Tag Archives: Marathon Training

Lazy breakfast & Yesterday’s long run

Good morning, my beautiful little blog family! Today I woke up at 6:00AM for no reason other than my body just felt like it was time to wake up. I love mornings like that! Waking up early and before my alarm. Too bad I forgot I had planned a quick fasted cardio session for this morning and had a small pre-breakfast breakfast, haha. Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow. It’s not like I’m going to do a 60 min run for fasted cardio or anything close to that, I was just thinking walking fast for 15-20 minutes on the treadmill. Right now I am eating my breakfast (Cheerios, strawberries, almond milk) while watching Teen Mom OG and blogging.
Yesterday my mom and I went for one of our first seriously long long-runs for this season of marathon training. We took the old railroad trail path all the way to the city, then intead of going towards the centre of the city we ran down to the river and followed a path that I have never seen before (or at least not that I remember) back out of the city. It was really beautiful there and I wish I had known about it sooner! And the sunshine made it even nicer. It’s always fun for me to run new places! When the trail by the river ended we ran through the timber terminal and back on to the regular route through a little neighborhood. After that it was all hills, hills, hills! I am not a fan of hills, but I know that makes it even more important for me to run them! After what felt like an hour we had climbed all the way up to the parking at the end of the old railroad trail path (opposite side from where we started our run). From here it’s approximately 4 km left home, which isn’t too bad, right? Well, my body was done. Done! As much as my brain wanted to move forward my body did not want to follow. Sure, it went forward, but I’m sure if you were sitting on a bench looking at us you’d think you were having a stroke because I looked like I was running in slow motion. Thankfully my mom was there to hold my hand – and I mean literally hold my hand, I was able to speed up a little bit when I held on to her hand and she sort of controlled the speed level. I was so happy when the run was over, not only because my body really didn’t feel like working anymore but also because I always feel really happy after a long run! 20,12 km including hills.
Today I’m not sure whether I want to go for a short run or just go for a walk before work. Right now it all depends on the weather, yes, it’s one of those days. Honestly, it’s probably more just me being lazy and not wanting to do anything at the moment. But I know once I head out I’ll ask myself why I ever even hesitated. I should also probably finish throwing away things and clean my room, I haven’t blogged about it but for the last month or so I’ve been on a mission to declutter my room and it is starting to look really nice. Or.. at least something close to nice, haha! And all of the sudden I had a bunch of things to do before work! I should probably get started!

What is your favorite way to start the day?
Do you ever blame the weather for your laziness?

Marie Alessandra

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Cancelled triathlon, Marathon training, & going back to Cali.

A week ago today I got back from a weekend in Hamburg (Germany) with my parents. We ran the Hamburg Half Marathon, which I’ll be posting a recap of very soon. I was originally going to go to Nice (France) tomorrow with my mom because she was supposed to compete in the Nice Triathlon on October 2nd. But can you guess what was cancelled? Yup, the triathlon was cancelled because of what happened there this summer. Which is understandable, of course. So my mom and I decided we’re not going to go to France at all, we can start marathon training together here instead. I don’t mind that at all, the Norwegian fall weather is pretty much perfect for long (and short) runs when it’s not raining.

I still feel like I need a vacation though. And when I need a vacation I make it happen! I think this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever done, haha wait for it.. My friend Mari (who you all probably already know if one of my best friends) is currently taking a year at UC Berkeley. All summer we talked about how awesome it would be if I could come visit her when she moved down there but we also knew that would probably never happen because it’s pretty much halfway around the world and it would be really expensive for me. Well.. Guess who bought a plane ticket to Oakland the other day?! Hahaha! I am so freaking excited for this! I can’t wait to see my friend, I miss her so much and it’s going to be so much fun to see how her Berkeley life is. I am also super excited for the trip itself, the travel part of it – I have never travelled this far by myself in my entire life so it’s a pretty big deal for me. Another thing that I am really excited about is that I get to celebrate Halloween in America! Which is a life-long dream of mine, haha, don’t judge my goals in life. Mari worries that I’ll be bored while she is at school, but I’m not too worried about that, I’m already looking into places to run. This is going to be fun!

For the next 4 weeks I’ll be doing my best at training for Firenze Marathon by running as much as I healthily can, take long runs with my mom, make sure I eat as right as I can, and simply enjoy the wonderful weather whenever possible. Then on October 25th I’ll be going to visit Mari in California! Can you tell my level of excitement is blowing up!?
Any suggestions to where I can run or what I can do while I’m at Berkeley? (I’ll be there from October 25th to November 2nd if that makes any difference)
Do you have any fun plans this fall? Races, trips, celebrating something?

