Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

SeaWheeze half marathon training

It’s official, I’m training for my first half marathon of 2015. SeaWheeze is only 14 weeks out!

This is my first half that I’m actually on schedule for training (I know it’s only the first week and I have plenty of time to get behind, but for once I’m not injured from day 1). I’m ready to slowly add mileage and feel strong.

The past two years I have used the SeaWheeze app to train for my first three half marathons, so it’s a no brainer that I’m doing it again… with some changes.

First training run for #seawheeze is done. I’m finally starting to feel more like the runner I used to be. #runchat #running

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

Here’s how it will break down for me:

Mondays: CrossFit or olympic lifting (also known as “cross-training” according to my app)
Tuesdays: Short run, between 30-45 minutes depending on how far into training)
Wednesdays: CrossFit or olympic lifting
Thursdays: Recess! or speed work. Minimum of three miles.
Fridays: CrossFit, olympic lifting, or optional rest day (ha! I should work on that one…)
Saturdays: Long run
Sundays: Power yoga, optional 20 minute run

So far I’m super pumped for my schedule, although I know that as my mileage increases and the race gets closer I will have to back off on weight and intensity at CrossFit and start taking a for real rest day that I don’t sweat… unless it’s on a yoga mat in an easy class.

It’s all mental: weight lifting and the mind

I am a mental athlete. No, I don’t mean I’m crazy (although that could be easily argued), I mean that my mind can be my biggest supporter or my worst nightmare. My mind often determines if I am going to succeed or fail. It is one of my biggest challenges to overcome as an athlete.

I am generally a risk-adverse person. I over-analyze, over-think, and doubt just about every thought or decision I make. Despite being great at keeping myself alive, these tendencies are a hindrance for a lot of the other things I do, especially olympic lifting.


My nemesis for the day. #oly #crossfitgirls #LikeAGirl

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


If you’ve ever been about to pick up a bar loaded with more than you weigh and throw it over your head, you likely know what’s like to have your brain say “Wait! This is a bad idea!” at just the wrong moment.

One of my biggest challenges with lifting has been shutting up the voice in my head.

“This is heavy.” “What if I drop it on myself.” “I can’t do this.”

None of those things are going to help me reach my goal.

Three months ago I hit a snatch PR of 98lbs. The lift was clean. I felt good. My coach was adamant I could make 100lbs.

But I failed. Over and over and over again. I stopped performing the lift correctly. I panicked before I got the bar off the ground, and I baled as soon as the bar got close to my head (which means I definitely could have finished the lift).

Two pounds shouldn’t make that big of a difference. But standing there with my six month goal weight on the bar, I froze. It was too big. Too much. Too heavy.

I finally shut up that voice. I finally believed I could do it. I hit 100lbs. And I know I had more than that in me. 105 is well within my reach. And my goal of snatching my body weight isn’t looking so crazy anymore.

Finally hit triple digits. You missed it @inrc_ @zeroatlas #crossfitgirls #crossfit #oly

A video posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


Time to stop the negative talk, the second guessing, the panic and just freaking do it.

Training update 4/6-4/12

I had some big milestones this week. I ran my first race since October (more about that soon). I completed my longest run in 5 months. And biggest of all, I hit over 1,000 all-time miles.

I know some people run 1,000 miles in a handful of months, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Between injuries, graduating from college, my first full time job, and everything else I’ve experienced in the last four years, 1,000 miles feels pretty damn good.

Here's a sneak peek of yesterday's race location.

Here’s a sneak peek of yesterday’s race location.

By the numbers

Three CrossFit classes (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
One sweaty heated power yoga class
11.42 miles! (including a 10k race)
Lots and lots of PT, foam rolling, lacrosse balling, and stretching

My comeback is well on its way, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t setbacks. I’m taking a few days off running after yesterday’s race to give my poor feet a chance to catch up on healing and relax again. I was feeling pretty good, but a couple days before the race my plantar fascia started to bug me. After really pushing it for the last mile of the race, they deserve a break.

