Tag Archives: long run

Eugene Marathon Training Week #1

Week 1 is in the books!

I felt great this week, and I think this Pete Pfitzinger program and I are going to get along swimmingly. It’s a great balance of what I’m used to and new, exciting things—which means I feel like I have the tools to take it on, but it’s still interesting and fun. Here’s how this week looked:

M: 8 miles w/ 10×100 m pick-ups


W: 10 miles

T: spin + 20 min stair-stepper

F: 6 miles, easy + BodyPump

S: 14 miles LR w/ 8 miles @mgp

S: spin + lifting

Total= 38 miles running

*LR= long run, mgp= marathon goal pace, m= meters, pick-ups= 85% sprint effort

I stuck to my prescribed workouts to a T this week, which ideally will happen more often than not. It was a little daunting to start week one with 8 marathon goal pace miles plugged into the long run, but it turned out to be successful and actually made the time go faster. The long run was admittedly a little fast, especially my non-goal pace miles, so I’ll have to pay a bit more attention to that (I didn’t really look at my watch until it was time to start the goal-pace miles), but I felt great during it. Here’s a look at the splits:



So yes, too fast—but that’s fixable. Right now, I’m playing with a 7:55-ish marathon goal pace. We’ll see. It felt good during this run, a little fast but not hard. Just need to start working on slowing down when goal pace isn’t required. I also headed to the Burke Gilman trail for this run which was highly enjoyable. Lots of people, dirt to run on, and just enough up and down to keep things interesting. BF went with me and did 10 on his own, then we headed to brunch. Long run + good food= Saturday morning perfection.

image (1)


Lots and lots of coffee.

I don’t know if there will ever be a time when a long run doesn’t exhaust me. Perhaps it was the faster miles, but anything over 12 tends to set in that familiar post-long-run energy drain. It’s a good tired feeling though, albeit a little inconvenient on Saturday nights.

Also, in keeping with the theme of workout recaps, BF and I have continued our PSJJ streak! For those of you who didn’t read about our hair-brained resolution, we decided to do a push-up, a sit-up, and a jumping jack per the day in the year. Jan 1=1, Jan 2=2…and so on. It’s ridiculous, however we’re now on 42 and there’s no stopping in sight. It’s already a little difficult, but I’m trying not to complain yet…on the bright side, my push-ups are definitely feeling easier! Will keep you posted on how this progresses…

In OTHER news…something so very exciting happened yesterday:



I finally got a bike!!! I’ve been joking about, stressing about, and longing for a good, quality road bike for probably two years now, and I finally took the plunge yesterday and couldn’t be happier. Also, please excuse my “Sunday best” attire.

If we’re being honest, my main intention in buying this pretty little bike is to get into triathlons. I have crazy, far-fetched dreams about a possible tri-career, and if I’m not mistaken, being comfortable on a bike is *kind-of* a necessary skill to have. Out of the three disciplines, the bike would definitely be my weakness—as I just don’t have the riding experience. And I’m pretty sure spinning doesn’t qualify.

Anyways, while my focus right now is 100% on Eugene…I’m so happy to have finally bridged a big gap between my own planning and actual tri potential. One ride down the street on that baby and it was love, I was a goner.

BF wouldn't let me take her to bed, jerk.

BF wouldn’t let me take her to bed, jerk.

Now accepting possible names for her.

I also got clip-in pedals, cleats, and a big ‘ole lock. Now all I need are shoes…and to figure out how the hell to clip in/out without dying. Also now accepting proper bike riding lessons.

That’s all folks! A good weekend and a great start to marathon training. I feel good about this one, and I’m hoping for nothing but positive forward momentum. Let’s go!

How was your weekend? Do you have a bike? Have you done a tri? HELP ME.

On a Scale of 1 to Really Stupid…

This week is the calm before the storm.

Next Monday, I’ll be starting a 12 week journey toward the Eugene Marathon. Yipee-kay-yay, I can’t wait. Like, legitimately psyched for this.

16 week programs are always too much for me to wrap my head around, so I prefer to stick to 12 weeks, with a good amount of running base built up. Maybe I just have commitment issues (NOT—I’ve had the same haircut for 10 years), but there’s something so much more do-able sounding about “12 weeks.”

