Sunday Sweats 2016 - Vol. 1

I'm bringing sexy Sunday Sweats back. I've missed writing them, but since I haven't been training for anything since B2B, I haven't really felt the urge to write them. But, you know, new year and all that....seemed like a good time to start them back up! I also had a pretty exciting week to kick off the first edition of the year, so I'm starting back on a high note. This year is going to be a big one for me, with the Big Sur Marathon in the spring and Ironman North Carolina in the fall. I'll technically start training for IMNC before Big Sur, so rather than breaking up my Sunday Sweats into different training cycles, I'm planning to keep a weekly log throughout the entire year.

I'm planning to include my current race plans and goals (for the foreseeable future, anyway), in all posts, like so:

Training For:
Shamrock Half Marathon
March 20, 2016
Goal: sub-1:55, PR? (Current PR 1:49:34)

Big Sur Marathon
April 24, 2016
Goal: sub-5:00 (or at least finish before the cutoff of 6 hours)

And a bit of explanation for this first edition:

My big goal races of the year are the Big Sur Marathon and Ironman North Carolina. I'm keeping other goals and races to a minimum, but one big(ish) race I know for sure that I'm doing on the way to Big Sur is the Shamrock Half Marathon. This will be my 5th consecutive year participating in Shamrock weekend and, despite tackling the marathon the previous 2 years, this year I'm going back down to the half. My performance in that race will be a direct correlation to how my Big Sur training is going. I'm not aiming for a PR, but I know myself and know there's a good chance I'll get a wild hair on race day and want to push myself past my current PR of 1:49. If that doesn't happen, no big deal, but either way I want to finish in the 1:50-1:55 range.

As for Big Sur, I'm following my own personally-modified version of Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2 Marathon Training Plan. Are there better marathon plans out there? Probably, but I've used HH since my first half marathon so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. One major change I'm making is cutting the running days from 5 to 4, because 4x/week is my magic number and I have learned the hard way that changing that is bad news for me. I've also designated one day per week for hill workouts (...starting next week) because my biggest concern for Big Sur is the 1600-2000ft (I've read different numbers) elevation gain. It's hilly enough where I live that I'm never running on flat roads, but I'm also keeping track of my elevation gain on my long runs in particular to see how they match up to Big Sur.

Oh and along with posting my training every week, I'll probably give a quick update on my fundraising progress for Children of Peru and gently remind anyone reading that if you would like to help me meet my goal, you can contribute to my fundraising campaign anytime between now and the race in April. I hate asking for money (why did I sign up to fundraise...?) and absolutely do not have any expectations for donations from my friends and readers, but if you're so inclined, you can do so here and I will be forever grateful (you can even donate anonymously if you prefer). I'm currently 29% of the way to my goal of $1829 - one dollar for every day I will have been a runner on race day (my 5th running anniversary). You didn't think a numbers-obsessed sap like me would make any other fundraising goal, did you?

I think that covers the administrative stuff. Onto the workouts!

Weekly Workouts:
Monday 12/28: 1 hour physical therapy + 45 minute spin (Peloton "Queen" Class) | Got my new heart rate monitor and speed & cadence sensors set up! Finally knowing my cadence sensor made it so much easier to keep up with the instructor's cues. And the Queen them was one of my favorites so far. Ending the class with Bohemian Rhapsody might have been the most fun I've ever had in spin.

Tuesday 12/29: 6.23 mile run @ 8:56 | Wore my heart rate monitor again and I think I'm spending way too much time in the high HR zones, but when I run up hill a lot (and never really recover my heart rate on the downhills), I'm not sure what to do? Another sucky point of this one is that my stomach didn't feel well, which I thought was just because I hadn't eaten lunch, but with 2 miles to go I needed a bathroom, badly. I stopped at my normal one but it was locked, I assume since school is out. I managed to hobble home without having to call Ben to come get me, but just barely.

Wednesday 12/30: 4.13 mile run @ 9:01 + 75 minutes yoga | Sunrise run before hitting the road for New Jersey! I really tried to slow down and have an easy, comfortable run. Success! After I arrived in NJ Alyssa and I went to a class at her yoga studio and I finally got to take a class with the famous Donna! She was worth all the hype and praise. That was the first time in a few years that I'd been in a proper studio and it made me realize how much I get out of studio classes compared to doing yoga at home. I'm researching studios in my area and trying to figure out how to make at least one class a week work with my schedule.