Training Update 3/30-4/5

Do you ever have days where your body fights back? The whole end of this week was a long series of those days.


I switched up my week a bit and ran on Monday instead of my usual Tuesday morning. (Side note, getting to work on a Monday morning and immediately heading outside for a run is a great way to ease back into the week.)


My workout on Tuesday felt pretty good while I was doing it. Afterwards was a totally different story. My sore abs haunted me for the next four days. You heard me. Four!

Barbells are for getting stronger... and rolling out your tight, crunchy calves.

Barbells are for getting stronger… and rolling out your tight, crunchy calves.


Because my run was switched to Monday, I went to CrossFit again on Wednesday. I’m a baby – CrossFiting two days in a row is not for me. So much whining, so little energy. And yet I still PRed my jerk. I failed once, and nailed it on my second attempt (and of course I didn’t take a photo or video because I didn’t think it was going to happen and too many people were staring at me). Since I PRed and all, I bailed on all of my extra work. All of it. No PT. Nothing.


My abs were the most sore on Thursday. The good news is that I use my abs/core when I run.


I rarely think to myself “I’m going to quit. Let’s just quit right now. Just stop.” during a workout. But this workout was so horrible. Five minutes into the first set of exercises I wanted to just lie down. 10 minutes in and I could no longer hold onto things like a normal person (great time to climb ropes). Halfway through class I thought I was going to throw up (bonus points for not?). Then I was trying to talk myself out of passing out (that’s how it works, right?). I was the last one to finish. I went home feeling slightly nauseous and completely unsure why I didn’t just quit.


Less than 24 hours after my last terrible workout I went for my longest run in months. Five miles felt like 13. I had to take walk breaks. I had to apologize to my running buddy for endless complaining. I rambled about how hard running is, how much my stomach hurt, how tired my legs felt, how cold it was, how hot it was. I talked endlessly. Sometimes to distract myself, other times because I couldn’t stop thinking about how miserable I was.

Which is ridiculous. I have waited so long to feel that miserable. I should have shut up and enjoyed it. (I didn’t, I complained about how five miles used to be so easy.) The voice in my head can be a total bitch.


Records may have been broken for total time spent in bed. It was glorious.

Break down:

3 hours of CrossFit
1 solid PT session (I will do better next week!)
zero yoga (I did stretch outside of class…)
10.54 miles (Helloooooo double digits!!!!)

Training update 3/23-29

My comeback is starting to feel awful real…


After months of squatting on and off (and feeling like I’m beating myself into the ground for no progress), I PR’d by back squat… and didn’t even notice. Despite the fact that I failed (twice) to get a squat I am fairly certain I can make , I still grabbed a new PR. I thought my PR was 5 lbs. more than it really was, and I didn’t notice it until days later. I followed up my frustrating failures with this painful workout that includes 1 min ring holds. Ouch!

My nemesis for the day. #oly #crossfitgirls #LikeAGirl

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


Someday I am going to be running 12 miles and be dreaming of the days I only ran 2 miles. Right now I’m dreaming about the 12 miles and trying to stay focused on how great it is I can run at all.


This was one of those days where I felt like I was unstoppable. I hit heavy snatches over and over again. My form for once felt fluid and strong. And I even started to really pull myself under the bar. I’ve since deleted the rest of the workout from my memory (after I finally stopped being sore 4-5 days later).


2.5 miles. Boom.


Instead of doing 15.5 days after doing thrusters (HA, no thanks), I lifted on my own. It was great to work on some weaknesses and do my own thing. I did some front squats and clean drills. And then a ton of exercises for my hips and ankles.


I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do this run. On Friday my body decided to give me shooting pain through my right ankle with no warning or cause (that I can figure out). It continued throughout the day, and after sitting in traffic for an hour, I had to hobble out of the car.