Marie Alessandra

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13 days left until the Marathon

The Marathon is less than 2 weeks away now, and I am getting so excited! (13 days left until the marathon & 15 days left until my birthday!) Last time I posted I wrote about how my time improved 8 minutes in 2 days. Well, the next run we had again after that I shaved another 8 minutes off of my time on that same route and distance! So I guess 8 is the magical number this month (Sesame Street flashbacks, haha!).
Most my runs lately has been with my mom. We are running the marathon together, so it’s nice to train together so that we know how to run and all that stuff. I’m one of those people who tend to start running way too fast at the beginning of the run and not being able to hold a steady pace throughout the whole run, but when I run with my mom she tells me to slow down if I push the pace too much and makes me hold a steady pace. She’s also been “teaching” me how to eat these little energy things while we’re running and I’m finally starting to feel like I’ve got the hang of it now. Normally drinking or eating something while I run makes me throw up a little, which is not really all that fun – especially not during a super long distance like a marathon, haha.

This Wednesday I’m going to get a massage again. The backstory to this: My mom has been getting massages and needles for her shoulder for a while (my mom and one of her friends was in a little bike accident last summer which has left her with a messed up shoulder) and she thought it might help me to try it too.
I tense up a lot when I run because I don’t breathe very well and when I have too much trouble getting air down into my lungs my neck and upper back area really hurts. This normally starts out with sharp pain around my shoulder blade and above my collar bones 2-3 km into my runs. After my second appointment (Thursday, November 5th) the pain I normally feel in that area after only 2-3 km wasn’t there. And it didn’t come after 5 km, not after 10 km, not after 12 km, and so on. I swear, this was my first run ever in my 2 years of running that has been completely pain free! I’ve felt it a little on my last 2 runs now, but not even close to what I was used to. So this Wednesday I’ll have my third appointment, and hopefully that will keep the pain away for the race. Also, the massage guy is super nice – apperantly he used to be a personal trainer at the gym I work at, and he has written a book about how to start working out if you don’t like working out (or something like that. Don’t worry, once it’s out I’ll read it and update you, haha) that will be out in January, so that’s pretty cool!

From now till Friday the 27th (that’s the day we’re going to Italy, the marathon is on Sunday 29th) I’ll be making sure I put a lot of focus on eating healthy, drinking enough water and make sure my sleep pattern is on point. And obviously make sure I don’t get sick again!
Yesterday I went on a super nice Sunday run with my dad. My tonsils were really swollen and it was very cold outside so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be a good run, but it was actually a really good one. Oh, and guess what? Today it’s snowing here! The first snow of the season. I was hoping the snow wouldn’t get here before next week, but now that it’s here I guess I’ll be doing some treadmill runs these last days before the marathon. If you’ve read my blog for a while you already know that cold weather + me = disaster. But hey, as long as I get to run I’m happy.

How are you today?
Do you have anything fun plans this week?

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What a difference 2 days can make!

Thursday last week (October 29th) my mom and I went for a long-ish run together. It was my 3rd run after being sick for 3 weeks and my first long run in what feels like forever. It felt so good to finally run a longer run again! We did the exact same route again on Sunday (November 1st), and wow, the difference 2 days can make is pretty mind-blowing!
We decited to run this route that we’ve run a bunch of times before. It’s the perfect route for marathon training because after the first 7-8 km you can either run over a couple bridges and get almost the same distance on the way home, or if you’re feeling brave you can take your run towards the city and around the river etc. and get an extra 5-15 km (depending on where you run, obviously). We took the bridges this time because it was only my 3rd run after being sick for so long and I honestly don’t think I would have been able to run much longer than we did.
The Thursday run was fun, hard and cold. If you’ve read my blog before you already know that I live in Norway, and it gets really really cold here during fall and winter (I am extremely sensitive to cold weather so it might not be as horrible as I make it out to be, haha). And because I had a 3 week break I still haven’t gotten used to being out in the colder temperatures.. So yes, it was cold to run, I had some trouble with my breathing, and my joints hurt a lot. After we had gotten to the other side of the bridges I really felt how long it had been since I had been on a long run, my legs and my lungs were not on my team anymore. But! It was still so much fun. And I was happy with it. My mom on the other hand was worried about the marathon because I wasn’t very fast, I was complaining a little (or a lot?), and I had to take walk breaks a few too many times (she didn’t tell me this before after our Sunday run, haha!).
Then we get to Sunday’s run. Same route, different day. It was a little bit warmer so I didn’t need to wear a beanie and multiple layers of shirts. And I’m always happy when I don’t need to dress up like an eskimo for a run this time of the year, haha! I felt really positive and confident about the run in the beginning, but I very soon noticed the cold air made my breathing a bit painful. It worried me a little, but my mom came up with a nice way to keep it under control. It was pretty much a slow run, then walk a couple meters before my breathing issues would start, then start running slow again. Just to not get that painful drowning feeling (I’m having a hard time explaining what I mean, but I pretty much have trouble getting air into my lungs sometimes – it stops in my throath or at the top of my chest, and the cold air makes it worse). I think that saved our run, haha. After the run my mom told be about how she was worried after our Thursday run but felt a lot more confident after this one. Guess what?!:
That’s almost an 8 minute difference! I am so happy with that! My marathon is only 27 days away now, and I need all the positive thoughts and training I can get. This 2 day improvement made me feel a lot more confident about the marathon, and because my mom is feeling more confident for me too it’s going to be a lot easier for us both.

