Sunday Sweats 2016 - Vol. 4

Training For:
Weekly Workouts:
Monday 1/18: 4.12 mile run @ 8:37 + 60 minutes PT | Today is the 2nd anniversary of my first marathon and, this year, I did something a little different:
Two years ago today I became a marathoner. Normally I'd celebrate with a run of numerically symbolic significance, but I didn't. Over the almost-5 years I've been a runner, I've spent so much time and energy looking back - for a long time, at how far I've come and, more recently, at the distances and paces I've run previously that I just can't match these days. But today, I'm done with that chapter. Today I gave myself the gift of taking the meaning away from numbers. I ran a perfectly numerically insignificant 4ish miles in some of the coldest weather I've ever run in. My face was so frozen it hurt, but I felt more free than I have in a while. Starting today, I'm done with looking back. Starting today, I'm looking forward. March brings my 5th year of Shamrock and while I am truly unsure whether I have it in me to run a PR, that thought consumes my mind a lot less than the amount of fun I expect to have by returning to the half for the first time in 3 years. I have big plans after Shamrock, but I'm letting those come in due time. Turning one page at a time. Focusing on the story more than the data. Flexing my mind more than my muscles. Letting go. #shamrockon16 #halfmarathontraining #marathontraining #bigsurmarathon #ironmantraining #IMNC #myironyear
A photo posted by Tracy (@tracy.schoenfeld) on

Tuesday 1/19: 45 minute spin + 40 minutes strength | Jess's Amy Winehouse vs. Lady Gaga ride was awesome! Seriously obsessed with the Peloton themed classes. I did my own cycle circuit tonight: after I hopped off the bike I went right into strength training. After thinking about all the areas I need to work and the different exercises I've learned at PT, I came up with a couple different workouts. I wanted to keep the whole workout around 30 minutes, and it came to 40 but that includes 8 minutes of lacrosse ball in the beginning, so definitely manageable! I felt best doing push-ups...they're not something I do often, but whether or not I can do them is a good indicator of my personal overall fitness. A month or two ago I tried to do 10 and I was on the floor after about 4, so knocking out two sets of 10 with relative ease felt pretty kickass.

Wednesday 1/20: 7 mile run @ 9:29 | We got a fresh layer of snow in the couple hours before (and a little during) my run and it was just magical. I slowed down, partly due to snow and partly due to my epiphany on Monday, and just ran. I ended up with the same average pace for these 7 miles as I did for my abysmal 6 mile long-run-that-wasn't on Sunday, except my splits ranged from low 9s to high 9s rather than high 8s to 11:00. I did the hilly route, and running uphill when you're also trying not to slip on snow and ice is 100 times harder, in case you were wondering. Actually that goes for the downhills too. 

This was a run that I really, really needed. It reminded me who I am. I'm not a pace on a Garmin or a time on a clock. I'm a girl who has grit and determination and is crazy enough to run through snow and ice when no one else is out. In the two miles back home I saw my footprints from when I had gone out, the only ones in the fresh snow, and I just felt like yelling, "Yes! That was me! I was here!" Maybe you had to be there.

In other news, I've been reading a book about mental strength - it's part anecdotal and part scientific, and wholly interesting. So I've been thinking a lot the things in the book, and tonight I actually Jedi mind-tricked my body into not stopping to go to the bathroom! Serious accomplishment considering I've been routinely stopping after 2-4 miles, and tonight I had to go so bad I actually ran all the way up to the door of the gym so I could duck in the bathroom. But I really didn't want to stop so at the last second I was able to convince my body that I could wait and I miraculously made it another 3 miles home. 