But I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good and decided to try it. I figured I could turn around and walk if the pain came back, but instead I made it through my longest run in months. Hello four miles. I sure did miss you.


After a busy day walking all over San Francisco, I took the day off from yoga (and even called it a “rest” day ; ) ).


Ran 9.01 miles. Killin’ it
More than 2 hours of feet, ankle, and hip strengthening, stretching, and loosening.
Total 0.5 lb. (delicious) containers of guacamole eaten by me: 1.75  (I don’t know who ate all the ice cream though. Definitely wasn’t me.)

Training update 3/1-3/22

It turns out when my PTT flairs up, I give up on writing these updates. Which is sad because my life doesn’t stop, I don’t stop training, it just looks a little different.

So here it is, in all of its injury-interrupted glory:


I started March feeling pretty good. I had a solid plan for how I was going to slowly ramp up my mileage in time for the 10k I’m “racing” in April. I wasn’t worried about only having a month to go, and my body was handling the slow increase in mileage well.

Until it wasn’t.

Between a lot of balance work at CrossFit and the “extra” distance I was running, my feet fought back. I had started the week of 3/2 feeling strong with an accidental 3.5 mile run (I was shooting for 2.5-3). I followed that up with a CrossFit workout that had a lot of overhead work, and I never really bounced back. My short run on Thursday went alright, but after doing the 15.2 CrossFit Open workout that Friday, my feet were toast on Saturday for my “long” run. I had 4 miles on the schedule, but within a few steps my feet were killing me. I hobbled home after less than a mile and proceeded to feel sorry for myself for the rest of the day.


I accepted (mostly) the sate of my feet and took the week off from running. I did my best to reduce the strain I put on my feet at CrossFit by cutting out jumping and going a bit lighter on weights so I didn’t have to drive as much through my calves or struggle to stay balanced.

I also spent the time I would have been running working on my olympic lifts and strengthening my feet and hips to help stabilize everything when I run. Glute bridges, side steps with a band, ankle exercises with a band, and calf raises are all the rage these days.

I miss my morning run, but I can’t complain about starting the day with a nice quiet lift. #LikeAGirl #crossfitgirls #oly

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on


I started hesitantly running again. I’m still playing around with pacing, distance, and even taping my ankle/arch to figure out the best way to move forward. I did another whopping 7.8 miles for the week, but I didn’t get pain while I was running, which seems like a win if you ask me. I made it through my “long” run of 3 miles without incident and even woke up feeling alright the next morning. I’m calling it progress.

The real bummer of the week was the discovery that yoga is definitely contributing to my PTT symptoms. All of the balance on bare feet kills me. My arch can’t support itself well enough, and all of that tugging on my tendons gives me pain that starts in my feet and keeps going up my ankles. I have been taping my ankle and arches when I go to class, but it’s still not enough. I’m going to take a few weeks off to let my body calm down before I try it again (modifying poses of course to reduce the tugging on my inflamed tendons). Fingers crossed it works and I can run all three days this week.

Training Update 2/23-3/1


I went into Monday feeling pretty good. I took a much needed complete rest day the day before. But after WAY too much squatting between the scheduled workout and my insistence that I needed to do my squat program, I felt my workout all week. #SomeoneCarryMePlease. If you think walking is overrated you should definitely try this workout.


This was one of those “runs” where barely moving feels like an all-out effort. My tired legs carried me (very slowly) 2.5 miles.


Despite declarations that Fridays are for squatting, I had to switch up my schedule and squat today instead. On paper it seemed totally fine. Trying to convince my legs to squat when they were quite sore after Monday was a challenge. I hit unexpected traffic on the way to the gym and ended up having to go to a later CrossFit class, which meant I got my squats in before. I squeezed my full program into the 30 minutes before class and tried not to cry on every wall ball after.


I hobbled through another 2.5 miles. Nothing major to report.