Have you had any nice runs in the fall weather?
What did you dress up as for Halloween?

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Pre-race nerves?

Is it possible to be nervous without even knowing it? I’ve been doing so great with my running, my eating and the whole drinking enough water thing lately – that’s until last week, when I suddenly went a bit everywhere with my nutrition. So for a week or so now, my eating and drinking has been shit. My sleeping pattern has also been affected, and I’ve been falling asleep and waking up at the most random times. Perfect timing, right? Yesterday I started thinking.. Could this be because I’m nervous? I’ve told myself over and over again that I’m not nervous about the race. Not in a way where I’m flat out lying to myself and trying to convince myself that I’m not, but I honestly haven’t felt like I’m freaking out. Maybe I am. Maybe this is the sign of pre-race nerves? I don’t know, this it completely new to me..
Yesterday I ran my nice little 7 km. The weather was lovely, and the whole run was really good. Today I’m going to run my last little 5 km run before the race on Sunday with my mom, then we’re going to buy some things we need for the race. We’re only 4 days away from the marathon now, and I am really excited (and possibly nervous like a chicken walking by a KFC)! I need to start packing and get everything ready, oh my haha!

How do you deal with pre-race nerves?
What are your plans for the weekend?

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My mom had planned a pretty sweet route for us to run today. I’ve never run there before, and it was really nice with a little change. We drove to a place called ‘Hyggen’, parked the car and started running. The first 30 minutes were pretty nice, I didn’t feel too cold and I didn’t have much trouble with my breathing. My running was good, just ask my mom if you don’t believe me haha! Lovely.
With sub-zero temperatures you’d think I’d have an awful time, but the sun was shining for a while so it didn’t matter too much (at the beginning, that is haha). Most of the run took place on sidewalks, but we we’re lucky enough to get some of it on this lovely little path close to the water aswell. The sidewalks weren’t too bad either though – there was almost no traffic, so we had the road pretty much to ourselves.
After 30 minutes we turned around and started running back to the car (the plan for today was a 60 minute run). This is when I really started to feel how cold it actually was. Dress for the weater, you said? Well, I thought that’s what I did. You learn something every day, and today I learned that I need to start wearing even more layers haha.
I’m a bit annoyed with myself for not wearing enough, but what’s done is done. The last part I thought my fingers were about to fall off, and my red nose made me look like Rudolph haha! But all in all it was a really nice 10 km run.
Honestly, the best part was getting back into the car and turning on the heat haha! Just kidding, I loved the whole run. These temperatures though.. I’m glad the marathon takes place in Italy, if I had to run a race in this temperature I’d probably die. Only 8 days left until the big day now!
What did you do this weekend?
How do feel about cold-weather runs?

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It’s taper time

Tapering is hard work! Yesterday when I went out for a 7 km run I didn’t really know where I could run to shave off 3-4 km from my regular route. I figured it could work if I ran the first 5 where I normally run, but skip the part around the boats at the dock. Then instead of running around the horse track (that’s where I normally hit the 7 km mark), I’d just turn around and run by the road and take a shortcut through some tiny roads. It kind of worked. When the lady from Endomondo screamed 7 km I still had a kilometer left before I was home, but hey, I walked most of that part. It’s uphill anyway. I was lucky to get a dry run for the first time in.. I don’t know, it feels like it’s always raining. But yesterday the rain was nice enough to wait until I was done with my run. Thank you, weather Gods.
Right now I really just want it to start snowing. What’s the point of cold days if it doesn’t start snowing? It’s been raining pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks (at least that’s what it feels like) – even when it’s not supposed to rain, it does. And even though it’s not a lot of rain, it’s still rain. I know I’ve said “rain is better than snow”, but I realize now that was a big mistake haha. I really hope to see Norway covered in snow when I get back from Italy, I really do! Snow on my birthday is what I wish for every year.

