Running Log Oct 24-30 in which I race 10,7k

Gosh darnit all to heck. I finally get on my computer to be productive today, and get sucked into Google’s Halloween game for, well, it was an embarrassing while to spend on a Google game.

But I’m gonna do this blog thing now and then get to actual desk work like grading and all that fun stuff.

This week, the highlight was a race I signed up for not too long ago and wasn’t all that amped up about, or so I thought.

I went to bed thinking “eh, this race is a 45 minutes public transportation trip, do I even really want to go? Am I really ready? I feel like I had too much pesto to race tomorrow.” I thought I would get a pass on the nervous night’s sleep before the race, since I was so uncommitted. I didn’t get a pass- slept awfully. But I did wake up in time (thank you Daylight Savings ending in Germany already!) and had a good breakfast before my first warm-up run of the day- catching the bus. My second warm-up was maybe twenty minutes too early, but I didn’t know what else to do after arriving at the venue at 8:30 and not running until 10:30. It was a small-ish race… put on by a local Verein (team) and a part of a series of Berlin races called “The Berliner Cup.” Most people were participating in the cup and thus only were going to run 3,6km (which was one round of the course). I was one of 47 running the 10,7km (3 rounds). The lack of any huge hub-hub, and absolutely no amenities (hence only a 9Euro starting fee) made me feel like races from long ago- my high school cross country races. At least this was electronically timed.

The race itself went well. Obviously wasn’t going to be perfect, since it was the first race I’d run since the marathon in February and I hadn’t trained for it at all. But I guess the cross training and the progressions runs, as well as hill work (both live, on the bike, and on the treadmill)! have been doing the trick. Pleased with this time and place, even if it was a small race and even if I know I can do better. I just know, I’m healthy! Ended the run healthy! Everything else is just icing.

Like the fact that I won third overall?! Granted, it was out of 14 women, but still! I won my first ever prize that wasn’t a plaque or medal! Like, a money equivalent kind of prize!

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Still, I ran 5k in 22:47 and 10k in 47:26; 10,7k in 50:07, so a definite positive split… not so great. I completely went out too fast with the 3,6km runners and didn’t hold back enough, which nipped me in the bud the last round.
And those hills. So many hills.

I did beat girl #4 by 1 minute–I passed her right after we started the second round and knowing she was behind me kept me going in the toughest bits (like the hills). I made sure to thank her after the race. On the other hand, I was beat by girl #2 by more than 6 minutes. If it had been a bigger race, there’s no way I would have placed, so there’s definite room for improvement!

But am pretty darn pleased with this “training” run.

The week must have worked well in the way I did it, I guess.

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Started off the week with a 5k warm-up before strength training. Followed up with an easy 10k on Tuesday. Seriously, this week, all my runs were either easy or tests or races. All the pep and “let’s go faster” of last week had disappeared. I was okay with that. I even decided after Wednesday’s 5k that even if I was getting faster in my miles (I try to do a test mile once a week, to see how I’m improving since injury), I was tired. So I decided to take Thursday and Friday off. Life still threw me a few short runs, and my 2 mile on Saturday turned into something a little longer, but over all, I was well-rested for today.

All told, I ran 26.9 miles this week. [Honestly people, I don’t care about round numbers. I’m not going to run around the block.] This was more than I was planning. I actually wanted to scale back this week… but I did skip a few bike commutes and a strength day, so the week was easier overall, I guess. And tomorrow is a rest-day!  And while I unwittingly signed up for back-to-back weekend races, I guess it’s good practice for that kind of marathon set-up in April ;). I’m going to try and take it easy this week and just see how I do at a slightly shorter distance next week.

Hope all the racers today (Jim, Chelsea, MCM people, etc.!) have a glorious run and that the sun is shining like it was for us today.

 

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Running Log Oct. 17-23: Full Circle

So, it’s been a while, but I’ve decided I can finally be cautiously optimistic.

This is the first week where I’ve managed five days of running, and I had my first three-day block this week as well.

I’ve been a little more patient and a little more careful, and so far, I’m being rewarded with a slowly, but surely increasing mileage and fast speeds. Mind you, I’m not doing workouts yet. I’m just running fast when I feel ready to go fast. I’m not forcing my legs or feet to do anything they don’t feel 100% ready to do yet.

