Marathon Training? What's That?

This week kicked off training for my 11th marathon, the Fargo Marathon, coming up in May. Overall it really wasn't very exciting in running terms! After a relatively pleasant winter so far, we received an "Arctic blast" from Canada and now it's stinking cold. I now live on the treadmill ;)

The poem "Snow-Bound" by John Greenleaf Whittier explains it well:

“A chill no coat, however stout,
 Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,”

He's got that right. No coat will keep you warm in these temps! The current windchill is -33°F as I write that. Isn't that almost comical? Oh Minnesota... it's hard to imagine running a marathon outdoors four months from now!

Life outside of running is exciting as always! My husband has kicked off the year following the Insanity workouts and he's really sticking to it. I'm proud of him! He's been the one getting up early and working out lately; I've gotten out of practice since the last training cycle and I need to steal some motivation from him.

The school year is already halfway through. E's first wrestling match is coming up this week. Ninjago Legos are the boys' latest obsession.

That's life here lately!

Weekly Wrap: Fargo 26.2, W1

Returning from a hip flexor injury in August 2018 to train for Fargo Marathon 2019 in May.

SUN: Easy 6.01 mi, 53:31 @ 8:55/mi finally outdoors and enjoying decent temps.

MON: (Treadmill) Easy 5.0 mi, 41:26 @ 8:21/mi. Strength: Atlas - core.

TUES: Rest Day

WED: (Treadmill) Tempo 5.01 mi, 42:14. 1 mi WU, 2 mi @ 7:30, 1 mi easy, 1 mi @ 7:30/mi. Strength: Poseidon - full body. The pushups and tricep dips always kick my tail!

THURS: (Treadmill) Easy 4.17 mi, 37:26 @ 8:58/mi.

FRI: No running; Strength: Bia - hips from yesterday.

SAT: (Treadmill) 8.01 mi, 1:06:39 @ 8:19/mi.

Total => 28.2 miles

Let's Connect!

Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Journaling a Year in Nature | Curriculum Review

As the new year kicked off, I didn't have the usual list of resolutions or goals. Life has felt very full lately, full of so many blessings, but so full that I'm feeling overwhelmed. It seemed that I didn't need one more resolution to chase so I left this year more open-ended.

I am always looking to grow myself as a wife, homeschooling mom, marathoner and, most importantly, child of God and nature study popped up as a tangible area to focus on this year. Having a nature journal can be such a relaxing and enjoyable way to explore God's creation.

It can be. Yet I have felt stalled out over the past year, not knowing where to start.

We are following the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum for my oldest son's 1st grade year and I ran across the Journaling a Year in Nature journal in their bookstore. I received a journal to review and just in time to kick off the longest and, in my opinion, most monotonous season in northern Minnesota.

I started off this journey on January 1st and have been working my way down the list of nature study prompts, starting with trees. Having a variety of topics to cover gave me fresh inspiration and much more depth than just writing "it's cold again" and leaving the page white to represent the snow.

For my tree study, I started with choosing a tree to follow throughout the year (in our backyard) and then did a rough sketch of it, making note of the bark pattern and how the branches connect in to the main trunk. I am considering switching to follow our apple tree throughout the year, I really enjoy watching the apple blossoms bloom and develop.

While Charlotte Mason was all about dry brushing, I hope she can give this rookie some grace as I did my sketches in black pen. It's a start. I plan on sharing this journal with our soon-to-be 6 year old as he hasn't started his own nature journal yet and this is a great springboard for us both.

I also sketched our neighbor's tree as it has a very intricate and interesting branch system. In the warmer months it has little berry or apple fruits on it and I want to do more research to identify it.

Along with beginning my tree sketches, I tracked the weather for the week which was surprisingly warm for a week in January! I look forward to working through this journal and comparing each season's weather.

One month in to this journey, I would say that Journaling a Year in Nature is serving as a source of inspiration and fresh ideas for my nature journaling growth, even in one of the most difficult nature study seasons for this area. The laminated front and back covers make this notebook sturdy enough for journaling outdoors and being hauled all over in my book bag. This journal is printed on heavy paper meant for drawing and painting without warping.

Journaling a Year in Nature is an excellent resource for an adult, student or even for the family to share. It is designed with sturdy materials to endure those outdoor adventures and the writing prompts  new areas for exploration in each season. Learn more about this book and/or purchase your own at for $21.95.

*I received Journaling a Year in Nature in exchange for my honest review.*

I Hurt Everywhere

And it's a good thing. Okay, mainly it's my triceps and upper body in general! I haven't done push ups or dips in ages.

We have had some amazing weather for January in Minnesota, think 30's and 40's with SUN. The kids and I have been taking in the rays and I run outside when logistically possible (which honestly hasn't been much).

It's not the outdoor time or old injury that's made me so stiff. Not even the slip on ice I had a few weeks ago. Ouch, that did hurt too.

It's been the Strength Training for Runners program that I bought from RunnersConnect with my Christmas money. Yeah. Merry Christmas all right, here have some sore muscles ;)

In all seriousness, this strength program has been exactly what I needed to kick off the new year (thanks, mom & dad!) and it's the closest thing to a "running coach" that I'll ever have. That hip flexor strain last August took a whopping 4 months to completely heal. FOUR MONTHS! And I don't want to go back to that. My hip and core strength has been lacking, especially after returning to running after our third baby, and I am going to be dedicated to strength work in 2019.

The Plan: Include 4 Strength sessions per week.

It's doable, not too time consuming, and I can do these routines with the kids crawling all over/hanging on me. This RunnersConnect program contains training prescriptions for every race distance with details on what days to do which workouts. Then the workouts (all with Greek mythology-inspired names) are listed with reps, descriptions and a video covering all of the moves. This reminds me of our strength training program for college tennis - it's detailed, I know exactly what to do, no guess work and that, I like.

Now is the perfect time to get rolling on the "strength train" as I'm rebuilding my running mileage base and working back into marathon training mid-month!

How often do you strength train?

My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into marathon mileage after a hip flexor strain in August 2018. 

SUN: Long-ish Run 6.02 mi, 50:34 @ 8:28/mi in the snow, somewhat windy. Good news is I felt no pain in my hip even in the loose snow and ice. Strength: Hamstring/Glutes.

MON: (Treadmill) Easy 4.09, 36:10 @ 8:50/mi. Strength: Atlas - core.

TUES: Off - Happy New Years!

WED: (Treadmill) Easy 5.0 mi, 41:57 @ 8:23/mi. Strength: Poseidon - full body.

THURS: Off - House sale meeting went later than planned.

FRI: (Treadmill) Easy 4.17 mi, 36:19 @ 8:42/mi. Strength: Bia - hips.

SAT: Long Run 8.01 mi, 1:01:55 @ 7:44/mi. Strength: Achilles and Hams/Glutes.

27.29 total miles

Let's Connect!

Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.