molliedeturner and follow Roller Coaster Race @runorriderace so we can see your tweet!
  • Share this post on Facebook and tag me for another entry!

You can enter the giveaway through Sunday night July 10th at 8pm EDT** and I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning.

If you’d like to sign up on your own, here are the details:

Registration is open through Tuesday July 12th at 11:59 pm EDT. There are discounts on hotels through the race website as well as the option to purchase additional park tickets (if you have friends or family who want to cheer you on)! Registrants receive:
  • A t-shirt (tech for runners, cotton for riders- both if they’re participating in both events)
  • A ticket to the park good on event day
  • Free parking at the park on event day
  • A finisher medal for each event in which the registrants participate
Here’s my referral link if you’d like to sign up through that directly : The Roller Coaster Race

Disclosure: I did receive a free entry for this race, but I was planning on registering on my own anyway. I paid for a registration for Pete as well. All opinions are my own! 

*this is not the way to run a race, positive splits are BAD!

** I learned something today! EST is Eastern Standard Time (during the fall/winter) and EDT is Eastern Daylight Time during daylight savings (spring/summer). Lived on the east coast most of my life and never paid attention to that little detail…




The longest three weeks…

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Three weeks from today, if everything goes to plan, I will be hobbling around town doing the marathon shuffle. A few weeks ago I was really doubting myself, but after a good half marathon race and a few decent long runs and workouts I’m feeling much more capable. There have been some highs and lows recently, but I keep referring back to my theme for 2016 and that whole “hay is in the barn” saying that every coach in the history of running uses when their athlete starts to panic.

I felt good after my half marathon, almost too good, but I had strict instructions to take the next four days really easy. I had a short workout on Friday evening leading into a 24 mile long run on Saturday morning. I’ve done a few of these pre-fatigued long runs and they are NOT fun. Looking back at long runs I’ve done on fresh legs versus fatigued I can see such a difference in my pace and how I felt overall, so I just need to remember that and not dwell on how awful that 24 felt. Both kids were having sleep issues the week leading up to Shamrock, and for the week afterwards it was even worse. So, I was going on two weeks without a full night of sleep until yesterday. Getting almost 8 solid hours of sleep was magical.

drunk sleep tired bridesmaids jet lag

We’ve been lucky to have unseasonably mild weather recently, so the girls and I have been strolling around in the double BOB most days. Now that Natalie is getting bigger she doesn’t just fall asleep immediately, so I’ve caught Emmaline playing peek-a-boo with her and trying to get her to laugh. The two of them giggling together is the cutest thing and makes stroller running fun. As much as I’m looking forward to Boston, I’m also looking forward to some lazy days with the girls once marathon training is done where I don’t have to stress about fitting in a 12 mile workout.

I have a 5 mile race this weekend that I’ll do as part of my long run. After this weekend comes a two week taper, and then it’s game time!

shamrock half marathon 4 2016

Although I looked like a drowned rat., I love that Shamrock offered free photos this year. And evidence that I didn’t make up that story about my watch falling off and not being able to put it back on.


Don’t stop believing.

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Time for a quick training update. Yeah!

I ran a leg on a marathon relay in mid-February and I finished my (almost) 10 mile leg feeling exhausted. On the cool down, my mind started wandering to “um.. why the hell did I think this marathon would be a good idea” kinds of thoughts, which I pushed away quickly. But if I’m being honest, I have those thoughts almost daily.

Last weekend was my first 20 miler, which was preceded by a very hard 13-mile workout the day before. That wasn’t the initial plan, but it’s how things worked out that week. And I stupidly picked a very hilly course for this run, so the 33 miles in one weekend + hills didn’t turn out as I hoped. Finishing a 20 miler is always good for confidence though, so even though the run wasn’t GREAT, I at least left feeling slightly more positive about my fitness.

Then yesterday, I surprised myself and ran 22 (which I think ties for my longest training run) feeling strong the whole way and running 45 seconds faster per mile for the whole run. So, now that goal I’ve had to run 2:59 doesn’t seem as far off as it did a week ago.

With exactly six weeks until Boston, mentally I’m breaking it down into 4 more solid weeks and then 2 weeks of taper. I have a 4 mile race this Saturday, and then my tune up half the following weekend at Shamrock in VB.

And just because Journey is awesome, this is the kind of cheesy stuff I do to get myself motivated on a Monday…

Halfway point.