This is the best I’ve felt fitness-wise going into marathon training. I’ve been trying really hard to keep a log and build up mileage in a somewhat systematic way, without being too compulsive about it. I’ve been averaging ~40 miles/week…sometimes more, sometimes less. I’ve also been trying to consistently run 14-16 mile long runs on the weekend, which makes the upcoming 18-22s not as daunting. Kidding, they’re still scary.

I was considering taking this week as a zero-running week altogether, just to reset the system.

Ya…not exactly happening. It’s not that I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t feel it was all that necessary. Instead, I’m “tapering” a bit before actual training starts next week. Tapering, meaning that I’ll run fewer miles and focus on stretching and sleeping. The sleeping part isn’t for the sake of tapering actually—that’s just for fun.

So fewer miles, more leg TLC, etc.

Which brings me to my, “Just how stupid am I?” question:

This weekend happens to be the same weekend as West Seattle’s annual “Fat Ass 50k.”

No, don’t worry, I am not going to run a 50k before taking on a strict marathon training schedule.

BUT, there is a 25k option. Some of you might remember, I ran it last year, and had a blast.

I really really really want to do it again. I know a few people doing it, and it’s generally just fun to be out on a Sunday with a bunch of other neighborhood runners gearing up for an afternoon of Superbowl debauchery.

This race is very low key, very casual, but still very exciting. There are even bibs this year! And they have homebrews as prizes!

So here’s my question: How stupid is it to run a 15.2 mile race the day before beginning to marathon train?

Be honest please. I can’t guarantee I’ll obey anyone’s opinions, but I thought I’d throw the question out there. Remember, I wouldn’t actually “race” this race…more like a fun long run with paper safety pinned to me.


A Little of This, a Little of That.

Apparently when I’m not posting race reports, being injured, or training for a race, I have nothing to blog about—hence my absentee-ism last week. I still don’t have much in store today, however there are a few fun/random things to point out from this weekend.

Recently, I feel like I’ve been back and forth between do-everything-possible-in-two-days weekends and do absolutely nothing weekends. This weekend was more of the latter, and it was highly enjoyable.

Seriously, I felt like all I did was workout and veg out. Repeat. Which is just fine, because if there’s anything I love more than a long workout on the weekend, it’s the lazy-session that happens afterward.

So here are some highlights from my stellar do-nothing weekend.

16 Mile Run on Saturday

Month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though...

Lie. This is a month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though…and a braid.

16 is the furtherest I go when I’m not marathon training. And guess what? It’s still hard and still takes a long time.

This run was fine. I felt good, with the exception of the strong headwind for over half the run…not to mention the indecisive rain which would start and stop the entire time. I lucked out though…there were very few non-raining periods of time the whole weekend.

Love you Seattle.

Also, I decided it didn’t matter that I was stupid-dehydrated and completely empty-stomached beforehand. Can someone please show up at my house on Saturday mornings and tell me to not be such a huge asshole about proper running necessities?

Finished in 2:14, 8:18 average. Everybody wang chung tonight.

Saturday night, BF and I ventured into the world of real people and decided to see Argo.


Good stuff. Highly recommended…particularly if you’re interested in our ongoing issues in the Middle East. There’s also a strong presence of early ’80s mustaches in the movie, which is apparently all the rage right now.


The movie was not seen, however, before injesting some very important sustenance…

My one true love.

Photo lie #2. This is from a year ago, when I was better at taking photos. But this is what I ate on Saturday. Marry me, Chipotle.

Chipotle > everything else.

Sunday was essentially the same scenario, with a few twists added.

And by twists, I really just mean I went to double spin classes and watched my real TV instead of the big screen. Originality people, have to keep things exciting.

Kidding, I kind of suck.

After spinning for an incredibly boredom-inducing amount of time, I felt a little unsatisfied, so when BF suggested I come along on his run…I changed from one pair of sweaty clothes to another and hopped right to it. 5.4 miles later, and I was a happy little clam. Apparently being outside is always better than being inside, even when “outside” means wind, rain, cold, and dodging little children and skate-boarding teenagers.

We spent a little time reading and people watching at Starbucks afterward, grocery shopped like champs, and returned to the nest for one of my favorite activities of the entire year…


BF: “Do you want an action shot, or for me to smile at the camera?” RB: “BOTH!”