Thursday 12/31: NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park - 4.05 miles @ 9:39 | Okay so technically this started at the stroke of midnight, but Alyssa and I have agreed we're counting this one as our last run of 2015. It was congested (10000 runners!) and my limbs were frozen and stiff after standing around for 3 hours but we had a blast! Literally - there was a 15 minute fireworks sendoff at the beginning of the race. When we first got into the city we were a little taken aback by how quiet it seemed for any night, but especially NYE. But as it got closer to midnight the park really livened up with people everywhere. For as many runners as there were, it seemed like there were even more spectators! They lined pretty much the entire 4-mile course. It was a really fun way to ring in the new year and now I can check it off my list!

Friday 1/1: 45 minute spin (Peloton Live DJ Class) | The Peloton studio is in Chelsea, so I asked Alyssa if we could pretty please go to a class while I was just across the river visiting her. She graciously agreed and handled her first spin class like a champ! It was so amazing to get to take a class at the Peloton studio with one of my favorite teachers, Jess King and the perfect way to start off the year! When we signed up there were only bikes in the back row left, which was fine because we didn't really want to be on the recording anyway. I forgot about the mirror (never really noticed it before tbh) behind the instructor so, as it turns out....we made the video (luckily we just looked like shadowy figures lurking in the background).

Saturday 1/2: Rest | Drove 8 hours home from NJ, so not exactly restful, but that was my day.

Sunday 1/3: 12.29 mile run @ 9:06 (587 ft el. gain) | It's been a while since I've really been in a consistent weekend long run routine. Even though I've continued to do 6-12 mile long runs since B2B, many of them have been races, and almost none of them have been at a normal long run time for me (Sunday morning). So I'm learning to get back in the habit of long runs and all they entail, mainly proper prep the day(s) before: eating well, drinking water, getting enough sleep, etc. This run wasn't perfect, mainly due to the bathroom breaks I had to take, nearly like clockwork, every 4 miles, but I learned my lesson about not getting up early and running in the morning. Technically this was my first run of Big Sur training so it's only up (literally) from here! Of note: this was the same pace (okay technically 1 second/mile slower) than a 12 mile run I did at the beach 2 weeks ago! Also I felt like I really took the "slow" in "long slow distance" (LSD) run to heart and never pushed my pace or my heart rate, so aside from the normal aches toward the end, I felt good physically!


  1. What an awesome midnight run on NYE! I love that!!! Can't wait to hear how the training continues to go!

  2. The midnight run sounds like so much fun! Although I would have to nap pretty hard core before running at that time!

    Do you still need some hill workouts? I have 2 that are great for marathon training. Just let me know!

  3. A midnight fun sounds like fun! Have a great week! :)

  4. oh fun! i actually was gonna start them back up as well, but next sunday. we'll see. i've started them many times without actually posting haha but the new year is a great time to do it, like you said.
    2016 is going to be a HUGE year for you and I can't wait to follow along like a creep.
    at first I thought your first race was Big Sur and your goal was sub 1:55 and I almost had a heart attack. My reading skills are so great lol.
    a themed spin class? how fun! i want my gym to do that. i haven't been to a spin class since 2013 maybe. or 2012. woah. writing it out like that, jeepers.
    how fun that you got to do a Donna class! and I agree about studios vs home. I hope you find a good local studio.
    the midnight run looks super fun. what a fun way to ring in the new year :)

  5. A midnight run in NYC seems so fun! Happy New Year, Tracy!

  6. The NYE run sounds like so much fun-- freezing and all! What a fun way to end the year (& the cupcakes you guys had looked delicious too.) That spin studio looks so intense/awesome. In college I tried spin with a friend, and for some reason the class ended up being us and a bunch of professors (slightly awkward)- on top of it being SO hard, we still laugh about it now. But it looks like such a fun weekend with Alyssa- so glad you were able to do so many running/yoga/workout related things. I feel like the Big Sur marathon seemed so far away when you first posted about it, but now it's just four months! I can't wait to read more of how your training goes as you get closer- so much to look forward to this year!

  7. Okay one, love the new site look. Two, I love Sunday Sweats and am glad you're going to be doing them again! Writing them was so good for me last year and I love having that record of one of the biggest years of my life. I'm sure you will love having that documentation of this year too!
    I think it's smart that you're cutting to 4 days, given everything else you'll have going on (and needing to make time for yoga! ;))
    I was happy to be able to donate to this great cause marking this huge event in your life, and hopefully I'll be able to make another contribution before your race day. I want you to meet every goal on this journey!
    Second half of this week has so many good things. Yay for Donna, Midnight Run, and Peloton! Way to crush your long run Sunday too. (Selfishly, I'm super happy to see your SS posts making a comeback because they seriously inspire me to kick half as much ass as you manage to.)

  8. I'm so jealous that you guys ran a race in NYC on NYE!! It sounds like such a fun run! I can't wait to hear all about your training for Big Sur. I hate riding my bike but I took a couple spin classes years ago and actually enjoyed it, maybe I should start back.