Do you have a hard time running short runs?

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About the marathon

Two weeks, only two weeks left! Thought it would be nice to write a little something-something about the marathon. Unfortunately I still don’t really know that much about the race, but I’ll just write something short (*cough* and re-write + copy/paste some of the info from their site) to give you a better idea of what this marathon is like.
The expo takes place at the Luigi Ridolfi Staduim in Florence (sorry if I keep switching between ‘Florence’ and ‘Firenze’. In Norwegian and Italian it’s ‘Firenze’ so I’m just used to it), Friday 28th and Saturday 29th. One of the sponsors are Asics, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the expo a whole lot. I’m a sucker for anything Asics, if you didn’t already know hah. And because my birthday is the day after the marathon I’ll treat myself to some early birthday presents if I find anything I like.

The marathon is on Sunday, November 30th, starting at 09:15 in the morning. In my mind that’s very early for a race, but hey.. Maybe that’s normal? This is my first time running a marathon, so I have no clue. Along the route we’ll be surrounded by art, history and culture. The Florence marathon is the second largest in Italy, and I’m sure there’s a very good reason for it’s popularity. The route takes you by all those landmarks of singular beauty that have made Florence famous worldwide: views over the enchanting hills and countryside, and passing right by the Cathedral Square, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio (to mention only just a few of historical importance), before entering the majestic Piazza Santa Croce. The road is entirely asphalted and ramp-free, except for the short, slightly sloping stretch of road at the start, and these characteristics make it a particularly fast route appreciated by runners. The time limit to finish the race is 6 hours. The time limit to pass the half marathon point is 3 hours, and the 30 km point is 4 hours and 15 minutes – I’d never heard about these in-between time limits before so that’s a bit scary, but I know I can get through them in time. I’m so excited! And after the race, of course, I’ll get that big and yummy gelato I’ve been waiting for for so long.
Tell me something about your first marathon (or your biggest race).
Gotten any good runs this weekend?

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Just what I needed

This has been a tough and messy week, oh my.. I skipped my 90 minute run on Thursday. The whole day was dark and wet – I think the sun pretty much forgot about us that day, then I had my Italian class later in the evening and I just couldn’t be bothered. Afterwards I felt extremely guilty and disappointed in myself, before I realized it wasn’t the end of the world. I probably needed a rest day anyway. I’m glad the next 2 weeks will be a lot easier. No more slacking, ma’am!

I had a hard time getting out the door today aswell. But thanks to my mom (who almost had to drag me out the door with her) I got my 60 minutes. From our backyard we can walk straight up to the old railroad trail, which I absolutely love! Seriously, it’s so beautiful back there when the sun is up, especially in the summer or when it’s covered in snow. We ran to the end of the trail, then back, then turned around and took an extra loop to get the last 15 minutes we needed. At first I was a grumpy potato, but by the end my mood was up and everything seemed a lot better. I think this was the motivaion I needed right now, because all of the sudden I feel a lot more positive about these final 2 weeks (I’ve been such a baby about it lately, you have no idea). No more negative Nelly, I promise!
What motivates you on days you’re struggling?

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19 days

And the countdown continues! Today we’re only 19 days away from the big marathon day. While I was out running today it hit me, on Sunday there’s only 2 weeks left! Until now I’ve been thinking “there’s still time blah blah”, but it’s not as much time as I’ve been telling myself haha. I’ve been really good at following my training schedule so I’m hoping I made a good one. Today I ran 10,58 km. It was okay. My legs felt great, but my energy wasn’t all there. Lately I’ve been having extreme night sweats – I’ve literally woken up every morning soaking wet (sorry for over sharing and grossing you out haha!), so I’ve been feeling kind of dehydrated.. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will stop soon, ugh..
On Sunday my mom and I went for a nice long-ish run together. We were pretty lucky with the weather, only a small shower of rain that lasted probably for no more than 5 minutes. It was very windy, but that only makes us stronger (which is what my mom kept telling me every time I started complaining about the wind haha!). We ran a route where we haven’t been running in a while and it was fun running there again. It begins with a trail where there used to be a railroad, then through a small town, then on to the next part of the old railroad trail, over two bridges, through some industrial area next to the fjord, through a tiny neighborhood, then sidewalks all the way back home. It’s a lot nicer than it probably sounds haha. Next time I run there I’ll take more pictures. 15,10 km, following the plan.
How was your weekend?

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