I know every female screams about loving “the most wonderful time of the year,” but I’m very serious when I say I could majorly throw down in a “who loves the holiday season the most” contest.

(pause for amusing image)

I turn into a giggling, jolly mess during Christmas…and that’s on top of my overly-enthusiastic personality.

Needless to say, last night was the best.


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The finished product! I love our tree. Also, I spy…not one but TWO Belle ornaments.

Seriously, the best.

Congratulations if you’ve made it this far and have now read all about my hum-drum weekend.

Two final things to add are that we’ve decided to go Monday-Friday this week without spending any money. Exceptions are Christmas presents for OTHER people, and I suppose paying any bills and such.

It’s a great exercise…but will be interesting to see the results. I panic if I think I don’t have the ability to buy a snack if needed…

And finally, if you don’t already watch or haven’t heard from the 6,487 people shouting about it…



Watch. Now.

If you don’t have Showtime, go buy it and enjoy wasting enhancing the next week of your life watching every episode. Then come and thank me afterwards. Then go and watch all the Dexters while you have the subscription. Best investment you’ll ever make.

Also, where in the world has Claire  Danes been since Romeo and Juliet Leo-style?

Please tell me about the mediocrity in your lives so I can feel that I’m not alone. Argo? Homeland? Run? Rain? Chipotle? If you so much as mention Q’doba…I will find you, and you will regret it.




Upcoming Race Schedule

If there’s one thing I know for sure about myself as a runner, it’s that I love to race.

Racing is the reason I started running in the first place way back when, and once I finally married the ideas of competitive racing and running as a hobby, it was like a match made in RB heaven.

Put me in coach! I’m ready!

Racing makes me feel like an athlete . It makes running more than just exercise or a “calorie torcher” (btw I HATE that expression.) And racing provides a very tangible measurement to log your progress, successes, etc. Sure, some races are just fun—like this one—but for me, I really prefer to actually race when the opportunity presents itself.

When you’re marathon training, spontaneous racing becomes a little tricky. It’s a good way to gauge your fitness, but you don’t want to overdo it or set yourself back in training. I’m currently not training for a marathon, so I’m pretty excited to use this winter to pencil in some short distance races. Sorry paychecks, my Christmas present to myself is coming in the form of registrations and tech shirts.

Here’s a look at some of the races I have on the schedule:

Mustache Dache 5k

Along with every other blogger/runner in Seattle, I’ll me showing my facial hair pride (what?) at this humorous pre-Thanksgiving race. And as silly and fun as the premise of this race may be, I’m having this bug-out issue with it for some reason.

Yes it’s just a 5k, and yes I don’t need to try and run fast every race, but ever since my last 5k where I PR’ed without intending to, I feel this 5k pressure of sorts. 5ks also just scare me because my pace is so much faster than what I’m comfortable with, and we all like to keep our comfort zones within reach. So, I don’t know if I have “goals” for this race per se, but I think I’ll just try to run fast and hold on.

PS: Brunch afterwards bloggers?

Seattle Half-Marathon

Again, I think this is another event where a ton of people I “know” will be running, which makes it exciting. It’s also going to be the first half-marathon I’ve actually raced in nearly a year and a half. My last half was Disneyland, which was really just a for-fun race, and so now it’s back to business.

Sort of.

To be honest, I’m a little scared of this course, and while I’m anxious to go for a very ambitious half-marathon time goal, I’m not sure this is the time to do it. It’s a tough course, and since Tacoma, I don’t underestimate the effect a hard course can have on race expectations. On that note, screw you Tacoma.

So, I think for the Seattle half I may go for a new PR (my current is 1:46) and see how I feel. My half PR was run when I was much slower than I am now (at the time I thought it was a fluke), so I’m interested to see what else I have in me. We’ll see.

Christmas Rush 10k

Nicole let me in on this little $10 secret, and I’m so excited to run another 10k. Fun fact: when I first started running (other than running track), a 10k was my first race. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a blast. I like this distance a lot more than 5ks—less puke-inducing but still fast enough to feel like a race. No goals really yet for this race—but I’m excited for it.

Yukon Do It Half Marathon

This little race in Port Orchard might be the ticket to my lofty half-marathon aspirations. It’s a smaller race, but such a beautiful course and still all the bells and whistles of a race (bibs, time chips, medals, etc.) It’s also on December 30, and I love the idea of closing the year with a half-marathon.