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Sometimes I can’t even think of where to start. Like this a running blog, but I just don’t ever feel like writing about running the way I used to. Maybe because my job is to write workouts for other runners and answer emails about running. And I love coaching and helping other runners meet their goals. I like getting to know the athletes that I coach- every person is so different! It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle- a big old confusing mess until the pieces start to take shape.

I rarely read running blogs- just a few friends that I know personally. I’m finding myself more drawn to sarcastic mommy blogs. That shit is hilarious. I appreciate anyone who has a sense of humor about parenting because it can be pretty ridiculous at times.

The other night I told my husband that I wanted to start a blog with cooking tips for convenience foods. Don’t get me wrong- I like to cook when I can listen to music, sip a glass of wine, and really enjoy it. But when I cook now there is absolute chaos around me and it’s the opposite of relaxing. Frozen pizza may not be the ideal recovery food but it’s a hell of a lot easier. Plus I have some great tips for how to cook THE PERFECT FROZEN PIZZA. No?

So, anyway, we’re halfway to Boston. Training is getting done but it’s not easy. There have been lots of evening treadmill runs lately. I had a killer long run last weekend that was a huge confidence booster, mainly because I talked myself out of it halfway through and then refocused and was able to finish and hit my paces. I had come up with some good excuses- it was icy, the trail was covered in snow, it was too cold, too windy, etc. and then I started writing the email to my coach (in my head while I was running) and I realized I was being an idiot. Luckily it was pretty cold (for real) and windy so there weren’t many people around to hear me say “F*ck you wind!” every time I had to run into a headwind. By the way, that tactic worked quite well- I highly recommend it and might have to use it for my half marathon next month at Shamrock (which is notoriously windy in certain areas of the course).

I can’t believe I’m racing a half marathon in a few weeks. Besides the one I did this fall, I haven’t run a half marathon since 2011!

Week 4 of 16, the back spasm from hell, and all the puking.

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Here we are finishing up week 4 of 16 and training has been all over the place:

Week one was solid and I felt better than expected (for the most part). 43.5 miles

Week two did not go well. That Monday I had an easy 7 and I felt a sharp pain on the right side of my lower back which only got worse when I finished my run. Sparing the details, it hurt immensely, like a 9.5 out of 10, and I almost drove myself to the emergency room instead of the chiropractor. Just some easy running for the rest of the week. 24 miles

Week three started off with a rest day (my girls were having one of those days), and I unexpectedly felt great the next day so I was able to complete all of my workouts for the week. However, both girls (and my husband) got hit by the stomach bug so there wasn’t much sleep happening. 42 miles

Week four was a good one. My workout on Tuesday was a mini intro back into tempo runs at MGP or a little faster and it went well. I also did a 4.5 mile tempo on the treadmill (ugh) and a 14 mile (very hilly) long run yesterday. 46.5 miles

A few of my decent workouts from strava:

So happy that things are looking up and that back injury is behind me. I was not a fun person to be around for that week.

Today I was able to take the girls out for a double stroller recovery run. We were very lucky to miss that huge snow storm and it’s a balmy 36 degrees with no wind. Hoping for a few more runs outside this week because the treadmill can get a little tedious!

Judging from the many, many photos in my Facebook feed, I know a lot of my friends and family got several feet of snow over the weekend. Hope everyone is staying warm and being careful on the ice and snow! xo

Here we go (again)…

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Here we go… about to embark on a new training journey. I’ve been so determined to not make the same the mistakes that led to my last injury (which was also in a Boston Marathon build up a few months post-partum), so I’ve been working on getting all the pieces in place.

Training has consisted of (mostly) easy running (about 20 miles/week) since my last update. I’ve gone to yoga classes and done some yoga and core workouts at home. I’ve also been going to the chiropractor for adjustments, which started with weekly adjustments while I was pregnant and gradually tapered down to about once/month.

More recently (in the past few weeks) I’ve started adding in some short speed work (in the form of fartleks and strides) on the treadmill. Finally this past week I hit 30 miles (sort of sad that is considered a milestone but it is).

My plan is to build up to 40 miles by the end of this month, and then I’ll begin formal training for Boston with a 16 week build up. And yes, I have hired a coach. I know it might seem weird because I am a coach with my own online coaching business, but I’ll be working with another online coach for my Boston training. There are huge benefits to having a coach and I know that I need someone to keep me accountable with how unpredictable my schedule can be. I’ve already started doing some PT exercises that he sent, mostly for hip/glute and core strength as well as stability and balance.

