Marathon Training: Week 6

Shelley's Diary

Marathon training is, not surprisingly, proving to be educational! Continue reading “Marathon Training: Week 6”

Week 3 of Marathon Training: The Hills Are Alive

Shelley's DiaryThe hills are alive…just ask my calves, quads and glutes!

Hills played a large part in this week of marathon training. This was in part by design and in part due to my neighborhood geography! Continue reading “Week 3 of Marathon Training: The Hills Are Alive”

Week Two of Marathon Training


Week Two of Marathon Training


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Week Two of marathon training was much like Week One, with a side of adventure and surprise! Continue reading “Week Two of Marathon Training”

Marathon Training: Week One

Shelley's DiaryWell, here we go! Who would have believed, when I started running in 2012, that I’d ever want to run a marathon? Certainly not me. Not even after running my first half marathon, which had also seemed out of reach for me.

But this year, for whatever reason possessed me, I decided it was time to make the marathon a goal. I chose the California International Marathon in December for several reasons; not the least of which include the opportunity to train with some awesome running coaches, and with friends who are also running their first marathon.

So here we are, 3 months away, and already through the first official week of training. Here’s how Week 1 went.

Continue reading “Marathon Training: Week One”

Midsummer Update and New Shoes

Shelley's Diary

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I gotta say, I’m a little nervous about having committed to my first marathon when I’m struggling to make it a few miles these days! Then again, I have to remember: it’s really hot and everyone is struggling. So the best I can do is just keep moving. We’ll all be better for it when the weather starts to cool.

Continue reading “Midsummer Update and New Shoes”

Treadmill Interval Training – Walk Before you Run (and maybe get comfortable with both before you sprint!)

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Hahahahahaha…..oh, my goodness, let me tell you about my first treadmill interval training!

As I shared in a previous post, with the high temperatures and intermittent smoke-infused atmosphere of the high desert summer, I was inspired to seek out ways to make the treadmill not so dread-ful. I shared a link to a sample workout I had found, and said I was looking forward to trying it. And I was. Truly.

Today I had the opportunity. The air quality index ranged between unhealthy and hazardous. (Evidently Northern Nevada is surrounded by wildfires). Instead of exposing my dogs and myself to the haze, I saved my run for after work and ventured indoors to the treadmill. I hopped on to the belt with confidence, turned up my running playlist, pulled the workout to my phone screen and started ‘er up.

One minute of walking at 3 mph. No problem. I usually go right into an easy run, but whatever.

Three minutes of jogging at 5 mph. My comfortable running pace. All good.

One minute of running at 6 mph. Okay, pushing a little, I like it.

But then…

Thirty seconds of sprinting at 8.5 mph. Sounds easy enough, right?


Wow, that seems pretty fast.

Gee, shouldn’t the thirty seconds be up by now?


I think I almost did thirty seconds, but I had my hand on the button to quickly lower the pace back down to 6 mph for another minute. But instead of stopping at 6, I kept turning it down…back down to the 3.5 mph fast walk.

That’s not what the plan called for, but it’s what my body called for. I did about 2 minutes of a recovery walk, then went back to the plan and turned it back up to a minute of 6 mph. Then I attempted another 30 seconds of 8.5 mph.

I’m not sure I made it 20 seconds. Brought it back down to 3.5 mph.

Maybe I’m not ready for this particular plan! I wasn’t even 10 minutes into it and it was kicking my butt!

So I improvised the rest. I went between my comfortable 5 mph pace and 3.5 mph fast walk.

As much as I do not enjoy the treadmill, I’m pretty proud of myself for working at it until I reached 3 miles. That’s what I would have run this morning if the air had been cleaner.

Here’s my Fitbit screen shot of the workout.Fitbit Screenshot 7.19.17

I think I’ll write up my own treadmill workout, and maybe work my way up to that 8.5 mph pace.

How do you keep treadmill workouts interesting? I’d love to see your suggestions and comments!


Rock Tahoe Half Marathon 2017

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My friends and I ran the Rock Tahoe Half Marathon last weekend. Beautiful views. Challenging race. Great bling. Fantastic post-race party.

But, would we do it again?

The Rock Tahoe Half Marathon starts at Spooner Summit and goes down Highway 50 and through Round Hill Pines, ending with a private pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Stateline, NV.

Most of the registrants gathered in front of the Hard Rock and loaded into buses, which transported us up to the Start Line. Once there, we had about 45 minutes before gun time to stretch, get coffee, check our bags and use the facilities.

Adrenaline and excitement were high. The local fitness club girls led us through warm ups. Then the National Anthem was played on electric guitar, in keeping with the race theme. And we were off.

I’m not a fast runner, I’m usually happy with 11-or-so minute miles. My fastest half marathon was last March – I averaged an 11:10 pace and finished in 2 hours 28 minutes. I was not looking to better that with Rock Tahoe…I knew it would be a tough course, and I just wanted to enjoy the day. My friend suggested I try to keep up with the 2 hour 15 minute pacing group. I agreed that I could give it a try, though I knew I’d drop back fairly soon.

Rock Tahoe Half Marathon 2017

It was a gorgeous day – a tad on the warm side (okay, it was hot). It was hard to believe that only the week before, it had snowed in the Sierras. This weekend, the highs reached the high 80s. The race time temperature was around 60. It felt so good to be out there in the forest, under a cloudless blue sky, knowing that at any moment we would catch our first glimpse of the equally blue Lake Tahoe. And let’s be real; not many races (at least in my experience) start with downhill! All of the runners were giddy…the joy was contagious!

At around the four-mile mark I was already starting to feel fatigued, I stopped to tie my shoe, and looked up to see the 2:15 pacing group catch up to me and move on. Holy crap…no wonder I felt tired! I needed to back off.

And so the mind games began. Once I realized how fast I had been going and I knew (or believed) I couldn’t maintain that pace for 9 more miles, I dialed it way back. Suddenly I found myself seeking the next aid station as the next goal . (the aid stations were generously placed, by the way!) Once I reached it, I took my sweet time…had some water and electrolytes, used the facility, then moved on. As we continued on, I stopped frequently to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Rock Tahoe Half Marathon 2017It was the uphills that really got to me. I tried to ignore that pesky inner voice that told me I should have known better than to start out so fast. I turned my attention to the runners around me. We were all working hard to get to the finish and encouraged each other along the way. The ones who were still running cheered the walkers along. Those of us who alternated between running and walking shared our energy and encouraged one another. We talked about what a tough course it is, but a beautiful one, and how strong we were to be out there finishing it! It was all positive.

Overall, this was my slowest half marathon so far. My Fitbit app shows splits ranging from 9.5-minute miles to 17-minute miles. It was a demanding course. I felt every bit of the altitude and the hills. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier to see a finish line.Rock Tahoe Half Marathon 2017

But the reunion at the finish with my friends was nothing but festive. Hearing their stories and celebrating the fact that we finished strong – and congratulating each other for each individual win – was all worth it. (Make no mistake – we all won!) Soaking our tired legs in the swimming pool at the Hard Rock Hotel felt glorious. And yes, the post-race cheeseburger fresh off the grill was worth the 20-minute wait in line.

But would we do it again?

Immediately after the race many of us didn’t think so. But less than 24 hours later, we were messaging each other on social media about the early bird discount for next year. And not one of us has ruled it out! We may very well return even stronger next year to rock that race!

Rock Tahoe Half Marathon 2017

Did you Rock Tahoe? What has been your most challenging race?