That’s all for now! Who knows, another one might pop up—but for now I’m pretty psyched for this schedule. It seems that November and December have turned into racing season for me, and I love it!

As for this weekend, no racing, but some running and seasonal fun as well. We have a “Family Thanksgiving” feast with some of our friends on Saturday night, and I’m planning a beautiful, cold 16 miles for tomorrow morning. Winter running, I love you so.


Now, please tell me which of YOU are running any of these races! Let’s meet-up 🙂

Chicago Marathon Training Week #7

Cheerio chaps.

What? Weird. I’ve been in the sun all day…it’s messing with me. But do I care enough to create another greeting in my head? Not at all.

Let’s talk about some of last week’s training, shall we?

M: Spin class + ~20 minutes stairmill

T: 10.4 m run @ 8:00 avg. pace

W: 7 m tempo— 1 m warm up, 5 @ 7:30, 1 m cool down + BodyPump

T: 10.2 m run—easy, no watch or music

F: Rest

S: 20 m run @ 8:18 avg. pace

S: 8.5 m recovery run—no watch, really relaxed + lifting

Total: 56.1 miles

A new personal weekly mileage high! I was happy with all these runs individually, although I was definitely feeling the high mileage during yesterday’s run. I love the recovery runs, but they also remind you of just how much wear and tear the long runs can do to your legs.

And speaking of, I am pretty pumped with how well my first 20 miler of this training cycle went. I felt really relaxed and efficient, and although I was pretty set on maintaining an 8:30 pace, I let my legs do the decision making and between 8:00-8:10 is what felt best. In fact, had it not been for the 10:40 mile 18 that was entirely up a massive hill, my average would probably have been closer to 8:10. Super encouraging run…and I think the amount of energy and strength I felt at the end was the best part. With the exception of a water bottle refill and an opening of my Honey Stingers, I didn’t have to stop at all, which was especially encouraging after last week’s beast.

Long runs can go so many different ways, and I feel like personally..I can predict how well they’re gonna go beforehand. I really felt it going into this one…I had fueled really well, I had slept well, and my running mojo was ticking. Other times, I go simply on principal…even if  I feel wretched, and that’s often times when I feel like it’s a lot of work. Running is so mental, I’m reminded of it every time I go out.

So what’s next? Well, my plan thus far is to have another 20-21 this week, a pretty sizable cutback week after that, then two more 20-something bad boys before taper. I’m considering finishing with a 23 miler, instead of my usual 22, but we’ll see. I’d also like to peak at over 60 miles, but playing it by ear seems to be the best way to approach this high of mileage. I’m not going to be afraid to skip a run if I think it’s necessary, and at this point I know my risk of both injury and over-training it up, so I want to proceed with caution.

For the time being though, I’m really happy with these numbers, and I’m especially happy with how much I’m enjoying my runs. I’m thankful for my legs being receptive to this mileage, and I’m especially grateful that I’ve moved out of injury land. Yep, Saturday’s 20 miler was done sans IT band strap—meaning that every mile I ran last week was done au natural, and it seems that my nagging knee pain has decided to throw up the white flag.

Very, very grateful.

‘Tis all for today, but just to leave you with a quick statement involving the golf tournament I played in today…


I am really, really not kidding when I say that I’m the worst golfer there ever was…and I could barely take the 9 holes of humiliation…thank God we only did a half round. And thank God we were playing as a shuffle, meaning no one was subjected to the number of swings I would have had to take per holes. Screw golf.

I MISSED the ball not once, not twice, but THREE times during one of the tee offs…oh, and the CEO was right there to watch. I told him that I voted for flag football next time, and I beelined for the bar once we broke for lunch.

Truthfully, I really just hate being bad at things. So instead I’ll stick to chocolate cookie making, “Friends” watching, and finding samples at grocery stores.

Now those things…I’m pro.

How was your weekend?! Do you do 2, 3 or 4 20+ milersfor marathon training? What’s the highest weekly mileage you’ve ever had? Will you join my Golf Haterz team? I will provide t-shirts. 

Friday Favorites for Friday

I couldn’t think of another title. Forgive me.