And… I have joined a local running team, Willow Street Athletic Club. There are some fast women on the team, and it’s going to be a great year for us- I can feel it. I have enjoyed the community of women runners I’ve met through Oiselle (and I’ll continue to be an ambassador with Oiselle), but I feel like I’ve been missing that team aspect for awhile so the opportunity comes at a good time.

I’ll have another quick blog update again soon with more details about how I’ve been fixing my post-baby hip/glute imbalances. That’s all for now!

Training Summary (so far)

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Awhile back I mentioned that I started working with a “new” coach (really, my former high school coach) through a program set up at a local running store. The program is for half and full marathon training, and is set up so that you meet at least two times per week (one speed day and one long run) with the option to tag along on a few other days of the week as well. My coach sends me workouts every week and then I report back.

Reality: I made ONE workout, a speed workout that I did pushing the double stroller. And I didn’t even finish the workout. Natalie was hungry and I wasn’t going to let her cry so I could do one more interval. The rest of the workouts and long runs I have done on my own. No, this isn’t my preference, but running isn’t my #1 priority right now.

At first, I tried to do the tempo runs, but I only successfully completed two of them. After some trial and error, I decided to just focus on this —> get out the door and start running. This has turned out to be a GREAT plan for the weekdays- there is very little stress trying to squeeze in workouts or travel to a place with a flat route so I can safely do a tempo run. I still report back to my coach and love having someone to check up on me and keep me accountable. It is reeeally easy to lose motivation when you have two little ones to take care of all day.

So here’s a little rundown of what I’ve done with my training post-baby. I’ve actually had a LOT of people ask me about this- when did I start running, how much, etc. so I figured I would share what I’ve done. (Keep in mind, I have been running for awhile and ran through most of my pregnancy. Everyone is different, and it’s important to listen to your body and build back gradually. I’ve had two different doctors who both cleared me to run very soon after delivery, but make sure to check with your doc first!)

Week of 7/6- 2 miles walking- a brisk, hilly walk on Friday (1 week post-partum)
Week of 7/13- 4 miles total- one 2 mile walk, one 2 mile run
Week of 7/20- 11 miles total- one 2 mile walk, 9 miles running (3 runs, 3 miles each)
Week of 7/27- 12 miles running (3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles)
Week of 8/3- 17 miles (2 walking, 15 running w/ 2x2k speed workout, long run 5 miles)
Week of 8/10- 17 miles (4 mile tempo, 4 mile hill workout, 5 mile long run)
Week of 8/17- 23 miles (6 mile long run at 8:18 pace without stroller- felt great!)
Week of 8/24- 9 miles (bad running week, on vacation, 6 mile long run)
Week of 8/31- 21 miles (6.5 mile long run w/ double stroller at 9:38 pace)
Week of 9/7- 22 miles (5k in 21:44, no long run)
Week of 9/14- 23 miles (trail race, 9 mile long run w/ stroller at 9:38 pace)
Week of 9/21- 26 miles (5k in 20:30, no long run)
Week of 9/28- 23 miles (10 mile long run at 7:53 pace without stroller)

And so, by the skin of my teeth, I think I managed to prepare myself to cross the finish line of my half marathon this Sunday. I’m looking at this race as more of a training effort, but I do have a race plan. I haven’t run many half marathons (my last one was in 2011) and have never really been in a place to actually race one, but am hoping that trend will change in the next year. I’m really looking forward to training for Boston this spring, and am planning to share more details of my training along the way!

Lastly, I wanted to share some sad news: One of my Oiselle teammates, Jen Kunze, passed away hiking in Banff (in Calgary) last week. Her husband was injured as well, but he survived. Jen was a passionate and adventurous runner who loved to race with her husband. If they weren’t racing they were off exploring the mountains. Jen’s family has set up a memorial fund that will go towards deserving cross country runners from Jen’s high school to help with their college expenses.

A group of my teammates will be running the RNR Vancouver Half Marathon on October 25th in honor of Jen. You can dedicate your run to Jen using the hashtag ‪#‎milesforJenK‬ on Twitter or Instagram.

You can also find more information here: Jen Kunze Memorial Fund