A little more than a month ago, I ran a 7 mile tempo run that was the straw to break the camel’s back, or rather, run to cause a stress reaction in the left foot. That run included an easy warm-up and the worst cool down hobble ever. It was an 8:23 overall with a 7:24 second mile.

Fast forward five weeks later, and I ran my first 7 miler of this new start. I started slowly like I have for all my runs since returning from injury, and slowly built up to a 7:12 for the last mile. Overall pace was 8:06 and while I’m a bit more tired today than these past weeks, things are feeling good. Even this little piggy *wiggles pinky toe* went all the way home.

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5.6  miles per week to 13.7 to 17.4 to 24.1

So far, so good.

Now, I have a few races on the horizon.

I know, I know; I wrote that I wouldn’t give myself the pressure of a race this side of 2017, but I couldn’t help it. I miss having a running club and the social aspect of races. I also miss the motivation of having a race to prepare for.

Still, I know it can be dangerous to have goals too soon, so I chose races that have new distances (not hard to do when everything is measured in kilometers rather than miles). I’ve got a 10,6k next Sunday on the 30th, an 8,6k on November 6th, and a 20k on December 11th. I was a bit worried that a 20k is too long of a race, but I have more than a month to build up to that distance. If anything, I just run it as a training run. That’s the plan for all these races, and honestly, I am not ambitious about these races at all. I have nothing I need to prove, these are automatic PRs, and I’m just going to do the best I can on those days.

Sound good? Thanks for following! On to a comfortably fun end-stretch for 2016.

 

Looking Forward: April 2017

Disclosure: I did end up running in Munich yesterday… running to catch my bus back to Berlin, that is!

Yesterday, thousands of runners started their Munich Marathon race, and I saw a few of them on my way out of the city. In honor of their run, and my almost-run, I did an easy 2.62 miles. My feet have been feeling good these past two weeks. Despite my toe suffering the wrath of my iPad, the hobbling was gone the next day, and the toe is slowly returning to its normal color. I did a few test runs last week- not more than a mile and always with rest-days in between. Things have been looking up.

The nice run yesterday, and the lack of any ill effects today makes me feel ready to slowly start again. I’m only thinking 10-15 miles this week and next, maybe 20 the following. Six weeks from now, I’d like to be able to run 30 miles, but I’m not going to push it. I’m also not give myself the pressure of a race this side of 2016.

However, on the 7 hour ride back to Berlin, I did do some race research, and found a few races happening in April that really caught my attention. The Hamburg Marathon obviously caught my eye, happening April 23rd. Unfortunately, the Darß Marathon is also happening that day, and I have a hankering to do a nice run in that beautiful landscape. Plus side: I already have a place there where I could stay that weekend. I also have a few friends that may feel like running the race with me. Downside: it’s a rather small race and it would mean I’d maybe miss out on a chance to run with some study-abroad friends in Hamburg.

The other thing is, there’s a marathon in Berlin happening the week before on April 15th. It’s also a small race (last year had only 91 runners, 21 of them women), and it’s a week before two other great races. This set-up is making me think I may shoot for back-to-back marathons for the first time in my life. Maybe I’ll make it on the marathon maniacs bronze-level list. Since it’s 28 weeks out, I am sure I could train sufficiently for this. I’m also excited about a new challenge. Depending on which race I would pick for the 23rd, I could make the first or second marathon my goal race. There’s a lot of possibility in looking forward right now…

These past two months have been an up-and-down of hope and pressure to be able to run the Munich Marathon. Now that the race can’t even be on my radar anymore, I feel like looking forward again.

Finally, fun fact: I turn 26 next April, which makes a marathon or two that month pretty much (a) mandatory event(s).

 

Is it a sign? It must be a sign. 

After nearly two months of attention heaped on my fourth toe, toe five decided it was its time in the purple limelight.


 If you’re tired of these feet close ups and poorly cut nails, then good; me too. I call that color “crimson curse.” On the plus side, isn’t toe four looking fine? 
Can you believe my luck?! That’s the damage a full-size iPad can do falling on its side on a toe. I just wish it wasn’t my toe that provided the evidence for posterity’s sake. I’m not even mad about the fact that running is put off for even longer… I’m just mad to be hobbling around again. I thought I’d done my share of hobbling this year! On the plus side, I don’t have to worry about this happening a week out from a marathon I’m no longer running. 

Maybe I should just wear boots everywhere.

Hope your Monday is MUCH better.