Welcome to Friday, folks. It’s pretty safe to say that no one has ever been as jazzed about their rest day as I am right now. Pat me on the back people, and remember to tell your friends—yes, Robyn Broker is loving her rest days.

I was obviously super high on running in yesterday’s post. I was feeling particularly existential after an incredibly satisfying naked 10 miler. No watch, no music. And let me tell you…running without a watch after having used your Garmin for months is SO refreshing. I loved pacing according to how I felt rather than reaching a certain number. If only my “by feel” approach yielded faster times than when I use my Garmin 😉

Today, I’m still floating on running cloud 9, but let’s get real…yesterday’s post was a bit serious, and Fridays aren’t for seriousness. They are for big bowls of oatmeal (yes…every Friday, religiously), TGIF picture texts to people, and Favorite Things.

Onward and upward, or something:

Claussen Pickles

I realize this is a debatable topic in which there are normally two very divided sides of those who do and those who definitely don’t like pickles.

I am definitely the former, always have been always will be. I’ve started trying to integrate pickles into other things I eat…hey, isn’t the sodium good for runners? One time when I was little I ate so many pickles in one day I actually got sick the next day…but my love continues.

One of the best parts about dating BF is that he doesn’t like pickles, so not only do I get jars to myself—I always get his at restaurants.

Compression Socks


I did it you guys. I finally resolved that spending over $50 on a pair of socks would outweigh the consequences of injuries due to calf tightness. My own issues with my calves has gone down a lot since starting to wear the Pure Connects, but lingering tightness is imminent…as was buying a pair of these babies.

Admittedly, I wanted a white pair (I have a thing about things that are bright and white) but these are kinda B.A. looking and I’m into them. I hounded the dudes at my running store for if they *really* work and both of them crossed their fingers and hoped to die that the socks really do help. Okya, they didn’t really do that…but I wish I’d made them.

*Update* When I went in the running store, I finally claimed my prize for my AG win at the Float Dodger 5k. I told the staff all about how two ladies had screwed me over for a 3rd place finish…but they still seemed to think it was my fault. Whatever.

Unfortunately, it’s been way too hot in Seattle to wear these babies regularly yet…but I have a feeling they will slowly start becoming a staple in my wardrobe.


Just kidding! I hate golf.

BUT on Monday, my new fancy employers are having a department-wide golf tournament for everyone. I read the “Come Join Us For Golf!” invitation as: “Skip a day of work and drink free mimosas in the sun!”

Obviously, I agreed. Luckily, one of the people in my “foursome” is a lady who sits across from me and we’re buddies…and she is self-proclaimed “bad at golf” too, so we’ll get to giggle in our shittiness together.

Fun fact: My ENTIRE family loves golf. My dad teaches a golf science class at the University he works for, my sister was captain of the varsity golf team in high school, and my uncle puts on a golf tournament/tv show every year. I’m really not kidding when I say my whole family is obsessive over this boring stupid country club sport.

So why not me? It’s simple. I don’t like golf because I suck at it. It’s childish really, but I don’t like being bad at things…particularly things where I can’t avoid people waiting for me and watching me. So while you’re all concerned with your pars and birdies and whatever, this birdie is more concerned with actually getting the ball off the tee…let along getting it to the hole.

Give me a pick up bball game, softball, capture the flag, or football game anyday. Golf…not so much. And actually no tennis either. Maybe I am just bound to never join a country club.

But, I’m glad that this sport is the reason for my freebie no-work Monday.

Strawberry ChapStick

The most wonderful ChapStick of all. Eternal love right here people.

Eat and Run

I know, I know… I just talked about this book yesterday. I’ll spare you a book review, but I really really enjoyed this book—and I recommend it. I got a lot more out of it than I thought I would, and it did a really good job of humanizing someone who the rest of the world sees as invincible. Ultramarathoners, specifically those as accomplished as Scott Jurek, seem so superior to those of us who run a few “big” races a year. And they are indeed very impressive…but Scott shows that even he deals with burnout, fatigue, and even plantar faciitis.

Next on my running reading list…Lore of Running, which I’m jazzed about.

And don’t worry, I have another non-running book in my current rotation too.

As for this weekend…I’m considering talking to the shoe store about the possibility of integrating the Pure Flows or Cadences into my routine. I love the Pure Connects, but I’m questioning if they’re best for distance?