Despite the fact that I’m not actually doing the CrossFit Open, every class is doing the open workouts on Fridays. Last year I was determined to do all of the workouts, but after my first introduction to tendonitis (hello double-unders, oh how you ruined my feet for a year) after 14.1, I was less than interested this year.

As much as I hate toes-to-bar, I wasn’t dreading this workout too badly.


9 minute AMRAP
15 toes-to-bar
10 deadlifts at 75 lbs
5 snatches at 75 lbs

15.1 A

Max single rep clean and jerk in 6 minutes

I know I made a lot of progress doing a few cycles of the barbell class, but I didn’t realize quite how much until this workout. The weight on the snatches felt totally doable for me and I got pretty darn close to my actual PR on the clean and jerk. I was pretty happy with my score of 113 reps/128 lbs.


I broke up my longest run in months with a nice walk on the beach to check out the tide pools. I ran about 3 miles and walked another half mile.


I ditched the yoga class I was planning on going to and did an hour of PT instead. Both probably would have been better, but my ankles have been feeling better without the stress of balancing/standing barefoot during yoga.

Overall stats:

  • 2ish hours of PT (Mostly stretching and releasing my calves and hips with a lacrosse ball. I did some of my exercises… but not enough)
  • Ran 8.82 miles
  • 3 hours of CrossFit
  • 2 squat sessions

Training update 2/16-22

I haven’t done a weekly update in a while, mostly because announcing to the world that I only ran six miles the entire week makes me never want to get out of bed. But I realized that those six miles matter, and everything else that I’m doing is worth talking about. So here it goes, what life really looks like when you’re chipping away at a comeback.


I started the week with the day off (hallelujah!). To celebrate I slept in and skipped my usual CrossFit workout. Instead I went to the gym late and did my third week of the Hatch Squat program. My legs were so happy to do this workout fresh. I usually squat after my regular workout, and man do my legs hate it.

Big girl weights only



Despite tired legs (hello squats) I got in a slow and careful 2.5 mile run (which if we are being real is a 2 mile run, .5 mile walk).


Sometimes overhead squats feel like you are dying. Sometimes you feel like you can lift the world. Thankfully I felt pretty good for this workout. The best part? I didn’t even have to do more squats after.



Given that more is always better (uhhh or not), I decided to go for a short 2.5 mile run (which ironically is currently the same length as my long run) and followed it up with an hour and 15 minutes of heated power yoga before work. Yoga has been huge in helping me release tight hip flexors and keeping my lower legs loose. The only problem is that standing on one leg really tugs on my tendons and it’s super easy for me to inflame my PTT without realizing it. In this case, tired legs + a fair amount of balance work = unhappy tendons & disappointed Mandy.


Fridays are for squatting! (I’m trying really hard to make that into a thing. So far no one will join me.) After an hour long CrossFit class I was at it again for my second day of my squat program. I would love to say I was feeling great for this workout, but the truth is that after finding a two rep max power snatch and doing more than 60 pull-ups and dumbbell snatches, I was not feelin’ the squats. It took me almost an hour to get through my front and back squat sets. But I did have a great time sitting and chatting. (Maybe Fridays really are for socializing?)


Since I was feeling super energetic the night before (see Friday), I decided it would be a great idea to go for a run and a swim before lunch. I wouldn’t recommend this tactic. It results in homicidal hunger and the inability to get anything else done all day. If you are hoping to take an intense nap, this workout might be for you.


I had originally planned on doing another hot power yoga class, but given the state of my body (and my sudden inability to make it through a day without a nap) I decided to skip it and rest my legs. My tendons thanked me… ha. I wish.

Overall stats:

  • 2 hours of PT (Mostly stretching and releasing my calves and hips with a lacrosse ball. I did some of my exercises… but not enough)
  • 1 sweaty yoga class
  • Ran 7.5 miles (and proud of it!)
  • 3 hours of CrossFit
  • 2 squat sessions for a total of 5.7 tons (over a ton more than the average car) squatted. Ouch.