Thursday 1/21: 4.11 mile run @ 8:17 | This was a great run! Did the same loop as Monday and tested out a little bit of speedwork: 1 mile warmup, 4 X .25 mi (I use miles not meters because I don't run on a track sooo...yeah) with .25 mi recovery in between, 1 mile cool down. I ran the faster intervals on feel, not pace; I wanted to use them to find a pace that wasn't an all out sprint but wasn't easy and bordered on hard/uncomfortable (thinking I'd land somewhere around my goal half marathon pace). The intervals were actually more like 20-30 seconds faster than GHMP, and when I got to my last mile I noticed that pace I was running during cool down was actually at GHMP, so I decided to stick with the last mile as a tempo mile I guess? I know that is not at all the protocol for an interval or a tempo run but my body was happy so I am happy.

Friday 1/22: Rest | Other than a couple trips outside to check out the snow's progress, I mostly enjoyed my snow and rest day from my couch.

Saturday 1/23: 45 minutes spin + 40 minutes strength | So, best laid plans, right? Of course the week I decide to get my long run game back on track, we get nailed with a foot and a half of snow. I knew early on in the week that that would probably be the case, so I made plans to swap my weekend workouts so I could be indoors Saturday and (maybe?) outdoors Sunday. This was one of the hardest spin classes I've ever done. I don't need know if it was the class or me, but I was dying. My whole midsection cramped up, even my back, which was weird. I mean, I'm glad I did it, but I also wanted to die. 

Sunday 1/24: 13.11 mile run @ 9:45 + 60 minutes yoga  | This run was not without its low points: bathroom break (duh) during which I also decided to change clothes so I didn't have to go back out in 20 degree weather in wet clothes, so it took like 10 minutes; kicking myself with my new Yaktrax, twice, bad enough to yell, "Fuck!" several times on the sidewalk and to cut and bruise my inner ankle (didn't notice that part until I got home); running out of water around mile 9 and being so thirsty I stopped to eat some snow; running out of steam around mile 10 and walking up the last big hill; and getting a sudden, intense cramp at mile 11.5 that nearly had me doubled over by the last quarter mile. Still even with all those snafus included my total time (2:21/10:45 pace) wasn't even my worst half! It was one of the slowest yet hardest runs I've done in quite some time, but at least I made it through. My only goal was to just keep moving forward, no matter what. I actually can't remember the last time I ran a half marathon on my own (non-race), probably a year, and that was a mental hurdle I just really needed to cross. Oh and I went music-less this entire week! It still doesn't make sense to me, but I run happier without it.

I fully intended to haul my ass to yoga right when I got home from my run since there's a yin class once a week that I want to try. But I would have had to change and leave within like 2 minutes (and maybe still be late), plus my stomach was really queasy so I didn't. Instead I did an old favorite, Sage Rountree's Yin Yoga for Athletes (and Ben even joined in)!

Previous Weeks:


  1. Lol at you eating snow! Oh jeez. Sounds like you had a better than average week, that long run just kind of tanked. But we all have bad runs! I just listened to a podcast with Tom Foreman, the author of My Year of Running Dangerously, and he talked a lot about that. It was really a good listen!

  2. first, i love the hashtag #myironyear. love! and good job on tricking your mind, that is awesome! that book sounds interesting. oh my gosh, your poor ankle! i have been intrigued by those things, but i kick myself a lot when i run (like, literally) and i would definitely bruise / cut myself up in those. good to know. i'm always happy to read that you're loving music-less running :)

  3. I'm really curious about this mental strength book you're reading! Good for you for getting a run in in the snow on Sunday! All in all, looks like a really solid week of training!

  4. Nice going with the pushups! I barely ever do them because, well, I can't... or couldn't. I was feeling sassy the other day in yoga class and threw 5 into my plank to charutanga flow, and I was SHOCKED by how "easy" they felt. Guess all that handstand practice is good for something, huh?
    Hills and snow really don't mix, do they? There's no way I feel safe running down or up hill if I can't see if there's ice underneath the already-slippery snow. But your moment of pride there is making me super proud of you too :) and umm can you share the name of that book please??
    OMG that Yaktrax injury does NOT sound good! Hope you're okay! Sorry that run wasn't as good as it could have been but good on you for kicking its ass anyway. Oh and I loved your couples yoga snap! :)