Also, there’s a little tiny thing called a 20 miler tomorrow morning. I’m actually feeling good about it…hoping to settle into an 8:30 average and try out a new route for some entertainment. Some more paddleboarding will happen as well…I’m obsessed. More on that to come.

Til Monday…

Have a great weekend!!

Play my game! What are your favorite things? What’s your plan for the weekend? Do you know anything about the Pure Flow vs. Cadence vs. Connect? Do you love or hate golf? Love or hate pickles?

Chicago Marathon Training Week #5

I realize that numbers and miles and workouts can get a little boring, so sorry about that, but in case you’re interested—and since I committed to weekly reports—here’s last week’s training. It was a good one. The weekend runs were spent back in Florence, OR with my family at our Summerhouse.

M: Rest

T: 10.5 m run, 8:20 ish pace, I think?

W: 7 m run, 1 m warm up, 5 @ <7:45, 1 m cool down + BodyPump

T: 10 m run, 8:30 average pace

F: spin + lifting

S: 18.3 m run, 8:10 average pace

S: 6 m trail run

Total: 51.8 miles

Over 50 last week! I am really happy with this—particularly with how good I felt on each run. Sunday’s trail run was a bit stiff and I could definitely feel the long run fatigue from the day before, but otherwise it was pretty smooth sailing. I wanted to do a little surge up in mileage last week and cutback this upcoming week, so afterward I can make a solid push into my peak weeks.

Training program? No, failed at that one again. But, in following the 10% rule and integrating a LR and tempo run every week, plus strength work, I’m feeling confident in my preparation so far.

And speaking of failing…let’s talk about that long run pace up there shall we?

I don’t really have any excuse other than I wanted to finish it and I wanted to minimize my time spent in the increasing temperature of an 80 degree day. Yes, I am a Pacific Northwest climate baby.

And admittedly…although I was planning on a slow-and-steady long run, I was enjoying seeing some of the times I was seeing on my Garmin. To tell you the truth, I started to feel better when I was doing faster miles—more natural, more relaxed, and generally more efficient. I have said it before that I desperately need to slow down on my long runs…but honestly I don’t feel like I was trying to run as fast as I ended up.

Let me do a little long run recap, because we all know that’s the most interesting part of any running blog ever.

I ran the same course as last weekend, adding 2 miles at one point to bump it up to 18. The course is hilly, it’s interstate-y, and there are a lot of long, continual stretches where there’s not much to see but the road ahead and big tall trees. There is a lot more elevation changing than I’m used to…and although this is great training, it ultimately adds a whole new challenge to a run that is already very long.

Needless to say, it wasn’t until about mile 5 that I started getting in a groove. And right when I was all, “Okay Broker, let’s gut this thing out,” the little voice on my nano came on and maliciously whispered that my battery was low.

I nearly replied out loud, “Yea, I hate you too.”

Please note. I can run without music. I do not, however, enjoy not even having the option to listen to music, particularly on long runs. Particularly on long runs with long ascents that require a loud anthem to climb.

So I was all grumpy pants and cursing my iPod charging negligence. Whine, whine, whine. Then all of a sudden, amidst my huffing and puffing, I thought to myself, “Homie…you’re in your favorite place in the world, with your favorite people in the world, doing your favorite thing in the world. And you’re complaining….why?”

Thanks, self. And just like that, I subconsciously talked myself into enjoying my quiet early morning run along the 101. In an instant, my form straightened up, my pace felt more comfortable, and my spirits were lifted. This was also, as I would soon realize, the point where my pace was getting faster. After about a mile and a half of my mood turnaround, I looked at my watch and saw a 7:40 looking back…which I didn’t believe at first, because I felt the best I had all day.

For the rest of the run, I meandered around 8 minute miles, slower on the uphills, faster on the downhills, and somehow finished perhaps my fastest long run ever.

A change of attitude was all it took to take this run from mundane to great—which is, of course, a lesson about running that is true so much of the time.

More blueberry pancakes afterward, followed by a beach trip, river kayaking, a visit to the candy store, a booze cruise, a wonderful dinner, and so much laughing my stomach hurt multiple times. I absolutely love the time I get to spend with my family, and I feel so fortunate every time we get time together.

 Have a great Monday!